WASHINGTON – The Consumer Price Index for food and beverages was flat in November, finishing at 234.7, the same as in October, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the Department of Labor. The food index also was unchanged, ending at 234.9 in November. The only major category to finish lower was the index for meats, poultry, fish and eggs, which fell 0.3 percent during the month.

Five of the six major grocery story groups posted increases in the month, led by dairy and related products, which advanced 0.8 percent in November. Four of the six groups scored gains of at least 0.4 percent during the month.

The index for nonalcoholic beverages, which declined in October, rose 0.5 percent in November, while the index for other food at home increased 0.4 percent.

The index for cereals and bakery products, which increased 0.4 percent in October, rose 0.3 percent in November.

The index for fruits and vegetables followed up a 0.6 percent increase in October by increasing 0.2 percent in November.

The overall Consumer Price Index, which had increased in each of the past three months, fell 0.3 percent in November, but still has risen 1.8 percent over the past 12 months.