Consumer prices in the Denver metro area are swelling at the fastest rate since 1983, straining household budgets that will be harder to escape, according to a bi-monthly update from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics Friday.

The Consumer Price Index for the Denver-Aurora-Lakewood area rose 6.5% in the last year in November, up from an annual rate of 4.5% in September and an annual rate of 3 , 5% in July.

This is the highest inflation rate measured in the Denver subway since an annual increase of 6.8% in May 1983.

Metro Denver’s inflation rate fell below the 6.8% annual rate measured nationally in November. This rate was the highest in 39 years.

“If you’re under 40, you’ve never experienced such high inflation,” Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, said in comments on the inflation numbers on Friday.

Yun expects rising inflation to force the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates, which in turn could push up housing costs, the most important cost category for consumers, via higher mortgage rates. The cost of housing rose 4.9% last year in the Denver subway.

The biggest shock from stickers was gasoline prices, up 63.9% last year. But gasoline prices fell 3.3% between September and November, a sign that they may have peaked.

But the price increases are coming in another energy product – natural gas. Although the Denver index does not detail natural gas, prices are up 25% nationwide and household energy costs are up 7.5%, while costs of electricity are up more modest 2.4%.

Used car prices continue to defy gravity, rising 32.6% in the past year and up 5.2% in the past two months alone, a sign that shortages in the vehicle market are not growing. do not seem to abate.

A separate study from iSeeCars.com, a vehicle search engine, estimates that used car prices are up 23.5% year-over-year in the Denver subway, adding $ 6,082 in additional costs per compared to a comparable sale a year earlier.

The food price index for Denver rose 4.4% last year, with home catering costs up 2.8% and the cost of restaurant meals up 6.7%.

Among food products, the largest price increases were for meat, poultry, fish and eggs, up 6.5%, followed by baked goods and cereals, up 3.6 %. Dairy products were almost flat, up 0.3%, while prices for fruits and vegetables fell 1.2% last year.

Other areas with annual price gains above the headline inflation rate of 6.5% include auto insurance, up 6.7%; clothing, up 8.1%; non-durable goods, excluding food, up 17.1% and durable and long-term goods up 10.9%.

Core inflation, that is, consumer goods minus energy and food, is up 5.2%.


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