Consumer Price Index Summary

 Transmission of material in this release is embargoed until 
 8:30 a.m. (EDT) Wednesday, August 19, 2015     USDL-15-1591

 Technical information: (202) 691-7000
 Media Contact:         (202) 691-5902 


 The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.1 percent
 in July on a seasonally adjusted basis, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
 reported today. Over the last 12 months, the all items index rose 0.2 percent
 before seasonal adjustment.

 The indexes for food, energy, and all items less food and energy all rose
 slightly in July. The food index rose 0.2 percent as all six major grocery
 store food group indexes increased. The energy index rose 0.1 percent as an
 increase in the gasoline index more than offset declines in other energy
 component indexes.
 The index for all items less food and energy also rose 0.1 percent in July.
 A 0.4-percent advance in the shelter index was the main contributor to the
 increase, though the indexes for medical care and apparel also rose. In
 contrast, the index for airline fares fell sharply, and the indexes for used
 cars and trucks, household furnishings and operations, and new vehicles all

 The all items index increased 0.2 percent for the 12 months ending July. The
 12-month change has been rising since April. The index for all items less food
 and energy increased 1.8 percent for the 12 months ending July; this was the
 fourth time in 5 months the 12-month change was 1.8 percent. The food index
 increased 1.6 percent over the last 12 months. The energy index, however,
 continues to show a 12-month decline, falling 14.8 percent over the past year.

 Table A. Percent changes in CPI for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U): U.S. city
                                  Seasonally adjusted changes from             
                                          preceding month                      
                              Jan.  Feb.  Mar.  Apr.  May   June  July   ended 
                              2015  2015  2015  2015  2015  2015  2015   July  
 All items..................   -.7    .2    .2    .1    .4    .3    .1       .2
  Food......................    .0    .2   -.2    .0    .0    .3    .2      1.6
   Food at home.............   -.2    .1   -.5   -.2   -.2    .4    .3       .9
   Food away from home (1)..    .2    .3    .2    .2    .2    .2    .0      2.7
  Energy....................  -9.7   1.0   1.1  -1.3   4.3   1.7    .1    -14.8
   Energy commodities....... -18.0   2.1   3.8  -1.9   9.6   3.1    .7    -22.4
    Gasoline (all types).... -18.7   2.4   3.9  -1.7  10.4   3.4    .9    -22.3
    Fuel oil (1)............  -9.9   1.9   5.9  -8.4    .7  -1.9  -3.4    -29.7
   Energy services..........   -.1   -.2  -1.5   -.5  -1.0    .2   -.6     -3.7
    Electricity.............    .9    .3  -1.1    .0  -1.2    .2   -.4      -.7
    Utility (piped) gas                                                        
       service..............  -3.4  -2.0  -2.7  -2.6    .0    .3  -1.4    -14.2
  All items less food and                                                      
     energy.................    .2    .2    .2    .3    .1    .2    .1      1.8
   Commodities less food and                                                   
      energy commodities....   -.1    .2    .3    .1   -.1   -.1   -.1      -.5
    New vehicles............   -.1    .2    .2    .1    .2    .1   -.2       .7
    Used cars and trucks....   -.1   1.0   1.2    .6   -.4   -.4   -.6     -1.1
    Apparel.................    .3    .3    .5   -.3   -.5   -.1    .3     -1.6
    Medical care commodities   -.3    .7    .1    .1    .4    .0    .1      3.1
   Services less energy                                                        
      services..............    .3    .1    .2    .3    .2    .3    .2      2.6
    Shelter.................    .3    .2    .3    .3    .2    .3    .4      3.1
    Transportation services     .4    .3    .0    .1    .7    .4   -.2      2.1
    Medical care services...    .1   -.2    .4    .9    .2   -.2    .1      2.3

