The most recent talk in the macro world is now about currency wars as nations devalue their currencies in a race to the bottom with the goal of making their products more attractive to overseas buyers. The offshoot of devalued currencies can be inflation, which is what the central bankers and treasury folks want. But while all of that is in the macro world, what’s happening in the micro world of the grocery shelf in front of you? If the bankers saw the 47 item PracticalDad marketbasket, they’d waste a bit more ink because the February 2013 index fell to 107.81 from January’s 108.01 (November 2010 = 100). Strip out the non-food items to isolate the 37 food items themselves and they would see a point rise from January’s 113.24 to February’s 113.59 (November 2010 = 100). The Food-only Index is still three quarters of a point below the high of 114.33 reached in December 2012.
Month Total Index Food-only Index Spread
11/12 107.06 113.04 5.98
12/12 108.07 114.33 6.26
01/13 108.01 113.24 5.23
02/13 107.81 113.59 5.78
Note that the "spread" between the Total Index and the Food-only Index did rise so that there was greater activity amongst foodstuffs themselves, but again, it’s still almost a half point beneath the apogee reached in December 2012.
I recommend that you spend a few minutes and check out the link above. The short video – produced by a Brit – is a good basic explanation of the currency war concept.