Fresh Food

Wholesale Price Inflation Rose to 11.2% in March

After slowing to 10% in February, producer price inflation accelerated again last month
wheat prices
Photograph: Shutterstock

U.S. wholesale prices were up 11.2% year over year in Marchand up 1.4% month over monthin an inflation acceleration from February, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported April 13.

Last month, the bureau reported that producer prices had risen 10% on a 12-month basis in February and 0.9% over January levels.

March's producer prices report came a day after the BLS issued its consumer prices report for the month, which showed inflation reaching 8.5% across the economy and 10% for food at home, another 40-year high.

Final-demand food prices were up 16.2% year over year in March, outpacing February's 13.7% climb. Month to month, wholesale food prices advanced 2.4%, accelerating from increases of 1.8% in January and 2.1% in February.

Grains and fresh vegetables saw sharp price spikes last month, with grain prices up 16% over February alone and up 40% on a 12-month basis. Fresh and dry vegetables, which had seen wholesale prices slide month to month in December, January and February, did an about-face in March: Prices shot up 42% over February levels and are now up more than 80% year over year.

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Other inflation leaders within final-demand foods included shortening and cooking oils (up 8.4% in the month and 46% year over year), processed chickens (up nearly 29% year over year), fish/shellfish (19.7% year over year), dairy products (19.3%) and pasta products (16.7%).

Wholesale fresh fruit prices were up 18.5% year over year but slid 8% from February. Beef and veal producer prices were up 16% on a 12-month basis (matching retail price inflation) but saw a second consecutive month-over-month decline, falling 7.3% in March after slipping 3.6% in February. 




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