Food prices continue to rise, outpacing general inflation. General inflation slowed in December to 6-point-5 percent a year from just over seven percent in November.
But USDA economist Matt MacLachlan says food prices rose nearly 10.5 percent in December, while monthly “Food increased by point three percent.”
Several factors are to blame. MarketWatch reports, the war in Ukraine continues to impact the prices of fertilizers and animal feeds, avian flu and feed costs are limiting egg supplies, driving up those prices…and extreme weather continues to pressure other food prices.
USDA’s MacLachlan says of this year; “We do expect food prices to continue to increase into 2023. However, we expect that the rate of this increase will lie well below the very rapid food price increases we saw in 2022.”
Beef prices have already come down. But egg prices surged by nearly 60 percent in December to an average of 4-25—more than double the year before–for a carton of Grade A large eggs.