Food prices remain high, slowed slightly in December

Food prices remain high, slowed slightly in December

Data: BLS. Chart: Kavya Beheraj/Axios
Data: BLS. Chart: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

The meteoric rise in meals prices slowed slightly in December, per a brand new Axios evaluation — however prices had been nonetheless up greater than 10% year-over-year, as groceries and eating places devoured up a larger-than-usual quantity of Americans’ spending.

Why it issues: Grocery payments are one of the highly effective methods in which many Americans expertise inflation.

  • As the price of eggs, milk, and different staples rise, households residing on the monetary edge are left making tough decisions about what to purchase — and what to skip.
  • For eating places and different companies, increased meals prices can depart house owners with the tough alternative of swallowing the prices or passing them on to prospects.

By the numbers: Nationwide, the price of all meals was up 10.4% year-over-year in December, per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

  • The value of meals ready at residence was up 11.8%, whereas meals consumed at eating places was up 8.3%.
  • Those are all down simply slightly from latest highs set in direction of the top of 2022.

Zoom in: Dallas, the Twin Cities, and Baltimore are struggling among the nation’s highest meals worth inflation charges, at 14.1%, 13.7%, and 13.5%, respectively.

  • By comparability, meals prices are up 7% in Washington, D.C., 7.7% in Chicago, and eight.8% in Miami.

Driving the information: COVID-related provide chain disruptions, local weather change, and better power prices are simply among the elements contributing to increased meals prices.

  • Russia’s struggle in Ukraine, a significant wheat producer, continues to affect the worldwide provide — and thus worth — of that key foodstuff.
  • The Federal Trade Commission, in the meantime, is under increasing pressure from lawmakers and advocacy teams to research whether or not egg producers are manipulating prices.

The intrigue: Some companies have observed that whereas customers could gripe about increased prices, they’re prepared to pony up, because the New York Times lately reported — disincentivizing them from bringing prices again right down to Earth.

The huge image: Rising prices aren’t simply altering the sorts of meals Americans are shopping for, as Axios’ Emily Peck lately reported — they’re forcing some households to purchase much less meals completely.

  • “People are beginning to consider what they really want — and what can wait,” Emily wrote.

What we’re watching: There are some glimmers of hope on the horizon.

  • Wholesale egg prices, as an illustration, are starting to drop, Axios’ Kelly Tyko reports. Retail prices often observe.

The backside line: Many of the underlying financial and political elements affecting meals prices persist, making all of it however inconceivable to foretell what your grocery spending may seem like this 12 months.