On the Radar

Food Inflation Drops for Second Straight Month

Produce Industry Icon Jim Prevor Passes Away

The all-items Consumer Price Index (CPI), a measure of economy-wide inflation, rose by 7.7% year-on- year in October. This is a slower pace of increase than the 8% that many economists had been

expecting, and the lowest annual inflation reading since January. Food price inflation declined for the second month in a row to 10.9% year-on-year, according to the USDA’s Econom - ic Research Service (ERS). This is down from a high of 11.4% in August.

Farm-Level Economic Uncertainty Remains

The Purdue University/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer, which is calculated each month from 400 U.S. agricultural producers’ responses to a telephone survey, came in at a reading of 102 in November, unchanged from October. High input costs continue to weigh on producers’ minds with 42% of respon - dents in this month’s survey citing that as their top

Jim Prevor, the founder and edi - tor-in-chief of publications includ - ing Produce Business magazine, suddenly passed away in November from heart failure. He was a pro - duce industry icon and maverick thought-leader. On this earth for merely 61 years, Jim was a force of boundless energy and enthusiasm for the perishable food and fresh produce industry in which he was born and carried a rich family legacy. Jim is survived by his wife Debbie, sons William and Matthew, and loving extended family and friends.

Kroger and Albertsons Announce $24.6B Merger Plans concern in the year ahead. Slightly over one-fifth of respondents chose rising interest rates, while 14% cited input availability and declining commodity pric - es as a top concern. Nearly 80% of respondents indicated now is a “bad time” to make large investments in farm machinery.

Kroger and Albertsons Companies, two of the United States’ largest supermarket chains, on Oct. 14 an - nounced plans to merge in a deal that could change the country’s food retail landscape. Kroger said it would acquire Albertsons for $24.6 billion. The two companies have about 5,000 stores across the country under chains like Ralphs, Safeway and Vons.

The chief executives of both companies defended the merger to the U.S. Senate committee late in November. Kroger said in early December that it still expects to complete the deal in early 2024.

10 Vision Magazine

December 2022

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