   1 Not seasonally adjusted.

 Consumer Price Index Data for July 2015


 The food index, which rose 0.3 percent in June, increased 0.2 percent in July.
 The food at home index increased 0.3 percent, with all six major grocery store
 food group indexes rising modestly. The index for dairy and related products
 posted the largest increase, rising 0.8 percent and ending a series of six
 consecutive declines. The index for nonalcoholic beverages rose 0.4 percent,
 and the fruits and vegetables index rose 0.3 percent after declining in June.
 The index for fresh fruits rose 1.1 percent, while the fresh vegetables index
 declined 0.8 percent. The index for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs advanced
 0.2 percent as the beef index declined but the index for eggs rose 3.3 percent.
 The indexes for cereals and bakery products and for other food at home also
 rose 0.2 percent. The food at home index has risen 0.9 percent over the past 12
 months. The index for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs has increased 3.1 percent,
 with the eggs index increasing 24.9 percent and the beef index up 10.0 percent.
 In contrast, the indexes for fruits and vegetables and for dairy and related
 products have declined over the past 12 months. The index for food away from
 home was unchanged in July. It has risen 2.7 percent over the past 12 months.

 The energy index edged up 0.1 percent in July after a 1.7 percent increase in
 June. The gasoline index increased for the third consecutive month, rising 0.9
 percent. (Before seasonal adjustment, gasoline prices declined 0.2 percent in
 July.) The other major energy component indexes declined in July. The index for
 natural gas fell 1.4 percent after rising in June. The electricity index fell
 0.4 percent, its third decline in the last 5 months. The fuel oil index
 decreased 3.4 percent following a 1.9-percent decline in June. All major energy
 components have declined over the past 12 months. The fuel oil index has posted
 the largest decline, falling 29.7 percent, and the gasoline index has decreased
 22.3 percent. The index for natural gas has fallen 14.2 percent and the
 electricity index has declined 0.7 percent.
 All items less food and energy

 The index for all items less food and energy increased 0.1 percent in July
 following a 0.2-percent increase in June. The shelter index rose 0.4 percent,
 its largest increase since February 2007. The indexes for rent and owners'
 equivalent rent both increased 0.3 percent, while the index for lodging away
 from home increased 2.5 percent after falling in May and June. The apparel
 index also turned up in July, rising 0.3 percent after declining in each of
 the last 3 months. The index for medical care rose slightly in July, increasing
 0.1 percent, with both the medical care services and medical care commodities
 indexes advancing 0.1 percent. Several indexes were unchanged in July,
 including those for personal care, recreation, alcoholic beverages, and tobacco.
 The index for airline fares declined sharply in July, falling 5.6 percent, its
 largest decline since December 1995. The index for used cars and trucks fell
 for the third month in a row, declining 0.6 percent, and the index for
 household furnishings and operations fell 0.2 percent, also its third straight
 decline. The new vehicles index, which had increased five months in a row, also
 fell 0.2 percent in July.

 The index for all items less food and energy has risen 1.8 percent over the past
 12 months, similar to its 1.9-percent average annualized increase over the past
 10 years. The shelter index has increased 3.1 percent over the last year, its
 largest 12-month increase since January 2008. The indexes for airline fares,
 apparel, used cars and trucks, and household furnishings and operations have
 all declined over the last 12 months.
 Not seasonally adjusted CPI measures

 The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.2 percent
 over the last 12 months to an index level of 238.654 (1982-84=100). For the
 month, the index was essentially unchanged prior to seasonal adjustment.  

 The Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W)
 decreased 0.3 percent over the last 12 months to an index level of 233.806
 (1982-84=100). For the month, the index was essentially unchanged prior to
 seasonal adjustment.  

 The Chained Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (C-CPI-U) decreased
 0.1 percent over the last 12 months. For the month, the index was virtually
 unchanged on a not seasonally adjusted basis. Please note that the indexes
 for the past 10 to 12 months are subject to revision.

 The Consumer Price Index for August 2015 is scheduled to be released on
 Wednesday, September 16, at 8:30 a.m. (EDT). 

 Facilities for Sensory Impaired

 Information from this release will be made available to sensory impaired
 individuals upon request.  Voice phone:  202-691-5200, Federal Relay
 Services:  1-800-877-8339.  

