Beef leads food-price inflation in the USA

Beef leads food-price inflation in the USA

Beef and veal prices in the USA rose by 5.4% between September 2011 and September 2012, according to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) data from USDA. The index for all food increased by 1.6% during the same period.

The index for pork prices declined by 2.7% over the past 12 months, while the index for poultry increased by 4.8%. The index for all meats, poultry and fish increased by 2.1% during the same period.

For 2012, USDA projects the CPI for beef and veal will increase by 3.5 to 4.5%, while the index for all food will increase by 2.5 to 3.5%. But while beef and veal prices have increased more than those for other foods over the past year, the 2012 price hike falls well short of that during 2011, when the CPI for beef and veal climbed by 10.2%.

The agency expects larger increases in most food prices next year as the effects of the 2012 drought begin to have a greater impact at the retail level. The report projects an increase of 4 to 5% in the CPI for beef and veal and a 3 to 4% increase in the index for all foods in 2013.

The CPI for food at home increased by just 0.8% since last September, while the index for food away from home increased by 2.8%. The increase in the CPI for food away from home suggests consumers are dining out a little more as the economy improves, after pulling back on restaurant visits during the recession.
Source: USDA Economic Research Service