WASHINGTON – The Consumer Price Index for food and beverages moved up 0.2 percent in April, finishing at 236.8, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the Department of Labor. The gain comes on the heels of two consecutive months in which the index was flat. The food index also increased 0.2 percent in April, moving up to 236.8 from 236.3 in March.

The indexes for meat, poultry, fish and eggs, plus for other food at home, both increased 0.4 percent, while the index for non-alcoholic beverages rose 0.3 percent.

In contrast, the index for fruits and vegetables fell 1.4 percent in April to 287.5. The decline reflected drops in the indexes for fresh fruits and fresh vegetables, which both finished lower for the second consecutive month.

The index for dairy and related products, which fell 0.6 percent in March and 0.4 percent in February, was flat in April.

Within food at home, four of the six major grocery store food group indexes increased in April, led by cereals and bakery products, which rose 0.6 percent to 271.4.

Over the past 12 months, the food at home index has risen 1 percent, with all the major component groups increasing over that span except nonalcoholic beverages, which fell 0.2 percent.

The overall Consumer Price Index fell for the second straight month, dropping 0.4 percent in April after declining 0.2 percent in March. Over the past 12 months, the index has increased 1.1 percent.