Inflation may be softening, but grocery prices are starting to rise again after dropping off slightly at the beginning of the year.
- From April to May, grocery prices rose 0.1%. Though the monthly increase is slight, grocery prices are 5.8% more expensive than a year ago.
- Menu prices increased 0.5% from April to May and are 8.3% higher than last year.
- Combined food prices have risen 6.7% since last year, outpacing inflation which is at 4%, CNN reports.
- Some food items—like margarine, flour, bread, and sugar—rose more than others.
Why it’s news
Rising food prices are a problem for many consumers. While housing and utility prices have increased, many consumers can find ways around these costs, such as moving back in with family or getting a roommate. Finding alternatives to food is a more difficult task.
Prices on essential food items spiked…
- Margarine rose 22.5%
- Flour 17.1%
- Bread 12.5%
- Sugar 11.1%.
- Nonalcoholic drinks rose 9.9%
- Lettuce increased 9.4%
Items like cheese, chicken, uncooked beef roasts, and fresh fruits and vegetables saw relatively low increases.
Backing Up a Bit
A variety of factors have influenced growing grocery prices. Everything from extreme weather to the avian flu to the war in Ukraine has affected the cost of food. The effects of supply-chain disruptions last year are still evident. Some food sellers have not lowered their prices even after supply chains regulated, CNN reports.
Some food prices are starting to drop. Bacon declined 9.8%, citrus fruit 5.3%, fresh milk 3.4%, pork chops 2.2.%, and fish and seafood 1.1%. While other staple items may be getting more expensive, decreases in other areas may give shoppers some relief.
One notable decline is the price of eggs. Last year, a highly contagious avian-flu outbreak resulted in millions of egg-laying hens dying. The sudden loss of producers sent egg prices soaring. This year, the disease is largely under control, and the increased supply is starting to lower costs.
Last month, egg prices dropped 13.8%—marking the most significant decline in a single month since January 1951.