The recent consumer prince index report surprised a lot of analysts showing higher than expected inflation during September and among food, the inflation leaders. Grocery store food prices rose an average of 1.1% last month. Agriculture department analyst Carolyn Chelius says food prices, on average, rise by only about 2% by an entire year.
“And so if a 1.1% increase for an aggregate category, such as food at home, is happening on the month to month range that’s a little bit over 50% of what is typically expected in a year. So that is definitely significant.”
She noted price hikes are being lead by meat products. Beef prices, for example, jumped 3.3%% last month, meaning beef prices are 17.5% higher than one year ago. Chelius said American consumers had two years of very high food price hikes and it has now has us wondering if high price inflation and all these changes in the food system are one time, temporary effect of COVID or, “whether it’s going to be something the fundamentally changes the food system.”
Only time, she noted, will tell.
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