Americans should get ready for pain at the supermarket checkout, reports Reuters—and squash any hopes of food prices getting better next year. A revised USDA forecast predicts a 5% to 6% leap in food prices this year—the biggest increase in 20 years—and USDA officials fear 2009 could see another 4% to 5% jump. This year's report includes surges of 9.5% for cereal and 14% for eggs.
"It's a little bit of a surprise how strong some of the numbers were in July," said a USDA economist. "We've been waiting for some moderation, especially with some of the meat prices... The overall number may be a little bit higher for the year."