Record Food Price Hikes Loom

Biggest increases for 20 years forecast
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 21, 2008 7:59 AM CDT
Retail prices for cereal, eggs, cheese and meat are soaring. USDA experts predict a 6% overall increase in 2008 with more surges ahead in 2009.   (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)
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(Newser) – 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."