Dairy CPI Fell 0.2% In February; Retail Cheddar, Whole Milk Prices Declined

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) for dairy and related products was 216.595 in February (1982-84=100), down 0.2 percent from January but 0.1 percent higher than in February 2018, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported Tuesday.

The dairy CPI has now been under 220 for 24 consecutive months; it was last above that mark in February 2017, when it was 220.552.

February’s CPI for all items was 252.776, up 0.4 percent from January and 1.5 percent higher than in February 2018. February’s CPI for food at home was 242.057, up 0.3 percent from January and 1.2 percent higher than in February 2018.

February’s CPI for cheese and related products was 224.692, down 0.6 percent from January and 1.7 percent lower than in February 2018. That’s the lowest level for the cheese CPI since December 2016, when it was 224.3.

The average retail price for a pound of natural Cheddar cheese in February was $5.247, down 12.5 cents from January but up 16.5 cents from February 2018. The average retail Cheddar price has now been above $5.00 per pound for 14 consecutive months.

Average retail Cheddar cheese prices in February in the four major regions broken out by the BLS, with comparisons to a month earlier and a year earlier, were:

Northeast: $5.369 per pound, down almost 61 cents from January and down almost 73 cents from February 2018.

Midwest: $5.245 per pound, up almost 10 cents from January but down almost 21 cents from February 2018.

South: $5.122 per pound, down more than 16 cents from January and down amost 24 cents from February 2018.

West: $5.321 per pound, down almost four cents from January but up more than 96 cents from February 2018.

The average retail price for a pound of American processed cheese in February was $3.863, down almost six cents from January and down more than 20 cents from February 2018.

Retail Whole Milk Price Falls
February’s CPI for whole milk was 196.94, down slightly from January but up 0.3 percent from February 2018. The CPI for whole milk has now been below 200 for 19 consecutive months.

February’s CPI for “milk” was 137.925 (December 1997=100), down 0.3 percent from January but up 0.3 percent from February 2018, while February’s CPI for milk other than whole was 142.79, down 0.6 percent from January but 0.8 percent higher than in February 2018.

The average retail price for a gallon of whole milk in February was $2.90, down more than one cent from January and down more than two cents from February 2018. The average retail whole milk price has now been under $3.00 per gallon for 14 consecutive months.

Average retail whole milk prices in February for the three major regions reported by the ...

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