The U.S. government raised its forecasts for retail prices of beef, pork and fresh vegetables but left its overall food-inflation forecast for 2011 unchanged.
The forecast for overall food-price inflation held steady at 3% to 4%, the USDA says in its monthly analysis of the federal government's consumer-price index for food, which tracks retail prices of everything from milk to cooking oil and steak. But within the report there are signs inflationary pressures are approaching the high end of that range, the result of higher energy costs and a 10-month rally in grain prices.
Retail beef prices are forecast to jump 7% to 8% in 2011, up from a March forecast of 4.5% to 5.5%. USDA also projects retail pork prices to climb 6.5% to 7.5%, an increase of half a percentage point from the prior month.
While several categories within the CPI showed higher inflation, those categories are weighted and weren't enough to push the overall food-inflation forecast beyond the 3% to 4% range.
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