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Clothing, Food Prices On Rise; Who Will Eat The Cost?

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(credit: CBS) Rachel Slavik
Rachel Slavik joined the WCCO team in October of 2010 and is thrill...
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By Rachel Slavik, WCCO-TV

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — This spring experts say clothing prices will jump by about 10 percent. The rising costs will even impact the styles and colors of clothes.

Food prices are rising too. Groceries prices are up about 3 percent and meat prices are about to go higher.

Despite the increase, there’s reason to hope that some of the price-hike predictions won’t get passed along to you.

Tina Suglia is well aware of the rising cost of food.

“You always brace for it. Yes, it does create a little bit of panic and distress,” said Tina Suglia of Nonna Rosa.

When you own a restaurant, your life revolves around the dinner plate. A colder-than-usual winter hurt crops and that’s forcing Suglia to spend more on produce than she’d like.

“Romaine lettuce is another one that we’ve had a huge increase with and that was around $18 to $20 a case. And that’s up around $40 right now,” said Suglia.

She’s not alone. Last year’s drought has corn in short supply. From your neighborhood restaurant to the grocery store, business owners are finding themselves paying more for meat, dairy and everything in between, while bringing in less.

“The hard part, of course, is we’re a small business and we don’t want to alienate our customers by changing our menu pricing drastically,” she said.

So, they end up eating a lot of the cost, hoping for a balance.

“We don’t expect this to be an issue for too long,” said Suglia.

The same holds true for the clothing industry. Weather and demand sent the cost of cotton up just as stores started to show gains after the recession.

“I think that we’ve already had enough panic moments over the past few years that we’re a little bit steeled at this point. That it’s not as big of a panic as it would have been,” said Andrea Oseland of Cliché.

Experts said that price hike will be passed on to consumers. Oseland thinks her store will weather the increase a different way.

“We’ll probably be seeing more polyesters and things like that,” said Oseland.

Most businesses said the cost passed on to you would be minimal. They’re talking pennies, not dollars.

Restaurants can change their menus to avoid raising prices. Large clothing chains often buy their products in bulk, in advance, so any increase at large retail chains may not happen until fall.

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