The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) recently released the monthly retail price data for beef, pork and poultry that showed prices were record high this past August. Obviously, this directly correlates to the high prices consumers were paying on their grocery bills this summer. Although the data has certain limitations due to general inflation trends and a survey sample that includes high price hot spots, the Consumer Price Index can indicate some very broad trends in meat retail prices.

According to BLS calculations, the average retail price for Choice beef in August was just over $4.50 per pound, the highest price reported since 1970. Compared to 2007 data, August prices were up by nearly 9 percent and were $0.70 higher than the data indicated in 2002-2006.

See the Livestock Meat Information Center for the full report including pork and poultry prices.