By Paula Ebben, WBZ-TV

BOSTON (CBS) – With your summer barbecue this year, it’s a mixed bag when it comes to what items cost more or less than last year.

This might be surprising, but the average cookout costs less this year.

According to a Big Insight survey, Americans will pay $59.14 for burgers, beer, and fixings. That’s down about $2.00 from last year.

While some of the barbecue essentials have come down in price, beef is up more than 5% over the past year.

The American Farm Bureau Federation says we are still feeling the drought conditions of last summer.

“A lot of ranchers had to reduce their herd sizes. A lot of cattle went to market earlier than they otherwise would have. And those kinds of disruptions really take months, and sometimes even years, to really work their way completely thru the market,” said John Anderson, spokesman of the American Farm Bureau Federation.

Helping to keep most grocery costs in check is the recent dip in fuel costs. That has reduced the costs of packaging, as well as transportation costs. Overall it has helped ease food inflation.

Economists are worried about the outlook for food prices next year. This year’s drought is more severe and could cause severe spikes in things like corn.


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