Grocery shoppers should be finidng lower food prices, but does appear to be the beginning of a trend

Phoenix, AZ – The survey by the Arizona Farm Bureau Federation shows the cost of a market basket of 16 key items is $50.71. That's down 60 cents from last quarter. The organization's Julie Murphree said the findings were a bit of a surprise, particularly since the national index actually increased.

(Not based on scientific research but theorizing that we have a very competitive grocery market here in Arizona. And we grow year round. So if families are good are good about buying their fruits and their produce seasonally, they'll find better pricing, certainly in their produce.)

Despite the slight decline, Murphree noted that prices are still running more than 9 percent higher than the same time last year. She said there are several reasons for that.

(There's been an increase in global demand across the board. That's a factor. Our energy costs have been a factor. You might have noted that I highlighted even the cost of diesel which is higher than our average gas prices. Those things really impact it, also.)

And Murphree said she does not see any relief in sight.

(I'm contending -- and we've said that before and we're kind of still sticking to that line even though you saw this 1 percent drop -- that for the remainder of 2011 we'll probably still be in this inflationary trend.)

For Arizona Public Radio this is Howard Fischer.