Prices Going Up Across The Board For Consumers

By: Shannon Kantner Email
By: Shannon Kantner Email

Don't like your grocery bill? Blame mother nature.

"All of the food prices that are expected to rise in 2013 are affected by the drought," Michigan State University Professor of Economics Charles Ballard said.

When there's little rain, there's little grain. The USDA estimates cereal and bakery product prices will rise about 3 percent, and much of the food pyramid will also see a price jump.

"Beef, dairy, and poultry, the things where grains feed into the animals," Ballard said.

Those items will go up about 4 percent. High copper prices could mean more expensive kitchen appliances, plus pricier alcohol and candy because of the equipment used to make them. The Michigan Retailers Association said there's a bright side for shoppers though.

"They'll put some other things on sale and shift the purchases over to that, or they'll bring in some other kind of alternate product or merchandise or food and try to help with that," Senior Vice President of the Michigan Retailers Association Tom Scott said.

Scott said the price hikes are no different than other years, but consumers know how to get around them even better now.

"I do online couponing, I usually save about $15-20 a week," shopper Terry Lasky said.

Websites like Groupon could start offering even more daily deals, though "free shipping" could become scarce with online purchases.

"That would show up not in you sticker price, but in the total amount that you pay for the good to have it delivered to your home," Ballard said.

iPhone 5 users can expect to pay more for accessories compared to people using earlier or different models. All of the iPhone models had at least one thing in common so far: the charger cord, one-size fits all devices. But the 5 introduced a new connector size that's not compatible with any previous products, so it's premium pricing for iPhone 5 cords and cases right now.

Experts say this year's increases aren't out of the ordinary, but they can't predict everything.

"If there's a war, if there's an earthquake, if there's something, those can change the picture very quickly," Ballard said. "Sure we have a good idea, but people should prepare for the unexpected because the unexpected does happen."


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