Food prices heading for second-biggest jump in past two decades

Tuesday, March 8, 2011
By Paul Martin

Bruce Blythe

Food prices this year may rise by the second-highest annual rate in the past 21 years because of tight grain and animal supplies and escalating energy costs, University of Missouri economists Scott Brown and Pat Westhoff said.

Following two years of very subdued prices, U.S. food inflation is expected to reach 4.2 percent in 2011, Brown and Westhoff wrote in a report that was presented to Congress March 7. Click here for the full report.
In 2010, food prices on average rose 0.8 percent, the smallest annual increase since 1962, according to U.S. Labor Department data. Food prices inflated 5.5 percent in 2008, the largest gain since 1990.

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