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15-1618-SAN
Wednesday, August 19, 2015

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Consumer Price Index, Phoenix – First Half 2015

Area prices down 0.7 percent over the past six months, down 0.2 percent from a year ago

Prices in the greater Phoenix area, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), decreased 0.7 percent in the first half of 2015, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (See table A.) Regional Commissioner Richard J. Holden noted that this latest six-month decrease was influenced by lower prices for gasoline. (Data in this report are not seasonally adjusted. Accordingly, six-month-to-six-month changes may reflect seasonal influences.)

Over the past 12 months, the CPI-U edged down 0.2 percent.  (See chart 1.) Energy prices moved down 15.1 percent, mainly due to a drop in the price of gasoline. The index for all items less food and energy increased 1.2 percent over the year.

 Chart 1. Over-the-year percent change in CPI-U, Phoenix, first half 2012 – first half 2015

Food

Food prices advanced 0.5 percent in the first half of 2015. (See table 1.) Prices for food away from home increased 1.7 percent for the past six months, but prices for food at home declined 0.3 percent.

For the year ending in the first half of 2015, food prices rose 3.0 percent. Prices for food at home advanced 3.3 percent during the past 12 months, and prices for food away from home increased 2.8 percent.

Energy

Energy prices dropped 14.4 percent since the second half of 2014, influenced by lower gasoline prices (-22.5 percent). Prices decreased for electricity (-6.4 percent), but prices for natural gas service increased 0.3 percent during the first half of 2015.

Energy prices fell 15.1 percent over the year, largely due to a decrease in gasoline prices (-29.2 percent). In contrast, prices increased for natural gas service (7.3 percent) and electricity (2.2 percent) during the same period.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy increased 0.6 percent from the second half of 2014 to the first half of 2015. Prices increased for shelter (1.6 percent) and medical care (1.6 percent). Partially offsetting the increases were lower prices for household furnishings and operations (-3.9 percent).

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy advanced 1.2 percent. Prices increased for shelter (3.3 percent) and medical care (2.7 percent). In contrast, lower prices were reported for household furnishings and operations (-5.8 percent), apparel (-1.1 percent), and education and communication (-0.6 percent).

Table A. Phoenix CPI-U semi-annual and annual percent changes (not seasonally adjusted)
Month 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Semi-annual Annual Semi-annual Annual Semi-annual Annual Semi-annual Annual Semi-annual Annual Semi-annual Annual

First Half

0.3 0.7 2.1 2.2 1.6 2.8 1.1 1.2 1.2 1.5 -0.7 -0.2

Second Half

0.1 0.4 1.2 3.3 0.1 1.7 0.2 1.3 0.5 1.8    

The second half of 2015 Consumer Price Index for Phoenix is scheduled to be released mid-January 2016.


Technical Note

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) is a measure of the average change in prices over time in a fixed market basket of goods and services. The Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes CPIs for two population groups: (1) a CPI for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) which covers approximately 89 percent of the total population and (2) a CPI for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) which covers 28 percent of the total population. The CPI-U includes, in addition to wage earners and clerical workers, 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 CPI is based on prices of food, clothing, shelter, and fuels, transportation fares, charges for doctors' and dentists' services, drugs, and the other goods and services that people buy for day-to-day living. Each month, prices are collected 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.

The index measures price changes from a designated reference date (1982-84) that equals 100.0. An increase of 16.5 percent, for example, is shown as 116.5. 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 see the CPI home page on the Internet at www.bls.gov/cpi and the BLS Handbook of Methods, Chapter 17, The Consumer Price Index, available on the Internet at www.bls.gov/opub/hom/homch17_a.htm.

In calculating the index, price changes for the various items in each location are averaged together with weights that represent their importance in the spending of the appropriate population group. Local data are then combined to obtain a U.S. city average. Because the sample size of a local area is smaller, the local area index is subject to substantially more sampling and other measurement error than the national index. In addition, local indexes are not adjusted for seasonal influences. As a result, local area indexes show greater volatility than the national index, although their long-term trends are quite similar. NOTE: Area indexes do not measure differences in the level of prices between cities; they only measure the average change in prices for each area since the base period.

