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Meat Inflation Eases as US Consumers Turn to Cheaper Cuts

·1 min read

(Bloomberg) -- Beef steaks and pork chops were some of the only goods to see prices fall at US grocery stores last month, according to government data released Wednesday.

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Prices for a basket of foods including meat, poultry, fish and eggs dropped 0.4% from the previous month, taking seasonal adjustments into account. That’s signaling slight relief from soaring inflation, even as food prices generally increased the most in four decades.

The decline is linked to consumers who are trading down to cheaper meats, swapping out steaks for burgers, pork chops for hot dogs. The average price of uncooked beef steaks in the US was $9.83 a pound in June, among the highest prices ever seen in Bureau of Labor Statistics data.

“You can see some of the shifts taking place as shoppers take less expensive proteins,” Altin Kalo, analyst at Steiner Consulting Group, said by phone.

Retailers struggling to move high-priced meat contributed to recent declines at the wholesale level, perhaps setting the stage for further price drops in the months ahead.

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