Food costs in the US are rising at the fastest pace since the 1970s, with food prices rising by 13.5% in the 12 months to September.
With elections in November approaching and wages not keeping pace, buyers are feeling the pain. So when will it get easier — and will high prices affect the way people vote?
Warum sind die Preise gerade so hoch?
A carton of eggs in the US costs more than $3 today, more than twice as much as at the start of 2021 when US President Joe Biden took office. Beef and chicken prices have risen by almost 20%, and a bundle of bananas is 10% higher.
“It is very difficult,” says 78-year-old Edda Charbon. The New Yorker says she often returns items she bought earlier to the shelves, shocked at how much they cost. “Even fry eggs — such a small thing can cost a lot.”
Price spikes began during the pandemic when restaurant food plummeted, demand for food rose and Covid outbreaks led to production problems.
Companies passed on higher costs they faced, such as higher wages and more expensive fuel.
Then, this year, the war in Ukraine disrupted the supply of fertilizers, wheat and other crops and sent global prices to rise. Bad weather has led to poor harvests, while outbreaks of bird flu have affected egg supply.
Wann werden die Lebensmittelpreise sinken?
While restaurant prices have only gone in one direction — up — in the past, food prices sometimes fall.
But for that to happen, supply must be brought back into line with demand.
There was some good news in this regard. Global food prices have fallen in recent months, while oil prices have also fallen.
And as many as Edda are cutting back or switching to cheaper items, food companies that have passed on Higher costs for customers when booking strong profits can also make it harder to raise prices.
It is still unlikely that this will mean relief in the foreseeable future. Many companies, including Coca-Cola and Cheerios maker General Mills, told investors in the summer that they expect price increases to continue until the end of the year.
“The future is very uncertain,” says Jayson Lusk, an agricultural economist at Purdue University. “To the extent that we see lower agricultural commodity prices and lower energy prices — that will certainly help, but there are many costs that come after the farm — such as labor and other issues, and these are more difficult to predict.”
What did Joe Biden do to combat inflation, and what is the inflation reduction bill of 2022?
Meanwhile, Americans keep citing the economy and rising prices as top concerns — and growing figures say they’re dissatisfied with President Joe Biden’s performance, particularly with the Republicans.
“He hasn’t done a good job,” says Romeisha Lowery, a 36-year-old former Trump voter from Texas, who says rising costs for food, gas, and other items had prompted her family to seek help from food pantries in recent months.
“I have the feeling that we have been much poorer in the last two years than under the Trump administration.”
Mr. Biden has tried to respond and released unprecedented amounts of oil to cut gas prices. When it comes to food, he has ordered investigations into competition in the meat industry, increased support for farmers to buy fertilisers, and hosted a summit on food and hunger.
The Democrats also passed the so-called Inflation Reduction Act of 2022. Although it may have been a savvy policy to claim that it is about reducing price increases, most analyses suggest that the bill — the billions to combat Commits climate change and, among other things, issues a new minimum tax for companies — will have negligible effects on inflation.
Republicans have taken up inflation as a successful issue, with ads like one from Nebraska’s Representative Don Bacon, in which he serves his wife so-called “Biden burgers” — tiny hamburgers that he attributes to the high prices that force people to cut.
Was bedeuten hohe Lebensmittelpreise mittelfristig? Wahlen?
The midterm elections, which are scheduled for November and determine who will hold Congress and the leadership of many states known for their relatively low turnout, with parties focused on increasing voter turnout among their key supporters.
The president’s party usually loses seats. However, many Democrats hope that the elections will not be as bad as previously feared, even though the economy is working against them.
On the one hand, there are fewer competition races this year than in previous elections.
For the Democratic base, polls also suggest that inflationary concerns from the fight over abortion — which came back into the limelight after the Supreme Court overturned the constitutional right to abortion in June — and concerns about democracy in general, which some Can be traced back to former President Donald Trump’s involvement in politics.
For Republicans, the economy remains critical, especially as the price of gas — which is higher than the price of food in public opinion — has begun to rise after falling this summer. But candidates also focus on topics that appeal to their base, such as immigration.
“It is too risky to rely only on gas prices,” says pollster Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist Poll. “The perception of this is changing… and you don’t want to get caught with an issue as an activist.”
Surveys show that economic views are strongly linked to political leanings, with the right seeing inflation as important — and seeing the problem as worse.
Mr. Miringoff said many voters have already made up their mind — and the parties will focus on “the stakes” to force their supporters to take the polls: “We won’t see much persuasion or change of thought. We’ll see efforts to improve the language.”