Denver Post file This 2014 file photo shows the view from the tenth-floor of the upscale apartment building Verve at Delgany Street in downtown Denver.
Inflation in Denver-Boulder-Greeley accelerated 3.7 percent in the second half of last year, its fastest pace in a decade, according to a report Friday from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The gain in the Consumer Price Index for Denver-Boulder-Greeley is the most in the second half of a year since a 4.1 percent increase in the second half of 2008. Last year it rose 2.6 percent in the second half.
For the year, consumer prices rose 3.4 percent, the most since a 3.7 percent gain in 2011 and before that a 3.9 percent gain in 2008. In 2016, inflation ran at 2.8 percent and in 2015 at 1.2 percent.
Consumer inflation was running at a 2.1 percent nationally in December.
Rising rents and housing costs have contributed to higher inflation since about 2013, but last year, especially in the second half, escalating energy costs were the big driver.
A 13.8 percent spike in gasoline costs helped push up spending on energy 8.9 percent over the two periods. Electricity and natural gas costs also moved higher.
The cost of shelter rose 4.9 percent in the second half, down from a 7 percent pace a year ago. Rent, a key component of shelter, was up 4.2 percent in the second half and 4.6 percent for the year.
That’s a moderation from the 6 percent plus rent increases seen every year starting in 2013.
The cost of eating away from home rose 5 percent, while the cost of eating at home rose 2.2 percent. Even clothing costs, which seemed unable to escape a deflationary spiral, rose 3.4 percent in the second half of the year.