No, you're not imagining it; your grocery bill is going up fast

Inflation is under control, we're told. The Fed? No worries says Bernanke. The White House? Never heard the word "inflation" before.

But you, me, your neighbors, and anyone who goes shopping at the grocery store these days knows damn well that prices are going through the roof.

And here's the proof from Reuters:

World food prices are likely to rise for a third successive month in March, and could gain further beyond that, with expensive oil and chronically low stocks of some key grains putting food inflation firmly back on the economic agenda.

Food prices grabbed world policy makers' attention after hitting record highs in February 2011 and stoking protests connected to the Arab Spring wave of civil unrest in some north Africa and middle eastern countries.

Prices later receded, but an upturn which began in January, initally seen as a pause in the overall downtrend, has persisted.

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) will update its monthly Food Price Index on Thursday and the organisation says prices could rise more in the short and medium term as grain supply tightens and energy prices stay high.

"You can see prices in the near term rising even further," FAO's senior economist and grain analyst Abdolreza Abbassian told Reuters ahead of the index update.

High crude oil prices have fuelled the upward pressure on inflation since the start of this year. Consumer prices in the 17 nations sharing the euro were up 2.6 percent in March from a year ago, despite stumbling economy.

"The food price index has an extremely high correlation to oil prices and with oil prices up it's going to be difficult for food prices not to follow suit," said Nick Higgins, commodity analyst at Rabobank International.


On the physical markets, whose prices FAO uses to calculate its food index, the average monthly price of U.S. soybeans jumped to $519.43 a tonne in March from $487.31 a tonne in February, the FAO's database showed.

What possible relevance does the "official" rate of inflation of 2.1% have when the necessities of life are going up 5 times that fast? Obama isn't talking about it. GOP candidates barely mention it. The true cost of living is getting out of control and no one seems to care much about it in official Washington.

Fifty bucks to fill your tank? A trip to the grocery store that used to cost $100 last year now climbing to $125 and still going up?

This is the reality of life in America at the moment. And politicians - most of whom do not shop in grocery stores or fill their own gas tanks - haven't a clue about the pain ordinary Americans are feeling.