The price of store-bought food in the Washington area declined 0.4 percent in June compared with a 0.1 percent drop in May, the government reported yesterday. The decline echoed a 0.3 percent decline in the food-at-home category of the nationwide consumer price index in June.

Grocery-store food prices in the Washington area were up 3.7 percent in the first four months of this year. The bimonthly price statistics for restaurants are to be released next month.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics said the June decline in Washington area food prices, as measured by the consumer price index for all urban consumers, was led by lower prices for most fresh and processed fruits and vegetables, eggs, poultry, most cereal and bakery products, pork and cheese. Prices of dairy products and carbonated beverages increased during the month.

The biggest drop occurred in the prices of fruits and vegetables, which were off 1.9 percent from May to June, more than making up for a 1.8 percent increase in the category the previous month.

Prices for cereal and bakery products partially reversed a 1.7 percent increase the previous month by dropping 0.6 percent in June.