Friday, January 13, 2012

Just in from Washington

Retail Food Prices Moderate Slightly in Fourth Quarter

Washington--Retail food prices at the supermarket declined slightly during
the fourth quarter of 2011, according to the latest American Farm Bureau
Federation Marketbasket Survey. The informal survey shows the total cost of 16
food items that can be used to prepare one or more meals was $49.23, down $3.89
or about 7 percent compared to the third quarter of 2011. Of the 16 items
surveyed, 14 decreased and two increased in average price compared to the prior
quarter. The overall basket of foods was up about 5 percent compared to one
year ago.

“Since about the last quarter of 2010, we have seen consistently higher
prices quarter-to-quarter on a broad range of marketbasket items,” said AFBF
Senior Economist John Anderson. “With this survey, that trend appears to have
reversed. While the marketbasket price was still higher year-over-year, the
pull-back from recent highs on most of the items in the basket suggests that
food price inflation is slowing down substantially.”

Meat and dairy products accounted for about half of the quarter-to-quarter
retail price decrease. Sliced deli ham decreased 74 cents to $4.69 per pound,
shredded cheddar decreased 38 cents to $4.32 per pound, bacon decreased 36
cents to $4.05 per pound, sirloin tip roast dropped 13 cents to $4.15 per
pound, ground chuck dropped 10 cents to $3.17 per pound, boneless chicken
breasts decreased 9 cents to $3.24 per pound and eggs dropped 6 cents to $1.72
for one dozen.

AFBF news release

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