Area prices up 1.0 percent over the past six months, up 2.6 percent from a year ago
Prices in the greater Portland area, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), advanced 1.0 percent in the first half of 2014, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (See table A.) Regional Commissioner Richard J. Holden noted that this latest six-month increase was influenced by higher prices for shelter, electricity, and food. (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 rose 2.6 percent. (See chart 1.) Energy prices advanced 1.4 percent, mainly due to an increase in the price of electricity. The index for all items less food and energy increased 2.7 percent over the year.
Food prices advanced 1.1 percent in the first half of 2014. (See table 1.) Prices for food at home rose 1.5 percent for the past six months. Prices for food away from home increased 0.5 percent for the same period.
For the year ending in the first half of 2014, food prices rose 2.9 percent. Prices for food away from home advanced 3.7 percent during the past 12 months, and prices for food at home increased 1.8 percent.
Energy prices rose 3.0 percent since the second half of 2013. Prices for electricity posted the largest increase (7.2 percent), followed by prices for gasoline (1.4 percent) and prices for natural gas service (0.6 percent).
Energy prices increased 1.4 percent over the year. Prices for electricity advanced 8.0 percent and natural gas service prices increased 0.9 percent. Gasoline prices moved down 1.7 percent during the same period.
All items less food and energy
The index for all items less food and energy increased 0.8 percent from the second half of 2013 to the first half of 2014. Among the index components, increases were recorded for shelter (1.7 percent), recreation (1.5 percent), other goods and services (1.0 percent), and medical care (0.8 percent). In contrast, prices declined for apparel (-3.1 percent), household furnishings and operations (-1.1 percent), and education and communication (-0.2 percent).
Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy advanced 2.7 percent. Prices increased for recreation (4.0 percent), shelter (3.2 percent), medical care (2.9 percent), and education and communication (2.4 percent). Partially offsetting the increases were lower prices for apparel (-4.4 percent) and household furnishings and operations (-1.1 percent).
Table A. Portland CPI-U semi-annual and annual percent changes (not seasonally adjusted)
In the first half of 2014, the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) was 233.565, up 0.9 percent. The CPI-W increased 2.4 percent over the year.
The second half of 2014 Consumer Price Index for Portland is scheduled to be released mid-February 2015.
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 88 percent of the total population and (2) a CPI for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) which covers 29 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
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 Portland-Salem, OR-WA metropolitan area covered in this release is comprised of Clackamas, Columbia, Marion, Multnomah, Polk, Washington, and Yamhill Counties in the State of Oregon and Clark County in the State of Washington.
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