 Brief Explanation of the CPI
 The Consumer Price Index (CPI) is a measure of the average change in prices
 over time of goods and services purchased by households. The Bureau of Labor
 Statistics publishes CPIs for two population groups: (1) the CPI for Urban
 Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W), which covers households of wage
 earners and clerical workers that comprise approximately 28 percent of the
 total population and (2) the CPI for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) and the
 Chained CPI for All Urban Consumers (C-CPI-U), which covers approximately 89
 percent of the total population and includes, in addition to wage earners and
 clerical worker households, groups such as professional, managerial, and
 technical workers, the self-employed, short-term workers, the unemployed, and
 retirees and others not in the labor force.
 The CPIs are based on prices of food, clothing, shelter, fuels,
 transportation fares, charges for doctors’ and dentists’ services, drugs, and
 other goods and services that people buy for day-to-day living. Prices are
 collected each month in 87 urban areas across the country from about 6,000
 housing units and approximately 24,000 retail establishments-department
 stores, supermarkets, hospitals, filling stations, and other types of stores
 and service establishments. All taxes directly associated with the purchase
 and use of items are included in the index. Prices of fuels and a few other
 items are obtained every month in all 87 locations. Prices of most other
 commodities and services are collected every month in the three largest
 geographic areas and every other month in other areas. Prices of most goods
 and services are obtained by personal visits or telephone calls of the
 Bureau’s trained representatives.
 In calculating the index, price changes for the various items in each location
 are averaged together with weights, which represent their importance in the
 spending of the appropriate population group. Local data are then combined to
 obtain a U.S. city average. For the CPI-U and CPI-W separate indexes are also
 published by size of city, by region of the country, for cross-classifications
 of regions and population-size classes, and for 27 local areas. Area indexes
 do not measure differences in the level of prices among cities; they only
 measure the average change in prices for each area since the base period.
 For the C-CPI-U data are issued only at the national level. It is important to
 note that the CPI-U and CPI-W are considered final when released, but the
 C-CPI-U is issued in preliminary form and subject to two annual revisions.
 The index measures price change from a designed reference date. For the CPI-U
 and the CPI-W the reference base is 1982-84 equals 100. The reference base for
 the C-CPI-U is December 1999 equals 100.  An increase of 16.5 percent from the
 reference base, for example, is shown as 116.500. This change can also be
 expressed in dollars as follows:  the price of a base period market basket of
 goods and services in the CPI has risen from $10 in 1982-84 to $11.65. 
 For further details visit the CPI home page on the Internet at or contact our CPI Information and Analysis Section on
 (202) 691-7000.

 Note on Sampling Error in the Consumer Price Index

 The CPI is a statistical estimate that is subject to sampling error because
 it is based upon a sample of retail prices and not the complete universe of
 all prices. BLS calculates and publishes estimates of the 1-month, 2-month,
 6-month and 12-month percent change standard errors annually, for the CPI-U.
 These standard error estimates can be used to construct confidence intervals
 for hypothesis testing. For example, the estimated standard error of the
 1 month percent change is 0.04 percent for the U.S. All Items Consumer Price
 Index.  This means that if we repeatedly sample from the universe of all
 retail prices using the same methodology, and estimate a percentage change
 for each sample, then 95% of these estimates would be within 0.08 percent of
 the 1 month percentage change based on all retail prices.  For example, for a
 1-month change of 0.2 percent in the All Items CPI for All Urban Consumers,
 we are 95 percent confident that the actual percent change based on all
 retail prices would fall between 0.12 and 0.28 percent. For the latest data,
 including information on how to use the estimates of standard error, see
 "Variance Estimates for Price Changes in the Consumer Price Index,
 January-December 2013."  These data are available on the CPI home page
 (, or by using the following link:   

 Calculating Index Changes

 Movements of the indexes from one month to another are usually expressed as
 percent changes rather than changes in index points, because index point
 changes are affected by the level of the index in relation to its base period
 while percent changes are not.  The example below illustrates the computation
 of index point and percent changes.
 Percent changes for 3-month and 6-month periods are expressed as annual rates
 and are computed according to the standard formula for compound growth rates.
 These data indicate what the percent change would be if the current rate were
 maintained for a 12-month period.

