Oct 14, 2022 - News

Inflation in Colorado drops below national level — but remains high

Change in Consumer Price Index for select metro areas
Data: Bureau of Labor Statistics; Chart: Axios Visuals

Inflation in the Denver metro area is still painfully high, but new federal data shows it's not as extreme as the rest of the country.

Driving the news: Consumers are now paying 7.7% more for goods and services than a year ago, compared to the national rate of 8.2%, per the latest U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Price Index.

  • The average Colorado household has spent $9,207 more on food, housing, transportation and medical care since 2020, per a report from senior economist Steven Byers at the conservative-leaning Common Sense Institute.
  • Prices were largely driven by food costs (up 11.8%) and fuel and utilities (up 9.4%).

Why it matters: The figures released Thursday have become key political benchmarks in the 2022 election, with Republicans blaming Democrats in Colorado and Congress for rising costs.

The other side: Inflation in Colorado has been moderating since July — when the 12-month rate fell to 8.2%, down from 8.3% in May — according to federal stats.

  • The latest data — which shows a dip in September of about 0.2% since July — supports some economists' forecasts that suggest inflation may have peaked.

The big picture: Consumer prices nationwide continued to soar in September, with the Consumer Price Index rising 0.4% — double economists' expectations, Axios' Courtenay Brown writes.

  • Industry experts predict the latest report to pressure the Federal Reserve, which is already raising interest rates aggressively, to consider another historic rate hike in November to prevent a recession.
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