USDA Expects Food Prices to Rise 2% to 3% in 2011

According to the Los Angeles Times, “Get ready for higher grocery store bills and restaurant checks.”

“The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service released its 2011 Consumer Price Index analysis for projections on food prices this week, and reported that overall food prices are expected to increase 2% to 3% this year. The projected rise comes after a stretch of relative price stability in recent years. The agency’s all-food index showed a modest 0.8% increase from 2009 to 2010, and a rise of just 0.3% in prices for food consumed at home, the lowest food inflation rates seen in the U.S. since 1962 and 1967, respectively. However, food prices are expected to rise even more this year, agency researchers said. The causes include rising commodity prices, shrinking supplies of key ingredients and increasing demand for corn-based ethanol for vehicle fuel.”