Prices for many categories of food have been slow to retreat from pandemic-driven peaks, said the USDA. As a result, seafood and poultry prices throughout the year will be higher than usual, bolstering the USDA forecast that grocery prices will rise by 3 percent this year.
After soaring because of coronavirus outbreaks among packing plant employees, meat prices are on the decline for the first time this year and are headed lower, said the USDA on Tuesday.
Grocery prices will rise a modest 1.5 percent in 2021, close to the long-term average and half of the larger-than-usual increase expected this year, said the USDA in its first forecast of food inflation in the new year.
Grocery prices will rise by a higher-than-average 3 percent this year, due largely to the coronavirus-propelled surge in the cost of meat, poultry, and fish at the supermarket, forecast the USDA on Thursday. It would be the largest annual increase since 2011. (No paywall)
Although U.S. food prices generally show small increases from year to year, the USDA says prices for "food away from home," a category that includes restaurants, carry-out food and institutional meals, rose 3.1 percent in 2019. That's the largest increase since 3.5 percent in 2009 and is part of a pattern in which the price of food away from home rises more rapidly than retail prices for groceries.
The United States is headed for the fifth year in a row of lower-than-average increases in grocery prices, part of a longer trend of smaller and less volatile changes in food inflation, said two USDA economists.
Cattle prices are stronger than expected this year but they they are likely to run below 2017 levels, with the result that retail beef prices rise modestly, at most, said the monthly Food Price Outlook. The United States is headed for the third year in a row of lower than average food inflation - 0.5 percent compared to the 20-year average of 2.1 percent annually.
Grocery prices will rise by a nearly invisible 0.5 percent this year and a modest 1.5 percent in 2019, estimated the USDA’s monthly Food Price Outlook on Thursday. If the forecast proves true, 2019 would be the fourth year in a row that supermarket prices rise at a much slower rate than the usual 2.1 percent annually.
Americans are headed for the fourth year in a row of lower-than-normal increases in food prices, according to the USDA’s Food Price Outlook. The monthly report estimated that prices will rise by just 1.5 percent this year.
Lower prices for tomatoes, potatoes, and apples — three of the four most popular fruits and vegetables sold in America — are helping to hold down food price inflation, according to a government forecast.