TAMPA, Fla. — Inflation is on the rise across the country, making prices for consumer goods soar across the board. But, one area that's been hit the hardest is the Tampa metro area.
According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor of Statistics, the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater metro area had the worst inflation in the country last month, with prices up 8 percent from last year.
The news comes as surging costs for food, energy, housing and other items are leaving Americans enduring the highest annual inflation rate since 1982. Prices for U.S. consumers jumped an average of 6.8 percent compared to last year.
The area with the lowest inflation was the New York metro area, with prices only rising by 5 percent.
Fueling inflation has been a mix of factors resulting from the swift rebound from the pandemic recession: A flood of government stimulus, ultra-low rates engineered by the Fed and supply shortages at factories in the U.S and abroad. Manufacturers have been slowed by heavier-than-expected customer demand, COVID-related shutdowns and overwhelmed ports and freight yards.
Employers, struggling with worker shortages, have also been raising pay, and many of them have boosted prices to offset their higher labor costs, thereby adding to inflation.
The result has been price spikes for goods ranging from food and used vehicles to electronics, household furnishings and rental cars.
Some economists are holding out hope that inflation will peak in the coming months and then gradually ease and provide some relief for consumers. They note that supply shortages in some industries have begun to gradually ease. And while higher energy costs will continue to burden consumers in the coming months, Americans will likely be spared from earlier forecasts that energy prices would reach record highs over the winter.