When the U.S. Department of Labor reported inflation numbers last week, the “food at home” category showed a drop of 0.5% on an unadjusted basis for the past 12 months. The state of Indiana’s Farm Bureau also noted a decline in grocery prices for the first time in two years
“Food at home” is typically a proxy for groceries, and looking back at the past seven months in the Labor Department report, four of those months posted declines in grocery prices.
The Indiana Farm Bureau conducted an informal survey of 16 typical items in a grocery store shopping basket and determined that the basket price had fallen by 71 cents, to $52.61. Eggs led the decline, down 82 cents the bureau conducted its fall survey.
Beef prices have also declined compared with last fall and compared with the first quarter of last year. Prices for beef peaked early in 2015 and since that time have declined modestly as production has increased, lower exports, and falling prices for other meats (poultry and pork) have influenced the price of beef.
Here’s how prices on items in the shopping basket compared with prices last fall according to a report at agrinews.com:
The items showing price decreases from the fall 2015 survey were: eggs, down 82 cents per dozen to $2.26; shredded cheddar cheese, down 69 cents per pound $4.12; bagged salad mix, down 36 cents for a one-pound bag to $2.06; sirloin tip roast, down 31 cents per pound to $5.56; ground chuck, down 24 cents per pound to $4.32; potatoes, down 2 cents to $2.73 for a five-pound bag; and boneless chicken breasts, down 1 cent per pound to $3.36.
Items that increased were: bacon, up 64 cents to $4.85 per pound; apples, up 37 cents to $1.87 per pound; milk, up 11 cents per gallon to $2.78; orange juice, up 10 cents for a half-gallon jug to $3.62; cereal, up 20 cents for a 10-ounce box to $3.15; flour, up 13 cents for a five-pound bag to $2.31; vegetable oil, up 13 cents for a 32-ounce bottle to $2.47; sliced deli ham, up 4 cents per pound to $5.65; and white bread, up 2 cents for a 20-ounce loaf to $1.50.
Americans spend just less than 10% of the disposable income on food, the lowest average of any country in the world according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The farmer’s share of the $52.61 shopping basket: $8.42.
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