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Food Prices Rose 0.4% in February, While Eggs Dropped 6.7%- But Eggs Still 55% Higher Than Last Year

Gabriel T. Rubin and Nick Timiraos reported on the front page of Wednesday’s Wall Street Journal that, “Inflation eased in February but remained stubbornly high, presenting a challenge for the Federal Reserve as it confronts how to slow the economy with higher interest rates at the same time it moves to stem banking problems.

The Wall Street Journal (Front Page – March 15, 2023).

“The consumer-price index, a closely watched inflation gauge, rose 6% in February from a year earlier, down from a 6.4% gain the prior month, the Labor Department said. It was the smallest increase since September 2021.”

The Wall Street Journal (Page A7 – March 15, 2023).

Associated Press writer Christopher Rugaber reported yesterday at The Washington Post Onine that, “Consumers are getting a bit of relief at the grocery store. Food prices rose 0.3% in February, the smallest monthly gain in nearly two years, though they’re still up more than 10% from a year ago.

“The price of eggs, which have soared 55% from a year earlier, actually dropped 6.7% just in February.”

Bloomberg writers Michael Hirtzer and Leslie Patton reported yesterday that, “Egg prices tumbled for the first time in five months in a long-awaited ease in the cost of the staple food which has been ravaged by the world’s worst-ever outbreak of bird flu.

“Egg Prices Are Finally Falling,” by Michael Hirtzer and Leslie Patton. Bloomberg News (March 14, 2023).

Prices fell 6.7% last month, and declines in oranges and bacon will help to make breakfast slightly less expensive in the US, according to Labor Department data released on Tuesday. Eggs recently soared to a record as avian influenza killed tens of millions of birds.”

Hirtzer and Patton pointed out that, “Still, the CPI index for food increased by 0.4%, compared to a spike of 0.5% in January. That’s as costs for bread, beef, ham and potatoes all rose — contributing to elevated inflation across the American economy. Frozen vegetables are at an all-time high.”

“Increased costs are also coming as some Congressional Republicans are seeking to reduce participation in the US food-assistance program as part of efforts to cut domestic spending,” the Bloomberg article said.

Keith Good Photo

Keith Good is the Farm Policy News editor for the farmdoc project. He has previously worked for the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, and compiled the daily News Summary from 2003-2015. He is a graduate of Purdue University (M.S.- Agricultural Economics), and Southern Illinois University School of Law.

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