The Phoenix-Mesa metropolitan area covered in this release consists of Maricopa and Pinal Counties in the State of Arizona.

Information in this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: (202) 691-5200; Federal Relay Service: (800) 877-8339.

Table 1. Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U): Indexes for semiannual averages and percent changes for selected periods

Phoenix-Mesa, AZ (1982-84=100 unless otherwise noted)
Item and Group

 
Semiannual average indexes
 
Percent change to
1st half 2015 from-
1st half
2014
2nd half
2014
1st half
2015
1st half
2014
2nd half
2014

Expenditure category

 
 

All items

127.490 128.157 127.288 -0.2 -0.7

All items (1967=100)

- - - - -

Food and beverages

136.255 139.260 139.859 2.6 0.4

Food

136.950 140.422 141.126 3.0 0.5

Food at home

140.739 145.856 145.418 3.3 -0.3

Food away from home

132.346 133.835 136.046 2.8 1.7

Alcoholic beverages

128.849 126.996 126.530 -1.8 -0.4

Housing

122.261 124.081 124.442 1.8 0.3

Shelter

120.396 122.357 124.314 3.3 1.6

Rent of primary residence

123.834 125.782 127.630 3.1 1.5

Owners' equiv. rent of residences (1)

119.693 121.741 123.623 3.3 1.5

Owners' equiv. rent of primary residence (1)

119.693 121.741 123.623 3.3 1.5

Fuels and utilities

160.186 166.408 161.474 0.8 -3.0

Household energy

163.311 177.745 167.607 2.6 -5.7

Energy services

162.935 177.462 167.474 2.8 -5.6

Electricity

172.419 188.252 176.163 2.2 -6.4

Utility (piped) gas service

114.314 122.254 122.663 7.3 0.3

Household furnishings and operations

104.844 102.751 98.753 -5.8 -3.9

Apparel

137.272 135.143 135.734 -1.1 0.4

Transportation

125.669 122.453 114.928 -8.5 -6.1

Private transportation

127.117 123.881 116.477 -8.4 -6.0

Motor fuel

284.357 259.792 201.311 -29.2 -22.5

Gasoline (all types)

284.210 259.552 201.142 -29.2 -22.5

Gasoline, unleaded regular (2)

289.461 263.679 202.685 -30.0 -23.1

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade (2) (3)

280.662 258.852 208.327 -25.8 -19.5

Gasoline, unleaded premium (2)

270.242 248.955 197.593 -26.9 -20.6

Medical care

160.229 162.016 164.620 2.7 1.6

Recreation (4)

111.544 110.699 111.487 -0.1 0.7

Education and communication (4)

122.594 122.316 121.799 -0.6 -0.4

Other goods and services

138.494 138.983 138.248 -0.2 -0.5
 

Commodity and service group

 
 

All Items

127.490 128.157 127.288 -0.2 -0.7

Commodities

123.457 122.303 118.704 -3.8 -2.9

Commodities less food & beverages

116.666 113.486 107.866 -7.5 -5.0

Nondurables less food & beverages

153.786 148.461 137.502 -10.6 -7.4

Durables

84.988 83.572 82.364 -3.1 -1.4

Services

130.486 132.311 133.176 2.1 0.7
 

Special aggregate indexes

 
 

All items less medical care

125.573 126.176 125.110 -0.4 -0.8

All items less shelter

131.206 131.133 128.758 -1.9 -1.8

Commodities less food

117.115 113.991 108.585 -7.3 -4.7

Nondurables

144.830 143.845 138.869 -4.1 -3.5

Nondurables less food

151.670 146.650 136.595 -9.9 -6.9

Services less rent of shelter (1)

143.042 144.728 144.212 0.8 -0.4

Services less medical care services

127.240 129.008 129.721 1.9 0.6

Energy

214.846 212.882 182.330 -15.1 -14.4

All items less energy

122.310 123.386 124.077 1.4 0.6

All items less food and energy

119.955 120.693 121.380 1.2 0.6

Footnotes
(1) Index is on a December 1982=100 base.
(2) Special index based on a substantially smaller sample.
(3) Indexes on a December 1993=100 base.
(4) Indexes on a December 1997=100 base.
 

- Data not available.
 

 

Last Modified Date: Wednesday, August 19, 2015