 Index Point Change

 CPI                                                 202.416
 Less previous index                                 201.800
 Equals index point change                              .616

 Percent Change

 Index point difference                                 .616
 Divided by the previous index                       201.800
 Equals                                                0.003
 Results multiplied by one hundred                   003x100
 Equals percent change                                   0.3

 A Note on the Use of Seasonally Adjusted and Unadjusted Data


 The Consumer Price Index (CPI) produces both unadjusted and seasonally adjusted
 data. Seasonally adjusted data are computed using seasonal factors derived by
 the X-13ARIMA-SEATS Seasonal Adjustment Method. These factors are updated each
 January, and the new factors are used to revise the previous five years of
 seasonally adjusted data. For more information on data revisions and exceptions
 to the usual revision schedule, please see the Fact Sheet on Seasonal Adjustment
 ( and the Timeline of Seasonal Adjustment
 Methodological Changes (
 How to Use Seasonally Adjusted and Unadjusted Data

 For analyzing short-term price trends in the economy, seasonally adjusted
 changes are usually preferred since they eliminate the effect of changes that
 normally occur at the same time and in about the same magnitude every year—such
 as price movements resulting from changing climatic conditions, production
 cycles, model changeovers, holidays, and sales. This allows data users to focus
 on changes that are not typical for the time of year.  The unadjusted data are
 of primary interest to consumers concerned about the prices they actually pay.
 Unadjusted data are also used extensively for escalation purposes. Many
 collective bargaining contract agreements and pension plans, for example, tie
 compensation changes to the Consumer Price Index before adjustment for
 seasonal variation. BLS advises against the use of seasonally adjusted data in
 escalation agreements because seasonally adjusted series are revised annually.

 Intervention Analysis
 The Bureau of Labor Statistics uses Intervention Analysis Seasonal Adjustment
 for some CPI series. Sometimes extreme values or sharp movements can distort
 the underlying seasonal pattern of price change. Intervention Analysis
 Seasonal Adjustment is a process by which the distortions caused by such
 unusual events are estimated and removed from the data prior to calculation
 of seasonal factors. The resulting seasonal factors, which more accurately
 represent the seasonal pattern, are then applied to the unadjusted data.
 2015 Series Adjusted Using Intervention Analysis Seasonal Adjustment

 For the seasonal factors introduced in January 2015, BLS adjusted 33 series
 using Intervention Analysis Seasonal Adjustment, including selected food and
 beverage items, motor fuels, electricity and vehicles. For example, this
 procedure was used for the Motor fuel series to offset the effects of events
 such as the response in crude oil markets to the worldwide economic downturn
 in 2008.

 Revision of Seasonally Adjusted Indexes
 Seasonally adjusted data, including the U.S. city average All items index
 levels, are subject to revision for up to five years after their original
 release. Every year, economists in the CPI calculate new seasonal factors
 for seasonally adjusted series and apply them to the last five years of data.
 Seasonally adjusted indexes beyond the last five years of data are considered
 to be final and not subject to revision. In January 2015, revised seasonal
 factors and seasonally adjusted indexes for 2009-2014 were calculated and
 published. For directly adjusted series, the seasonal factors for 2014 will
 be applied to data for 2015 to produce the seasonally adjusted 2015 indexes.
 Determining Seasonal Status

 Each year the seasonal status of every series is reevaluated based upon certain
 statistical criteria. Using these criteria, BLS economists determine whether a
 series should change its status: from "not seasonally adjusted" to "seasonally
 adjusted," or vice versa. If any of the 82 components of the U.S. city average
 all items index change their seasonal adjustment status from seasonally adjusted
 to not seasonally adjusted, not seasonally adjusted data will be used in the
 aggregation of the dependent series for the last five years, but the seasonally
 adjusted indexes before that period will not be changed. Thirty-two of the 82
 components of the U.S. city average all items index are not seasonally adjusted
 for 2015.

 Contact Information
 For additional information on seasonal adjustment in the CPI, please write to
 the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Division of Consumer Prices and Price Indexes,
 Washington, DC 20212 or contact Christopher Graci, Justin Yarros, or Samuel An
 at (202) 691-6968 or by e-mail at, or If you have general questions about
 the CPI, please call our information staff at (202) 691-7000. 

The PDF version of the news release

Table of Contents

Last Modified Date: August 19, 2015