May 13, 2020 - Economy & Business

The rising cost of grocery staples

A volunteer works at a pop-up grocery store in Norcross, Georgia, May 8. Photo: Paras Griffin/Getty Images

Grocery staples in the U.S. cost more in the last month than in almost 50 years, according to new data out Tuesday from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Why it matters: Children in the U.S. are currently facing "unprecedented" food insecurity in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. High prices for basic grocery items could further harm low-income Americans currently weathering abysmal job loss and challenging economic conditions.

By the numbers: Consumers paid 4.3% more for meats, poultry, fish and eggs in April than in March, the Labor Department found. Cereals and bakery products cost 2.9% more in the same time frame.

  • U.S. consumers paid 2.6% more overall for groceries in April — the largest single-month increase since February 1974, according to the Labor Department.

Context: Meat processing plants in more than a dozen states closed in April, hurting output of beef, pork, poultry and fish.

  • At least 5,000 coronavirus cases and 20 deaths have occurred in 115 meat and poultry processing facilities across the U.S., the CDC found in early May.

Go deeper: Consumer Price Index posts largest decline since 2008

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 4 p.m. ET: 6,226,408 — Total deaths: 373,973 — Total recoveries — 2,672,161Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 4 p.m. ET: 1,799,747 — Total deaths: 104,702 — Total recoveries: 444,758 — Total tested: 16,936,891Map.
  3. Public health: Nearly 26,000 coronavirus deaths in nursing homes have been reported to federal health officials —Coronavirus looms over George Floyd protests across the country.
  4. Federal government: Trump lashes out at governors, calls for National Guard to "dominate" streets.
  5. World: Former FDA commissioner says "this is not the time" to cut ties with WHO.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: The virus didn't go away.

New York City to impose curfew amid ongoing protests

Photo: Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

New York City will be placed under curfew on Monday from 11pm until 5am Tuesday morning following days of protests over the death of George Floyd, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Monday.

The big picture: Demonstrations in New York, like in cities across the country, turned violent over the weekend as protesters clashed with police late into the night. The number of police officers on the streets of New York will double from 4,000 to 8,000.

Family-commissioned autopsy says George Floyd's death was homicide

Police watch as demonstrators block a roadway while protesting the death of George Floyd in Miami. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Preliminary results from an independent autopsy commissioned by George Floyd's family found that his death in the custody of Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was "homicide caused by asphyxia due to neck and back compression that led to a lack of blood flow to the brain," according to a statement from the family's attorney.

Why it matters: The autopsy contradicts preliminary findings from the Hennepin County medical examiner, who found “no physical findings that support a diagnosis of traumatic asphyxiation or strangulation,” according to charging documents against Chauvin. The official examination is still ongoing.