WASHINGTON — The Consumer Price Index for food and beverages increased 0.1 percent in March, climbing to 232.5 from 232.2 in February, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the Department of Labor.

The food index increased 0.2 percent in March after finishing flat in February.

Two of the six major grocery store food group indexes rose during March, including meats, poultry, fish, and eggs, which increased 0.8 percent to 230.9.

Also advancing during the month was the index for other food at home, which rose 0.3 percent to 204.4.
The sharpest decline during March was in the index for fruits and vegetables. The index fell 0.4 percent to 277.3, and it included a decline of 1.6 percent in the index for fresh vegetables. The fruits and vegetables index fell 0.5 percent in February and 1.3 percent in January.

The index for cereals and bakery products, and for nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials, each fell 0.2 percent during March, while the index for dairy and related products eased 0.1 percent.

The food at home index moved up 0.1% after two consecutive months of finishing unchanged.

The overall Consumer Price Index increased 0.3 percent in March, which followed a gain of 0.4 percent in February. The index now has increased 2.7 percent over the past 12 months.