USDA: Food Inflation in 2012 'Well Within Historical Range'

May 25, 2012 04:19 AM
 

USDA says food prices surged in the final quarter of 2011, resulting in annual price inflation slightly above expectations for beef and veal, eggs, as well as fats and oils. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) for food-at-home increased more than expected in 2011 at 4.8%. For 2012, USDA projects an annual increase of 2.5% to 3.5%, which they say is well within the historical average for food price inflation.

 

USDA says the CPI for all food increased 0.2% from March to April, increased 0.1% from February to March, and is now 3.1% above the April 2011 level. The food-at-home CPI increased 0.1% in April and is up 3.3% from last April, while the food-away-from-home index was up 0.3% in April and is 2.9% above last April. The all-items CPI was up 0.3% in April and is 2.3% above the April 2011 level. The year-over-year increase in the food-at-home CPI has fallen each month in 2012, indicating that food price inflation has slowed down.

Changes in Food Price Indexes, 2010 through 2012 May 25, 2012
Item
Relative importance1
Month-
to-
Month
Year-
over-
Year
Annual
Annual
Forecast
Mar 2012 to Apr 2012
Apr 2011 to Apr 2012
2010
2011
20122
Consumer Price Indexes  Percent Percent change
All food
100.0
0.2
3.1
0.8
3.7
2.5 to 3.5
Food away from home
39.6
0.3
2.9
1.3
1.9
2.0 to 3.0
Food at home
60.4
0.1
3.3
0.3
4.8
2.5 to 3.5
  Meats, poultry, and fish
12.9
0.1
4.6
1.9
7.4
3.5 to 4.5 
    Meats
8.4
-0.3
4.2
2.8
8.8
3.5 to 4.5 
      Beef and veal
3.8
0.3
5.9
2.9
10.2
4.0 to 5.0
      Pork
2.6
-0.6
3.0
4.7
8.5
3.0 to 4.0
      Other meats
1.9
-0.9
2.4
-0.1
6.4
2.5 to 3.5
    Poultry
2.3
0.5
6.1
-0.1
2.9
3.0 to 4.0
    Fish and seafood
2.2
1.4
4.5
1.1
7.1
4.0 to 5.0
  Eggs
0.8
1.2
5.6
1.5
9.2
1.0 to 2.0
  Dairy products
6.4
-1.0
3.4
1.1
6.8
2.0 to 3.0 
  Fats and oils
1.8
-0.7
8.4
-0.3
9.3
3.5 to 4.5
  Fruits and vegetables
9.0
0.9
-1.7
0.2
4.1
2.0 to 3.0
    Fresh fruits and vegetables
6.9
1.1
-4.1
0.6
4.5
1.5 to 2.5
      Fresh fruits
3.5
2.6
1.9
-0.6
3.3
2.0 to 3.0
      Fresh vegetables
3.3
-0.4
-9.7
2.0
5.6
1.0 to 2.0
    Processed fruits and vegetables
2.1
0.3
6.5
-1.3
2.9
3.0 to 4.0
  Sugar and sweets
2.1
0.3
5.9
2.2
3.3
2.0 to 3.0
  Cereals and bakery products
8.7
0.3
4.7
-0.8
3.9
3.5 to 4.5
  Nonalcoholic beverages
6.7
-0.2
1.9
-0.9
3.2
1.5 to 2.5
  Other foods
11.9
0.2
4.2
-0.5
2.3
3.0 to 4.0
1BLS-estimated expenditure shares, December 2010. Food prices represent approximately 14 percent of the total CPI.

 

2Forecasts updated by the 25th of each month.

Sources: Historical data from Bureau of Labor Statistics; forecasts by Economic Research Service.

 


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