Food prices drop 2.1% in South Florida

Prices of food prepared at home drop.

You may have noticed your dollar recently went further in the supermarket: Food prices fell 2.1 percent in November and December in South Florida, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Thursday.

Thank falling citrus prices for helping lower food prices in Broward and Miami-Dade, the federal agency said.

Good weather helped keep prices of other fruits and vegetables down in grocery stores, said economist William B. Stronge, a professor emeritus at Florida Atlantic University. Declining gas prices in the fall also factored in lowering food prices as delivery costs declined, he added.

Food prices in the two counties dropped 0.1 percent for the entire year, BLS said.

However, food bought outside the home at restaurants and other places increased a modest 0.6 percent in the last two months of 2013 and 2.6 percent for the entire year.

Gas prices at the pump increased 1 percent in November and December, while electricity declined 0.2 percent decline, BLS said. South Florida's total energy costs rose 0.5 percent for the two months and 1.4 percent for 2013.

Inflation was kept tame --1.9 percent in South Florida for 2013, BLS reported. "Overall, inflation is calm," Stronge said.

BLS' Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers in Miami-Dade and Broward isn't seasonally adjusted.

dgehrke@tribune.com or Twitter @donnagehrke


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