You will note that 2009 prices were overall neutral since grocery stores have been trying absorb some of the cost increases for the ailing consumer. One could conclude that our ethanol policy in addition to higher fuel costs are underlying causes of the higher food prices, which exceed most other inflation categories, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The categories which have risen the most: meats, eggs, dairy, fats and oils, and fish and seafood.
Note: Bolded entries reflect changes from the previous month's forecast. Green arrows indicate an increase and red arrows indicate a decrease in the forecast from the previous month's forecast.
1BLS-estimated expenditure shares, December 2010. Food prices represent approximately 14 percent of the total CPI.
2 Forecasts updated by the 25th of each month.
Sources: Historical data from Bureau of Labor Statistics; forecasts by Economic Research Service.
***To see how food price indexes changed from 2003-2008, click here.
***Also see my previous recent post: Food at Home Price Index has increased 6.3% and the Dairy Index is up 10.2% in the Past Year.