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Featured Advisor

Ed Meek
CEO/Investment Advisor

Edge Portfolio Management


State: IL

At Edge, a low client to advisor ratio allows for personal and customized service for each individual.  Our goal is to work as a team for each client to provide not only portfolio management but wealth coordination and financial planning.  We make every effort to have frequent communication with our clients and to provide timely response to calls and emails.  I also enjoy spending time with my wife and three kids, playing and following basketball, playing golf, and participating as an advisory board member for Breakthrough Urban Ministries.

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What the CPI Tells Us About Food

Food Costs Keep Going Up

The Consumer Price Index may seem a dry and boring subject, but it can affect the size of Social Security checks and the amount of taxes owed to Uncle Sam. The latest data also point to steadily rising food costs.

The food index, which is trending upward, looks at the costs of six major grocery store food groups, including fruits and vegetables, and meats, protein fish and eggs. Dairy and related products, cereals and bakery products, and alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages are also measured. The index also distinguishes between food consumed at home and food consumed away from home.

The CPI for all food is projected to increase 3 percent to 4 percent in 2011, according to the Economic Research Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Grocery store (food at home) prices are expected to go up 3.5 percent to 4.5 percent, while restaurant prices are forecast to increase 3 percent to 4 percent.

Higher energy and food commodity prices, along with strengthening global food demand, have “pushed inflation projections for 2011 upward,” the USDA said.

Courtesy Fox News

Rising food prices are a key factor contributing to the decline of real disposal income Americans experience in February, according to the latest statistics from the Commerce Department. Increased food costs and taxes eroded a 0.3 percent rise in income and resulted in a 0.1 percent decrease in spending power.

The CPI measures inflation – or deflation – by tracking changes in the prices consumers pay for everyday goods. Compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the index covers food, energy, and all items less food and energy. This last category includes services – shelter, transportation and medical care – and new and used cars and trucks, clothing, and medical care products.

The data guide the nation’s economic policies, help businesses set wages and benefit plans, and allow consumers to strategically budget and invest their money. For example, the CPI reveals whether a dollar is gaining or losing purchasing power, and helps determine who is eligible for stamps.

The index reflects the buying habits of 87 percent of the total U.S. population, and is based on shopping done by most residents of urban and metropolitan areas. The index does not track spending in rural areas, military families, prison inmates and patients at mental hospitals.