Drinks inflation in the US cooled in October, according to government data released today (14 November).

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics’ index for alcoholic beverages rose 3.7% last month year on year, compared to a 4.2% increase in September.

Its index for “non-alcoholic beverages and beverage materials” showed prices were up 3.3% in October, against a 4% rise year on year a month earlier.

A sub-index for alcoholic beverages at home stood at 2.7% in October, versus 2.9% a month earlier.

However, while the at-home prices for spirits and wine rose more slowly in October than a month earlier, the bureau’s index for beer showed inflation at the same rate as in September.

In October, the prices of distilled spirits at home rose 2.1% year on year, compared to 3% in September. Wine prices were up 1.1% last month, compared to a 1.4% year-on-year increase recorded for September.

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By GlobalData

The bureau’s index for “beer, ale, and other malt beverages at home” stood at 4.7% in October, exactly the same as in September.

Figures for alcoholic beverages away from home showed prices were up 5.3% in October year on year. In September, prices had risen 6.4%.

Eating out in the US became less costly in October, with away-from-home index prices rising 5.4%, slowing from 6% in September and 6.5% in August. In monthly terms, costs rose 0.4%, matching the rate the previous month.

The overall food index, including non-alcoholic beverages and covering in-home and out-of-home consumption, rose 3.3% last month, compared to 3.7% in September. The gauge was up 4.3% in August.

Headline inflation also eased again, with the all-items consumer price index rising at an annualised pace of 3.2%, slowing from September’s 3.7% rate. The gauge was unchanged on a monthly basis against 0.4% the prior month.

Figures out of the US follow the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations’ monthly release of its measure of global food commodity prices, issued earlier in November.

The FAO’s index of five commodities dropped 10.9% in October, remaining at the lowest level since March 2021, according to the UN’s records. The gauge was down almost 25% from the all-time high reached in March last year.

The UK is due to issue its October inflation figures tomorrow. While food and non-alcoholic beverages prices eased back in the UK in September, they remained almost three times as high in the US – 12.1% on an annualised basis compared to 13.6% in August.