Grocery Price Inflation In MD Among Worst In Nation | Annapolis Patch


Patch reporter Megan VerHelst originally posted this story.

MARYLAND — Shoppers nationwide know it costs a lot more to fill up a grocery cart today than it used to. But in Maryland, inflation is causing food prices to spike faster here than in most U.S. states, according to a new report.

A recently released report by Consumer Affairs found grocery prices nationwide were 5.3 percent higher in November than a year ago. While a dramatic improvement from 2022 — over two years, prices have spiked 25.5 percent — where you live plays a big role in how much shoppers will spend.

In Maryland, grocery costs spiked 7 percent in the last 12 months, the report stated. Only two other states — Pennsylvania and Vermont — saw larger increases.

To determine increases in each state, Consumer Affairs analyzed grocery price data in 15 categories, collected in real-time in 150,000 stores. As of mid-November, the states seeing the largest increase in food prices were clustered in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states, according to the report.

The states with the highest spike in grocery prices were:

Pennsylvania: 8.2 percent
Vermont: 7 percent
Maryland: 7 percent
West Virginia: 6.9 percent
New Jersey: 6.8 percent
Massachusetts: 6.6 percent
Connecticut: 6.4 percent
Florida: 6.4 percent
Montana: 6.4 percent
South Dakota: 6.4 percent
North Dakota: 6.4 percent
Iowa: 6.4 percent

States with the lowest increases in food costs were located throughout the United States.

Here are the states with the lowest spikes, according to the report:

Colorado: 2.9 percent
Arizona: 3.3 percent
North Carolina: 3.5 percent
Michigan: 3.5 percent
Virginia: 3.6 percent
Nevada: 4.2 percent
South Carolina: 4.3 percent
Indiana: 4.4 percent
Ohio: 4.4 percent
Oregon: 4.5 percent

Data collected to compile the report showed price hikes in each grocery category ranged widely, both nationally and locally.

Nationally, prices for grains, beans, and pasta were up 1.5 percent over 12 months. Yet in Colorado those products went down in price and were nearly 2 percent cheaper than a year ago, helping to explain the state’s low food inflation.

Other factors that could cause prices to vary by state, according to experts who spoke with Consumer Affairs, include supply and demand as well as overhead expenses like local labor, utilities, tax, and real estate costs.

The war in Ukraine, for example, has reduced shipments of wheat, which has affected the prices of everything from bread and crackers to cereal, according to the report.

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