Consumer Price Index Summary

 Transmission of material in this release is embargoed until                                        
 8:30 a.m. (EDT) April 14, 2017                 USDL-17-0419

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

 CONSUMER PRICE INDEX – MARCH 2017

 The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) decreased 0.3 percent 
 in March on a seasonally adjusted basis, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 
 reported today. Over the last 12 months, the all items index rose 2.4 percent 
 before seasonal adjustment. 

 The March decline was the first 1-month decrease in the seasonally adjusted 
 all items index since February 2016. A decline in the gasoline index was the 
 largest factor, with a decrease in the index for wireless telephone services 
 also contributing. The energy index declined 3.2 percent, with the gasoline 
 index falling 6.2 percent, and other major energy component indexes decreasing 
 as well. The food index rose 0.3 percent, with the index for food at home 
 increasing 0.5 percent, its largest increase since May 2014. 

 The index for all items less food and energy fell 0.1 percent in March, its 
 first decline since January 2010. The shelter index rose 0.1 percent, and the 
 indexes for motor vehicle insurance, medical care, tobacco, airline fares, and 
 alcoholic beverages also increased in March. These increases were more than 
 offset by declines in several indexes, including those for wireless telephone 
 services, used cars and trucks, new vehicles, and apparel. 

 The all items index rose 2.4 percent for the 12 months ending March, a smaller 
 increase than the 2.7-percent rise for the period ending February. The index 
 for all items less food and energy rose 2.0 percent over the last 12 months, 
 the smallest 12-month increase since November 2015. The energy index rose 10.9 
 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.
                              Sep.  Oct.  Nov.  Dec.  Jan.  Feb.  Mar.   ended 
                              2016  2016  2016  2016  2017  2017  2017   Mar.  
                                                                         2017  
                                                                               
                                                                               
 All items..................    .3    .3    .2    .3    .6    .1   -.3      2.4
  Food......................    .0    .0    .0    .0    .1    .2    .3       .5
   Food at home.............   -.2   -.2   -.1   -.2    .0    .3    .5      -.9
   Food away from home (1)..    .2    .1    .1    .2    .4    .2    .2      2.4
  Energy....................   2.4   2.5   1.0   1.2   4.0  -1.0  -3.2     10.9
   Energy commodities.......   4.4   4.8   2.0   2.4   7.6  -2.8  -6.0     19.8
    Gasoline (all types)....   4.6   5.1   2.1   2.4   7.8  -3.0  -6.2     19.9
    Fuel oil (1)............   2.4   5.9  -1.2   6.0   3.5   -.4   -.8     24.9
   Energy services..........    .6    .4    .0    .0    .3   1.0   -.3      3.4
    Electricity.............    .5    .3    .0    .0    .0    .8   -.1      1.6
    Utility (piped) gas                                                        
       service..............    .8    .9    .2    .1   1.5   1.5   -.8     10.3
  All items less food and                                                      
     energy.................    .1    .1    .2    .2    .3    .2   -.1      2.0
   Commodities less food and                                                   
      energy commodities....   -.1    .0   -.2    .0    .4    .0   -.3      -.6
    New vehicles............    .0    .2    .0    .1    .9   -.2   -.3       .2
    Used cars and trucks....   -.2   -.1    .2    .2   -.4   -.6   -.9     -4.7
    Apparel.................   -.5    .2   -.3   -.4   1.4    .6   -.7       .6
    Medical care commodities    .6    .2   -.4    .5    .3   -.2    .2      3.9
   Services less energy                                                        
      services..............    .2    .2    .3    .3    .3    .3   -.1      2.9
    Shelter.................    .3    .3    .3    .3    .2    .3    .1      3.5
    Transportation services     .0   -.1    .5    .5    .6    .7    .4      3.8
    Medical care services...    .1    .1    .2    .2    .2    .2    .1      3.4

