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15-1008-SAN
Friday, May 22, 2015

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Consumer Price Index, West Region — April 2015

Area prices were up 0.3 percent over the past month, up 1.0 percent from a year ago

Prices in the West Region, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), advanced 0.3 percent in April, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (See table A.) The April increase was influenced by higher prices for shelter and medical care. (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 advanced 1.0 percent. (See chart 1 and table A.) Energy prices dropped 14.0 percent, largely the result of a decrease in the price of gasoline. The index for all items less food and energy advanced 2.4 percent over the year. (See table 1.)

 Chart 1. Over-the-year percent change in CPI-U, West Region, April 2012-April 2015

Food

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

Over the year, food prices advanced 2.4 percent. Prices for food away from home increased 3.0 percent since a year ago, and prices for food at home advanced 2.0 percent.

Energy

The energy index decreased 1.1 percent over the month. The decrease was mainly due to lower prices for gasoline (-2.3 percent). Prices for natural gas service inched up 0.2 percent, and prices for electricity increased 0.5 percent in the same period.

Energy prices dropped 14.0 percent over the year, largely due to lower prices for gasoline (-26.1 percent). Prices paid for natural gas service rose 0.9 percent, and prices for electricity advanced 9.9 percent during the past year.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy advanced 0.4 percent in April. Higher prices for medical care (1.2 percent), household furnishings and operations (0.6 percent), and shelter (0.3 percent) were partially offset by lower prices for alcoholic beverages (-0.2 percent).

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy advanced 2.4 percent. Components contributing to the increase included medical care (4.2 percent) and shelter (4.1 percent). Partly offsetting the increases were price declines in apparel (-1.5 percent) and recreation (-0.6 percent).

Table A. West Region CPI-U monthly and annual percent changes (not seasonally adjusted)
Month 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Monthly Annual Monthly Annual Monthly Annual Monthly Annual Monthly Annual Monthly Annual

January

0.3 1.9 0.5 1.4 0.4 2.6 0.3 1.7 0.3 1.7 -0.3 0.7

February

0.1 1.4 0.6 1.9 0.4 2.5 0.8 2.0 0.4 1.3 0.6 0.9

March

0.3 1.6 0.9 2.6 0.9 2.4 0.4 1.5 0.6 1.5 0.8 1.1

April

0.2 1.5 0.6 3.0 0.2 2.1 0.0 1.3 0.3 1.8 0.3 1.0

May

0.1 1.3 0.3 3.2 0.2 2.0 0.2 1.3 0.6 2.3    

June

-0.1 0.6 -0.2 3.1 -0.2 2.0 0.1 1.5 0.1 2.3    

July

0.1 0.8 -0.1 2.9 -0.3 1.8 0.0 1.9 0.1 2.3    

August

0.1 0.7 0.2 3.0 0.5 2.1 0.1 1.5 -0.1 2.1    

September

-0.1 0.5 0.4 3.5 0.5 2.2 0.2 1.3 0.1 2.0    

October

0.1 0.6 0.0 3.4 0.4 2.5 -0.1 0.9 -0.1 2.0    

November

0.0 0.9 -0.2 3.2 -0.7 1.9 -0.4 1.3 -0.6 1.7    

December

0.2 1.3 -0.3 2.7 -0.5 1.7 0.0 1.8 -0.5 1.3    

The May 2015 Consumer Price Index for the West Region is scheduled to be released on June 18, 2015.


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 4,000 housing units and approximately 26,000 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.
2015
Mar.
2015
Apr.
2015
Apr.
2014
Feb.
2015
Mar.
2015

Expenditure category

 
 

All Items

239.748 241.690 242.302 1.0 1.1 0.3

All items (December 1977=100)

387.539 390.678 391.668      

Food and beverages

249.100 248.281 248.465 2.4 -0.3 0.1

Food

249.263 248.400 248.641 2.4 -0.2 0.1

Food at home

249.628 247.781 247.676 2.0 -0.8 0.0

Food away from home

247.524 248.050 248.779 3.0 0.5 0.3

Alcoholic beverages

243.604 243.357 242.818 1.2 -0.3 -0.2

Housing

251.248 251.885 252.715 4.1 0.6 0.3

Shelter

283.426 284.398 285.244 4.1 0.6 0.3

Rent of primary residence (1)

