Grocery prices rise fastest since 1979

Grocery prices rise fastest since 1979

“Over the last 12 months, grocery prices soared 13.1% – the largest annual increase since the year ending in March 1979,” reports CBS News:

The prices of nearly every grocery item have ballooned over the past year.

The cost of eggs has soared 38%, and prices for other goods have also jumped: Flour is up 22.7%, chicken 17.6%, milk 15.6%, ground beef 9.7% and bacon 9.2%. Fruits and vegetables got 9.3% more expensive….The result has been steadily higher prices in the grocery aisle, with some items seeing larger month over month spikes than others.

Some food prices rose substantially in a single month. In July, egg prices rose 4.3%, while coffee and peanut butter each got 3.5% more expensive, flour cost 3.2% more, and bread prices increased 2.8%.  On the other hand, hot dog prices dropped 6.1% in July.

Inflation has outstripped wage increases for most people, resulting in Americans’ wages falling after taking into account inflation.

Consumers are reacting to prices rising faster than their salaries by buying cheaper foods instead of more expensive ones. ITyson said this month that demand for steak is falling while interest in chicken is rising. Wendy’s traffic has declined because some office workers are deciding to bring lunches from home, or eat breakfast at home.

Inflation is much higher in the United States than in many foreign countries. It’s more than 6% lower in Japan, where the inflation rate is just 2.4%. The inflation rate is only 3.4% in Switzerland, more than 5 percentage points less than in America.

Joe Biden’s big spending has fueled inflation, according to even Democratic economists like Larry Summers and Obama advisor Steven Rattner. As Rattner noted in the New York Times, Biden has spent “an unprecedented amount” of taxpayer money, which resulted in “too much money chasing too few goods.” Even progressive media like Vox recognize that Biden’s stimulus package “worsened inflation.”

This year, Biden signed an across-the-board increase in federal spending that will increase inflation even further. Last May, Biden proposed a record $6 trillion budget that “would push federal spending to its highest sustained levels since World War II” as a share of our economy, reported the New York Times. The Biden administration itself forecast budget deficits at more than $1 trillion for at least the next decade if his budget plan were adopted.

Biden’s proposed “Build Back Better” plan would also lead to more inflation, according to economists across the political spectrum. Former Congressional Budget Office Director Doug Elmendorf said it will “push up” inflation. The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget’s Marc Goldwein said it would create “inflationary pressures.” Bank of America’s Ethan Harris said it will “create even more price pressure.”

The U.S. economy recently shrank, and it underperformed many European economies in the first half of 2022. That was a shift from the Trump era, when the U.S. economy outperformed Europe, especially during the pandemic year of 2020, when Britain, France and Italy experienced much sharper economic declines than the U.S. The U.S. economy shrank 3.5% in 2020. The economy shrank much more in 2020 in Europe, by 7.9% in France, 9.9% in the United Kingdom, and 8.9% in Italy.

Hans Bader

Hans Bader

Hans Bader practices law in Washington, D.C. After studying economics and history at the University of Virginia and law at Harvard, he practiced civil-rights, international-trade, and constitutional law. He also once worked in the Education Department. Hans writes for and has appeared on C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal.” Contact him at


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