Lower prices for meat, poultry, fish and eggs were the driving factor for a slight decline in grocery prices during August, the second month in a row that supermarket prices were down, said the monthly Consumer Price Index. Despite the decreases, food inflation ran at 4.6 percent in the past 12 months, rising far more rapidly than the overall U.S. rate of 1.3 percent.
Beef prices in the grocery store are 14.2 percent higher than a year ago, part of a broad rise in prices for "food at home," said the Labor Department on Wednesday. While it was the fourth month in a row of surging grocery prices, there were signs that food inflation is easing.
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 climbed by 5.6 percent, their largest 12-month increase since December 2011, although the U.S. inflation rate is a mild 0.6 percent, said the Labor Department on Tuesday. Beef prices skyrocketed by 25 percent, with most of the increase in the past three months when coronavirus …
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.
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.
Americans will pay about $1 more than a year ago if they plan a spring picnic that includes sandwiches, potato salad, orange juice, and shredded cheese, according to an informal survey of grocery store prices in 23 states.
U.S. food prices will rise a scant 1.5 percent this year, continuing a three-year run of below-normal food inflation rates, said a USDA forecast, pointing to grocery store prices that are at a near standstill.
Grocery prices are down for the second year in a row, the first multi-year run of food deflation since the mid-1950s. In its monthly Food Price Outlook, the USDA credits the strong dollar for the year-on-year decline in grocery prices of 1.3 percent in 2016 and 0.2 percent in 2017; only the seventh and eighth years, respectively, of deflation since World War II.