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USDA Forecasts 2012 Food-Inflation at 2.5% to 3.5%, Unchanged

U.S. consumers will pay 2.5 percent to 3.5 percent more for food in 2012, the Department of Agriculture said, holding to a forecast first made in July.

Beef and fish will post the biggest gains of any food category, each climbing as much as 5 percent this year, the USDA said today in a report on its website. The Bureau of Labor Statistics this month said expenses fell 0.1 percent in February. Food costs rose 3.7 percent last year, according to the USDA.

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