Price of Ground Beef Climbs to Another Record High

By Ali Meyer | March 18, 2014 | 2:49pm EDT

(AP Photo)

(CNSNews.com) - The seasonally adjusted price index for uncooked ground beef jumped 3.8 percent from January to February, as the average price for a pound of 100-percent ground chuck rose from approximately $3.59 in January to a new record high of $3.73 in February, according to data released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The BLS’s seasonally adjusted price index measures the relative change in the price of product from a baseline of 100. From January to February, the price index for uncooked ground beef rose from 248.864 to 258.323, its highest level ever. The 258.323 price index also indicates that the seasonally adjusted price for ground beef is almost twice what it was in January 2001 when the price index was 130.4.

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The Consumer Price Index (CPI) is defined by BLS as the “measure of the average change over time in the prices paid by urban consumers for a market basket of consumer goods and services.”

“The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.1 percent in February on a seasonally adjusted basis,” the BLS said in the summary of the Consumer Price Index it released today.  “Over the last 12 months, the all items index increased 1.1 percent before seasonal adjustment,” says BLS.

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“An increase in the food index accounted for more than half of the all items increase in February. The food index rose 0.4 percent in February, driven by a 0.5 percent increase in the index for food at home, with four of the six major grocery store food group indexes increasing,” according to BLS.

The BLS calculates an overall food index of food prices and also a food at home index and a food away from home index. Ground chuck beef is included in both the “food index” and “food at home” indexes, according to BLS.

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