The American Farm Bureau Federation Marketbasket Survey shows retail food prices at the supermarket increased slightly during the first quarter of 2012. This informal survey shows an increase of about seven-percent for the total cost of the 16 food items surveyed compared to the fourth quarter of 2011. The cost for the overall basket of goods – at 52-dollars and 47-cents – is also an increase of about seven-percent compared to a year ago.
About two-thirds of the quarter-to-quarter increase was due to higher retail prices for sliced deli ham, sirloin tip roast, ground chuck, bacon and cheddar cheese. Farm Bureau Senior Economist John Anderson says the higher retail prices for meats and cheese were due to generally strong demand and tight supplies – a situation that carried over from 2011. But Anderson says USDA data shows retail meat prices probably peaked sometime in the first quarter – and wholesale prices have declined noticeably in recent weeks. He says this suggests retail meat prices may decline as the year progresses.
Eight additional items – including potatoes, orange juice and eggs – also increased in price compared to the fourth quarter of last year. The only items to decrease in price were whole milk, white bread and boneless chicken breasts.
Sixty-four shoppers in 24 states took part in Farm Bureau’s Marketbasket Survey for the first quarter. It was conducted in March.
Source: NAFB news Service