Recent Updates

  • US: GDP by Industry (Q1)
  • Canada: Retail Trade (May), CPI (Jun)
  • Thailand: Trade (Jun); China: Loans from Financial Institutions (Jun); Korea: Trade in Goods (Jun); Taiwan: Export Orders (Jun)
  • Turkey: NCI Index (Jul)
  • Turkey: Established & Liquidated (Jun-Press); Morocco: CPI, Public Finance (Jun)
  • Spain: Workers Affected by Layoffs (Apr); Foreign Trade (May)
  • more updates...

Economy in Brief

U.S. Food Price Inflation Was Weak Last Year Following Several Years of Strength
by Tom Moeller  March 10, 2014

Food price increases in 2013 roughly equaled the gain in prices for other goods and services. Overall food prices rose 1.4% last year and for several months, the gain lagged the total. This was, however, a break with the trend in earlier years. Since 2007, food prices have risen 16.8% versus an 11.7% rise in prices elsewhere. Moreover, price increases for some products have been consistently and notably above the total.

Notable strength has been in prices of meats, poultry, fish and eggs. During the last six years, prices for these items combined have risen by 20.6%. The 24.7% gain in prices for fish and seafood has led the group. That strength was followed by a 20.4% rise in meat prices and a 21.1% gain in poultry costs. Lagging the outsized increases in these three groups was a 14.8% rise in egg prices. Prices for cereals and bakery products also were strong, posting a 21.7% six-year rise.

Rough weather conditions wreaked havoc on fruit and vegetable production. That raised prices by a sharp 2.5% and by four times that for lettuce. During the last six years, however, price gains in this group have totaled a moderate 10.4%. The cost of washing down food also grew moderately. Nonalcoholic beverage prices rose just 8.8% during the last six years, although coffee drinkers paid relatively more and prices rose 16.5%.

Eating out has never been cheap, given the costs of food preparation and service. Here, prices increased a strong 2.1% last year and were up a total of 17.6% during the last six years. The strongest grouping has been food service for elementary and secondary schools. Here food prices increased 23.0% since 2007.

The CPI data can be found in Haver's USECON database.

Consumer Price Index (%) 1 Mth. 3 Mth. 6 Mth. Y/Y 2013 2012 2011
All Items less Food 0.2 0.5 0.8 1.6 1.5 2.0 3.0
  Total Food 0.1 0.3 0.5 1.0 1.4 2.6 3.7
    Food at Home 0.1 0.1 0.2 0.4 0.9 2.5 4.8
      Cereals & Bakery Products 0.5 0.3 0.3 0.8 1.0 2.8 3.9
      Meats 0.3 0.6 1.3 2.6 1.2 3.4 8.8
      Poultry 0.4 -0.3 1.7 2.8 4.7 5.5 2.9
      Fish & Seafood 1.8 1.2 4.4 6.0 2.5 2.4 7.1
      Eggs -1.6 1.1 -1.9 6.1 3.3 3.1 9.3
      Dairy & Related Products 0.5 1.3 1.6 -0.4 0.1 2.1 6.8
      Fruits & Vegetables -0.3 -1.8 -1.5 -0.5 2.5 -0.7 4.1
      Nonalcoholic Beverages -0.2 -0.3 0.4 -1.5 -1.0 1.1 3.2
      Other Food At Home 0.0 0.5 -0.3 -0.4 0.0 3.8 3.3
    Food Away From Home  0.1 0.5 0.9 2.0 2.1 2.8 2.3
close
large image