In January 1967, when the BLS started tracking this measure, the index for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs was 38.1. As of last May, it was 234.572. By this January, it hit 240.006. By April, it hit 249.362. And, in May, it climbed to a record 252.832.
“The index for meats, poultry, fish and eggs has risen 7.7 percent over the span [last year],” says the BLS. “The index for food at home increased 0.7 percent, its largest increase since July 2011. Five of the six major grocery store food group indexes increased in May. The index for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs rose 1.4 percent in May after a 1.5 increase in April, with virtually all its major components increasing,” BLS states.
In addition to this food index, the price for fresh whole chickens hit its all-time high in the United States in May.
In January 1980, when the BLS started tracking the price of this commodity, fresh whole chickens cost $0.70 per pound. By this May 2014, fresh whole chickens cost $1.56 per pound.
A decade ago, in May 2004, a pound of fresh chicken cost $1.04. Since then, the price has gone up 50%.
Each month, the BLS employs data collectors to visit thousands of retail stores all over the United States to obtain information on the prices of thousands of items to measure changes for the Consumer Price Index (CPI).
The CPI is simply the average change over time in prices paid by consumers for a market basket of goods and services.
The BLS found that there was a 0.7% change in the prices for the food at home index in May, which tracks foods like meats, poultry, fish, eggs and dairy, as well as many others.