[B]ut while the Fed moves on with its bond bonanza assuming rapidly rising prices won't be a problem, or at least not any time soon, it will be hard to convince shoppers at the grocery aisle.
Producer food prices are up 2.6% from a year earlier, compared with an annual gain of just 1.5% for all goods. In particular, chicken prices have surged 14.3% during the last year and wholesale beef and veal prices rose 8.2% in November, the biggest monthly gain since 2008.
For months, the US Department of Agriculture has warned about higher food prices. Next year, U.S. consumers may pay 3% to 4% more for food, the agency forecasts. The price of beef may rise as much as 5% amid tighter supplies of corn, which is used to feed cattle. Since June, the price of grain, the country's biggest crop, rose by more than 50%. What About Food Inflation Bernanke?