Customers will likely spend more to heat their homes this winter. Progress Energy recently announced a proposed 9 percent hike for homeowners and a 15 percent increase for businesses. PSNC Energy also plans to raise natural gas rates by as much as 22 percent.
"There is a lot of focus on energy prices, and indeed, they're going up and they'll probably stay up, but that's been counterbalanced by some other prices going down," said North Carolina State University professor and economist Mike Walden. "So, I think when you look at the total cost of living, we actually see that continuing to go up a fairly modest pace."
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