Personally, I eat more beef than Dr. Atkins trapped in a meat locker, so this is not encouraging news from Businessweek. But it’s news nonetheless, especially considering Indiana’s strong ties to the pork industry:
U.S. food costs will rise 3 percent to 4 percent this year, unchanged from February’s estimate, according to the Department of Agriculture. The increase would be the fastest since 2008.
Forecasts were raised for meat, eggs, vegetables and fats and oils. Prices for pork may climb as much as 7 percent, the biggest gain in any category, the USDA said today in a report. The department also raised its projection for food consumed at home by 0.5 percentage point, to a range of 3.5 to 4.5 percent.
“Recent food-commodity price increases, along with grocery-store price increases over the past few months,” have pushed up forecasts, Ephraim Leibtag, a USDA economist, said in a note accompanying the report.
Global food prices rose 25 percent last year and set a record last month, according to the United Nations. Riots prompted partly by rising costs have toppled governments in Egypt and Tunisia and contributed to unrest in other parts of northern Africa and the Middle East.
Expenses likely will continue to rise this year because of higher oil prices and smaller harvests, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization said March 9.