But last drop was tiny
Food costs in Arizona have dropped for a second consecutive quarter, although the latest drop was tiny, according to an informal survey by the Arizona Farm Bureau.
The total cost of 16 grocery items surveyed in the first quarter of the year was $54.43, down just 32 cents from the fourth quarter of 2008.
In contrast, food prices in the fourth quarter dropped 5 percent, or $2.71, from the previous quarter, after two years of price increases, the farm bureau reported.
A national survey by the American Farm Bureau Federation also suggested that food prices dropped in the first quarter.
The national bureau’s first-quarter 2009 MarketBasket items were priced at $47.41, down $2.80, or 5.5 percent, from the previous quarter.
In Arizona, orange juice declined the most in price in the first quarter. The average orange juice price fell $1.40, to $2.49, for a half-gallon carton.
Among the other big drops: shredded cheese, down $1.31 a pound, to $3.65; 5 pounds of flour, down 50 cents, to $3.19; and milk, down 20 cents a gallon, to $2.87.
The largest increase was for sliced deli ham, up 79 cents a pound, to $5.38. Ground beef rose 30 cents a pound, to $3.99.