AUSTIN (KXAN) — People are paying more for the food they buy at the grocery store as prices continue to rise.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the consumer price index for all urban consumers increased 8.3% year-over-year ending in April 2022. Over that period, prices for food at home increased 10.8%, the largest 12-month percentage increase since November 1980.
Prices for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs increased 14.3% from April 2021 to April 2022, the largest 12-month percentage increase since a 19.5% increase in May 1979.
Prices for other major grocery store food groups also rose over the past year, with increases ranging from 7.8% for fruits and vegetables to 11% for other food at home.
“When you see the price of energy go up, you are going to see the price of a lot of things go up,” said Mark Welch, grain marketing economist with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension. “That applies at the grocery store, at the restaurant. Food prices are very sensitive to the price of energy so it is an effort of a lot of these factors that have contributed to creating the type of situation we are in today.”
One factor in rising prices is the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Ukraine is a major producer of crops like wheat and, at this time, exports are at a standstill.
“In the near term, the shortage that we are seeing that is driving higher prices in the grain market… it is a man-made shortage,” said Welch. “It is not weather. It is not drought in the western United States. It is Russia invading Ukraine and that is what brought us to this higher level of grain prices that we are seeing. So if you look [to] resolution it would be some kind of ceasefire or resolution to the conflict over there.”
Consumers are seeing the rising prices across the board from higher airfare to pricier stops at the pump. For a gallon of regular gas, Texans are paying on average about $4.50 as of Monday, which is below the national average.