Although the U.S. inflation rate is up for the second month in a row, the annualized food inflation rate of 4.3 percent is the lowest since the 3.7 percent rate in August 2021, said the Bureau of Labor Statistics on Wednesday. The food inflation rate has fallen each month since peaking at 11.4 percent in August 2022.
Due to rising participation rates and food inflation, the Women, Infants, and Children program will need $7.2 billion to $7.3 billion in the fiscal year starting Oct. 1 — far above the amounts being considered by Congress, said the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities on Wednesday.
In its first forecast of 2024 food costs, the government said grocery prices would climb by a modest 0.9 percent next year. If so, it would be the lowest annual grocery inflation rate in five years and mark the end of the period of high food inflation that followed the pandemic. Also on Tuesday, USDA economists lowered their forecast of grocery price inflation for this year for the fifth month in a row.
Led by lower meat, poultry, fish, and egg prices, the food inflation rate fell to 5.7 percent in June, the lowest annualized figure since October 2021, said the Labor Department on Wednesday.
Although it remains high, the food inflation rate is one third lower than it was at the start of the year, the government said on Tuesday. The food inflation rate of 10.1 percent in January has tumbled to 6.7 percent on an annualized basis, according to the Consumer Price Index report.
For the third month in a row, the USDA lowered its forecast of grocery price inflation this year. The monthly Food Price Outlook estimated that grocery prices would rise by an average of 6.3 percent this year, compared to 11.4 percent in 2022.
Grocery prices will rise 6.6 percent this year, with lower beef and pork prices helping to constrain the inflation rate after last year’s 11.4 percent rise, said USDA economists. At the start of the year, the USDA forecast an 8.6 percent increase in prices, but it has lowered its estimate for two months in a row.
Egg prices fell nearly 11 percent during March, contributing to the first decline — 0.3 percent for the month — in grocery price inflation since September 2020, said the Labor Department on Wednesday. The overall food inflation rate, which includes restaurant meals, takeout food, and school cafeterias, was down for the seventh month in a row.
After two record-setting years in a row, U.S. net farm income will decline sharply in the near term, pulled down by lower crop and livestock prices, though it will remain well above its 10-year average, said FAPRI on Wednesday. The University of Missouri think tank said food inflation would drop to 4.4 percent this year — less than half of last year’s rate — and run at 2 percent in following years.
Grocery prices will rise 7.8 percent this year, three times the usual pace for food inflation albeit slower than in 2022, said USDA economists in the monthly Food Price Outlook.
Although food inflation slowed for the sixth month in a row, it still was far above the annualized U.S. inflation rate of 6 percent, said the Labor Department on Tuesday. The food inflation rate of 9.5 percent was the lowest since last April, the last time the rate was below 10 percent.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine fueled a sharp rise in food prices last winter, but prices have fallen for 10 straight months, said the UN Food and Agriculture Organization.
The 9.9 percent food inflation rate of 2022 will be followed by a 7.1 percent rate this year, the highest rates in three decades, said USDA economists on Wednesday. Egg prices were forecast to rise 27 percent this year, on top of a 32 percent increase in 2022.
Food inflation is down for the fourth month in a row, dipping to an annualized rate of 10.4 percent, aided by beef prices that are lower than a year ago, said the Labor Department on Thursday. President Biden said the 0.3 percent increase in food prices during December was the smallest in almost two years.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine drove food prices to record levels during 2022 and the Food Price Index remains elevated after a nine-month decline, said the UN Food and Agriculture Organization.
Grocery prices will rise 3.5 percent in the new year, nearly double the long-term average but a dramatic slowdown from this year’s 11.5 percent, said the Agriculture Department Thursday in its Food Price Outlook.
The food inflation rate declined in November for the third month in a row to its lowest level since June, said the Labor Department on Tuesday. Despite the improvement, food prices are 10.6 percent higher than they were a year ago, according to the Consumer Price Index report.
Global food prices skyrocketed following the Russian invasion of Ukraine last February, but they have returned to earth, said the FAO Food Price Index, based on monthly changes in a basket of food commodities.
Turkey farmers and processors yelped over a farm group survey on Wednesday that said high turkey prices were driving up the cost of a home-cooked Thanksgiving dinner. “Turkeys and good deals are available!” said the National Turkey Federation in one of the few times the American Farm Bureau Federation has been challenged on its spot checks of holiday grocery prices.