The Price Of Eggs Is Soaring

The Producer Price Index rose rose 7.4% year over year in November and was up .3% from October. The number was high and signaled that inflation was still firmly in place. As with every PPI report, some items rose faster than others based on what companies pay for goods and services in the index. The price of eggs was up 221.4% year over the previous year, which shows how product supply can cause massive dislocations in what people pay for several items.

The price of TVs and video equipment dropped 12.1% to show how widespread the increase (or decrease) in change rates for items can be. Drops for the month were rare but not unheard of. However, the price of almost everything in the index rose by some amount, another sign of how inflation is and how tight supply chains remain.

What happened with eggs? One challenge is bird flu, which kills off many chickens. Another is the cost of feed. Yet another is the cost of energy. Oddly, the cost of raising chickens for human food has not risen nearly as much. They are less susceptible to the flu that kills other chickens.

Bird flu is widespread. According to a recent CDC report, outbreaks have been reported in 47 states and 346 counties. There have been 675 reported outbreaks. These are concentrated in places where most of America’s chickens are grown–primarily along the country’s Northeast coast, the upper Midwest, the Atlantic coast of Florida, central California, and in Oregon and Washington.

Eggs are susceptible to supply chain problems because their demand is so high. The average American eats about 300 eggs per year. There are among the few foods eaten by such a large part of the population.

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Egg costs are a perfect storm as inflation bedevils the American population. While not all prices are rising quickly, some have soared at a nearly impossible pace.

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