You may have noticed, while general inflationary numbers eased a bit last month, food prices continued their steady march higher in December.  General inflation slowed in December to 6.5% a year, down slightly from the 7% reported in November.  But USDA economist Matt MacLachlan said food prices rose nearly 10.5% in December, while monthly, “Food increased by 0.3%.”


He noted several factors, he noted, are to blame.  MarketWatch reports, the war in Ukraine continues to impact the prices of fertilizers and animal feeds, avian flu and feed costs are limiting egg supplies, driving up those prices, and extreme weather continues to pressure other food prices.  When taking a look back at the entire year.


“We do expect food prices to continue to increase into 2023. However, we expect that the rate of this increase will lie well below the very rapid food price increases we saw in 2022.”      

Beef prices MacLachlan said have already come down.  But egg prices surged by nearly 60% in December to an average of 4-25 for a carton of Grade A large eggs, more than double the price we saw in late 2021.


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