   1 Not seasonally adjusted.


 Food

 The food index rose 0.3 percent in March following a 0.2-percent increase in 
 February. The index for food at home advanced 0.5 percent, as 4 of the 6 major 
 grocery store food group indexes rose. The index for fruits and vegetables rose 
 1.6 percent, with the index for fresh fruits rising 2.4 percent. The index for 
 other food at home rose 0.7 percent after declining in February. The indexes for 
 cereals and bakery products and for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs both increased 
 0.3 percent. In contrast to these increases, the index for dairy and related 
 products fell 0.6 percent in March after rising in each of the 3 prior months. 
 The index for nonalcoholic beverages also declined, falling 0.1 percent after 
 rising in February.

 The food at home index declined 0.9 percent over the past year. The indexes for 
 meats, poultry, fish, and eggs, for fruits and vegetables, and for cereals and 
 bakery products declined over the past 12 months, while the other 3 major grocery 
 store food group indexes increased slightly over the span. The index for food away 
 from home rose 0.2 percent in March, the same increase as in February, and rose 
 2.4 percent over the last 12 months. 


 Energy

 The energy index fell 3.2 percent in March following a 1.0-percent decline in 
 February. All the energy component indexes declined in March, with the gasoline 
 index falling 6.2 percent. (Before seasonal adjustment, gasoline prices increased 
 1.1 percent in March.) The index for natural gas fell 0.8 percent after rising 
 in each of the last 8 months, and the electricity index declined 0.1 percent 
 after rising in February. 

 Despite the March declines, all the component indexes rose over the last year. 
 The gasoline index increased 19.9 percent, the index for natural gas advanced 
 10.3 percent, and the electricity index increased 1.6 percent. 


 All items less food and energy

 The index for all items less food and energy declined 0.1 percent in March. The 
 index for communication fell 3.5 percent as the index for wireless telephone 
 services decreased 7.0 percent, the largest 1-month decline in the history of the 
 index. The index for used cars and trucks continued to fall, declining 0.9 percent 
 in March, and the new vehicles index decreased 0.3 percent. The apparel index 
 declined 0.7 percent in March after rising 0.6 percent in February. 

 The shelter index rose 0.1 percent in March, its smallest increase since June 2014. 
 The rent index rose 0.3 percent and the index for owners' equivalent rent advanced 
 0.2 percent, but the index for lodging away from home fell 2.4 percent. The medical 
 care index increased 0.1 percent in March, as the index for hospital services rose 
 0.4 percent, the index for prescription drugs was unchanged, and the physicians' 
 services index declined 0.3 percent. 

 The index for motor vehicle insurance continued to rise, increasing 1.2 percent in 
 March. The index for tobacco rose 0.5 percent, the airline fares index increased 
 0.4 percent, and the index for alcoholic beverages rose 0.2 percent. The indexes 
 for recreation, for education, and for household furnishings and operations were 
 unchanged in March.

 The index for all items less food and energy rose 2.0 percent over the past 12 
 months. The indexes for shelter and for medical care both rose 3.5 percent. The 
 index for motor vehicle insurance increased sharply over the last year, rising 8.1 
 percent, its largest 12-month increase since the period ending June 2003. The 
 indexes for communication, used cars and trucks, and household furnishings and 
 operations all declined over the past year. 


 Not seasonally adjusted CPI measures

 The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 2.4 percent over 
 the last 12 months to an index level of 243.801 (1982-84=100). For the month, the 
 index rose 0.1 percent prior to seasonal adjustment.  

 The Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) 
 increased 2.3 percent over the last 12 months to an index level of 237.656 
 (1982-84=100). For the month, the index increased 0.1 percent prior to seasonal 
 adjustment.  

 The Chained Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (C-CPI-U) increased 
 2.4 percent over the last 12 months. For the month, the index rose 0.1 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 April 2017 is scheduled to be released on Friday, 
 May 12, 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: April 14, 2017