Monday, October 31, 2011

Economy and Food Prices - #3374 - USDA Predicts Surging Food Prices in Coming Year - The Blaze

The USDA has released their projections for food price inflation in 2011/2012, showing troubling forecasts that may send you to the grocery store today, before paying higher prices tomorrow. The report shows that the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for all food increased 0.8 percent between 2009 and 2010, and is forecasted to increase 3.5 to 4.5 percent in 2011.  Bruce Krasting notes that the USDA’s projections are especially troubling considering Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke has said he wants to contain inflation (although excluding food and energy) at less than 2%. Food inflation is running at double his target. Writing in Business Insider, Krasting says the problem is even more serious than the USDA indicates and that global demand is set to push prices even higher as time goes on:  “It’s not surprising that the US pays less for food as a percentage of income than any other country. But the comparisons are still interesting. The US spends 6.5% of disposable income for food. Poorer countries like Nigeria, Kenya and Cameroon are forced to pay ~45% of incomes to put food on the table.  The high population countries are as follows:  Vietnam = 38%,  Indonesia = 32%,  India = 28%,  China = 22%,  I find these numbers troubling. There is only one direction for them to go. The developing countries with big populations will see greater gains in income, with that will lead to increased food consumption. Approximately 30% of income goes to food in these areas. It’s hard not to see that this is going to push up the prices the globe pays for everything we eat.

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