The rise in retail food prices slowed appreciably last year.
The slowing stemmed primarily from ample supplies
of most food products and from the abating inflationary
pressures on the costs of processing and distributing raw
food commodities beyond the farm gate. Aside from
the added uncertainties relating to El Niño and to the
so-called Asian crisis, the same factors suggest that
1998 will mark another year of modest gains in retail