This week the Philadelphia Federal Reserve reported contraction in its business activity index, hitting a minus 24 for the month and down further from the minus 20.9 reading in January. This is the lowest index level since the 2001 recession.
As a slowdown in the Mid-Atlantic region worsens, one of our editors wondered what is happening to Philly Feed (i.e., the Philly Cheesesteak) as the Philly Fed points out a slowing economy. Rising food costs helped push yesteday's CPI numbers up .4% in January (see story here). To answer his question I looked at some of the raw commodities that go into the classic PA sandwich.
Wheat for the roll is up 18% YTD
Live Cattle for the steak is down 2% YTD
Dairy for the cheese is down 10% YTD
Searching the web, I found Cheesesteaks in a variety of Center City venues with prices ranging from $4.20 to $6.95 depending on the toppings. Not a bad price to pay in a slowing economic environment. Maybe you should order one without the roll.