If you feel like you've been paying more at the pump and at the grocery store, the statistics prove it.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes semi-annual inflation report for the Tampa Bay region and it recently reported a 3.2% increase in the consumer price index in the second half of 2011 compared with the same six months in 2010.
The biggest spike in the Tampa Bay area came from energy and food prices. Energy prices rose 12.2% in the second half of 2011 compared with the second half of 2010. Food prices climbed 5.6% in that same period.
When you exclude food and energy, prices rose a more modest 1.6% in the Tampa Bay area in the second half of 2011 compared with the same period in 2010. Among the components that contributed to the increase were medical care (up 3.6%) and education and communication (up 1.3%). Meanwhile, apparel prices fell 1.8%.
It's fair to say that areas further south, such as Sarasota, Fort Myers and Naples, exhibit the same inflation characteristics.