The Higher Cost Of Living Rooms -- And Kitchens And Bedrooms

August 2, 2005-- Posted at 3:15 PM CDT

Prices for household furnishings are going up, mostly due to rising costs of petroleum and other raw materials.Retail analyst Jay McIntosh with Ernst and Young says furniture and appliances made out of metal have been experiencing cost increases. Manufacturers hiked prices for major appliances last month, due to inflation in the cost of one very important ingredient: steel, which went up almost 30 percent between 2003 and 2004.

McIntosh says that has moderated over the past year, to around ten percent, but it's still much higher than the average rate of inflation.

The still-hot housing market is contributing to rising demand for furniture and appliances which also is putting upward pressure on prices.

Ernst and Young says increasing costs for moving and storage, freight and repairs of household items also are part of the inflation we're seeing in household furnishings.

Prices jumped one percent over the last year, after falling more than one percent over the course of the previous five years.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.