Food price inflation over 2018–22 is outpaced only by transportation

Bar chart of changes in CPI

From 2018 to 2022, the all-food Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose by a total of 20.4 percent—a higher increase than the all-items CPI, which grew 16.5 percent over the same time period. Food price increases were below the 26.4-percent increase in transportation costs but rose more quickly than housing, medical care, and all other major categories. From 2018–19, retail pricing strategies, efficient food supply chains, slow wage growth, and relatively low oil prices tempered food price inflation. However, 2020–21 were years of high food price inflation, due in part to shifting consumption patterns and supply chain disruptions resulting from the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Food prices increased faster in 2022 than any year since 1979, due in part to a highly pathogenic avian influenza outbreak and the conflict in Ukraine which compounded other economy-wide inflationary pressures such as high energy costs.

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