Consumer Prices Skyrocket Around the World

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Gasoline, food and clothing prices are rising and are the result of a perfect weather storm in the U.S. and abroad.

For Americans already working with strapped budgets, the price of basic staples -- everything a family needs -- is rising.

Corn prices have risen 73 percent and wheat prices have topped 67 percent.

So what does that mean for consumers?

The cost of breakfast cereal will rise. Meat prices will rise as well because farmers need corn to feed their animals.

"We've had extremely strange weather patterns the world over where many crops have been destroyed," said Diana Swonk, economist of Mesirow Financial. "We've actually seen a hit to the supply of food available."

Droughts in China, deadly floods in Australia, and a heat wave in Russia have all contributed to the skyrocketing costs. The World Bank called it "dangerous" as escalating prices threaten to push millions worldwide into poverty.

Already the price of food has risen 30 percent more than it did last year.

Also, a shortage of cotton has pushed the commodity up 150 percent. As a result, the price of underwear could rise as much as 30 percent. Blue jeans, even evening gowns will also cost more.

Executives of major clothing lines say to expect increases across the board.

"Everything is going up right now," said consumer Dawna Mnadero. "So were pretty much limited in what we can afford."

If you need new clothes for spring and summer, the time to buy may be now. Analysts said the biggest increases may come at the end of the year in the form of double-digit percentage hikes.

And it's also going to cost more for Americans to get to the store.

Gas prices have been climbing over the past year. The national average for a gallon of regular gas is $3.13 -- the highest gas prices have ever been at this time of the year.

The future of prices are uncertain. Unrest in the Middle East has traders worried oil production and shipments could be disrupted.

"If you put prices at the pump together with prices at the grocery store, that puts a lot of limits to what you can spend in our economy," Swonk said.

One sector expected to do well are seed farmers.

"We're looking at doing a very good business on any type of edibles," said Mark Hightshoe of Lowe's Garden Center.

A growing number of Americans have started to grow some of their own food.

"When we plant things ourself, then we know we're going to have them -- when they're going to be available to us," said Karen Watkins of Oklahoma State University.

It's one of the safest bets in a year where global weather is driving prices to record level highs.

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Jennifer Wishon

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Jennifer Wishon is the White House correspondent for CBN News based in the network’s Washington, D.C. Bureau.  Before taking over the White House beat, Jennifer covered Capitol Hill and other national news, from the economy to the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.  Follow Jennifer on Twitter @JenniferWishon and "like" her at Facebook.com/JennWishon.