Consumer prices in South Florida rose strongly as last year ended, but the region’s inflation rate was tame.
The local Consumer Price Index for Miami-Fort Lauderdale increased 0.6 percent in the two months ending in December, the federal bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday. For all of 2010, South Florida’s inflation rate was 0.9 percent, lower than the nation’s 1.5 percent annual rate. And that was a decline from 2009, when the annual inflation rate nationwide was 2.7 percent and the local inflation rate was 1.3 percent.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics releases local inflation figures every two months and the national figure monthly. It measures the trends in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties, but not in Palm Beach County.
South Florida consumers who are paying suddenly higher gasoline prices and putting out more cash for food following recent winter weather in Florida may find the inflation report surprising. Transportation, including the price of gasoline, medical care and food prices all jumped higher in December in South Florida.
But the recent increases were not enough to move the annual rate up significantly. Miami-Fort Lauderdale region actually had falling prices at the start of 2010. Consumer prices stabilized as the summer ended.
After two years of falling inflation, the trend in 2011 may head in the other direction. Economists point out that oil and other commodities are up strongly, which could push up the overall inflation rate in 2011.