The benchmark that tracks wholesale food inflation continued to climb in February to reach its highest index for the cost of food at home since June 1975, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The latest Food-at-Home Producer Price Index (PPI) was up 13.4% from levels in February of 2021 and 12.8% higher than January 2022 data, the agency announced. The two-year rate was 16.2% higher from the January two-year climb of 12.3% and represented the highest two-year increase since November 1980.
The specific index for beef and veal actually fell to 22.8% last month vs. 43.9% in January, while the pork index rose slightly, to 4.7% from 4.1%, and processed young chickens declined to 26.7% from 29.1% the previous month. The index for processed turkeys, however, rose to 52.2% from 48.4% in January 2022.
The report noted that the data cover only edible products even though inflation in the food-at-home industry is being driven by price increases in the cost of non-food items like labor, logistics and packaging, as outlined by J.P. Morgan analyst Ken Goldman.
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