Money Talks: 2011 Inflation Forecast

If there's one good thing about a recession, it's that it helps keep prices down and inflation in check. But now that our economy is starting to come back, what's inflation going to do?

David Wyss, Chief Economist, Standard and Poors, says, "In terms of core inflation, if you take out food and energy, not much. We're looking at inflation numbers right around 1%."

Unfortunately, however, food and energy matter.

The USDA is looking for 2 to 3% higher food prices: two to three times the overall inflation rate.

And as for energy, according to the Energy Information Administration, gas should average about $3.00 a gallon in 2011, up about 8% from last year's average of $2.80. Natural gas should cost about 1% more this year than last, heating oil will cost 9% more. Electricity will be up about 1%.

What about college? According to the College Board, the cost of 4-year public universities is expected to rise about 8% for in-state students for the 2010-11 school year - 8 times the inflation rate.

And last but definitely not least: health insurance. According to Price Waterhouse Coopers, health insurance should rise 9% this year - 9 times the expected overall inflation rate.

Bottom line? Like 2010, 2011 should have low overall inflation. But if you're paying for college, health insurance or might not know it. Lots more predictions waiting for you right here at