Food inflation rises

Food prices have increased over the year to January 2011 in many of the world’s economies. Moreover, those increases, which accelerated from mid-2010, reversed the downward trend in food prices of 2009 and the first half of 2010, OECD-FAO Agriculture Outlook 2011-2020 says. .

Three-quarters of the OECD countries recorded retail food price increases of 5% or less, while price increases exceeded that in half a dozen or so countries. Two OECD countries, Korea and Estonia, experienced increases of over 10%. Brazil, China, Indonesia and Russia all had double-digit rates of food inflation during the year to January 2011, well up on the previous year. In South Africa, food prices increased by a moderate 3.3%, though this represented a doubling from the rate of the previous year. Food price inflation also accelerated in the second half of 2010 in several countries from Africa, Asia and Latin America. In high-income OECD countries the contribution of food price movements to inflation has been positive though small, generally around 0.5 percentage points.
However, food price increases contributed over 1.5 percentage points to inflation in countries such as Estonia, Turkey, Hungary and Korea. This contrasts with the year to January 2010 when food prices decreased, attenuating inflation. The contribution of food price movements to OECD inflation remains small, the report notes, not least because of the small share of food expenditures in the overall consumer basket.


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