Higher hog and cattle prices are expected to increase grocery store meat prices sharply this year.
The U.S. Agriculture Department forecasts that overall household food costs will rise 3.5 percent to 4.5 percent this year, unchanged from last month's outlook. But some individual categories continue to move higher.
Beef and veal prices are projected to rise 7 to 8 percent this year, a big increase over last months five and a half percent forecast. Pork prices are expected to increase 6.5 to 7 percent this year. Cattle and hog prices have moved sharply higher in recent months, mainly because of strong export demand and higher feed costs.
The price of fresh vegetables is forecast to rise 4.5 to 5.5 percent this year. Winter time frosts have reduced supplies.