A month ago, USDA economists were forecasting grocery store food prices would rise in 2023 by about 3.5%-4.5%, a significant drop from the 11%+ we saw last year.  But now instead of 4%, "[the USDA] is forecasting an 8% increase in prices.”


USDA economist Matt McLaughlin said that's actually the midpoint of the possible forecast range of between 4.5%-11.7%.  He said this is the result of a new sophisticated system for price forecasting that gives a range of possible food price hikes it'll be a wide range as we start 2023.


"There are still a lot of changes yet to happen this year we could again have some changes and interest rates like we've seen for the past few months, we could have events like highly pathogenic avian influenza, which changed egg prices last year.  There's a lot to come in this year."


So, he noted, the range of forecasts will narrow as the year continues.


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