While insurance premiums and healthcare costs are expected to rise faster than the inflation rate in 1989, the overall cost of living will increase only moderately, Standard & Poor's Corp. projects.
The business information service said average consumer prices will rise 4.5 percent to 5 percent in 1989, compared with 4.25 percent in 1988.S&P based its projection on an annual survey of consumer prices.
"Inflation has been rising at the same moderate annual rate for the last two years and will continue to do so in 1989," said David M. Blitzer, chief economist at S&P.
He said that although higher interest rates will keep the rate of inflation at a moderate level in 1989, prices will continue to rise.
"With unemployment at a 14-year low and capacity utilization rising, higher inflation is sure to continue unless economic policy moves to curb price increases," Blitzer said.
S&P said insurance premiums and healthcare costs will rise the most in 1989.
Homeowner insurance will cost 7 percent to 10 percent more in 1989 and automobile coverage will rise by 5 percent, S&P predicted.
The business information service said higher prices for prescription drugs and more sophisticated medical services have pushed healthcare bills higher.
S&P said the price for most household necessities - electricity and food - will remain steady during 1989, but residential gas prices will rise by 6 percent.
Gasoline prices are expected to rise only slightly.
The retail cost of home entertainment items like videocassettes and compact discs will continue to decline in 1989, S&P projected.
But although demand has decreased for cigarettes and beer, prices for these goods are expected to increase.
S&P said breweries will likely boost prices by about 2 percent in 1989, while tobacco companies may raise prices by as much as 10 percent.