Buying Power

Dinner Costs More

Food prices fell during Obama’s first year in office, a small blessing for families struggling with unemployment. But as the economy began to heal, prices headed back up. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, food and beverage costs for a typical market basket rose nearly 7 percent from January 2009 through August 2012. Cost-conscious shoppers could save money by switching from apples (11 percent more expensive) to bananas (5 percent cheaper).

Photograph by Francesco Nazardo for Bloomberg Businessweek
Coy is Bloomberg Businessweek's economics editor. His Twitter handle is @petercoy.
Philips is an associate editor for Bloomberg Businessweek in Washington. Follow him on Twitter @matthewaphilips.
Nick Summers covers Wall Street and finance for Bloomberg Businessweek. Twitter: @nicksummers.

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