Since President Joe Biden took office roughly 15 months ago, prices for nearly everything have skyrocketed, according to economic metrics data.
But unfortunately, experts believe, the worst is yet to come.
Food prices especially have shot upward and they, too are expected to continue rising as shortages of fertilizer combined with massively higher diesel fuel prices produce record inflation.
Prices are getting so high, in fact, that according to a new survey, nearly half of all Americans say they have had to change their food spending habits, per the Center Square:
Americans are changing their shopping habits because of soaring food prices. And disruptions in the international farming community have some worried about the food supply heading into 2023.
The BMO Real Financial Progress Index, a quarterly survey from BMO and Ipsos, shows that 42% of surveyed adults “are changing how they shop for groceries,” including “opting for cheaper items, avoiding brand names and buying only the essentials.”
The report found “46% are either dining out less or consciously spending less when dining out.”
Fuel prices also hit new record highs every day last week, according to AAA, which now says the national average gas price rose to $4.85 on Sunday, with diesel [fuel] prices at their own record of $5.64 per gallon.
“By the economics textbook, higher costs work themselves up through the supply side of the market and raise prices,” said Roger Cryan, chief economist at the American Farm Bureau Federation.
“The prices are especially high right now because of the sudden lack of access to Black Sea grain, but if these energy prices stay high in the long run then they will entirely work their way into food prices,” he added.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has also had a big impact on global food prices, the outlet continued.
“Ukraine is one of the largest wheat producers and suppliers, so wheat is definitely under pressure,” said Maksym Chepeliev, an agriculture professor at Purdue University and a Research Economist at the Center for Global Trade Analysis.
“Corn as well, because apart from the fact that Ukraine is a large corn producer and supplier that needs to be replaced, there have been issues with some droughts in South America and also the U.S. that kind of reduced the corn supply, and China is demanding more corn … and that is … pushing the global corn market,” Chepeliev added.
Industry insiders predict the trend of rising food prices will continue as inflation remains at 40-year highs, energy costs rise seemingly daily, and the ongoing supply chain issues from the Russian invasion of Ukraine continue, the Center Square noted.
“The food at home index rose 10.8 percent over the last 12 months, the largest 12-month increase since the period ending November 1980,” the Bureau of Labor Statistics said in its latest Consumer Price Index data.
“The index for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs increased 14.3 percent over the last year, the largest 12-month increase since the period ending May 1979. The other major grocery store food group indexes also rose over the past year, with increases ranging from 7.8 percent (fruits and vegetables) to 11.0 percent (other food at home),” the BLS added.
“For now, it remains unclear when prices will come back down,” the outlet noted further.
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