Coffee, clothing prices among those expected to increase

Economists report an increase in coffee bean prices will cause an increase in coffee shop prices / Sarah Bleau

Elements Coffee Owner Calvin King says he's only increased his prices once and only by three percent despite supply costs increasing nearly 50 percent since he opened four and a half years ago.

"It was like $5.22, somewhere in that range, per pound for Arabica beans and now you're running an average of mid-eight dollars," says King.

With economists reporting coffee bean costs will increase again in 2012 King says he may have to follow in Starbucks' recent footsteps and increase his prices.

"If I have to raise my prices I'll raise my prices; if I can get away with keeping them the same and kind of ride out the storm, I'll see what I can do about riding out the storm," says King. "The happiness of my customers is of course very important to me so I try to edge it up when I need to and only when I need to."

Economists recently reported that there are six items consumers will likely pay more for in 2012: coffee, meat and fish, airfare, gas, mail and clothing.

They say because of higher transportation and raw material costs clothing prices could increase between eight and ten percent in 2012.

The owner of Envy says not at her store.

"I haven't noticed an increase at all. I've already done all my spring and summer orders and all of my brands have been keeping their prices the same," says Envy Owner Julia Temples.

Temples says companies she purchases clothing from will tell her if they expect prices to increase; she says they have not. Temples says she actually expects to decrease her prices this year, only increasing her sales.

"The holidays were great all of fall and winter was good, so I just expect spring and summer to be even better," says Temples.

King says he's heard the economy is getting better but with news of supply costs increasing, he's preparing for the worst.

"I'll believe it when I see it but for now I'm just kind of bunkering myself in and hoping for the best," he says.

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