( File photo )

Consumer prices for food sold at grocery stores declined 1% from June to July but still are running 4.6% higher than a year ago.

The U.S. Department Agriculture’s Food Price Outlook also said prices of restaurant food rose 0.5% in July and now are 3.4% higher than July 2019.

So far in 2020, compared with 2019, the USDA said grocery food prices have increased 3.1% and restaurant food prices have climbed 2.4%.

The category of beef and veal has seen the largest relative retail price increase (10.6%), while the USDA said fresh fruits have had the largest relative price decrease (1.5%).
The USDA projects grocery prices for food will rise between 2.5% and 3.5% in 2020; the agency forecasts the 2021 inflation rate for food sold at grocery stores to increase between 1% and 2%.

Prices for food sold in restaurants will climb between 1.5% to 2.5% this year and rise between 1.5% and 2.5% next year, the USDA.

Fresh produce retail outlook

The USDA said 2020 retail fresh produce prices will rise between zero and 1% this year and increase between 0.5% and 1.5% in 2021.

Deflation is evident in retail fresh fruit prices. The USDA projects fresh fruit prices will drop between 0.5% and 1.5% this year. The 2021 projection calls for retail fresh fruit prices to stay flat or increase 1%, the USDA said.

Retail fresh vegetable prices are pegged to rise between 1.5% and 2.5% this year and stay flat to rise 1% next year, according to the USDA.

Grocery price increases continue

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