Eggs Are Finally Getting Cheaper—Here's What You'll Pay at Checkout
Americans have seen their grocery bills balloon significantly in the past year, and "egg-flation" has been one of the worst offenders.
A deadly avian flu outbreak, supply chain woes, and elevated production costs have contributed to serious egg shortages and an astronomical rise in egg prices throughout the country. Consumers have been so desperate for affordable eggs that U.S. Customs and Border Protection reported a significant increase in illegal egg smuggling attempts earlier this year.
But in a positive turn of events, egg prices have finally started to ease, according to new federal data.
In the latest Consumer Price Index (CPI) report that was released this week, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that egg prices dropped 6.7% from January to February following "sharp increases in recent months." The 6.7% decrease in February followed an 8.5% increase from December to January, and an 11.1% increase from November to December.
This drop in prices is hopefully offering some relief for shoppers who have been forced to shell out much more for a carton of eggs in recent months, or cut back on purchasing eggs altogether. Consumers planning to decorate eggs for Easter will also surely welcome a decline in prices with the holiday now only weeks away.
But while egg prices eased in February, shoppers aren't in the clear just yet. Egg prices are still up a whopping 55.4% compared to this time last year, according to the CPI report.
This outlook is still an improvement from the previous inflation report, which found that egg prices were up a stunning 70.1% since January 2022. But the prices still have quite a long way to come down after months of increases.
What shoppers are paying for eggs right now may vary widely depending on where they live and which stores they frequent. A dozen eggs cost about $4.21 on average last month, compared to about $2 in February 2022, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis' analysis of CPI data.
Whether egg prices will continue to decline remains unseen for the time being, according to Dr. Michael Swanson, chief agricultural economist at Wells Fargo.
"Egg price changes will depend largely on disease outbreak which we saw in 2022 with the avian flu," Swanson said. "Therefore, it is not possible to predict egg prices in the coming months with any certainty."
But in the meantime, customers can hope that prices for the grocery staple plummet just as fast as they grew.