Food Costs Rising Fastest in 17 Years
What else can I say about this that the title doesn’t say already?
The U.S. is wrestling with the worst food inflation in 17 years, and analysts expect new data due on Wednesday to show it’s getting worse. That’s putting the squeeze on poor families and forcing bakeries, bagel shops and delis to explain price increases to their customers.
U.S. food prices rose 4 percent in 2007, compared with an average 2.5 percent annual rise for the last 15 years, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. And the agency says 2008 could be worse, with a rise of as much as 4.5 percent.
Higher prices for food and energy are again expected to play a leading role in pushing the government’s consumer price index higher for March.
Analysts are forecasting that Wednesday’s Department of Labor report will show the Consumer Price Index rose at a 4 percent annual rate in the first three months of the year, up from last year’s overall rise of 2.8 percent.
For the U.S. poor, any increase in food costs sets up an either-or equation: Give something up to pay for food.
In other news, McCain says we’re in a recession.
So is it going to get worse before it gets better?
Weâ€™re heading into the worst economic crisis in a half century or more. Many of the Americans who have been getting nowhere for decades are in even deeper trouble. Large numbers of people in Pennsylvania and across the nation are losing their homes and losing their jobs, and the situation is likely to grow worse. Consumers are at the end of their ropes, fuel and food costs are skyrocketing, they canâ€™t go deeper into debt, they canâ€™t pay their bills. They arenâ€™t buying, which means every business from the auto industry to housing to even giant GE is hurting. Which means theyâ€™ll begin laying off more people, and as they do, we will experience an even more dangerous downward spiral.
And so it goes…