The impact of rising food prices in the U.S.

Jeff Cox at CNBC provides a good accounting of the price hikes in various foodstuffs December-to-January and year-over-year (January):

* Ground beef up 6.8 percent month over month, and 11.1 pct year over year.
* Butter, up 3.2 percent monthly and a stunning 27 percent over the past year.
* Coffee, up 6.5 percent and 16 percent.
* Potatoes, up 3.6 percent and 7.1 percent.
* Lettuce actually fell 5 percent monthly after a spike higher in December, but is up 5 percent over the past year.
* Bread up 1 percent and 3 percent.
* Chicken up 0.8 percent. and 4.3 percent .
* Egg prices have been fairly steady.
* Milk, down slightly month over month, but up 2 percent year over year.

Orange juice and wine are actually down year-over-year, 1.6 and 6.9% respectively.

Overall, Cox finds the inflation gauge from the CPI very unsatisfying given fuel and food now consume over 12% of after-tax income. As deflation fears are becoming a distant memory, I expect the grumblings to grow ever louder that inflation feels and is much higher than official statistics are telling the general population.

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2 Comments on “The impact of rising food prices in the U.S.”

  1. Daniel says:

    I’m working on graphs of food prices. They are all rising like a “Hockey Stick.” (What little data I have).

    My concept is they were stable 1790 – 1930.
    Slow creeping inflation 1930-1970. At 1974, prices began to rise.==> Inflation I’ve found limited data. Found the Kelloggs Corn Flakes data from 1907 to present.

    Do you have historical data of bread, eggs, milk and gasoline. How far back do you go?

    Pre 1913 preferably. Or a few data points per decade. U.S. Dept. of Labor has 1980-present.

    There are historical and political points that precede these inflation curves.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Daniel

    • Dr. Duru says:

      Hi Daniel,
      This sounds like fascinating (and much needed) work! Unfortunately, I do not do much tracking of historical data on my own and rely on some of the same sources you mentioned.
      If you are posting your study somewhere, please do let me know. I would LOVE to read and review it!


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