White House points finger at meat packers for high food prices; USDA says several factors at play
USDA economists are breaking down the latest consumer price index. The numbers out late last week show food prices are nearly 7 percent higher from a year ago, and inflation is at a 40 year high.
When pressed on the numbers late last week, the White House raised eyebrows from the ag community by placing the blame on meat packers.
A USDA economist did not rule that out entirely, but said several factors are at play.
According to Carolyn Chelius, “Very high demand and limited supply for meats. We’ve continued to see kind of overall price increase. Fuel prices have been high... It’s unclear whether or not some of these factors are structural changes or whether they are a pandemic related blip that will at some point abate. It doesn’t seem to be but then again we’re still admits this pandemic.”
She says that trying to make a definitive prediction about prices next year is “really tricky.”