Hitting the grocery store is getting more costly.
Beef prices are at a record high, and the cost of other staples, such as milk, butter, eggs, fruit and vegetables are climbing. With a severe drought ravaging farms across most of California, prices are at risk of shooting significantly higher this year.
The price of a pound of ground beef has hit $3.55 a pound, a record high even when adjusted for inflation, according to government readings for February. That's up 56% since 2010. The average for round steak is at $5.28, among the highest prices seen in the last 20 years.
And it's gotten worse lately. In February, beef posted the biggest month-over-month price increase in more than a decade thanks to bad weather.
Growing demand for U.S. beef from overseas markets like Asia is a big factor driving up prices, said Ricky Volpe, economist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
"These record high beef prices are here to stay," said Volpe. "It'll be a long time until supplies will be more in line with demand once again."
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