Advertisement

As inflation rises, Floridians say it’s hard to pay their bills

In a recent USF study, about 48 percent of Floridians said higher prices have made it more difficult to pay essential living costs.
Floridians say inflation has impacted their spending on everything from groceries to housing.
Floridians say inflation has impacted their spending on everything from groceries to housing. [ CHRIS URSO | Times ]
Published Apr. 24, 2022|Updated Apr. 24, 2022

Nearly half of Floridians included in a recent survey say inflation has impacted their ability to pay essential bills.

The finding comes from a survey conducted by the University of South Florida, asking 600 Floridians how price hikes have impacted their spending — and their attitudes on various related policy issues.

The study was conducted between March 31 and April 12, using a sample of state residents whose demographics closely reflected those of the state’s population.

Inflation has impacted Floridians’ spending on everything from food to housing, the survey found. About 77 percent of those surveyed said inflation had affected their grocery spending, while nearly a quarter said they’ve had difficulties paying their rent or mortgage payments in the past year.

About a third of respondents said their income did not support the cost of housing in Florida. In a separate survey question, more than a third of respondents said they were putting off buying a house, given both Florida’s skyrocketing housing market and other rising costs.

Four in five of Floridians surveyed said rising costs have impacted their discretionary spending, and nearly two-thirds of respondents said inflation has affected their travel plans.

The survey also asked respondents about what factors they believed had caused inflation. About 87 percent of Floridians answered that supply chain issues were responsible for inflation. Around 83 percent said the pandemic was “very” or “somewhat responsible” About 61 percent of respondents agreed that the war in Ukraine contributed to inflation.

Respondents expressed frustration with the federal government’s response to rising costs. Around 77 percent of Floridians surveyed said they were “somewhat” or “very dissatisfied” with the government’s management of inflation. Around two-thirds of those surveyed said the Biden administration was responsible, while in a separate question, about half of respondents answered that the Trump administration was responsible.

Nearly two-thirds of those surveyed said they supported the Biden administration extending the student loan repayment pause through May 1. A little over two-thirds of respondents also said they would support $10,000 in student loan forgiveness for all individual borrowers, while just over half of respondents (55 percent) said they would support $55,000 in student loan forgiveness.