Consumer Price Index Summary

 Transmission of material in this release is embargoed until                                        
 8:30 a.m. (EDT) May 12, 2017                   USDL-17-0593

 Technical information: (202) 691-7000  cpi_info@bls.gov      www.bls.gov/cpi
 Media Contact:         (202) 691-5902  PressOffice@bls.gov

 CONSUMER PRICE INDEX – APRIL 2017

 The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.2 percent 
 in April on a seasonally adjusted basis, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 
 reported today. Over the last 12 months, the all items index rose 2.2 percent 
 before seasonal adjustment.

 Increases in indexes for shelter, energy, tobacco, and food all contributed 
 to the monthly increase in the all items index. The energy index rose 1.1 percent, 
 with all 3 of its major component indexes rising. The food index rose 0.2 percent, 
 mostly due to a sharp increase in the index for fresh vegetables. 

 The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.1 percent in April after 
 declining in March. The shelter index increased 0.3 percent, and the tobacco index 
 increased sharply over the month. However, many indexes declined in April, 
 including those for wireless phone services, medical care, motor vehicle insurance, 
 apparel, used cars and trucks, recreation, and new vehicles.    

 The all items index rose 2.2 percent for the 12 months ending April. While a 
 smaller increase than the 2.4 percent rise for the 12 months ending March, this 
 is still a larger rise than the 1.7 percent average annual increase over the past 
 10 years. The index for all items less food and energy rose 1.9 percent over the 
 last 12 months; this compares to a 1.8 percent average annual increase over the 
 past decade. The energy index rose 9.3 percent over the last year, while the food 
 index increased 0.5 percent. 

 Table A. Percent changes in CPI for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U): U.S. city
 average
                                                                               
                                                                               
                                  Seasonally adjusted changes from             
                                          preceding month                      
                                                                          Un-  
                                                                       adjusted
                                                                        12-mos.
                              Oct.  Nov.  Dec.  Jan.  Feb.  Mar.  Apr.   ended 
                              2016  2016  2016  2017  2017  2017  2017   Apr.  
                                                                         2017  
                                                                               
                                                                               
 All items..................    .3    .2    .3    .6    .1   -.3    .2      2.2
  Food......................    .0    .0    .0    .1    .2    .3    .2       .5
   Food at home.............   -.2   -.1   -.2    .0    .3    .5    .2      -.8
   Food away from home (1)..    .1    .1    .2    .4    .2    .2    .2      2.3
  Energy....................   2.5   1.0   1.2   4.0  -1.0  -3.2   1.1      9.3
   Energy commodities.......   4.8   2.0   2.4   7.6  -2.8  -6.0   1.3     14.5
    Gasoline (all types)....   5.1   2.1   2.4   7.8  -3.0  -6.2   1.2     14.3
    Fuel oil (1)............   5.9  -1.2   6.0   3.5   -.4   -.8   -.3     22.1
   Energy services..........    .4    .0    .0    .3   1.0   -.3    .9      4.4
    Electricity.............    .3    .0    .0    .0    .8   -.1    .6      2.4
    Utility (piped) gas                                                        
       service..............    .9    .2    .1   1.5   1.5   -.8   2.2     12.0
  All items less food and                                                      
     energy.................    .1    .2    .2    .3    .2   -.1    .1      1.9
   Commodities less food and                                                   
      energy commodities....    .0   -.2    .0    .4    .0   -.3   -.2      -.6
    New vehicles............    .2    .0    .1    .9   -.2   -.3   -.2       .4
    Used cars and trucks....   -.1    .2    .2   -.4   -.6   -.9   -.5     -4.6
    Apparel.................    .2   -.3   -.4   1.4    .6   -.7   -.3       .5
    Medical care commodities    .2   -.4    .5    .3   -.2    .2   -.8      2.6
   Services less energy                                                        
      services..............    .2    .3    .3    .3    .3   -.1    .1      2.7
    Shelter.................    .3    .3    .3    .2    .3    .1    .3      3.5
    Transportation services    -.1    .5    .5    .6    .7    .4   -.2      3.1
    Medical care services...    .1    .2    .2    .2    .2    .1    .0      3.1

   1 Not seasonally adjusted.



 Food

 The food index rose 0.2 percent in April, its fourth consecutive increase. The 
 index for food at home advanced 0.2 percent, following a 0.5-percent increase 
 in March. The index for fruits and vegetables rose 2.2 percent as the index for 
 fresh vegetables increased 5.1 percent, its largest increase since February 2011.  

 Four of the five remaining major grocery store food group indexes declined in 
 April. The index for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs fell 0.6 percent after rising 
 in each of the 3 previous months. The cereals and bakery products index fell 0.3 
 percent, as did the index for nonalcoholic beverages. The dairy index fell 0.2 
 percent in April after a 0.6 percent decline in March. The index for other food 
 at home rose slightly in April, increasing 0.1 percent. 

 The food at home index fell 0.8 percent over the past year as 5 of the 6 major 
 grocery store food group indexes declined. The exception was the fruits and 
 vegetables index, which rose 0.7 percent. The index for meats, poultry, fish, 
 and eggs decreased 3.0 percent over the last year, and the remaining groups 
 posted smaller declines. The index for food away from home advanced 0.2 percent 
 in April, and rose 2.3 percent over the last 12 months. 

