WASHINGTON — The Consumer Price Index for food and beverages increased 0.2 percent in January, climbing to 232.1 from 231.6 in December, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the Department of Labor. The gain followed a similar advance of 0.2 percent in December.
The food index also rose 0.2 percent in January after rising 0.2 percent in December and 0.1 percent in November.
Also increasing during the month were the index for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs, which climbed 0.2 percent to 229.5, and the index for other food at home, which rose 0.5 percent to 203. The index for food away from home also was higher, rising 0.4 percent to 235.3, its sharpest increase since August 2011.
In contrast, the index for fruits and vegetables fell 1.3 percent to 279.7, its fourth consecutive decline, and the indexes for cereals and bakery products and nonalcoholic beverages also decreased. The cereals and bakery products index eased 0.1 percent, to 267, while the nonalcoholic beverages index fell 0.3 percent to 169.2.
The index for food at home was flat at 230.9.
After two of the past three months finished flat, the overall Consumer Price Index increased 0.2 percent in January. The index now has increased 2.9 percent over the past 12 months.