Americans are still feeling the pinch at the grocery store even with inflation slightly decreasing, and prices will likely still be high in 2023.
Food costs are anticipated to rise but at a slower rate than in 2022, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Prices will continue to be higher than the historical averages.
The USDA’s Economic Research Service pointed out that last year, the cost of food increased by 9.9%, whereas groceries rose 11.4%, while eating out costs went up 7.7%. In 2023, the USDA expects to see total food costs rise by 7.1%. Groceries are likely to increase by 8%, and the cost of dining out is expected to go up by 8.2%.
For eight specific food groups, the prices are projected to continue rising, even as those food items saw increases for the duration of last year.
Next year, costs for “other meats” are expected to go up at 12.8%, dairy items at 8%, “fats and oils” at 16.5%, and processed vegetables and fruits at 9.6%. In addition, sweet items and sugar will increase by 10.6%, bakery items and cereals will go up 12%, nonalcoholic drinks will rise 8.7%, and other food items will cost 6.8% more.
The Consumer Price Index (CPI) went up 6.5% during the past year in December, at a measurement that wasn’t seasonally adjusted, and it also went down 0.1% seasonally adjusted. While the CPI was lower than where it was at 7.1% in November, the prices of certain items are still making life difficult for many Americans.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the consumer price index for food increased 10.4% over the past year, the most of any other main category in the December data. Specifically, food in the home — groceries — went up 11.8%, whereas prices for eating out rose 8.3%.
The cost of eggs has been a serious concern for the past several weeks as consumers around the country have been hit by high prices. Last month, the cost of eggs went up 11.1% and was 59.9% more than in December of 2021.
This year, egg costs are expected to go up 27.3%.
Agricultural outlet Successful Farming pointed to a University of Illinois Farmdoc Daily blog that noted how farm costs had increased more quickly than the average costs in the United States during the current century. In the latter half of the last century, they went up less than the average consumer and producer costs. According to the authors – both agricultural and economics experts – this means that the costs of farming will probably not soften inflation in the U.S. going forward.