LOS ANGELES - If you're thinking you're already paying more for that bag of flour or head of lettuce at the grocery store - get ready to pay even more.
The USDA predicts grocery prices will only get higher in 2022.
In its monthly update on the Food Price Outlook for 2022, the USDA's Economic Research Service (ERS) explained, "The ranges for 11 food categories, as well as 6 aggregate categories, were revised upward this month," with fresh vegetables being the only category that saw its increase prediction revised slightly downward.
As a result, if current predictions come to pass, annual food inflation would be the highest it's been since 2008, according to "Successful Farming." The site also reports that the "all food prices" increase is now a massive 2 points higher than the USDA prediction made just last month.
The USDA says grocery and supermarket food prices are already 8.6% higher now than a year ago.
Here's a look at what the USDA is predicting for price increases:
- Poultry, fats, and oils (+6-7%)
- Eggs (+2.5-3.5%)
- Dairy (+4-5%)
- Fresh fruit (+5-6%)
- Sugar and sweets (+3-4%)
- Cereals and bakery products (+3-4%)
Meanwhile, restaurant food prices are also going up. Menu items are predicted to increase between 5.5 and 6.5% for the remainder of this year.
Restaurant prices have already gone up 6.8% since January 2021, according to the USDA.
According to the USDA, between the 1970s and early 2000s, grocery and restaurant prices increased at similar rates. Since 2009, however, grocery price increases have slowed and even deflated in 2016 and 2017, while restaurant prices have been rising consistently during that same period.
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