WASHINGTON – According to the US Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the cost of meat, poultry, fish and eggs were among the leaders in the consumer price inflation in 2010 with a 5.5% increase from December 2009 to December 2010.

Leading price inflation were energy costs with a 16.5% increase for fuel oil and 13.8% jump for gasoline, BLS said in releasing its most recent Consumer Price Index report for urban consumers. Tobacco and smoking products barely surpassed the meat and poultry category with a 5.6% increase.

Among food categories, the increase in the index for meat, poultry, fish and eggs was followed by the 3.7% increase in dairy and related products. Food consumed at home increased 1.7% in the one-year period, while the cost of food consumed away from home experienced a 1.3% increase. The food index overall increased 1.5% after dropping a half percent in 2009. The jump in food prices ran counter to an overall slowing trend in price inflation, BLS said.

“The rate of increase in the CPI slowed in 2010 as the December to December increase fell from 2.7%in 2009 to 1.5% in 2010,” the agency said. December 2010, however, showed an overall increase of .5% in consumer prices, the largest monthly increase in the past 18 months.