Food Price Outlook

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) for food is a component of the all-items CPI. The CPI measures the average change over time in the prices paid by urban consumers for a representative market basket of consumer goods and services. While the all-items CPI measures the price changes for all consumer goods and services, including food, the CPI for food measures the changes in the retail prices of food items only. ERS's monthly update is usually released on the 25th of the month; however, if the 25th falls on a weekend or a holiday, the monthly update will be published on either the 23rd or 24th.

See ERS's report on price forecasting methodology:

How USDA Forecasts Retail Food Price Inflation

This report provides a detailed outline of ERS's forecasting methodology, along with measures to test the precision of the estimates (May 2015).

At ERS, work on the CPI for food consists of several activities. ERS reports the current index level for food, examines changes in the CPI for food, and constructs forecasts of the CPI for food for the next 12-18 months. Forecasting the CPI for food has become increasingly important due to the changing structure of food and agricultural economies and the important signals the forecasts provide to farmers, processors, wholesalers, consumers, and policymakers.

As a natural extension of ERS's work with the CPI for food, ERS also analyzes and models forecasts for the Producer Price Index (PPI). The PPI is similar to the CPI in that it measures price changes over time; however, instead of measuring changes in retail prices, the PPI measures the average change in prices paid to domestic producers for their output. The PPI collects data for nearly every industry in the goods-producing sector of the economy. Changes in farm-level and wholesale-level PPIs are of particular interest in forecasting food CPIs.



Data Set Last Updated Next Update
Consumer Price Index
Changes in Food Price Indexes, 2014 through 2017 11/23/2016 12/22/2016
Changes in Food Price Indexes, 2014 through 2017 11/23/2016 12/22/2016
Historical CPI data, 1974 through 2014 3/3/2015
Producer Price Index
Changes in Producer Price Indexes, 2014 through 2017 11/23/2016 12/22/2016
Changes in Producer Price Indexes, 2014 through 2017 11/23/2016 12/22/2016
Historical PPI data, 1974 through 2014 3/3/2015
Archived Versions
July 2016: Changes in Consumer Price Indexes, 2014 through 2017 8/25/2016
July 2016: Changes in Producer Price Indexes, 2014 through 2017 8/25/2016
June 2016: CPIChanges in Food Price Indexes, 2014 through 2017 7/25/2016
June 2016: Changes in Producer Price Indexes, 2014 through 2017 7/25/2016
May 2016: Changes in Food Price Indexes, 2013 through 2016 6/24/2016
May 2016: Changes in Producer Price Indexes, 2013 through 2016 6/24/2016
April 2016: Changes in Food Price Indexes, 2013 through 2016 5/25/2016
April 2016: Changes in Producer Price Indexes, 2013 through 2016 5/25/2016
March 2016: Changes in Food Price Indexes, 2013 through 2016 4/25/2016
March 2016: Changes in Producer Price Indexes, 2013 through 2016 4/25/2016
February 2016: Changes in Food Price Indexes, 2013 through 2016 3/25/2016
February 2016: Changes in Producer Price Indexes, 2013 through 2016 3/25/2016
January 2016: Changes in Food Price Indexes, 2013 through 2016 2/25/2016
January 2016: Changes in Producer Price Indexes, 2013 through 2016 2/25/2016
December 2015: Changes in Food Price Indexes, 2013 through 2016 1/25/2016
December 2015: Changes in Producer Price Indexes, 2013 through 2016 1/25/2016
November 2015: Changes in Food Price Indexes, 2013 through 2016 12/23/2015
November 2015: Changes in Producer Price Indexes, 2013 through 2016 12/23/2015
October 2015: Changes in Food Price Indexes, 2013 through 2016 11/25/2015
October 2015: Changes in Producer Price Indexes, 2013 through 2016 11/25/2015
September 2015: Changes in Food Price Indexes, 2013 through 2016 10/23/2015
September 2015: Changes in Producer Price Indexes, 2013 through 2016 10/23/2015
August 2015: Changes in Food Price Indexes, 2013 through 2016 9/25/2015
August 2015: Changes in Producer Price Indexes, 2013 through 2016 9/25/2015
July 2015: Changes in Food Price Indexes, 2013 through 2016 8/25/2015
July 2015: Changes in Producer Price Indexes, 2013 through 2016 8/25/2015