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August 4, 2023 | Food Inflation: 7.1% or 22.6% Per Year?

Robert Campbell

Robert Campbell is a real estate analyst and economist. He's been publishing The Campbell Real Estate Timing Letter since 2002. His book (Timing the Real Estate Market) presents a clearly defined method for predicting the peaks and valleys of real estate cycles.


If you want to know how much food has gone up in the last 12 months, don’t ask the US government – ask people who shop for food everyday.

Based on a survey of 8,000 US grocery shoppers nationwide, they said food at home prices rose by an estimated 22.6% from April 2022 to April 2023 – which was more than 15 points higher than the figure reported by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.



My wife Pam edits my Timing Letters.  Because Pam is 100% Italian – “Sicilian” to be more precise – she shops for fresh food almost everyday.

When editing a Timing Letter from about a year ago, she looked at a government inflation chart that I posted showing food prices had risen 7.8% in the previous 12 months.

“That’s complete b*ll sh*t,” Pam stated, “it’s more than double that.” 

In Summary

No, the CPI does measure the real Cost of Living.  Inflation is significantly worse than the government reports – and that’s why I believe mortgage rates are more likely to rise than fall in the months and years ahead.


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