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US food prices are still up 8.2% online even as inflation cools


Shopping online is a good place to find cheaper computers and appliances, but grocery prices are still rising at a fast clip.

Prices of consumer goods sold online fell 2.3% in May in the US, the ninth consecutive month of declines and the biggest drop since the pandemic started, according to data from Adobe. That was mainly due to steep decreases in discretionary categories.

Essential items like food, pet products and personal care, however, are seeing persistent inflation. Online grocery prices increased 8.2% from last year — although the pace of inflation has been abating since peaking at 14.3% last September.

Americans have been shifting more of their discretionary purchases to services over the past year, cutting spending on items for the home.

Online prices for appliances were down 7.9% in May from last year, the largest drop in digital-prices data from Adobe going back to 2014. Online prices for computers slumped 16.5% and electronics were down 12%.

The Adobe Digital Price Index was developed with the help of Austan Goolsbee before he became president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago this year. The gauge analyses one trillion visits to retail sites and more than 100 million items to track price changes.

© 2023 Bloomberg

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