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In plain English, that's the mostly raw food you put in your grocery cart, as opposed to cooked and prepared food at a restaurant or fast-food counter, the price of which went up 2.4 percent this year.
Unless your shopping basket was heavy with guacamole during the months when labor and weather issues sent the price of Mexican avocados skyrocketing, your grocery bills probably were lower this year.
That might be reason enough for consumers to cheer, but deflation after several years of flat price growth has complicated the ledgers of growers and grocers alike.
Kroger Co., a Cincinnati-based chain that owns Ralph’s supermarkets, cut its sales and profit forecasts and lowered its capital investment plans after two difficult quarters earlier this year. It is offering buyouts to about 2,000 non-store employees, in what some say is a prelude to layoffs at the chain.
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