Update and Revision History

The USDA, Economic Research Service (ERS) Food Price Outlook (FPO) periodically updates and improves the FPO forecasting methods. This page compiles updates and revisions to the data since 2023.

For information about methods used to produce the FPO, see the documentation.

September 25, 2023

In September 2023, USDA, ERS revised the historical data series to enable reproducible estimates from the pseudo-random number generation process used to produce the prediction intervals and midpoint estimates. Monthly forecasts as originally published between January and August 2023 are available in the archived data files.

July 25, 2023

In July 2023, USDA, ERS discontinued producing forecasts based on the forecasting methods used since 2011, described in the USDA, ERS Technical Bulletin How USDA Forecasts Retail Food Price Inflation (TB-1940). Records of monthly forecasts as originally published are available as archived data files since 2003 for the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and 2014 for the Producer Price Index (PPI).

January 25, 2023

In January 2023, USDA, ERS updated the primary forecasting method used in the USDA Food Price Outlook, as described in the USDA, ERS Technical Bulletin Time-Series Methods for Forecasting and Modeling Uncertainty in the Food Price Outlook (TB-1957). The food price forecasts produced using these methods are based entirely on statistical models that are fitted to recent trends in the data. The forecasts are presented as a midpoint and a 95-percent prediction interval, a change from the previous approach that presented the forecasts using fixed-width forecast ranges. The prediction intervals vary in size based on the level of uncertainty about the forecast and narrow over the forecast period as more data become available.

The updated methods are described in TB-1957, with the exception that natural log transformations are applied to all series during forecasting. Using natural log transformations ensures all price forecasts are above zero. Following forecasting, exponential transformations allow the forecasts to be included in Equation 1a from TB-1957.

For a summary of the changes to the forecasting methods implemented in January 2023, see ERS Refines Forecasting Methods in the Food Price Outlook.