Posts Tagged “supermarket food prices”

Retail Produce Price Inflation is Very Slow, Study Shows

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VegBananas1Price inflation has slowed to a crawl in 2015 for retail fresh produce.

Little or no inflation this year is expected for retail fresh fruit prices, while the top end of retail fresh vegetable price inflation is just 1.5%.
The USDA’s Economic Research Service reported in late July that the agency’s updated forecast for retail price inflation for fruit is now in a range 0% to 1% for 2015, rising to 2.5% to 3.5% next year.  For fresh vegetables, the USDA predicts retail prices will increase from 0.5% to 1.5% and rising 2% to 3% next year.
Retail price inflation for fresh fruits in 2014 was 4.8%, while fresh vegetable retail prices were off 1.3% compared with 2013.  The 20-year average inflation rate for retail fresh fruits is 3%  and 3.2% for vegetables.
Fresh produce prices will increase at a lower rate than the overall food price index.  The agency predicts overall supermarket food prices will increase 1.75% to 2.75% this year, with higher inflation for beef and eggs.  In 2016, the USDA predicts retail food prices will increase from 2% to 3%, in line with the 20-year average of 2.6%.
Though the California drought has not caused fresh produce inflation this year, the USDA said it could play a role in food prices next year.
“The ongoing drought in California could have large and lasting effects on fruit, vegetable, dairy, and egg prices,” the USDA said in the forecast.  On the other hand, the agency said lower trending oil prices could cause lower production and transportation costs to be passed on to consumers.
The USDA said farm-level prices for growers are down compared with a year ago.  The agency predicts farm level prices for vegetables will decline 4% to 5% this year, while farm-level fruit prices will sink between 5% and 6%.  For 2016, the USDA predicts grower prices for fresh fruits will rise 1.5% to 2.5%, while grower prices for fresh vegetables will increase 1% to 2%.

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