Tampa, FL

As Inflation Remains High in Tampa, Bloomin' Brands, Chipotle, and Levis to Raise Prices

L. Cane

It would appear that inflation in Tampa has remained high and continues to climb.

Last week, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released the consumer price index, which measures the cost of core goods in the United States. That number climbed 7.5 percent from January of last year.

Inflation Higher in Tampa Bay:

Things are a bit worse in Florida. Also according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the metro area of Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater (which includes Hernando, Hillsborough, Pasco, and Pinellas counties) had a CPI increase of 9.6 percent.

The Bureau breaks down costs by type, but all items rose.

Food prices were up 5.9 percent from January of last year. Energy prices increased by over 30 percent, and transportation was up over 21 percent .

Housing was up 9.8 percent, which is not surprising considering the median home price in Florida increased around 22 percent in the past year.

Paying More for the Same Services:

It's also not a surprise that the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School recently estimated that inflation would require the average U.S. household to spend around $3,500 more than in 2020 to achieve the same level of goods and services.

It's frustrating to have to pay so much more only to maintain.

Some Companies Raise Prices in Response to Shortages and Supply Chain Issues:

Since many price increases are caused by supply chain issues and shortages, some companies have had to raise prices to maintain profits.

Tampa's Bloomin' Brands has said it intends to raise prices an average of 3 percent for restaurants including Outback Steakhouse, Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse, Carrabba’s Italian Grill, and Bonefish Grill.

Chipotle has increased menu prices 10 percent and has said it might have to consider more price increases if inflation keeps rising.

John Hartung, Chipotle's company's Chief Financial Officer has said:

“We keep thinking that beef is going to level up and then go down, and it just hasn’t happened yet."

On a recent call with financial analysts, Levi Strauss said that it plans to raise prices in 2022 due to supply chain issues.

When Might Prices Start to Fall?:

It's difficult to make a financial forecast in these circumstances, but some experts do think that prices might drop relatively soon.

Dr. Michael Snipes, Instructor of Economics at USF Sarasota-Manatee, told Tampas' WFTS:

“I would expect probably during summer vacations as we start to get more people vaccinated, we start to get things more under control, and people start going on vacations, then things might start to stabilize a little bit.”

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