Food Prices Climb
The Agriculture Department’s Economic Research Service projects that consumers will pay 3.5 percent to 4.5 percent more for food this year than they did in 2010. A revised increase in the cost of fruit is driving most of the gains.
According to the ERS report, “Food CPI and Expenditures: CPI for Food Forecasts,” fresh fruit prices will climb 3 percent to 4 percent, a full percentage point jump from the September forecast.
“Cost pressures on wholesale- and retail-food prices due to higher food commodity and energy prices, along with strengthening global food demand, have pushed inflation projections upward for 2011,” Richard Volpe, a USDA food-inflation economist, wrote in a note accompanying the report.