Tags: Corn | food | CPI | drought

Diane Swonk: Food Prices Will Rise, Just Not Immediately

Wednesday, 15 August 2012 09:53 AM

The crippling drought gripping much of the nation that has decimated crop yields will send food prices rising, just not immediately, said Diane Swonk, chief economist at Mesirow Financial.

Corn, a key input used in many groceries as well as in beef, pork and poultry feeds, has been hit especially hard, as have soybeans.

“It will take a while to feel the full effect,” said Swonk, according to CNBC.

Editor's Note: Prophetic Economist Warns: “It’s Curtains for America.” See Evidence.

“It’s coming, and it’s going to be in dairy products, eggs, meat, and people are going to be making tradeoffs in the grocery store but it won’t show up in the [Consumer Price Index].”

The Consumer Price Index came in flat in July for a second straight month.

Others agree that it will take time for consumers to feel the squeeze, as food producers have largely hedged against rising prices this year, though don’t expect major swings in headline inflation rates.

“I think it will cause a little bit of a rise in food prices. I don’t think it’ll be so dramatic that will drive the headline number significantly higher,” said Stephen Stanley, chief economist at Pierpont Securities.

“Food prices tend not to be as volatile as energy prices.”

Cooler and damper weather is due to arrive over much of the U.S. heartland, but will only slow further deterioration and not reverse the effects of the drought.

“Corn is too far gone to help at all but some of the northern soybeans may be helped, but the beans in the central and south are too stressed to come back,” said Don Keeney, a meteorologist for MDA EarthSat Weather, according to Reuters.

Editor's Note: Prophetic Economist Warns: “It’s Curtains for America.” See Evidence.

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