Inflation, which came in hotter-than-expected, up 8.2%, took a toll on Americans' wallets in the month of September, particularly at the grocery store — with overall food costs rising 11.2%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics' (BLS) September Consumer Price Index (CPI).
The food-at-home category, groceries, was up 13.0% year-over-year. From August to September, the price of groceries increased 0.8%.
"Mostly everything's up substantially from a 12-month perspective, and that's sort of true across the CPI," BLS economist Steve Reed told Yahoo Finance. "It's certainly true for food," he added.
Foods with the highest jumps in price on a monthly basis include lettuce (up 6.8%) potatoes (up 3.5%), margarine (up 4.2%). The price of milk and eggs, however, dropped on a monthly basis, down 1.3% and down 3.5%, respectively. Year over year, however, those prices are still higher, with milk up 15.2% and eggs up 30.5%.
Reed added, "There's been just so much upward movement in [egg] prices that it's natural for that to bounce back down a little bit."
Michael Swanson, chief agricultural economist at Wells Fargo, expects a further decline in egg prices could take some time.
"Egg suppliers are recovering from this spring’s avian influenza outbreak, but dairy was dealing with a hot summer in key markets," he told Yahoo Finance.
Relief may be on the way for grocery prices in general. "Vegetables are still dealing with record transportation costs, but the good news is that shipping costs are starting to decline towards a more normal pricing situation," he said.
Reed also noted that lower fuel costs could help bring prices down."We've seen a little bit of a deceleration in the last few months on food and part of that could probably be tied to lower gas," he said.
Compared to August 2022, the cost of transportation saw some relief as energy costs decreased 2.6% with gasoline down 5.6% month-over-month making it cheaper to transport goods. However, on a monthly basis, the price of gallon is higher with a current national average of $3.91, according to AAA, following the decision by OPEC+ to cut supply.
Zachary Griffiths, a senior strategist at CreditSights, told Yahoo Finance that elevated food inflation could "continue to be a headwind for the U.S. consumer just as the Fed is set to continue tightening policy very aggressively."
As Dani Romero reported, on Wednesday investors mulled minutes from the Federal Reserve's latest monetary-policy meeting, in which several Fed officials suggested the risk of doing too little to control price increases outweighed the risk of doing too much.
Brooke DiPalma is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter at @BrookeDiPalma or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.