USDA: Grocery prices don’t yet reflect COVID-19-related demand
March 26, 2020 By Tom Steever Filed Under: COVID-19, News
Coronavirus related grocery store runs haven’t changed USDA’s
monthly grocery price forecast, at least for now. USDA economist Gianna Short says
grocery prices are likely to rise .5 percent to 1.5 percent this year, but
price data covering the latest demand spike for certain items won’t be out
until mid-April. Besides, she says price forecasts are an expected average over
the whole year.
Short says high demand could raise grocery prices in the short term. “In the long
term,” said Short, in an interview provided by the USDA, “if we have an
economic downturn and if oil prices remain low, those are two things that
typically have downward pressure on prices.”
Although there could be large ups and downs in grocery store prices this year, “until
we get more hard data coming in,” said Short, “the forecast remains the same.”
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