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16-1000-SAN
Tuesday, May 17, 2016

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Consumer Price Index, West Region — April 2016

Area prices were up 0.5 percent over the past month, up 1.8 percent from a year ago

Prices in the West Region, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), rose 0.5 percent in April, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (See table A.) The April increase was influenced by higher prices for gasoline and recreation. (Data in this report are not seasonally adjusted. Accordingly, month-to-month changes may reflect seasonal influences.)

Over the last 12 months, the CPI-U rose 1.8 percent. (See chart 1.) Energy prices decreased 7.9 percent, largely the result of a decrease in the price of gasoline. The index for all items less food and energy advanced 2.7 percent over the year. (See table 1.)

Food

Food prices were unchanged for the month of April. (See table 1.) Prices for food at home were virtually unchanged (-0.1 percent), while prices for food away from home advanced 0.3 percent for the same period.

Over the year, food prices advanced 1.4 percent. Prices for food away from home advanced 3.3 percent since a year ago, yet prices for food at home were unchanged.

Energy

The energy index rose 4.8 percent over the month. The increase was mainly due to higher prices for gasoline (8.9 percent). Prices for natural gas service advanced 4.0 percent, while prices for electricity were virtually unchanged (-0.1percent) for the same period.

Energy prices decreased 7.9 percent over the year, largely due to lower prices for gasoline (-14.1 percent). Prices for natural gas service decreased 5.5 percent, but prices paid for electricity increased 1.2 percent during the past year.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy crept up 0.2 percent in April. Higher prices for recreation (0.7 percent) and apparel (0.6 percent) were partially offset by lower prices for household furnishings and operations (-0.5 percent).

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy advanced 2.7 percent. Components contributing to the increase included shelter (4.5 percent) and medical care (2.2 percent). Partly offsetting the increases was a price decline in household furnishings and operations (-0.6 percent).

Table A. West Region CPI-U monthly and annual percent changes (not seasonally adjusted)
Month 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
Monthly Annual Monthly Annual Monthly Annual Monthly Annual Monthly Annual Monthly Annual

January

0.5 1.4 0.4 2.6 0.3 1.7 0.3 1.7 -0.3 0.7 0.5 2.6

February

0.6 1.9 0.4 2.5 0.8 2.0 0.4 1.3 0.6 0.9 0.1 2.1

March

0.9 2.6 0.9 2.4 0.4 1.5 0.6 1.5 0.8 1.1 0.2 1.5

April

0.6 3.0 0.2 2.1 0.0 1.3 0.3 1.8 0.3 1.0  0.5  1.8

May

0.3 3.2 0.2 2.0 0.2 1.3 0.6 2.3 0.8 1.2    

June

-0.2 3.1 -0.2 2.0 0.1 1.5 0.1 2.3 0.0 1.1    

July

-0.1 2.9 -0.3 1.8 0.0 1.9 0.1 2.3 0.3 1.3    

August

0.2 3.0 0.5 2.1 0.1 1.5 -0.1 2.1 -0.1 1.3    

September

0.4 3.5 0.5 2.2 0.2 1.3 0.1 2.0 -0.2 1.0    

October

0.0 3.4 0.4 2.5 -0.1 0.9 -0.1 2.0 0.0 1.1    

November

-0.2 3.2 -0.7 1.9 -0.4 1.3 -0.6 1.7 -0.2 1.5    

December

-0.3 2.7 -0.5 1.7 0.0 1.8 -0.5 1.3 -0.1 1.8    

The May 2016 Consumer Price Index for the West Region is scheduled to be released on June 16, 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 West Region covered in this release is comprised of the following thirteen states: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.

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 and percent changes for selected periods

West (1982-84=100 unless otherwise noted)
Item and Group

 
Indexes
 
Percent change from-
Feb.
2016
Mar.
2016
Apr.
2016
Apr.
2015
Feb.
2016
Mar.
2016

Expenditure category

 
 

All Items

244.821 245.404 246.589 1.8 0.7 0.5

All items (December 1977=100)

395.739 396.681 398.597      

Food and beverages

252.898 251.809 252.018 1.4 -0.3 0.1

Food

252.966 251.882 252.003 1.4 -0.4 0.0

Food at home

250.045 247.901 247.623 0.0 -1.0 -0.1

Food away from home

255.841 256.275 256.965 3.3 0.4 0.3

Alcoholic beverages

248.670 247.520 248.907 2.5 0.1 0.6

Housing

261.126 261.671 261.967 3.7 0.3 0.1

Shelter

296.707 297.777 298.069 4.5 0.5 0.1

Rent of primary residence (1)

311.351 312.443 313.242 4.9 0.6 0.3

Owners' equiv. rent of residences (1) (2)

310.751 311.834 312.866 4.7 0.7 0.3

Owners' equiv. rent of primary residence (1) (2)

