DENVER (KDVR) — Colorado’s experts don’t expect a banner year for the state’s economy, how ever many silver linings there are.
The Leeds Business Confidence Index measures the state’s business leaders’ outlook in six different economic areas. This quarter’s outlook is tied for the fourth-lowest on record.
Colorado has outperformed the region and the nation in several ways, but the broader outlook is still gloomy. Business leaders have a negative outlook for each of the six areas – national economy, state economy, industry sales, profits, hiring plans and capital expenditures.
Colorado business leaders are as wary of a recession as consumers. Only a fraction don’t expect one to happen in 2023.
About 20% of the LCBI panel said it thinks a recession is very likely to happen this year, while another 38% said a recession is somewhat likely. Twenty-one percent remained neutral on the possibility, while 20% said a recession is somewhat unlikely. Only 2% thought a recession is very unlikely.
Recession or not, the panel doesn’t see an end to high inflation happening this year. It predicts inflation will cool to 4.5% in 2023 before rolling back to the normal 2% rate next year.
Still, Colorado and in particular the Denver-Aurora-Lakewood metro area have had better luck than the U.S. through 2022.
Colorado had the nation’s highest growth in personal per capita income in the third quarter of 2022, making it the nation’s seventh-highest personal per capita income overall. It also weathered some parts of inflation better than the rest of the country.
The Denver-Aurora-Lakewood area had lower year-over-year inflation than the U.S. city average with regard to food and beverages, transportation, medical care, recreation, education and communication and other goods and services.
Transportation inflation was half the national rate due to the Denver metro’s nearby Suncor refinery, which insulated it from price increases elsewhere.