Inflation is still making things expensive, but rising prices are slowing down

Grocery store inflation discount items
Rachel Estabrook/CPR News
Discounted items at a King Soopers store in Castle Rock on June 17, 2022. In Metro Denver, prices for food at home jumped 10.6 percent over the year.

A lot of everyday items are still getting more expensive in the Denver area, but the gains are steadily slowing, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. And some goods and services are actually getting cheaper.

An index that measures prices for everything from gasoline and groceries to airplane tickets and housing in and around Denver increased by 5.1 percent in May compared to 2022, government data show. That’s down from an annual increase of 5.7 percent in March, the last time the rate was calculated. Prices were up less than 1 percent on a month-to-month basis.

That’s a big improvement relative to this time last year when prices surged more than 9 percent. The trend is similar to what’s happening across the U.S. as federal regulators work to stamp out stubborn inflation by raising interest rates. Even so, inflation is still well above the government’s target rate of between 2 percent and 3 percent.

Coloradans continue to feel the pinch. A trip to the supermarket is more expensive than it was a year ago, even if the sticker shock isn’t as extreme. For example, the cost of dairy products and produce in the Denver region — which includes Adams, Arapahoe, Broomfield, Clear Creek, Denver, Douglas, Elbert, Gilpin, Jefferson and Park counties — was up about 8 percent last month compared to the previous year.

On the flip side, the price of gasoline is down more than 17 percent, while a used car will cost about 3 percent less than it did a year ago. Prices for home goods and apparel are down, too.