The best indicator of inflation is the prices you pay for everyday goods. I have a saying, the best economist is the consumer. Most consumers will self monitor the prices paid on goods they frequent. The picture below is a 2012 menu from Five Guys Burgers. The address is listed on top of the store location and the date of print is lower right hand corner.
I decided to go to the store website of the same address online to compare prices. You can view it yourself here at this link. Here are the price comparisons of 2014 and 2012.
Hamburger $5.79/$5.19 14.4% increase
Cheeseburger $6.49/$5.89 10% increase
Bacon Burger $6.69/$5.99 11.6% increase
Bacon Cheeseburger $7.29/$6.49 12.3% increase
Not all price have gone up. Drinks and fries have stayed the same. Hot dogs and Sandwiches have also increased.
Local Indiana butchers have been informed pork prices will increase by Christmas. Ham will be up by almost $1/lb. More data has come out supporting the jump in price on beef. Beef herds at their lowest in decades going below 30 million. That is a 11.8% decline since 2007.
Obtained some pricing from a person involved with livestock being brought in and sold at a stockyard in eastern Indiana.
Last week top grade cattle were getting $1.50/lb when brought in for sale. Just six years ago same person said going price was around .50/lb.
Stocking up on meat this winter would not be a bad idea.
The beef market supply is still low from the 2012 drought and supply numbers are still dipping which will only keep prices high for the foreseeble future. Here is the latest from the USDA.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, beef production came in at 2.09 billion lbs. That’s 9% down from last July. Slaughter totals are also trending down with 10% fewer cattle taken to the packer at 2.6 million head. However, live weights are moving up as feedlots and packers try to compensate for the loss of cattle. This July cattle averaged 1,320 lbs. when entering the processor, up 18 lbs. from last year. Overall red meat production was down 6% nationally. Only 3.91 billion lbs. of red meat was produced in this past month compared to 4.16 billion lbs. in July 2013.
From January to July of 2014 a similar drop off occurred with 3% less red meat produced at 27.4 billion lbs.