As an economic issue, inflation just isn’t a problem in the US.
The US consumer price index rose 2.1% in May, compared to the prior year. But even so, there’s absolutely no sign of a broad-based, destabilizing price spiral of the type seen back in the late 1970s.
That said, food has gotten a lot more expensive recent months, thanks to California’s drought and to disease-thinned hog herds, among other issues.
The recent price-climb is one of the fastest since 2011, when a spate of bad weather drove up the cost of food commodities such as wheat and corn. High feed costs and drought also seems to be behind some of the current food price spikes. For instance, beef costs have surged in recent months, though the increases slowed slightly in May.
That’s likely cold comfort for those stocking up on burgers for summer grills, with the price of ground beef touching $3.86 a pound.