The Cost Of Food Rose Slightly Less Than Expected This October

After seeing inflation smash record after record over the past year, we can't be blamed for being jaded or apprehensive whenever new stats come around. Fortunately for us, for what feels like the first time in a while, the government's Bureau of Labor Statistics finally delivered a bit of good news — that while prices are still on the uptick, we're not seeing the same kind of leaps and bounds we saw earlier in the year. In fact, our inflation levels are now beating analysts' expectations, per CNBC — and right in time for Thanksgiving, too.

The news is not all good — gas prices for October still rose by 4% after three months of seeing drops. And on the whole, prices are 7.7% higher this year than they were this same time a year ago. "That's [the inflation rate is] obviously still very high," said senior U.S. economist at Capital Economics Andrew Hunter, "But at least it's a move in the right direction," per CNBC.

The food inflation cloud has a silver lining

On the food front, the Bureau of Labor of Statistics said the food at home index rose just 0.4% in October for what the government body called "the smallest monthly increase in this index since December 2021." Leading the increases: cereals and bakery products, which went up by 0.8%, followed by meat, poultry, fish, and eggs which went up 0.6% in October.

But if you like your fresh fruits and vegetables, there is good news — the index for produce declined nearly 1%, with fresh fruit prices falling 2.4% and fresh vegetable prices falling 0.5%, per BLS. And after months of seeing butter and dairy prices climb to new highs, we finally get a break, as they fell 0.1%.

While number crunchers consider this a good sign, many households still struggle to keep up. Moody's Analytics says the average American household is spending $445 more per month on food thanks to runaway prices based on the September CPI report, per CNBC. The research company also said thanks to inflation, wages are now worth 3% less.

Regardless of the size of your wallet, Moody's U.S. Economist Ryan Sweet says that "inflation is affecting people very, very differently... But everyone is feeling the effect."