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Economists predict grocery price inflation for 2020

Kaitlyn Riley

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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.