... an expiration of payroll tax cuts in early January and a spike in food prices could wipe 0.8 percentage point off U.S. economic growth next year, according to some economists.


Rises in the prices of corn and soybeans and other field crops as a result of drought this year in the Midwest are expected to feed through into food prices late this year and in early 2013.

Soybean prices jumped 40 percent over the summer, while wheat shot up about 50 percent. Prices have eased a bit since then, but the increases are expected to filter down to consumers.

"We are starting to see evidence of food prices moving up so that's definitely going to be a drag on disposable incomes," said Hoyt of Moody's Analytics.

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