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.

This story first appeared in the Axios Denver newsletter, designed to help readers get smarter, faster on the most consequential news unfolding in their own backyard. Subscribe here.

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