Inflation in Colorado – March 2023 Update
Authors: Cole Anderson, Erik Gamm
Bi-Monthly Inflation Continues to Accelerate
Prices in Colorado increased by 1.34% during February and March, up from a 0.88% increase over the two months prior. Despite this increase, Colorado’s 12-month inflation rate dropped from 6.4% to 5.7%. The primary causes of this change are increases in the prices of household fuels and transportation, and slower rates of growth of other prices, such as medical care and recreation. Overall earnings growth has caught up with price growth; in Colorado, average weekly earnings have increased by 6.5% over the past 12 months ending in December, slightly outpacing inflation by .1 percentage points over that same period.
- The average Colorado household has spent $14,800 more since 2020 because of inflation.i
- Since March 2021, when the period of high inflation began, average bi-monthly inflation in metro Denver has been 304% of its historical average of .42%.
- Metro Denver inflation has outpaced the national average over the last 12 months, 5.7% for Denver and 5% for the nation.
In February and March, the average Colorado household spent $2,021 more due to inflation—an average of $1,011 per month. After the Federal Reserve’s increase in the fed funds rate by 50 basis-points in December and 25 basis-points in February forecasts expect fed rates to continue to rise as needed throughout 2023.
Inflation in Metro Denver over the last 12 months was 5.7%—.7 Percentage Points above the National Average (BLS CPI Survey)ii
- Of the 23 urban consumer price indices tracked by the BLS, Denver–Aurora–Lakewood’s ranks 9th in total growth since the end of 2020.
- Average annual inflation between 2010 and 2020 was 2.51%. Since January 2022, all categorized prices in the graphs on page 5 except for medical care, durables, and energy have grown by more than that.
- The two price categories that grew the fastest over the last 12 months were food and housing, which grew by 9.73% and 7.70%, respectively.
Price Changes in Metro Denver over the Previous Year