The New York Times‘ “Room for Debate” blog takes a topic and asks a handful of experts to weigh in. This weekend’s post was on the myths and realities of rising food prices, and NC State economist Michael Roberts was part of the discussion.
The Times reported recently that wholesale prices for foods such as beef, vegetables, eggs and fruit increased 1.5 percent in April. It was the biggest monthly spike in over a year. “April’s increase may reflect some recent and fairly substantial price increases for food, oil and other commodities,” Roberts says. “But even these increases don’t begin to reverse the remarkable decline in prices since last summer.”
While it’s difficult to discern what may be going on from one month’s numbers, this rise may be a sign that the world’s economic freefall is coming to an end. There is speculation that the global economy will start to grow again, albeit slowly, by fall. And, given the way markets work, speculation of impending demand increases will show up as higher commodity prices today.