Egg prices jump 8.5 percent as food inflation hits consumers

Breakfast is getting even more expensive after US egg prices soared 8.5 percent in January while citrus fruits, cereal and baked goods also climbed.

Egg prices have been surging amid the nation’s worst-ever outbreak of deadly bird flu that decimated chicken flocks.

One outbreak late last year wiped out more than a million birds, according to the US Department of Agriculture. Although wholesale prices have started to slip from all-time highs, that hasn’t yet rippled through to grocery stores.

Overall food costs climbed by 0.5 percent last month, according to Labor Department data released on Tuesday.

A relatively strong US economy has enabled consumers to absorb higher food costs, though some are starting to swap out costly menu items like high-end cuts of beef for cheaper sources of protein.

Meanwhile, citrus supplies are tight after a devastating hurricane season slammed orchards in Florida. Oranges and tangerines jumped 2.8 percent in January, according to the data.

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