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Wednesday, April 23 2014, 09:23 AM MDT
Good Question: What Will Our Needs Cost Next Year?
By Matt Gephardt

As 2012 comes to a close, it begs a good question: what will prices be like on the stuff we all use next year? When you ask a good question, we give it to Matt Gephardt who on Fridays searches for the good answer.

To begin to answer this question, I started with a rather unscientific poll around the newsroom asking, ‘what are things that we all have to buy?’ I made a list, then began researching those things. I found, bad news, when it comes to needs like food, shelter and transportation, 2013 could be a pricey year.

The price we pay for a lot of things at the grocery store is set to go up thanks to a drought that hit the Midwest. The drought resulted in weaker corn crops which mean more expensive animal feed.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, "The impact of the drought is expected to be realized in 2013." Source:

The USDA says that will mean rising food prices for things like beef, poultry and dairy. Also a victim of the drought, grain crops such as wheat. So expect to pay more for breads and cereals in 2013.

And next year you might find yourself paying a little more for things like candy and beer but that has nothing to do with any drought. That has to do with the stock market. Earlier this month, the Securities and Exchange Commission approved a fund to trade copper. Copper is an excellent conductor of temperature and is used by several candy makers as well as beer brewers.

The price of copper is already high. The metal has become a favorite of thieves. In July, copper thieves were blamed in sparking the Wood Hollow Fire after they stole the copper ground-wires from a utility pole.

According to, being traded, "Could lead to [copper] scarcity and higher prices, as it did for gold." Source:

Then there's transportation. To fight global warming, new standards are requiring automakers improve fuel efficiency. If you plan on buying a newly manufactured car in 2013, you can expect to pay for that upgraded engine according to The price hike could be as much as several thousand dollars depending on the car for which you are in the market. Source:

Also on the rise: house prices. The National Association of Realtors said Friday that fewer homes for sale means higher prices across the country. That isn't necessarily bad news especially for those who already own a home and may be looking to sell in the New Year.

Editor’s Note: If you have a good question for which you would like Matt to find an answer please contact him. (801) 839-1250 or

(Copyright 2012 Sinclair Broadcasting Group)

Good Question: What Will Our Needs Cost Next Year?

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