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Tuesday
Jan032012

11 Items That Will Cost More This Year

Brand X Pictures/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The new year can bring a fresh start for many people and, unfortunately, higher prices on a number of consumer goods.

Commodity prices increased around the world in 2011, leading to hikes in everything from food to gold. Natural disasters, shrinking supplies of various materials, and other events lead to higher prices for many products.

In 2012, some increases could be expected, like ever-rising gas prices, while others, like a potential 25 percent hike on tap water, are more surprising, according to Dealnews.

1. Domestic and International Airfare:
Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst with The NPD Group, said he has already experienced higher airfares in bookings for 2012. That's coupled with a slew of flights being dropped, he said. "Many smaller markets are now having three daily flights cut to two or even one," Cohen said. "That will drive fares up to those locations."

Travel to and within Europe will be hit especially hard.  The European Union implemented a "green tax" to reduce emissions, levying a fee of about $15 per passenger, each way, for flights to the U.S.  Fees on shorter flights within the European Union will be taxed slightly less, Dealnews reports.

2. New Digital Camera Models: Digital cameras with new technology, such as high-end digital SLRs, will have higher prices. But on existing models, the prices will decrease according to the natural maturation of electronics, Cohen said.

3. Hard Drives: Tragic flooding in Thailand in 2011, which has killed 780 people, has also led to a shortage of some electronics products, like hard drives.  Dealnews expects continued shortages throughout the first quarter of 2012, when experts predict that production will begin to catch up with demand.

4. Desktop Computers: The consolidation of desktop features into monitor-integrated units, many with touchscreens, will drive desktop prices higher next year, according to Stephen Baker, vice president of industry analysis at The NPD Group.  Dealnews said it expects average selling prices to increase roughly 30 percent on new desktops.

5. Food for Home Preparation: Food prices will jump in 2012 as the costs to harvest, transport, and store food will increase, and those hikes will be passed to consumers, said Cohen. Food costs rose 6 percent last year and will likely rise at least 2 percent more in 2012, Dealnews reported.

6. Mobile Device Data Plans: As carriers expand 4G services and move away from unlimited plans, data is set to become more expensive in 2012, according to Ross Rubin, executive director of Connected Intelligence at The NPD Group.

7. City-Enforced Fees: Dealnews said fees for everything from dog licenses to vehicle registration may increase as municipalities continue to try to plug holes in their budgets. Parking rates and infraction-related fines are also subject to increase.

8. Water: Water is one of the most basic commodities in the world but it is becoming more precious, said Cohen. Inclement weather around the world is creating greater shortages. Moving water to places that are lacking it will also drive this basic element to become more costly, he said.

9. Gas: Gas was already set to rise, but geopolitical issues in the Middle East, and a limited amount of domestic oil exploration due to Obama administration policies and environmental regulations are already set to exacerbate increasing gas prices. Last week, Iran's First Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz, a vital oil waterway that borders Iran, if other countries sanction his country's crude exports because of its nuclear ambitions.  That could disrupt roughly a third of the world's tanker traffic and send oil prices skyrocketing, analysts say.

10. Gold: Gold is set to achieve its 11th consecutive year of growth, according to Dealnews.  Analysts expect the precious metal to rise about 12 percent next year.

11. Shipping: As the U.S. Postal Service may increase rates and eliminate one-day delivery to fill a budget deficit, FedEx and UPS are also expected to increase small package rates by 4.9 percent.  The loss of revenue for shipping companies and the increased cost of shipping creates a recipe for higher shipping costs all along the route, Cohen said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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