Retail food inflation pegged to stay low
Retail food prices are expected to rise between 1% and 2% in 2019, the U.S. Department of Agriculture projects.
For 2018, the USDA said retail food prices rose just 0.4%. The modest increase was the first in three years, but still below the 20-year historical annual average of 2%.
In 2019, the USDA said retail food inflation may continue to remain low at the grocery store. If price rise by the predicted 1% to 2%, the USDA said it would be the fourth year in a row with deflating or lower-than-average inflating retail food prices.
The USDA said fresh fruit prices rose 1% in 2018, and economists expect fresh fruit prices to increase an additional 2% to 3% in 2019.
The USDA’s food price report said fresh vegetable prices rose 1.1% in 2018 and are expected to increase an additional 2.5% to 3.5% in 2019.