Inflation drives up gas, housing and food prices as wages remain relatively unchanged



TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Rising costs of rent, food and transportation make inflation the name of the game as congressional leaders scramble to find a compromise that will make the president’s economic agenda Joe Biden is operational and will overtake another potential government shutdown in January.

A recent deal between Democrats and Republicans in Washington only postponed the shutdown for a few months, with a temporary extension of the debt limit until December.

The third quarter weekly earnings report released on October 19 by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics showed an increase in median weekly wages over the third quarter of 2020. The report averages the wages of hourly and hourly workers. full-time employees, 115.3 million members. of the American workforce.

Yet wages themselves do not keep pace with rising costs for housing, food, and transportation, the three main categories of spending in the United States. percent, according to BLS data.

Part-time workers and those involved in the country’s odd-job economy are not included in the wage report.

Gas prices are also on the rise, with the national average price per gallon now at $ 3.34 per gallon, according to the AAA’s gas price log, which is updated daily.

A recent report from CoreLogic, a financial services company, shows that the cost of rent rose 9.3% in August 2021, contrasting rising costs for food, transportation and shelter with minimal gains in wage growth in the United States over the same period of time.

An October 13 BLS release showed that in September the CPI rose 0.4%, and over the past 12 months all items of the CPI rose 5.4% before the seasonal adjustments.

For Florida and Tampa Bay, the trend is relatively similar.

Gasoline costs in Florida currently average $ 3.24 per gallon, although slightly lower or slightly higher depending on what part of the state you are in.

Focusing on food cost indices, the BLS said prices rose 0.9% in the same one-year period, while energy rose 1.3%.

In Tampa Bay, the CPI rose 6.1% from September 2020 to September 2021. The Food and Energy Index showed a 5.3% increase in Tampa Bay, with food especially increasing by 3.1% while the energy index has increased 23.6% over the past year.

A report from showed that rental costs in Tampa were up 12.6% from a year ago. Although the same report says utility costs are not unreasonable, 2.1% lower than the national average, that could change as Tampa Electric Company has its first hearing with the Florida Public Service Commission for rate increases. offered on Thursday.

In August, the FPSC approved a separate rate increase for TECO and Duke Energy to pay for the higher costs of natural gas used to power Florida homes and businesses.

Nationally, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reported that in August, personal income rose only 0.2% while disposable income rose 0.1%. Meanwhile, the same report showed personal consumption spending rose 0.8% nationwide to a total of $ 130.5 billion from January to August 2021.

Not all changes are small. The Florida quintile’s growth rate for its second-quarter gross domestic product increased 6.7%, matching the national average.

The increase in GDP comes from contributions from accommodation and food services, information, professional, scientific and technical services, according to BEA data. Overall, accommodation and food services grew 88.7 percent across the country and all 50 states experienced economic growth.

A BEA report on wage growth and the effect of federal pandemic response dollars on personal income showed an increase of $ 53 billion in August 2021.

All of the rising costs precede an ongoing confrontation in Congress that could decide the political future as Biden pushes his $ 3.5 trillion economic agenda forward, and support among Democrats remains fractured.

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