Friday, December 23, 2011

Dear Paul Krugman: "Food prices will continue to rise in 2012, says USDA"

Yeah, I got your four year smoothing right here, Professor.
From the Los Angeles Times' Money & Co. blog:
Get ready for more high food prices going into 2012 –- the USDA is projecting that next year will bring an overall spike of 2.5% to 3.5%.

That’s less than the 3.25% to 3.75% boost that the Department of Agriculture is projecting for 2011. High commodity and energy prices along with soaring demand for food pushed up the value of items including ice cream, lettuce and bread.

Grocery store shoppers this year watched prices rise as much as 4.75% while diners in restaurants saw menu prices go up as much as 2.5%, with a surge near the end of the year.

As of last month, beef prices were up 9.8% compared with the same month last year. Pork prices were up 6.9% and poultry was 3% higher. With fewer fertile hens around, egg prices were 10.2% higher; dairy was up 8.7%....MORE
If I were a conspiracy theorist I'd say there is a concerted effort to crush the middle-class with inflation in the things they buy daily (food, fuel), while things bought longer term (iPads etc.) decrease in price.

That said I don't think I'd use the word "spike" in the first sentence.