Price growth in South Florida is slowing, but still outpacing national price growth

Written by Miami Today on May 21, 2024


Price growth in South Florida is slowing, but still outpacing national

The cost of living in South Florida, as measured by the consumer price index, is still rising faster than the country's urban areas overall, but that pace continues to slow due to soaring inflation in recent years, new federal data shows.

While inflation in cities across the country was 3.4% in April, inflation in South Florida rose faster, at an annual rate of 4.5%, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The good news here is that even with a 4.5% increase, South Florida's annual rate of price increase is the lowest since August 2021, when inflation rose 4.2% annually. During the subsequent inflation spiral, the annual increase grew steadily to 10.2% before gradually tapering off.

The region covered by the data includes all of Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties, and price changes can vary widely between these areas. The next update of federal numbers will be July 11.

April's annual increase in South Florida followed increases of 4.9% in February, 5.7% in December, 7.4% in October and 7.8% in August last year, as price increase rates steadily declined. Prices in the region rose 1% from February to April.

Victoria Lee, regional commissioner of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, said recent price increases are largely due to the rapidly rising costs of housing and gasoline.

Housing costs in South Florida rose 5.3% last year, faster than the overall rate of inflation. This also included rapid rent increases, which averaged 7.2% for the year. Nationally, shelter costs rose even faster, by 5.5%.

The overall increase in food costs in the region was a modest 0.8 percent over the year, compared to a 2.2 percent increase in urban areas across the country.

Restaurant dining in South Florida is up 1.5% compared to February, while the cost of food at home is actually down 0.5% over the same period.

Home meal costs here fell 0.6% over the 12 months, while nationally they rose 1.1%. The cost of dining out nationwide rose 4.1% over the year.

Clothing costs, on the other hand, jumped 9.2% in South Florida this year, while the increase nationally was just 1.3%.

The increase in medical costs was relatively modest, rising 1% over the year in South Florida and 2.7% nationally.

If you've been paying attention to falling prices over the past year, you may have bought a car. New car prices in South Florida fell 1% in 12 months, and used car prices fell a significant 8.1%.

Anna Harden

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