RETAIL FOOD PRICES INCREASE SLIGHTLY IN JUNE

WASHINGTON (FNS) -- Retail food prices in June increased a seasonally adjusted 0.1% against May, as prices for all consumer goods jumped 0.6%, the Labor Department reported last week in its Consumer Price Index.onomist with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said it's difficult to say whether the June report might trigger another interest rate increase by the Federal Reserve in order to further slow the

WASHINGTON (FNS) -- Retail food prices in June increased a seasonally adjusted 0.1% against May, as prices for all consumer goods jumped 0.6%, the Labor Department reported last week in its Consumer Price Index.

onomist with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said it's difficult to say whether the June report might trigger another interest rate increase by the Federal Reserve in order to further slow the economy and keep inflation in check.

The effect of higher energy prices -- they increased 2.7% last month -- may do more to keep overall prices from escalating, Regalia said.

"From the point of view of consumers this increase in oil prices will mean more money spent at the gas pump than on other things," Regalia said.

Meanwhile, among the retail food prices with notable price fluctuations were fruits and vegetables, which were down 0.7 % for the month and off 1.6% from June 1999.

Retail prices for meat, poultry, fish and eggs increased 0.5% in June against May and were up 5.2 from year-ago levels. Prices for dairy products dipped 0.1% for the month and increased 2.2% over the 12 months.

Meanwhile, prices at the wholesale level for food declined 0.3% in June, the second consecutive monthly dip, as prices for all finished goods increased 0.6%, according to the Producer Price Index, also released last week. Wholesale prices in May dipped 0.2%, following April's 1% increase.

Compared to June 1999, wholesale food prices last month were up 1.6%, about even with the 1.5% increase in producer prices for all finished goods.