The November 2012 market basket of 47 items was priced and the results show increases in both the Total Index (all 47 items) and the Food-only (the 37 food items in the basket) Index. Note for both indices that November 2010 = 100. The difference between the Total and Food-only indices are that the Food-only shows the price activity of only the actual food items within the marketbasket with the non-food items removed (foil, soap, trash bags, diapers, etc.).
Month Total Index Food-only Index Spread
9/12 107.50 111.67 4.17
10/12 106.42 111.80 5.38
11/12 107.06 113.04 5.98
The Total Index is up from October’s level but still not back at the previous index high of 107.50, hit in September 2012. Unlike that however, the Food-only Index never faltered and has once again hit an all-time high of 113.04. What that literally means is that the cost of the same 37 food items in the market basket are now 13.04% higher than at the Index’s inception in November 2010. To see a complete roster of the items in the basket, see here.
The column entitled "Spread" refers to the difference between the two indices and is an indicator of the rate at which food prices are advancing ahead of all prices, which include non-food items as well. Given the small number of non-food items in the basket, it would be considered statistically invalid. But on a gut, common-sense level, it does provide some insight into how the price of food is behaving in relation to other prices in the current economic and monetary environment.