New Record: Pound of Ground Beef Tops $4 for First Time

By Ali Meyer | September 17, 2014 | 10:00 AM EDT

(CNSNews.com) –  Although the overall Consumer Price Index dropped by 0.2 percent in August, the price index for food rose 0.2 percent, with the average price for a pound of ground beef rising to $4.013 per pound--the first time it has ever topped $4 per pound.

In July, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average price for a pound of ground beef had been $3.884 per pound—which was the record price up to that point.  From July to August, the average price jumped 12.9 cents, an increase of 3.3 percent in one month.

ype="node" title="Ground Beef Chart for August

A year ago, in August 2013, the average price for a pound of ground beef was $3.454 per pound. Since then, it has climbed 55.9 cents--or about 16.2 percent.

Just five years ago, in August 2009, the average price for a pound of ground beef was $2.134, according to the BLS. The price has since climbed by $1.879 per pound—or 88.1 percent.

The overall Consumer Price Index measures the relative change in the prices of a basket of goods and services relative to a basis of 100.  Subordinate indexes measure the relative change in price for individual goods or services or categories of goods and services.

The price index for seasonally adjusted uncooked ground beef hit an all-time high of 279.812 in August, up 3.4 percent from July when it was 270.724. In 1947, the earliest year in this index, it was 26.5.

“The seasonally adjusted decline in the all items index was the first since April 2013,” the BLS ssaid of the overall index. “The indexes for food and shelter rose, but the increases were more than offset by declines in energy indexes, especially gasoline.”

“The food index rose 0.2 percent in August after increasing 0.4 percent in July,” said BLS. “The food at home index was also up 0.2 percent, with the six major grocery store food group indexes split between three increases and three declines. The index for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs rose 1.5 percent in August, the largest increase among the groups. The index for beef and veal rose 4.2 percent, its largest increase since November 2003.”

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