The rough economy of the last few years has spoiled shoppers with low inflation, but there’s no guarantee that prices will continue to stagnate next year. As the calendar turns and we march into 2012, some items and services to which you’re accustomed to paying the same price could be more expensive.
DealNews rounds up predictions that the inflation bug will bite into several products next year. Here are five:
* Flights. Rising demand and fewer seats available due to cutbacks will likely lead to a price bump. Expect airlines to nickel and dime you any way they can.
* Hard drives. As we noted last month, flooding in Thailand slowed down manufacturing operations. Shortages are expected to last well into next year, causing price increases of as much as 10 percent.
* Data plans. Carriers, which are already shying away from unlimited plans, may charge more for monthly packages for cell phones and tablets as they invest in LTE networks.
* Water. Cash-strapped cities looking to balance their budgets have put rate hikes into effect. Some Chicago residents will pay 25 percent more than they did this year.
* Gas. It’s always a good bet to expect to pay more at the pump. Although fluctuating demand will play a role in keeping prices reasonable, drivers can only cut back so much. The post predicts prices per gallon to near the $4 mark.
11 Things That Will Be More Expensive in 2012 [DealNews] (Thanks, Mark!)