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Economists predict grocery price inflation for 2020

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Despite inflation, grocery store prices may not see a big increase this year.

Gianna Short, USDA Economist, said in 2019, at-home food prices increased 0.9 percent. Meanwhile, food away from home prices increased by 3.1 percent.

“So quite a bit higher inflation for food away from home,” Short said. “That brings all food inflation for 2019 to 1.9 percent.”

Short said a similar rate of inflation is forecasted in 2020 between 0.5 and 1.5 percent. For 2020, Short expected a drop in price for fats and oils like cooking oils, butter and peanut butter and processed vegetables.

“Fruits and vegetables as a whole might stay flat,” Short said. “That also applies to fresh fruits and vegetables as a whole predicting 0 to1 percent range of increased fresh vegetables is the driver of that primarily.”

Short noted the drop in fresh vegetable price inflation was a relief compared to 2019 when they were up 3.8 percent.

Kaitlyn Riley’s passion for communications started on her family’s dairy farm in Gays Mills, Wis. Wanting to share agriculture’s story, she studied strategic communications and broadcast journalism at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In college, she held officer positions with the Association of Women in Agriculture and Badger Dairy Club while volunteering as a news reporter for the college radio station. She also founded the university’s first agricultural radio talk show, AgChat. In her professional career, Kaitlyn has worked in radio, print and television news doing everything from covering local events to interviewing presidential candidates, and putting back on her barn boots to chat with farmers in the field. Today, Kaitlyn can be seen covering local stories that matter to you in the La Crosse area.

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