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USDA: Food Inflation Mostly Lower in 2023 Compared to 2022

Retail food prices increased 4.8 percent in the first six months of 2023, lower than the rate of midyear inflation in 2022, of 8.2 percent. USDA’s Economic Research Service reports the 20-year average for midyear inflation from 2002 to 2021 was 1.6 percent.

All food categories except for sugar and sweets experienced smaller price increases through the first half of 2023 compared with the same period in 2022. Prices for eggs increased the most, 13.7 percent, so far in 2023, followed by fats and oils and cereals and bakery products. All food categories increased in price in the first six months of 2023 compared with 2022, but the increases for meats, fresh fruits, fish and seafood, and fresh vegetables, were below their historical average price increases.

Inflationary pressures and trends differ by food category. Prices will continue to change during the remainder of 2023, according to USDA, and may affect the annual inflation rate.

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