The BLS has been tracking the average price of a pound of 100% ground beef since 1984. In July, it cost $3.085, up from $3.007 in June.
Prior to June, the average cost of 100% ground beef in the United States had never topped $3.00.
In January 1984, the first month BLS tracked the price off 100% ground beef, the price was $1.29 per pound. Had that price merely tracked the rate of overall inflation, according to the BLS inflation calculator, it would have risen to $2.66 per pound by 2009, when President Obama took office. However, between 1984 and 2009, the average price for a pound of 100% ground beef did not increase as much as overall inflation. Thus, in January 2009, when Obama was inaugurated it was only $2.357.
Since January 2009, the average price for a pound of 100% ground beef would have risen to only $2.52 per pound–if it had tracked the overall rate of inflation. However, the price of 100% ground beef has outpaced overall inflation in the past three and a half years–hitting Julys record price of approximately $3.09.
The average price for a pound of 100% ground chuck hit a record $3.449 in July–up from $1.821 in January 1980.xls when BLS started tracking it and $2.961 in January 2009, when Obama took office. Between January 1980 and January 2009, the price of ground chuck grew at a slower pace than overall inflation. Had it kept pace with overall inflation during that period it would have been $4.74 in January 2009 instead of just $2.961.