While China and broader Asia grapple with rising food costs, the U.S. seems safe, for now.
The latest report on the supermarket space from JPMorgan shows a modest rise in some prices from September to November, but substantial drops in costs in certain categories too.
What’s noticeable is, first, the strong cuts Wal-Mart has been doing across the board. But overall, prices haven’t risen much and, in the produce category, have actually declined. Safeway is a noticeable exception.
From JPMorgan (emphasis ours):
We observed the following at the traditional grocers: (1) evidence of food inflation is apparent, but not all retailers are passing along 100% of the cost increase to customers. Moreover, the pass through trend is not consistent across categories or retailers and (2) promotional activity has continued, but looks more in-line with normalized levels.
So, food price inflation may be out there, but it isn’t hitting consumers just yet.