Dec 12, 2023 - News

Colorado inflation pains are easing, but continue to outpace national rate

Data: BLS; Chart: Axios Visuals
Data: BLS; Chart: Axios Visuals

Coloradans can breathe a slight sigh of relief.

What's happening: The average price that local consumers are paying for goods and services is falling, thanks in large part to cooling gas prices, new federal data shows.

By the numbers: The 12-month inflation rate in metro Denver dropped to 4.5% in November, down from 5.4% in September, according to numbers published Tuesday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

  • In Colorado, prices fell by .34% between September and November — marking the first two-month period of deflation in over a year, per the Common Sense Institute, a business advocacy organization.

Why it matters: It's a welcome reprieve from the painstaking prices Coloradans have faced for months, and comes at a time when people are feeling pressure to splurge on the holidays.

Yes, but: Colorado's year-over-year inflation continues to outpace the national rate of 3.1%, with the average family spending $1,206 more every month compared to pre-pandemic times, CSI's analysis shows.

  • From November 2022 to November 2023, household gas and utility prices spiked by 11% in the Denver metro area compared to just .2% nationwide.

Zoom in: The categories with cost decreases in the last year were food (-.3%), transportation (-1.7%), recreation (-.7%) and education (-1.2%)

  • Categories that increased were housing (0.4%), medical care (1.9%) and utilities and household fuels (1.2%).

The big picture: The increases in the Denver-Aurora-Lakewood metro ranked ninth out of 23 urban areas since the end of 2020, according to CSI.

Go deeper: Slowing and uneven job growth in the 2024 forecast for Colorado

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