Fed official heckled: ‘I can’t eat an iPad’

Liz Goodwin

Reuters reports that New York Federal Reserve Bank President William Dudley was heckled at a speech in Queens today when he suggested that the rising cost of food is offset by how cheap iPads are.

Dudley said said that while food prices may be rising, the cost of some other goods are going down, which evens out the overall inflation picture. The Fed's inflation estimates do not take into account volatile energy or food prices. The crowd was not impressed:

"Today you can buy an iPad 2 that costs the same as an iPad 1 that is twice as powerful," he said referring to Apple Inc's (AAPL.O) latest handheld tablet computer hitting stories on Friday.

"You have to look at the prices of all things," he said.

This prompted guffaws and widespread murmuring from the audience, with one audience member calling the comment "tone deaf."

"I can't eat an iPad," another quipped.

Food prices have been on the rise in the country since November 2009. Americans should expect to pay about 4 percent more for food this year than last, a Purdue University economist told UPI News. Consumer confidence dropped this month, in part over inflation fears.

(Ipad: AP.)