TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Inflation has reached another historic high, this time the largest 12-month increase since May 1979, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. While it’s the largest increase in 43 years, the measure of inflation has gone down since July, dropping 0.2%. Despite the small decrease nationally, Florida’s cities instead saw slight increases, keeping the state expensive compared to other states.
The latest national inflation measure on the Consumer Price Index reported the rate had fallen slightly to 8.3%, compared to July’s 8.5%, and even lower than the 9.1% in June. It’s the second month in a row that the CPI has decreased, owed in part to lower prices at gas pumps and an overall lower energy price index.
Still, inflation isn’t going down quickly, mainly due to increases in groceries and housing costs across the United States.
In June, the CPI for the Miami metro was up 2.5% from its level in April, to an overall 10.6% inflation rate. BLS Regional Commissioner Janet S. Ranking said at the time that the price index for all items, minus food and energy, had increased 1.8% over the previous two months. Energy alone rose 9.3% in the Miami metro area in June.
Now covering the August increases, the Miami metro saw a 0.1% increase in August, compared to the previous bi-monthly report. The year-over-year inflation number in the Miami area rose to 10.7%, according to BLS. The largest increase for Miami was energy, as compared to the year before. The energy index was up 27.8% compared to August 2021, while food had risen 10%, year-over-year.
From June to August, Miami food prices rose 1.6% collectively, with food at home up 1.5% covering grocery price increases, and food away from home up 1.7% for options like take out or dine-in. In terms of specific items, housing costs rose 13.5% from August 2021 in Miami.
The BLS reported the food index rose 0.8% for the U.S., mainly as the food at home portion rose 0.7%, in the past month. Year-over-year, food was up 11.4%, generally. While the energy index dropped 5% and gasoline specifically fell 10.6%, housing, food, and medical care prices rose, as did the remainder of consumer prices, minus food and energy.
The biggest price increases in the grocery department for all Americans were starches and breakfast items. Potato prices rose 15.2%, coffee prices rose 18.7%, and eggs rose 39.8%. Even the price of bread went up by 16.2%, with white bread specifically going up just a hair more at 16.4% from August 2021 to August 2022.
Part of the higher cost was because flour and other prepared flour mixes had a 23.3% price increase. Meat and poultry prices were up, though chicken was the biggest driver in the protein department, at 16.6% compared to a 10.6% overall increase for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs. Meats on their own, such as beef and pork, rose a collective 6.7%.
Dairy, like milk and cream, rose 16.2%, while cheese products and ice cream went up 14.5% and 15%, respectively through August 2022. Fruits and vegetables rose more slowly at just 9.4% compared to August 2021, though oranges were more pricey at a 14.4% increase, nearly matching the price rise for potatoes. Butter, another common dairy product, saw prices rise 24.6%.
Energy costs dropping meant a monthly decrease of 4.6% for airline fares, though motor vehicle insurance actually increased in price. Compared to the year before, airline travel was 33.4% higher than August 2021, while insurance was up 8.7%. In the past month, insurance increased 1.3%.
When it comes to shelter, or the costs of housing such as rent or mortgages, prices were 6.2% compared to 2021. Rent costs rose 6.7% while the owner’s equivalent rose 6.3%. Month-over-month, both categories of shelter prices rose 0.7% from July. However, Miami’s rent prices were higher, and rose higher too. Rent in the Miami metro was up 14.5%, while owner’s equivalent of rent was up 12.5%.
Prices at the store rose too, Miami’s “food index advanced 10.0% for the 12 months ending in August. The food at home and the food away from home indexes each increased over the past year, up 11.3% and 7.2%, respectively,” BLS reported.
Electricity prices and gas prices increased, adding to the energy index “advancing,” and the long-term gas prices also a contributor. The Tampa area CPI will be released in October, showing localized CPI fluctuations compared to the rest of the U.S.