296.880 297.729 298.514 4.3 0.6 0.3

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

296.871 297.959 298.891 3.9 0.7 0.3

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

296.862 297.951 298.884 3.9 0.7 0.3

Fuels and utilities

274.760 274.195 275.144 6.6 0.1 0.3

Household energy

239.786 239.035 239.889 6.9 0.0 0.4

Energy services (1)

241.924 241.174 242.277 7.6 0.1 0.5

Electricity (1)

263.361 263.530 264.929 9.9 0.6 0.5

Utility (piped) gas service (1)

206.117 203.122 203.588 0.9 -1.2 0.2

Household furnishings and operations

129.299 129.328 130.059 1.5 0.6 0.6

Apparel

118.718 121.096 121.179 -1.5 2.1 0.1

Transportation

194.638 203.799 203.645 -8.0 4.6 -0.1

Private transportation

188.194 197.986 197.192 -8.3 4.8 -0.4

New and used motor vehicles (3)

100.642 101.604 102.118 0.3 1.5 0.5

New vehicles

147.272 147.602 147.433 0.8 0.1 -0.1

New cars and trucks (3) (4)

102.349 102.591 102.436 0.8 0.1 -0.2

New cars (4)

147.203 147.144 146.593 -0.2 -0.4 -0.4

Used cars and trucks

138.644 142.077 144.846 -1.1 4.5 1.9

Motor fuel

200.971 239.295 233.860 -26.1 16.4 -2.3

Gasoline (all types)

199.636 238.388 232.967 -26.1 16.7 -2.3

Gasoline, unleaded regular (4)

197.305 236.261 230.937 -26.5 17.0 -2.3

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade (4) (5)

192.246 227.372 222.347 -25.0 15.7 -2.2

Gasoline, unleaded premium (4)

195.873 231.223 226.015 -24.5 15.4 -2.3

Medical Care

449.719 450.675 456.010 4.2 1.4 1.2

Medical care commodities

345.317 345.619 345.117 5.7 -0.1 -0.1

Medical care services

482.519 483.719 491.296 3.7 1.8 1.6

Professional services

336.261 336.518 336.675 1.9 0.1 0.0

Recreation (3)

109.610 109.869 109.966 -0.6 0.3 0.1

Education and communication (3)

138.439 138.151 138.366 0.0 -0.1 0.2

Other goods and services

401.142 401.413 402.053 1.0 0.2 0.2
 

Commodity and Service Group

 
 

All Items

239.748 241.690 242.302 1.0 1.1 0.3

Commodities

177.717 181.002 180.769 -2.7 1.7 -0.1

Commodities less food & beverages

142.131 146.995 146.598 -5.9 3.1 -0.3

Nondurables less food & beverages

177.077 186.651 185.309 -9.1 4.6 -0.7

Nondurables less food, beverages, and apparel

218.422 232.908 230.603 -11.5 5.6 -1.0

Durables

109.762 110.348 110.805 -0.6 1.0 0.4

Services

296.863 297.488 298.908 3.3 0.7 0.5

Rent of shelter (2)

301.527 302.570 303.474 4.1 0.6 0.3

Transportation services

279.634 279.612 282.205 0.8 0.9 0.9

Other services

333.826 334.112 334.619 0.5 0.2 0.2
 

Special aggregate indexes:

 
 

All items less medical care

230.137 232.108 232.528 0.8 1.0 0.2

All items less food

238.434 240.824 241.495 0.8 1.3 0.3

All items less shelter

223.293 225.665 226.183 -0.5 1.3 0.2

Commodities less food

145.965 150.707 150.304 -5.6 3.0 -0.3

Nondurables

212.975 217.779 217.139 -3.3 2.0 -0.3

Nondurables less food

181.969 191.002 189.702 -8.4 4.2 -0.7

Nondurables less food and apparel

220.507 233.555 231.423 -10.4 5.0 -0.9

Services less rent of shelter (2)

324.581 324.729 326.987 2.5 0.7 0.7

Services less medical care services

283.959 284.546 285.601 3.3 0.6 0.4

Energy

220.630 241.612 238.975 -14.0 8.3 -1.1

All items less energy

243.137 243.653 244.516 2.4 0.6 0.4

All items less food and energy

242.829 243.588 244.563 2.4 0.7 0.4

Commodities less food and energy commodities

140.436 141.211 141.427 -0.1 0.7 0.2

Energy commodities

205.085 243.220 237.637 -25.9 15.9 -2.3

Services less energy services

301.110 301.824 303.268 3.1 0.7 0.5

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: Friday, May 22, 2015