Clothing, energy food prices on the rise
Expect to start paying more for food, clothing and energy as the global economy picks up, and U.S. jobs lag behind.
This story was originally covered by PRI's The Takeaway. For more, listen to the audio above.
Consumers in the United States aren't exactly living large. Consumer spending is creeping up, but unemployment is still around 9 percent, and many people haven't recovered from recent economic crisis. Now, Motoko Rich of The New York Times told PRI's The Takeaway that the price of corn, sugar, wheat, beef, pork, coffee will soon start soaring.
"Rising prices will hit almost all consumer goods," according to Rich. Big companies like Kraft, Ralph Lauren Polo and Hanes say they've tried to keep prices low, but are going to start raising prices.
The increasingly globalized economy may be the source of rising prices. "Demand in some of the faster growing countries -- China, India for example -- are driving these prices up," according to Rich, "because there are more people who want these products. And some of the countries are becoming more developed and demanding products that they might not have previously demanded, so that drives the prices up as well."
There undoubtedly will be pushback by consumers against these rising prices. The U.S. economy is still fairly weak, and wages haven't gone up very much. Spending on things like apparel will likely go down, according to Rich, as people try to last longer on old boots and shirts.
With basic necessities like food on the rise, people are going to have to start making tough choices about how to spend their money. "It certainly means that you're going to have a little bit less to pay for everything else," Rich told The Takeaway. "So you're going to have to make more decision about what are your priorities."
"The Takeaway" is a national morning news program, delivering the news and analysis you need to catch up, start your day, and prepare for what's ahead. The show is a co-production of WNYC and PRI, in editorial collaboration with the BBC, The New York Times Radio, and WGBH.