Grocery prices decline in Baltimore area

MARYLAND WATCH

July 17, 1996

Grocery prices in the Baltimore area fell in June for the first time in three months, led by a 3.4 percent decline in the prices of meat, poultry, fish and eggs, the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics said yesterday.

Although food prices are 0.6 percent lower than they were in May, the price of an average "market basket" is 2.5 percent higher than it was at the same time last year. And, according to the index, Baltimore consumers paid $15.71 in June for a basket that cost $10 in 1982-1984.

Prices of cereal and bakery products fell 0.5 percent for both June and the year.

Rising prices included those for dairy products, which were up 1.6 percent over the month and 3.5 percent over the year, and fruits and vegetables, which rose 0.6 percent in June and 2.2 percent for the year.

The department said energy prices rose 9.1 percent in June because of the expected summer increase of electricity rates.

Gasoline prices rose 0.7 percent, lifting prices 21.8 percent higher than their December levels. But the department said they are just 5.5 percent higher than they were a year ago.

Pub Date: 7/17/96

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