How Will Inflation Impact You in 2019?

We all know that nobody can escape death and taxes. But inflation is also a pesky bugaboo that is hard to shake.

How will inflation impact you in 2019? Here’s a look at the expected trend in five key sectors.

1. Food

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Retail food prices are expected to rise between 1 percent and 2 percent in 2019, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The USDA says:

Several products may continue to see lower prices, including pork, other meats, fats and oils, processed fruits and vegetables, and nonalcoholic beverages. Beef and veal, poultry, fish and seafood, sugars and sweets, and other foods are all expected to increase but at rates lower than their 20-year historical averages.

2. Energy

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The U.S. Energy Information Administration expects gas prices to average $2.50 per gallon in 2019. Remember, you can always save more no matter what the price is at the pump. For tips, check out “5 Easy Ways to Cut the Rising Cost of Gas.”

Meanwhile, the cost of home heating oil is forecast to average $2.87 per gallon, natural gas prices are expected to climb to $11.24 per thousand cubic feet, and electricity prices likely will rise to 13.31 cents per kilowatt-hour.

This would be a good time to put in a request for mild weather — or, more realistically, to avoid “19 Dumb Mistakes That Send Winter Energy Bills Soaring.”

3. College

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The College Board says that in this current school year (2018-2019), tuition and fees for a four-year public college at in-state rates are up by 2.5 percent, while room and board is up by 3.1 percent. Tuition and fees at four-year private schools is up 3.3 percent, while room and board for them is up 3.2 percent.

For more on saving money during your college years, check out:

4. Health care

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Health care costs are increasing faster than costs in other sectors of the economy, although the rate of increase is flattening, at least for now. Each year, consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers “projects the growth of medical costs in the employer insurance market for the coming calendar year.”

In 2019, it expects growth of 6 percent, which it says is “unsustainably high.”

5. Housing

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Home prices are expected to climb 3.79 percent, according to a Zillow survey of more than 100 experts.

In addition, 30-year fixed mortgage rates are expected to climb to 5.8 percent by the end of 2019.

If you are in the market for a home, educate yourself before you attend your first open house. The following stories can help:

Has inflation been a factor in your buying habits? What price changes are you seeing in your daily life? Share with us in comments or on our Facebook page.

Ari Cetron contributed to this report

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