(KTLA) – Sick of sticker shock at the supermarket? Don’t expect relief any time soon.
That’s the word from mighty Goldman Sachs, which says in a report to clients that grocery prices will rise by as much as 6% this year – on top of a similar increase last year.
“The stage has been set for further substantial increases in retail food prices this year,” the investment bank’s economists wrote in the report.
They blamed COVID-related supply issues, as well as high labor costs and rising expenses for fertilizer and other farming necessities. Goldman’s forecast is the latest gut punch for U.S. consumers grappling with rising costs for practically everything, from rent to food.
It also serves as a shot across the bow of election-minded politicians who already know inflation will be perhaps the single biggest issue going into the November midterms.
For working families, another 6% increase in grocery prices would make it even harder to get ahead. Since the start of the pandemic, food costs have jumped by about 11%. Wages over the same period have declined by 1.2%.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, food prices climbed by 6.5% in December from a year before – the biggest increase since 2008. Meat prices in December surged by nearly 15%. Eggs were 11% pricier. Chicken was up by 10.4%.