High Food Inflation to 2023 USDA Forecast

The US Department of Agriculture recently released a report predicting that food inflation will remain high in 2023 at 7.1 percent, a modest improvement from the 9.9 percent increase in 2022. Some key staples are forecast to rise by close to or more than ten percent this year, while others are forecast to fall slightly. The forecast range is for food prices to rise from 4.2 to 10.1 percent.

Screenshot of the file, September 2022.

Wages haven’t kept up with overall inflation since Joe Biden took office in 2021, as this Statistica chart shows:

Wages have fared even worse relative to food inflation and are likely to continue to underperform in 2023. Recipients of SNAP benefits (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly food stamps) will receive a generous 12.5 percent increase for 2023. Social Security recipients will receive an increase of 8.7 percent.

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Excerpted from the USDA report released on January 23rd:

…In 2022, food prices increased by 9.9 percent. Prices of food at home increased by 11.4 percent, while prices of food outside the home increased by 7.7 percent. All categories of food prices tracked by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), Economic Research Service (ERS) increased by more than 5 percent. Following the highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) outbreak, egg prices had the largest price increase (32.2 percent) of any category tracked by ERS between 2021 and 2022. Beef and veal prices increased the least (5.3 percent) between 2021 and 2022. and 2022 were generally down from their peak prices in November 2021. Eleven food price categories rose by more than 10 percent, including fats and oils (18.5 percent), poultry (14.6 percent), other meats (14 .2 percent), cereals and bakery products (13.0 percent) ), other food (12.7 percent), dairy products (12.0 percent), fruit and vegetable products (12.0 percent), non-alcoholic beverages ( 11.0 percent), and sugar and sweets (10.4 percent). All food categories grew faster than the historical average, and the 20-year average inflation rate increased for all food categories.

Food prices are expected to rise more slowly in 2023 than in 2022, but still at rates above the historical average. In 2023, all food prices are projected to increase by 7.1 percent, with a forecast interval of 4.2 to 10.1 percent. Food prices at home are forecast to rise by 8.0 percent, with a forecast range of 4.5 to 11.7 percent. Food prices outside the home are forecast to rise by 8.2 percent, with a forecast range of 6.7 to 9.7 percent.

Retail egg prices rose 11.1 percent in December 2022 to reach 59.9 percent higher than December 2021 prices. The current HPAI outbreak continues to reduce the U.S. laying flock, as well as the poultry flock to a lesser extent. This reduction is expected to increase wholesale and retail egg prices in the coming months. The HPAI outbreak contributed to elevated egg and poultry prices as more than 57 million birds, 300 commercial flocks and 47 states were infected. The impact of the outbreak on prices will be closely monitored. Egg prices are projected to increase by 27.3 percent in 2023, with a forecast interval of 6.9 to 52.0 percent. This wide prediction interval reflects the volatility of retail egg prices.

Prices are expected to continue to rise for eight additional food categories that experienced steady growth throughout 2022. In 2023, prices are projected to increase for other meats (12.8 percent), dairy products (8.0 percent), fats and oils ( 16.5 percent), processed fruits and vegetables (9.6 percent), sugar and sweets (10.6 percent), cereals and bakery products (12.0 percent), soft drinks (8.7 percent), and other food (6.8 percent). The prediction intervals of each of these categories are strictly above zero.

Price reductions are expected for three price categories. Beef and veal prices are projected to fall 1.8 percent in 2023, with a forecast interval of -10.4 to 8.0 percent; pork prices are forecast to fall by 3.0 percent, with a forecast interval of -10.3 to 5.1 percent; and fresh fruit prices are forecast to drop by 1.7 percent, with a forecast interval of -7.5 to 4.5 percent.

2023 SNAP benefits increased by household size compared to 2022 (excerpt via Yahoo):

Cost of living adjustment
SNAP benefits are adjusted annually based on the rate of inflation. The announced payout increase for 2023 — which technically began on October 1, 2022 — was 12.5%. That means households receiving $500 in SNAP benefits from October 1, 2021 to September 30, 2022 will see an increase to $562.50 for this year.

Higher top payouts
From October 1, 2022 until September 30, 2023, SNAP recipients will have higher maximum benefit amounts. Values ​​vary depending on the size of the eligible household, as follows:

Single: $281 vs. $250; Two people: $516 vs. $459; For three people: $740 vs. $658; Four people: $939 vs. $835; Five people: $1,116 vs. $992; Six people: $1,339 vs. $1,190; Seven people: $1,480 vs. $1,316; Eight people: $1,691 vs. $1,504, each additional person: $211 vs. $188

If you want to prepare, MyPatriotSupply.com has special emergency food deals (plus, ordering through this link benefits Gateway Pundit).

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