May 31, 2014

U.S. Food Inflation Running at 22%

...After five years of the federal government telling the public that despite a $3.5 trillion increase in monetary expansion, the inflation rate is below +2%, the Department of Agriculture (DOA) just warned the American public that the consumer price index for food is up by 10% this year. 

The DOA tried to blame food inflation on the drought conditions in California, but last year's drought was worse and food prices fell by -6%. The real problem is Federal Reserve monetary stimulus is stimulating inflation. I reported in "Food Price Inflation Scares the Fed" two months ago that commodity food costs were exploding on the upside. Given the lag in commodity costs impacting prices on grocery store shelves, annual U.S. food inflation is now running at +22% and rising.

The DOA tried to blame food inflation on this year's drought conditions in California that they stated may have "large and lasting effects on U.S. fruit, vegetable, dairy and egg prices." It is true that California droughts are always agricultural issues, since 80% of the state's freshwater supply is used by farms and ranches. This has resulted in surface water deliveries to farms and ranches from reservoirs and the California Aqueduct being cut by 32.5%, or 6 million acre-feet.

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