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USDA expects higher U.S. food price inflation in 2014

The milk section of a grocery store is pictured in Los Angeles April 7, 2011. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni
The milk section of a grocery store is pictured in Los Angeles April 7, 2011. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Various measures of U.S. food price inflation are expected to rise by 2.5 to 3.5 percent in 2014, roughly in line with the historical norm after price increases were tepid in 2013, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said on Tuesday.

The agency evaluated expected increases in overall food, food-at-home and food-away-from-home prices.

The USDA said its forecast was based on an assumption of normal weather conditions, but that the ongoing drought in California could have "large and lasting effects on fruit, vegetable, dairy and egg prices."

(Reporting by Ros Krasny; Editing by Susan Heavey)

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