March 22, 1999
In the West region, the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) rose 1.8 percent from December 1997 to December 1998, just above the national rise of 1.6 percent. The West CPI had risen 2.6 percent in 1997. The CPI-U measures retail price changes for goods and services purchased by consumers in metropolitan areas.
Housing combined with food and beverages account for 58 percent of total consumer expenditures in the West (42 percent and 16 percent, respectively); in 1998, the West housing index rose 3.0 percent and the food and beverages index increased 2.5 percent. Medical care prices rose 2.7 percent, while the "other goods and services" index—which includes prices for tobacco products—increased 6.3 percent.
Price declines were reported in transportation (-1.4 percent) and recreation (-0.4 percent), while prices for education and communication (0.4 percent) and apparel (0.6 percent) rose slightly.
These data are produced by the BLS Consumer Price Index program. More information can be obtained in news release USDL 99-01, "Consumer Prices in the West: December 1998." Annual comparisons are based on changes in indexes from December 1997 to December 1998. For data on price increases during 1998 in other U.S. regions, see "Consumer prices in the Midwest rise 1.6 percent in 1998" and "Consumer prices rise 1.7 percent in the Northeast in 1998."