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Food Inflation to Quicken as Nestle, McDonald’s Lift Prices

U.S. food-price inflation may top the government’s forecast as higher crop, meat, dairy and energy costs lead companies including Nestle SA, McDonald’s Corp. and Whole Foods Market Inc. to boost prices.

Retail-food prices will jump more than the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s estimate of 3 percent to 4 percent this year, said Chad E. Hart, an economist at Iowa State University in Ames. Companies will pass along more of their higher costs through year-end, said Bill Lapp, a former ConAgra Foods Inc. chief economist.