Inflation hits Tampa Bay hardest out of U.S. metros
Inflation has hit Tampa Bay the hardest out of U.S. metro areas.
Driving the news: Price hikes affecting Americans nationally have been even worse in battleground states since the beginning of the pandemic, Axios' Sarah Mucha writes.
The details: Axios calculated the percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index from February 2020, just before the pandemic, to last month, the latest data available.
- The difference was then compared to the national average.
- The CPI's U.S. city average in February 2020 was 257.97; in February 2022 it was 281.15 — a growth of 8.2%.
Zoom in: The CPI in Tampa during that time period jumped 11.8%.
Our thought bubble: The higher rates in battleground areas stem from the fact they possess characteristics correlating with high inflation, Axios' chief economic correspondent Neil Irwin says.
- They include factors such as an influx of residents and lots of college-educated adults.
- Residents earn higher salaries, tend to bid up rents and have sufficient disposable income, allowing restaurants and stores to raise prices.
What we're watching: President Biden has made a concerted effort to blame recent gas price hikes on the actions of Russian President Vladimir Putin, illustrating the Democratic pushback on inflation.
- Biden argues the pain Americans are feeling at the pump is a direct result of Putin's invasion of Ukraine.
- The question is whether timely political messaging will be enough for Democrats to win over vital voters in their quest to keep their congressional majorities.
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