The price of buying a ticket to see soccer megastar Lionel Messi play is not the only thing going up fast in Miami. Florida is suffering from some of the highest inflation in the country.
The increase in prices has slowed sharply in most of the country, but the Miami and Tampa Bay metropolitan areas have not gotten as much relief. Inflation is rising at the fastest rate in the U.S. in the most heavily populated parts of the Sunshine State.
The rate of inflation in the Miami area rose 7.8% in the 12 months ended in August, according to the most recent data available. That was more than double the 3.7% national average.
Tampa Bay hasn’t fared much better. Prices rose 6.7% in the 12 months ended in September (the government compiles metro inflation reports every other month).
Florida’s biggest source of inflation is housing. With so many people moving to the state, builders have not been able to keep up. The annual cost of housing is up 10% or more in much of the state.
The cost of food and electricity have also increased well above the national average.
On the flip side, the rate of inflation has almost returned to normal in less busy areas such as Minnesota, Hawaii and Alaska. At least that’s what the official data says.
““Most Americans are not just looking for disinflation. They are looking for deflation. They want these prices to be back where they were before the pandemic.”
The rate of inflation in those three metro areas rose at a 2.2% pace in the past year, just a few ticks above the Federal Reserve’s 2% goal.
What those areas all have in common are lower rents and home prices. Each has also seen declining energy prices, particularly natural gas used to heat homes.
Are those low rates of inflation believable? Not everyone is convinced.
“We’re one of the first regions of the country where inflation according to the official statistics, has already returned back to our target,” said Neel Kashkari, president of the Minneapolis Federal Reserve.
“But I think if you went and asked most families in the region, ‘hey, is inflation back down?’ I bet they’d tell you no,” Kashkari said. “And so it’s a little bit of a curiosity.”
A big reason Americans might be skeptical? While the increase in prices has slowed, they are still rising, and almost everything costs a lot more than it did a few years ago.
“Most Americans are not just looking for disinflation. They are looking for deflation,” said Fed Gov. Lisa Cook.
“They want these prices to be back where they were before the pandemic,” she said. “I hear that a lot.”