Led by “much weaker” vegetable oil, dairy, and grain prices, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization’s index of global food prices fell to its lowest level since May 2016. The price of vegetable oil dropped to a 12-year low.
In a surprising amicus brief, the Justice Department last week recommended that the Supreme Court not hear Missouri’s challenge to California’s animal-welfare laws, which mandate larger cages for some farm animals. The stance could bode well for animal-welfare advocates fighting for similar legislation in other states.
If they didn’t tighten their belts, Americans certainly pinched their pennies on food during the 2008-09 recession and the recovery that stretched far into this decade, say USDA economists. Middle-income households continued to spend less on food through 2016.
Thanks to declines in food prices in 2016 and 2017, grocery store prices will stand at a lower overall level at the end of this year than they were at the end of 2015, said the monthly Food Price Outlook. For the second month in a row, USDA raised its forecast of price increases for fresh vegetables but forecast a scant 0.5 percent rise in food prices for the year.
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.
Retail food prices are living up to USDA's four-month-old forecast of tepid food inflation, with a barely preceptable increase of 1 percent. In its monthly Food Price Outlook, the USDA said the inflation outlook held steady for all categories of food except for dairy products, which declined to 0.5 percent for the 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.
Propelled by stronger grain and dairy prices, the Food Price Index rose for the second month in a row and is at its highest level since last November, said the UN Food and Agriculture Organization.