Food prices took a significant jump in 2022. At the USDA’s Ag Outlook Forum, Spiro Stefanu, administrator of the Economic Research Service, said the spike was the largest in several decades.
Stefanu; “In 2022, food prices rose 9.9 percent. That’s the highest annual rate since 1979. These price increases were driven by sustained increases across all food categories. Between this past December and January, food prices increased again, about 0.7 percent, so still climbing, but it’s decelerating.”
Matt MacLachlan, a research economist with ERS, talks about takeaways from their findings. He says; “The first is this was a very high level of inflation. It’s the highest level of food price inflation since 1979. This isn’t attributable to a single price category or group of categories but rather was driven by price increases across the board. Prices didn’t decrease for any category. Beef and veal decreased the least at 5.3 percent.”
For 2023, MacLachlan says prices will still be going up, but at a slower rate than last year.
MacLachlan; “We still expect prices to increase, albeit at headline levels typically lower than last year. However, substantial uncertainty persists, particularly for some of the subcategories of food, like eggs, that have been going through recent periods of high volatility.”
For more information, go to ers.usda.gov.