 Energy

 The energy index increased 1.1 percent in April following declines in February 
 and March. All of the major energy component indexes increased in April after 
 falling in March. The gasoline index, which fell 6.2 percent in March, increased 
 1.2 percent in April. (Before seasonal adjustment, gasoline prices increased 4.0 
 percent in April.) The index for natural gas rose 2.2 percent, and the electricity 
 index increased 0.6 percent over the month. 

 All of the energy component indexes increased over the last year. The gasoline 
 index rose 14.3 percent, and the index for natural gas increased 12.0 percent. 
 The electricity index advanced more modestly, rising 2.4 percent. 

 All items less food and energy

 The index for all items less food and energy increased 0.1 percent in April 
 after declining in March. The shelter index rose 0.3 percent. The rent index 
 increased 0.3 percent, and the index for owners' equivalent rent advanced 0.2 
 percent. The index for lodging away from home rose 2.1 percent after declining 
 2.4 percent in March. The tobacco index rose 4.2 percent in April, its largest 
 increase since April 2009. The indexes for alcoholic beverages, education, and 
 personal care also increased in April.  

 Several indexes posted declines in April. The index for communication fell 
 0.6 percent as the index for wireless telephone services continued to fall, 
 decreasing 1.7 percent in April after a 7.0-percent decline in March. The 
 medical care index fell 0.2 percent in April, with medical care component 
 indexes mixed.   The physicians' services index fell 1.2 percent, and the 
 index for prescription drugs declined 0.9 percent, but the hospital services 
 index rose 1.0 percent. 

 The index for motor vehicle insurance fell 0.4 percent in April, ending a 
 streak of 17 consecutive monthly increases. The index for used cars and trucks 
 fell 0.5 percent in April, its fourth consecutive decline, and the new vehicles 
 index decreased 0.2 percent. The apparel index fell 0.3 percent, and the indexes 
 for recreation, household furnishings and operations, and airline fares also 
 declined. 

 The index for all items less food and energy rose 1.9 percent over the past 
 12 months; this was the first 12-month increase below 2.0 percent since the 
 period ending October 2015. The shelter index rose 3.5 percent over the year, 
 and the index for medical care rose 3.0 percent. The education index, which has
 been increasing more slowly recently than it typically has in the past, rose 
 2.4 percent over the last 12 months. The index for communication fell 6.5 
 percent over the past year, the largest decline since the inception of the 
 index in 1993; the index for wireless phone services declined 12.9 percent 
 over the year.  

 Not seasonally adjusted CPI measures

 The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 2.2 
 percent over the last 12 months to an index level of 244.524 (1982-84=100). 
 For the month, the index rose 0.3 percent prior to seasonal adjustment.  

 The Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) 
 increased 2.1 percent over the last 12 months to an index level of 238.432 
 (1982-84=100). For the month, the index increased 0.3 percent prior to seasonal 
 adjustment.  

 The Chained Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (C-CPI-U) increased 
 2.1 percent over the last 12 months. For the month, the index rose 0.3 percent 
 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 May 2017 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, 
 June 14, 2017, at 8:30 a.m. (EDT)


 --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                   Consumer Price Index Geographic Revision for 2018

 In January 2018, BLS will introduce a new geographic area sample for the Consumer 
 Price Index (CPI). The 2018 revision utilizes the 2010 Decennial Census and incorporates an 
 updated area sample design, changes the frequency of publication for several local area 
 indexes, and establishes some new local area and aggregate indexes. The first indexes 
 using the new structure will be published in February 2018. Additional information on 
 the geographic revision is available at: www.bls.gov/cpi/georevision2018.htm. 
 --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



 A Note on the Use of Seasonally Adjusted and Unadjusted Data

 Introduction

 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 February, 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 (https://www.bls.gov/cpi/cpisaqanda.htm) and the Timeline of Seasonal 
 Adjustment Methodological Changes (https://www.bls.gov/cpi/cpiseastimeline.htm). 

 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. 

 2017 Series Adjusted Using Intervention Analysis Seasonal Adjustment

 For the seasonal factors introduced in January 2017, BLS adjusted 40 series using Intervention 
 Analysis Seasonal Adjustment, including selected food and beverage items, motor fuels and natural 
 gas. For example, this procedure was used for the Motor fuel series to offset the effects of events 
 such as the 2009 return to normal pricing after 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 2017, revised seasonal factors and seasonally 
 adjusted indexes for 2012-2016 were calculated and published. For directly adjusted series, the 
 seasonal factors for 2016 will be applied to data in 2017 to produce the seasonally adjusted 2017 
 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 
 81 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. 27 of the 81 components of the U.S. city average 
 all items index are not seasonally adjusted for 2017.

 Contact Information 

 For additional information on seasonal adjustment in the CPI, please contact us at (202)691-6968 
 or cpiseas@bls.gov.  If you have general questions about the CPI, please call our information 
 staff at (202) 691-7000 or cpi_info@bls.gov. 

 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 www.bls.gov/cpi/ 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 0.03 
 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 0.06 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 0.14 and 0.26 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 2016."  These data are available on the CPI home page 
 (www.bls.gov/cpi), or by using the following link: www.bls.gov/cpi/cpivar2016.pdf.   

 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                                 0.003x100
 Equals percent change                                                   0.3











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Last Modified Date: May 12, 2017