Business: Food Prices Take Off Again

The summer drought leaves grocery bills soaring and consumers moaning

Last spring, when the Consumer Price Index was leaping from peak to peak like a bee-stung mountain goat, economists, among others, looked to food prices for a little consolation. People at check-out counters may find it hard to believe, but the cost of food was then going up more slowly than the Consumer Price Index. In the first half of the year, when inflation briefly topped 18%, food prices grew at an annual rate of only 7%.

It was too good to last, and...

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