The cost of living in Colorado Springs is still slightly above the national average, but remained unchanged in the third quarter after rising every quarter for the past two years.
The city’s cost of living in the third quarter remained at 100.9% of the national average, according to a survey by the Council for Community and Economic Research.
The April-to-June figure was the first time Colorado Springs’ cost of living had risen above the national average since the first quarter of 2000, reflecting a strong local economy and the city’s high ranking for desirability.
Wages haven’t kept up with the cost of living. The county’s average weekly wage was 13.2% below the national average in the first quarter despite a 5.1% increase from a year earlier (second quarter data will be released this month). Local incomes, measured on a per person basis, also were nearly 10% below the national average (2018 data will be released Thursday).
“Since it (the cost of living) didn’t rise, I can live with that,” said Tatiana Bailey, director of the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs Economic Forum.
“It’s not surprising, or enough to ruffle anyone’s feathers.”
The six components that make up the local index were mixed — housing, utilities and transportation all increased from the second quarter, while groceries, health care and miscellaneous goods and services all declined during the same period. All components but groceries were at least 98% of the national average during the July-to-September quarter with health care the highest at 107.2% of the average.
The cost of living in the Springs still remains well below Denver, where costs are 112.8% of the national average, up from 110.8% in the second quarter. Pueblo and Grand Junction remained below the national average in the third quarter at 94.2% and 99.1% of the average, respectively.
The council’s index doesn’t measure inflation. Instead, it compares prices for 60 goods and services used or purchased by households where managers and professionals live in 268 metro areas. It’s designed to help managers compare living costs when moving to another city.
Harlingen and McAllen, Texas, had the lowest costs at 75.6% of the national average, while New York had the highest costs at 254.7% of the average.
Contact Wayne Heilman 636-0234 Facebook www.facebook.com/wayne.heilman