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A new spike in food costs is on the horizon.

Global investment banking giant Goldman Sachs just published a report to its customers this week projecting that food costs will rise by another 6% by the end of 2022. They are not the only ones who believe this.

So, things aren’t looking good for those who had hoped that food store prices would begin to fall or at least stop rising. In recent months, food and other critical consumer products have risen in price due to a “perfect storm” of adverse occurrences, including rising fertiliser costs (required to grow crops), supply chain breakdowns, labour shortages, and bad weather.

The highest since 2011, according to a recent food price index report from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. But some economists fear that if the cost of necessities continues to climb, it might lead to civil unrest.

James Quincey, CEO of Coco-Cola, warned food and consumer products producers this week that many American buyers have “reached their breaking point” with price rises based on consumer data and buying tendencies. Consumers stop buying some things when the price tags on them become too high.

While government stimulus cheques and federal unemployment benefits have previously countered growing grocery store prices, they are no longer enough to keep up with the rising cost of food. Prices have gone up everywhere from groceries to rent to secondhand automobiles — which are now 40% more expensive than they were a year ago.

At the same time, many people have used up their increased government benefits, and no fresh stimulus programmes are on the horizon, so American households are feeling the pressure.

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Jaime E. Heard

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