Selected fruit prices: September 2004-September 2014

January 05, 2015

Fruit prices are particularly ripe for analysis as they are free of some of the complexities of other price data. They are relatively undifferentiated; the average price of a banana is well defined in a way that the average price of a new vehicle or hospital services is not. There are not complicated quality change issues to worry about; grapes from 2014 are easily comparable with grapes from 2004 (unlike, for instance, televisions or computers).

All seven fruits for which BLS has reasonably continuous data have risen in price from September 2004 to September 2014. However, the rate of increase has varied significantly; lemon prices have risen more than twice as quickly as banana prices.

Selected fruit price levels, average price in dollars per pound, September 2004-September 2014
Fruit Price Percent change
Sept. 2004 Sept. 2014 Total Annualized

Apples

1.085 1.403 29.30 2.60

Bananas

0.488 0.606 24.20 2.19

Oranges

1.142 1.486 30.10 2.67

Grapefruit

0.895 1.224 36.80 3.18

Lemons

1.47 2.355 60.20 4.83

Strawberries

2.457 3.437 39.90 3.41

Grapes

1.605 2.173 35.40 3.08

Note: Apples refers to Red Delicious only, oranges are Navel only, and grapes refers to Thompson seedless only.

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) has increased 25.3 percent over the same 10-year period, a 2.28-percent annual increase. The price of apples, strawberries, grapes, grapefruits, lemons, and oranges increased more rapidly than the overall price level while the price of bananas has not. Strawberries have been the most expensive fruit on a per-pound basis throughout virtually the entire period.

These data are from the Consumer Price Indexes program. Apples refers to Red Delicious only, oranges are Navel only, and grapes refers to Thompson seedless only. For more information, see "Slicing through fruit price volatility," by Stephen B. Reed, in Beyond the Numbers, December 2014.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Selected fruit prices: September 2004-September 2014 on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2015/selected-fruit-prices-september-2004-september-2014.htm (visited April 20, 2018).

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