The Economic Perspective: “Jumps in Food Prices”

Mary:  I’m Mary Walden with economist MW, welcoming you to the economic perspective.  Today’s program looks at jumps in food prices.  Mike, many of us have seen one of the apparent results of the coronavirus in the grocery store.  It’s in the form of higher prices.   In recent months, the prices of several popular food items have been rising at double-digit annual rates.  What’s the cause?


Mike:  Summary Answer

  • Most noticeable in many meets, eggs, fish, and cereals
  • A number of factors are behind the price hikes
  • Shutdown of some meat processing factories, low farm prices motivating farmers to cut back production, increased buying in grocery stores when restaurants were shut, and problems in shipping some food inputs from international producers
  • These factors are temporary – as restaurants open, the virus is controlled, and transportation bottlenecks are fixed, food price inflation should cool down
  • I’m MW


Mary:  And I’m Mary Walden for the Economic Perspective, an NC State Extension program from the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.