Great News From the Grocery Store (Unless You're a Farmer)

by SixFigureStart | September 17, 2009

  • My Vault
At last: something to celebrate about the recession! Well, kind of: according to the Washington Post, grocery prices are going down. The bad news: it's not like retailers have done it out of the kindness of their hearts—commodity prices have deteriorated as a result of the recession. That's bad news because it suggests that farmers and producers aren't making any money either. So great is the phenomenon, in fact, that the Post notes in its piece that "the price of corn, for example, is down 56 percent since July 2008 on the Chicago Board of Trade."

Still, this particular farmer's cloud comes with a serious silver lining for consumers—the first real relief many will have seen from their own economic pressures. As the following graphic that accompanied the Post piece shows, prices have become consistently cheaper as the year has worn on. Compounding the cheap commodity prices—at least in the Washington D.C. metro area the piece focuses on—is the traditional thrust of capitalist competition; rival grocery stores willing to take a little less profit in order to lure customers back through the doors.

All in all, it's probably a good time to stock up and make some big bulk buys. After all, we found out earlier this week that the recession is "very likely over". Not to mention that farmers are being pushed to breaking point. How much more deflation can farmers here suffer before we see a protest along the lines of the scenes from Belgium yesterday, with farmers intentionally spraying their product onto farmland to draw attention to their plight?


Associated Press/Yves Logghe

--Posted by Phil Stott, Vault Staff Writer

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