Associated Press and Independent Record
Chickens may not be able to fly very far, but the price of eggs is soaring in Helena and across the country.
“It’s been horrible,” said Brett Wiensch, owner of 1889 Coffee House in Helena.
The Associated Press reported that a lingering bird flu outbreak, combined with high feed, fuel and labor costs, has led to U.S. egg prices more than doubling over the past year.
The national average price for a dozen eggs hit $3.59 in November, up from $1.72 a year earlier, according to the latest government data. That’s putting stress on consumer budgets and the bottom lines of restaurants, bakeries and other food producers that rely heavily on eggs.
Grocery prices that were up 12% in November are driving inflation higher, even though the overall pace of price increases slowed a bit through the fall as gas prices eased.
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But egg prices are up significantly more than other foods — even more than chicken or turkey — because egg farmers were hit harder by the bird flu. More than 43 million of the 58 million birds slaughtered over the past year to