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Increases in grocery prices slowing

Updated: March 1, 2012 8:11AM

Grocery food price increases are forecast to slow this year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Last year, they jumped 4.8 percent, compared to a forecast of a 2.5 percent to 3.5 percent rise this year.

Labor Department statistics show double-digit jumps in prices year-over-year for several staples in Midwest cities in December, the month with the most recent data.

Chuck roast, 1 lb., $4.41 up 16%

Chicken, 1 lb., $1.50 up 17%

Margarine, 1 lb., $1.97 up 17%

Apples, 1 lb., $1.28 up 15%

Peanut butter, 1 lb., $2.43 up 22%

Ground beef, 1 lb., $3.75 up 18%

But among foods that fell in price were tomatoes, at $1.47 a pound, down 9 percent; and strawberries; a 16 ounce package was $2.28, down 20 percent. For those looking to drown their sorrows, the price of a one liter bottle of wine dropped 22 percent to $10.80.

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