Eating out is getting more expensive in America – data – RT Business News

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Restaurant prices are up about 9% annually, the Labor Department says

The cost of meals at restaurants in the United States surpassed the 12-month price of grocery stores in March for the first time since mid-2021, Labor Department data showed on Wednesday.

According to estimates, restaurant prices rose 8.8% over the past 12 months, the third month in a row and up 0.6% from February. Meanwhile, food or “household food” inflation increased by 8.4%, down 0.3% from February.

The data could be a bad sign for the U.S. restaurant industry, which analysts say is already struggling as consumers cut back on restaurant meals to save money amid a cost-of-living crisis. According to CNBC, many restaurants have recently raised prices to avoid falling profits, forcing consumers to further limit restaurant visits or spend less when eating out.

However, National Restaurant Association Chief Economist Bruce Grindy said the statistics may have been skewed by rising school food prices due to the end of free lunch programs implemented during the Covid-19 pandemic.

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As a result, this price index has risen sharply in recent months, putting upward pressure on the general food index,“, he wrote in a blog post on Wednesday, as quoted by CNBC. He noted that he expected the index to cloud food-out-of-home figures in the fourth quarter of the year.

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