11 things that will cost more in 2012

Price increases are coming for popular consumer items and basics like food and gasoline.

By MSN Money Partner Dec 29, 2011 12:22PM

This guest post comes from Laura Heller at Dealnews.


When end-of-the-year sales were still going strong, it was difficult to imagine not being able to find an excellent deal on the necessities. But sales end and economic trends change, and sometimes even minor shifts can spell big price hikes.


It's inevitable that with the start of 2012, we begin to muse about what's to come in the next 12 months. So Dealnews is reading the economic tea leaves to see what will be more expensive this year. 


Domestic and international airfare. Greater demand and fewer available airline seats will likely lead to higher ticket prices for flights this year. American Express predicts prices within North America will increase up to 5% for economy seating, depending on the length of the flight, and up to 7% in business class. Things look more bleak for European travel. A new "green tax" implemented by the EU is aimed at reducing emissions, and it will levy a fee of roughly $15 per passenger, each way, for flights to the U.S. Fees on shorter flights within the EU will be taxed slightly less.


New digital camera models. Smartphones have quickly replaced budget-friendly point-and-shoot cameras, so manufacturers and retailers are focusing more on higher-end digital SLRs. This year, consumers may have a hard time finding a newly released digital camera with an inexpensive starting price as the market is moving toward more feature-rich products. "Lower-cost products just won't come to market and those that will be out there will be priced more and more for profitability," says Stephen Baker, vice president of industry analysis at NPD Group.


Hard drives. There's been a shortage of hard drives thanks to epic flooding in Thailand in 2011, and some retailers have actually been rationing hard drive–based products. As a result, we've seen fewer hard drive discounts. Expect continued shortages throughout the first quarter of 2012, which is when experts predict that production will begin to catch up to demand.


Desktop computers. The consolidation of desktop features into monitor-integrated units -- many with touchscreens -- will drive desktop prices up in 2012, according to Baker. Expect average selling prices to increase roughly 30% on new desktops. Post continues below.

Food for home preparation. If your grocery bill seemed higher in 2011, you weren't imagining things. Most retailers have reported that food prices are rising and those increases are being passed along to shoppers. Food costs rose about 3.75% last year and will likely go up at least 2.5% more in 2012. Increases are likely to affect food eaten at home, rather than restaurants where those costs are easier to absorb when combined with sales of liquor, says Harry Balzer, chief industry analyst for NPD Group.


Mobile device data plans. Data plans in the past have had a tendency to decline, but as carriers build out 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 NPD Group.


City-enforced fees. As municipalities look for ways to make up for budget shortfalls, fees for everything from dog licenses to vehicle registration and parking rates are going up, as is enforcement of fine-related infractions. In Chicago for example, a nonregistered dog can elicit a $500 fine, while parking fines in Portland, Ore., are going up 18% as the city tries to make up a $16 billion transportation budget deficit.


Water. Many U.S. communities will face water rate hikes, even places that are rich with the natural resource. Water rates in the greater Chicago area will increase by as much as 25%, while the parched high desert Denver market is set to rise an additional 5.5%.


Gas. Fuel prices began inching up just before the holidays, and 2012 is looking to be another budget-breaking year at the pump, with prices once again topping $4 per gallon.


Gold. The precious metal is poised to achieve its 11th straight year of growth. Gold prices bounced around a lot in the second half of 2011, but analysts expect it to rise roughly 12% in 2012. It's a conservative estimate and a lot lower than the 17% annual growth rate of the past decade, but most believe gold will be more expensive. Take that to the bank.


Shipping. Unfortunately for avid online shoppers, the U.S. Postal Service will raise rates by an average of 4.6% this year, while both FedEx and UPS are hiking small-package rates by 4.9%. Personal shipping will certainly cost more and it's anybody's guess how long retailers can continue the ubiquitous free-shipping offers as rates rise.


More on Dealnews and MSN Money:


Dec 30, 2011 2:07PM

Everything will cost more, but the government’s skewed data will show that there’s no inflation.  This means paychecks will be stagnant or include only scant raises while the cost of living is soaring all around us.

Dec 30, 2011 8:50AM

Get ready food will continue to go up next 10-15 years straight

Fuel, (gas).....see above...

Gold disagree, 2012, will hold steady...

Water.....going to be very expensive....and soon!!!

Air travel, will cost more and be a PITA..

Camera...forget it....even the nice upscale...not worth the money..

Mobile ,plans....oh year, free everything.....going​ to change...

maybe not next year but soon...

utilities....going up..get ready for it..

Jan 9, 2012 6:41PM
UH! This sounds farmilar........"A DAYS WAGES FOR A LOAF OF BREAD" 
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