USDA economists considering lowering outlook on 2012 food-price inflation amid 6% year-over-year increase in U.S. grocery prices in December

LOS ANGELES , January 20, 2012 () – An unexpectedly large increase in U.S. grocery prices last month is causing economists for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to considering lowering their outlook on 2012 food-price inflation, The Wall Street Journal reported Jan. 19.

Earlier this week, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) found that grocery prices in December were 6% higher than they were in the year-ago period.

The USDA previously predicted that retail food prices would climb more slowly this year than last year, when a boom in crop prices caused production costs to rise.
The USDA currently predicts that retail food prices will between 2.5% and 3.5% in on an annual average basis this year.

The BLS’ Consumer Price Index for all food climbed by an annual average of 3.7% last year.

The primary source of this article is The Wall Street Journal, New York, New York, on Jan. 19, 2012.

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