TAMPA -- Federal statistics show the Tampa Bay area has a higher inflation rate than any other major metropolitan area in the nation.
Prices went up eight percent over the past year.
You may point to higher housing or rent prices, but that may not be the ultimate cause.University of South Florida economics instructor Michael Snipes says it's a side-effect of our state remaining open while other areas went on lockdown.
"I think what's driving it more than anything else is... the policy decision by the Governor of keeping Florida open, or placing less restrictions than other states.. a lot of people saw Florida as a kind of refuge, a place you could go to escape some of the more stringent restrictions... in other places."
Snipes says that since it was primarily wealthy individuals who were able to travel, their presence put upward pressure on prices. And he adds, there is a silver lining.
"The fact that we've got this inflation... is an indication that the economy is starting to heal," Snipes said.
Listen to an interview with Michael Snipes below: