Food Prices See Greatest Monthly Increase in Nearly 20 Years

Rising global grain prices helped spark the largest increase in monthly food costs in nearly 20 years, as consumers paid more in April for cereals, baked goods, and the dairy, meat and other animal products that rely on feedstocks, the government reported today.

Food prices have risen 6.1 percent in the past three months on a seasonally adjusted annual basis. The one-month rise between March and April of 0.9 percent was the biggest since January 1990, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The rise in prices covered all categories of food but was most severe among such staple goods as grains and oils — goods where inflation has touched off food riots in some less developed countries and led to concerns about supply shortages.

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