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Tampa inflation rate almost 3% higher than national average

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TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — While the national inflation rate has risen to 8.6% year-over-year, in Tampa, price increases are even sharper at 11.3%. It’s a trend that’s happened in Tampa again and again since the end of last year.

In November 2021, Tampa’s inflation level was 8% compared to the national 6.8%. In February, it rose to 9.6%. Again in April, Tampa’s inflation rate was higher than the rest of the country, at 10.2% compared to the U.S.’s 8.5%.

The biggest driver of the cost increases, like the rest of the nation, was fuel, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In Florida, AAA says gas prices are currently averaging $4.82 per gallon of unleaded fuel. The national average is $4.98. Both across the United States and in Tampa, gasoline and food costs are the two consumer purchases pushing prices up for buyers.

The next highest is energy, separate from fuel.

The Tampa area has experienced higher-than-the-nation inflation for several months, even going back to 2021. Each time the measure comes out for Tampa, it’s been at least 0.5% higher than the nation. The increases each time are higher as well, though the measure for Tampa come out once every two months instead of monthly.

“The index for all items less food and energy increased 9.9% over the past year. The energy index and the food index also increased over the last 12 months, up 38.4% and 6.6%, respectively,” according to BLS.

Of the food price increases, food at home prices rose 7.8% in Tampa, versus 5% for food away from home, or the meals we eat when we’re at a restaurant or ordering in.

For Tampa consumers, meaning those in the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater metro area, the price of meat, poultry, fish and eggs had gone down 1%, but dairy products grew nearly 5% more expensive.

“The food at home index rose 0.4% over the bi-monthly period, while the food away from home index edged down 0.3%,” BLS reported.

Nationally, “The index for food away from home rose 7.4 percent over the last year, the largest 12-month change since the period ending November 1981.” The food index rose 10.1% for the U.S., compared to Tampa’s 6.6%, compared to 2021.

For everyone in the U.S., gas was up 16.9% in the past year, while eggs rose 32.2% and coffee prices increased 15.6%. Fresh fruits and vegetables were up 8.2%. While utility and energy costs across the nation were up 34.6%, Tampa’s rose 38.4%, with a 55% increase for gasoline alone.

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