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From 2019 to 2020, Colorado’s GDP remained static at $397 billion, leading many financial prognosticators to foresee a recession. They were wrong. Over the next two years, the Centennial State’s economy leapfrogged the pandemic, high inflation, and a war in Ukraine on its way to 24 percent growth. Now, in 2024, economists are predicting that the country will avoid a recession but finally experience a slowdown. So we spoke with local experts to find tips for weathering an idling economy—just in case the pundits are right this time.
1. Perfect Your Cooking Skills
Although Denver’s inflation was higher than the national average this past September (5.4 percent to 3.7 percent, respectively), Bill Craighead, program director of the University of Colorado Colorado Springs’ Economic Forum, expects prices to level off in 2024. One exception might be restaurants, which still face staff shortages and may have to pay higher wages to attract workers.
2. Embrace Boring
Craighead says sky-high interest rates mean many financial institutions are offering attractive returns on one of the safest investments on the market: high-yield savings accounts. That includes Colorado Federal Savings Bank’s offering. The Greenwood Village–based, online-only outfit might not have any ATMs, but it does have an APY hovering around 4.5 percent, one of the highest in the country.
3. Be Patient (If You Can)
Mortgage interest rates reached 7.95 percent this past November, making it too costly for many to buy a home. The silver lining? Less demand means better deals than in a hot market. Vivek Sah, the director of the Franklin L. Burns School of Real Estate and Construction Management at the University of Denver, recently snapped up a four-bedroom for slightly less than the listed price. Although his 6.25 percent interest rate is high, he’s sure the number will fall eventually. “If I can just carry it for a year, two years,” Sah says, “I’ll be able to refinance at four or 4.5 percent.”
4. Quit Quitting
Always partial to the “play hard” part of the equation, Denverites are more likely than average to take their jobs and shove them. If you plan to do the same in 2024, however, you might want to wait until you’ve landed a new gig. Jen Weinberger of Goldstone Partners, a Denver staffing agency, says the local job market is tightening as startup growth levels off. So brush up on your small talk for networking events and update your resumé. Going with friends will make the former less painful, while Goldstone offers free CV consultations to make you more compelling to hiring managers.