310.742 311.831 312.866 4.7 0.7 0.3

Fuels and utilities

278.267 276.515 278.853 1.3 0.2 0.8

Household energy

239.532 237.235 239.117 -0.3 -0.2 0.8

Energy services (1)

241.383 239.236 241.273 -0.4 0.0 0.9

Electricity (1)

266.632 268.322 268.148 1.2 0.6 -0.1

Utility (piped) gas service (1)

196.429 184.968 192.420 -5.5 -2.0 4.0

Household furnishings and operations

130.220 129.960 129.304 -0.6 -0.7 -0.5

Apparel

119.697 120.739 121.463 0.2 1.5 0.6

Transportation

190.635 193.690 198.203 -2.7 4.0 2.3

Private transportation

184.063 187.324 191.566 -2.9 4.1 2.3

New and used motor vehicles (3)

100.691 101.601 102.074 0.0 1.4 0.5

New vehicles

147.376 148.043 148.223 0.5 0.6 0.1

New cars and trucks (3) (4)

102.354 102.815 102.932 0.5 0.6 0.1

New cars (4)

146.173 146.169 146.177 -0.3 0.0 0.0

Used cars and trucks

138.133 140.089 141.238 -2.5 2.2 0.8

Motor fuel

173.893 184.310 200.563 -14.2 15.3 8.8

Gasoline (all types)

173.287 183.791 200.130 -14.1 15.5 8.9

Gasoline, unleaded regular (4)

170.322 180.770 197.293 -14.6 15.8 9.1

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade (4) (5)

168.365 179.465 193.552 -13.0 15.0 7.8

Gasoline, unleaded premium (4)

174.285 183.889 198.496 -12.2 13.9 7.9

Medical Care

466.390 464.715 466.222 2.2 0.0 0.3

Medical care commodities

351.417 351.389 351.872 2.0 0.1 0.1

Medical care services

503.121 500.851 502.722 2.3 -0.1 0.4

Professional services

345.538 345.751 348.154 3.4 0.8 0.7

Recreation (3)

111.764 111.247 111.985 1.8 0.2 0.7

Education and communication (3)

138.429 138.530 138.508 0.1 0.1 0.0

Other goods and services

405.812 406.765 407.450 1.3 0.4 0.2
 

Commodity and Service Group

 
 

All Items

244.821 245.404 246.589 1.8 0.7 0.5

Commodities

176.682 177.373 178.873 -1.0 1.2 0.8

Commodities less food & beverages

139.193 140.548 142.486 -2.8 2.4 1.4

Nondurables less food & beverages

171.339 173.836 177.976 -4.0 3.9 2.4

Nondurables less food, beverages, and apparel

208.314 211.798 218.212 -5.4 4.8 3.0

Durables

109.165 109.556 109.655 -1.0 0.4 0.1

Services

307.770 308.242 309.109 3.4 0.4 0.3

Rent of shelter (2)

315.685 316.831 317.164 4.5 0.5 0.1

Transportation services

286.440 287.083 289.811 2.7 1.2 1.0

Other services

339.607 339.874 340.851 1.9 0.4 0.3
 

Special aggregate indexes:

 
 

All items less medical care

234.701 235.382 236.552 1.7 0.8 0.5

All items less food

243.730 244.570 245.920 1.8 0.9 0.6

All items less shelter

224.910 225.290 226.868 0.3 0.9 0.7

Commodities less food

143.228 144.528 146.467 -2.6 2.3 1.3

Nondurables

211.634 212.485 214.839 -1.1 1.5 1.1

Nondurables less food

176.818 179.126 183.137 -3.5 3.6 2.2

Nondurables less food and apparel

211.786 214.852 220.811 -4.6 4.3 2.8

Services less rent of shelter (2)

332.466 332.098 333.772 2.1 0.4 0.5

Services less medical care services

294.210 294.857 295.656 3.5 0.5 0.3

Energy

205.191 210.052 220.077 -7.9 7.3 4.8

All items less energy

249.793 250.060 250.593 2.5 0.3 0.2

All items less food and energy

250.019 250.516 251.120 2.7 0.4 0.2

Commodities less food and energy commodities

140.513 140.772 141.053 -0.3 0.4 0.2

Energy commodities

178.266 188.493 204.648 -13.9 14.8 8.6

Services less energy services

312.779 313.415 314.211 3.6 0.5 0.3

Footnotes
(1) This index series was calculated using a Laspeyres estimator. All other item stratum index series were calculated using a geometric means estimator.
(2) Index is on a December 1982=100 base.
(3) Indexes on a December 1997=100 base.
(4) Special index based on a substantially smaller sample.
(5) Indexes on a December 1993=100 base.
 

Regions defined as the four Census regions. West includes Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.
NOTE: Index applies to a month as a whole, not to any specific date. Data not seasonally adjusted.
 

 

Last Modified Date: Tuesday, May 17, 2016