Mar 16, 2022 - News

Inflation hits Tampa Bay hardest out of U.S. metros

Increase in inflation, by metro area
Data: Bureau of Labor Statistics; Table: Thomas Oide/Axios

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.

Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Tampa Bay.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Tampa Bay stories

No stories could be found

Tampa Baypostcard

Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Tampa Bay.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more