Ben Bernanke will end his term as the Chairman of the Federal Reserve System most noted for his now famous comment about combating deflation with a helicopter money drop if necessary. But the monthly review of the 47 grocery items in the PracticalDad Price Index shows that significant inflation still hasn’t reached the grocery stores as the October 2013 Total Index dropped very slightly to 108.35 (November 2010 = 100) and the 37 item Food-only Index declined by more than .75 points to 112.98 (November 2010 = 100). On the basis of the Food-only index, this is the largest decrease since the greater than 1 point drop from December 2012 to January 2013 and is the lowest level by that index since October 2012, a full year ago.
The discrepancy – minimal decrease in Total Index versus significant decrease in Food-Only Index – is explicable. There were six price increases offset by six price decreases amongst the 47 items; but the significant price rises were for non-food items (soap at 2.7% and trash bags at 11%) while the three significant drops were in ground beef (2.4%), roaster chicken (3.1%) and apples (9.1%).
Month Total Index Food-Only Index Spread
7/13 107.57 113.13 5.56
8/13 107.90 113.14 5.24
9/13 108.39 113.76 5.37
10/13 107.83 112.98 4.63