Bidenomics: Food prices went up 4.9% in July

(AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released new data on Thursday. It shows that the price of food went up 4.9% in July. Call it Bidenomics or Bidenflation. Neither one is good.

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Team Biden is desperately trying to convince Americans that Bidenomics is working. Joe Biden and Democrats blew up the U.S. economy by spending us into oblivion. Inflation rose to historic levels, interest rates exploded, the supply chain was very slow to make a comeback, energy prices rose, and the price of food packed a wallop on family budgets. A majority of Americans think the country is going in the wrong direction.

The Consumer Price Index shows inflation ticked up over the last year and remains more than double what it was when Biden took office. Think of that when Biden brags that inflation is coming down. His administration’s policies blew up the inflation rate and now he wants credit for bringing it down a bit. When Biden spoke about the report on Thursday morning, he cherry picked information and didn’t mention the uptick in the annual inflation rate. He simply said the report “shows that our economy remains strong.” Thanks, Joe.

Funny, he didn’t mention that the price of food went up in July. And, he didn’t mention that the price of gas is going back up. That will continue the rest of the summer and into the fall. Those are two very basic items in everyone’s budget – food and gas for your car. Everyone is affected by those increases.

One reason food prices rose is because of the price of beef. The price of chicken and pork, though, is down.

From June to July, adjusted for seasonal swings, the price of uncooked beef roasts spiked 6.5%, according to data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics Thursday. Uncooked beef steaks prices rose 2.3% and uncooked ground beef rose 1.5%. Altogether, beef and veal got 2.4% more expensive last month.

The higher prices were recorded as the country’s beef supplies have been contracting. Extreme drought in recent years caused farmers to rapidly sell cattle because the conditions, plus with higher feed costs, made it expensive or impossible to maintain herds. That wave of sales, particularly of cows used to breed, led to supply constraints this year.

“Herd liquidation continues to tighten supply, leading to higher cattle cost,” said meat processor Tyson (TSN) CEO Donnie King during a call with analysts this week. The USDA said in July that the country’s cattle inventory is down 3% year over year. Tyson (TSN) reported that while its prices for pork and chicken were down in the quarter ending in July, beef prices went up.

Thursday’s government data reflects a similar trend. In the 12 months through July, uncooked beef steaks got 7.8% more expensive. Uncooked beef roast prices rose 6.3% and uncooked ground beef got 3.1% more expensive. Together, beef and veal prices rose 5.3%. But over the course of the year, pork prices overall fell 3.7% and chicken prices dropped 2.5%.

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For households that don’t buy much beef, it’s probably not a big deal, but it’s important to understand why food prices are going up. The price of summertime cookouts and gatherings is affected by rising food prices. Hot dogs are up 2.7%, coffee and butter are both up 1%, ice cream prices are up 6.3%.

Egg prices are down 2.2%, so that’s good. Milk is down 0.6%. However, bread is up 9.5% and flour by 8.5%. Rice is up 6.5% and breakfast cereal is up 5.1%. Sugar was up 9.7% in July.

Overall, grocery prices rose 3.6% for the year, higher than the 3.2% increase overall of consumer prices. Food altogether went up 4.9%, including menu prices. The cost of eating out adds to the higher cost of food in general.

It all adds up.

I don’t think that Biden mentioned yesterday that for the first time in more than 12 months, the pace of consumer price hikes accelerated on an annual basis. The Consumer Price Index rose 3.2% for the year through July, according to data released Thursday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That means that inflation ticked up in July, which ended a yearlong streak of steady declines in prices. Consumers continue to deal with rising costs of everyday goods.

Biden is happy-talking the economy because he’s up for re-election. Voters know he’s blowing smoke because they live in the real world. It’s not unicorns and puppies. Nobody is singing “Happy Days are Here Again.” Families continue to struggle to pay monthly bills and keep up with higher costs. Food prices are a big part of monthly budget concerns.

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David Strom 2:30 PM | July 20, 2024
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