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Price changes predicted for 2013



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SALT LAKE CITY — Is this the year you're finally going to get that flatscreen TV? Are you hoping lower gas prices stick around? No matter what your economic goals are, be aware that price changes are predicted for 2013.

Groceries

Rising prices at the grocery store haven't hit their limit yet. A perfect storm of sorts has come together recently to drive up the price of everything from dairy to meat, and even cereal, by about 4 percent.

Grocer Dick Rinehart said, "We had a drought. The corn crop was down, wheat crop was down. Bread is made out of wheat. We feed our animals corn."

"Grains, cereals, bakery items, as well as beef and poultry are going to be a little more expensive in 2013," said Lindsay Sakraida, features director at Dealnews.com.

Shipping


Grains, cereals, bakery items, as well as beef and poultry are going to be a little more expensive in 2013.

–Lindsay Sakraida


Consumers also can expect shipping costs to increase. Dealnews predicts a jump of 4.5 - 4.9 percent for both UPS and FedEx. The price increase might also affect which orders qualify for free shipping at many online stores.

Smartphones

The price of some electronics, specifically smartphones, will go up in 2013.

"T Mobile announced that it will no longer subsidize smartphones," Sakraida said, "which means you will have to pay full price for your device. A lot of people don't realize how expensive smartphones actually are."

The overall issue in 2013 -- the economy is still on shaky ground. Dr. Logan Kelly runs the Center for Economic Research. He said global factors are contributing.

"So you're having a greater demand, more people wanting the same basic amount of resources that the world can provide. So that's pushing commodity prices up in the long run," he said.

Expected Prices
Increase
  • Many grocery items
  • Smartphones
  • Shipping
Decrease (or remain steady)
  • Mortgage rates
  • Gasoline prices
  • 60-inch TVs

TVFortunately, some price decreases are also anticipated. January is a great time to find deals on other electronics.

"In particular, 60-inch (TV) sets are seeing some discounts," Sakraida said. "It was previously a premium sized category, but it's no longer viewed that way."

Mortgage

If buying your dream home is on the 2013 agenda, good news. Bankrate.com predicts mortgage rates will stay low this year.

It said avoiding the "fiscal cliff" is good news for the housing industry. The measure passed by Congress leaves the mortgage interest tax deductions intact and extends the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act on loan modifications for another year. [According to Bankrite](<http://www.bankrate.com/financing/mortgages/housing-wont-fall-off-cliff/#ixzz2GvetB43N >), those two things will allow the housing market to continue improving.

Gasoline

And, the U.S. Energy Information Administration expects retail prices for regular-grade gasoline to average $3.43 thin 2013. That's down from 2012's average of $3.63.

"There're a lot of good optimistic reports about gas prices, and they're hoping they will continue to go down," Sakraida said.

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Bill Gephardt

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