Cotton prices have reached a 140 year high (Cotton Climbs to 140-Year High - WSJ.com) due to inclement weather in China and Pakistan (ranked 1st and 4th as producers of cotton) and the demand for Cotton in Chinas burgeoning economy. Raw material costs account for 25 to 50% of the total cost of garments. So higher cotton prices will result in higher prices for clothes and along with fast rising prices in sugar, orange juice and coffee inflation cannot be far behind. Tire prices have risen 40% in the last 18 months as explained in another thread today. Corn prices have risen and are at or near a three year high. Corn is the feed for the animals we slaughter for meat and used in other foods too. Part of the increase in corn prices is the demand of the ethanol plants. This week the EPA just gave the ok to increase ethanol in gasoline for recent car models from 2007 to 15% ethanol. This is a 50% increase and increases the demand for more corn. All of this is happening in a stagnant economy. I makes me wonder what happens when the economy ever gets going. Will we have the double digit inflation of the Carter years? Even if it does not get that bad it appears inflation is coming in the next few months. A lot of producers are eating the cost increase for right now but with the Christmas season only a month away, now may be the time to buy those Christmas presents.