Feb 11, 2022 - Business

Inflation in Denver metro hits record high, outpaces U.S.

Consumer Price Index in Denver metro, all items
Data: BLS; Chart: Baidi Wang/Axios

The cost of goods and services in metro Denver rose 7.9% in the last 12 months, according to new U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data.

Why it matters: It is the highest rate since the agency began tracking the data in 1986.

By the numbers: The average Colorado household spent $2,900 more on food, housing, transportation, medical care and education in 2021 compared to 2020, according to a report from Chris Brown at the conservative-leaning Common Sense Institute.

  • Inflation rose 1.4% between November 2021 and this January, driven largely by energy and transportation costs, both of which ballooned by more than 20%.
  • The price hikes are outpacing wage growth. "You're not buying anything more, you're not getting anything more for that money — it's a $2,900 cut in pay in many ways," Brown told Axios Denver.

The impact: The figures released Thursday will drive the conversation at kitchen tables and the state Capitol.

  • The Democratic governor and Legislature are keenly focused on affordability, aiming to trim health care costs around the margins and set aside money for affordable housing developments.

The big picture: Colorado outpaced the nation. The U.S. posted an inflation rate of 7.5% through January — the highest since February 1982, Axios reported.

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