Apr 12, 2022 - Business

Inflation continues to spike in Denver metro

Consumer Price Index in Denver metro, all items
Data: BLS; Chart: Axios Visuals

The average price that consumers are paying for goods and services in the Denver metro area is 9% higher now than a year ago, new federal data shows.

Driving the news: As of March, annual inflation spiked by 9.1%, exceeding the 8.5% national rate, per the latest U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Price Index. Excluding food and energy, the rate rose 8% from March 2021.

  • It's a 2% hike from the most recent January numbers and represents a new record high.

Why it matters: Inflation is a new political benchmark for the 2022 election.

  • Republicans see rising costs as leverage to oust the Democratic-led Congress and elected officials in Colorado as the question of affordability becomes a political touchpoint.

What's happening: The five categories with the largest cost increases in the last year were:

  • Energy
  • Gasoline
  • Utilities
  • Goods
  • Food

The big picture: The increases in the Denver-Aurora-Lakewood metro ranked eighth out of 23 urban areas since the end of 2020, according to Steven Byers, an economist at the business advocacy organization Common Sense Institute.

What's next: Economists expect the spring spike to recede a bit this summer.

  • The economic forecast presented to lawmakers in March predicted an average inflation increase of 7.1% for 2022 and the rate falling to 3.9% in 2023.

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