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News Release Information

21-659-KAN
Tuesday, April 13, 2021

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Technical information:
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  • (816) 285-7000

Consumer Price Index, Denver-Aurora-Lakewood area – March 2021

Area prices up 0.8 percent over the past two months, up 1.6 percent from a year ago

Prices in the Denver-Aurora-Lakewood area, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), advanced 0.8 percent for the two months ending in March 2021, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Michael Hirniak noted that the March increase was due to higher prices for energy and all items less food and energy. (Data in this report are not seasonally adjusted. Accordingly, bi-monthly changes may reflect seasonal influences.)

Over the last 12 months, the CPI-U increased 1.6 percent. (See chart 1.) The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.7 percent, while food prices increased 1.8 percent. During the same period, energy prices surged 18.6 percent. (See table 1.)

Food

Food prices decreased 0.8 percent for the two months ending in March. (See table 1.) Prices for food away from home decreased 1.3 percent and food at home declined 0.4 percent during the period.

Over the year, food prices advanced 1.8 percent. Prices for food away from home rose 2.6 percent and prices for food at home advanced 1.2 percent since a year ago.

Energy

The energy index escalated 12.2 percent for the two months ending in March. Higher prices for gasoline led the advance with an increase of 22.1 percent. Prices for electricity were unchanged for the same period.

Energy prices rose 18.6 percent over the year, largely due to higher prices for gasoline (35.8 percent). Prices paid for electricity were unchanged during the past year.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy advanced 0.4 percent in the latest two-month period. Higher prices for apparel (8.6 percent), shelter (0.6 percent), and medical care (2.0 percent) were partially offset by lower prices for household furnishings and operations (-3.7 percent) and new vehicles (-4.7 percent).

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy rose 0.7 percent. Components contributing to the increase included apparel (17.8 percent) and medical care (2.4 percent). Partly offsetting the increases were price decreases in new vehicles (-7.9 percent) and shelter (-0.6 percent).

The May 2021 Consumer Price Index for the Denver-Aurora-Lakewood area is scheduled to be released on Thursday, June 10, 2021.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic Impact on March 2021 Consumer Price Index Data

Data collection by personal visit for the Consumer Price Index (CPI) program has been suspended since March 16, 2020. When possible, data normally collected by personal visit were collected either online or by phone. Additionally, data collection in March 2021 was affected by the temporary closing or limited operations of certain types of establishments. These factors resulted in an increase in the number of prices considered temporarily unavailable and imputed. While the CPI program attempted to collect as much data as possible, many indexes are based on smaller amounts of collected prices than usual, and a small number of indexes that are normally published were not published this month. Additional information is available at www.bls.gov/covid19/effects-of-covid-19-pandemic-on-consumer-price-index.htm.


Technical Note

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) is a measures 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 93 percent of the total U.S. population and (2) a CPI for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) which covers approximately 29 percent of the total U.S. 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 75 urban areas across the country from about 6,000 housing units and approximately 22,000 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; for most of the CPI-U the reference base is 1982-84 equals 100. An increase of 7 percent from the reference base, for example, is shown as 107.000.  Alternatively, that relationship can also be expressed as the price of a base period market basket of goods and services rising from $100 to $107. For further details see the CPI home page on the internet at www.bls.gov/cpi and the CPI section of the BLS Handbook of Methods available on the internet at www.bls.gov/opub/hom/cpi/.

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 Denver-Aurora-Lakewood metropolitan area is comprised of Adams, Arapahoe, Broomfield, Clear Creek, Denver, Douglas, Elbert, Gilpin, Jefferson, and Park counties in Colorado.

Information in this release will be made available to individuals with sensory impairments 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,
Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO (1982-84=100 unless otherwise noted)
Item and GroupIndexesPercent change from -
Jan.
2021
Feb.
2021
Mar.
2021
Mar.
2020
Jan.
2021
Feb.
2021

All items

272.156-274.4301.60.8-

All items (1967 = 100)

907.527-915.110   

Food and beverages

250.529-248.3851.8-0.9-

Food

255.223-253.1141.8-0.8-

Food at home

237.310235.231236.2911.2-0.40.5

Cereals and bakery products

282.524-285.620-0.71.1-

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

236.653-233.2865.7-1.4-

Dairy and related products

207.432-205.940-2.3-0.7-

Fruits and vegetables

280.945-277.166-2.2-1.3-

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials(1)

164.628-163.377-1.3-0.8-

Other food at home

210.478-212.3922.80.9-

Food away from home

278.884-275.1352.6-1.3-

Alcoholic beverages

209.597-207.0541.4-1.2-

Housing

274.759-274.870-0.30.0-

Shelter

316.795317.723318.558-0.60.60.3

Rent of primary residence

327.998329.765332.0170.01.20.7

Owners' equivalent rent of residences(2)

313.247315.380315.1710.30.6-0.1

Owners' equivalent rent of primary residence(2)

313.247315.380315.1710.30.6-0.1

Fuels and utilities

237.695-238.366-0.20.3-

Household energy

154.399154.660154.9100.60.30.2

Energy services

152.762152.999153.2390.80.30.2

Electricity

157.806157.806157.8060.00.00.0

Utility (piped) gas service

------

Household furnishings and operations

128.897-124.0791.7-3.7-

Apparel

101.889-110.64717.88.6-

Transportation

253.958-261.0634.92.8-

Private transportation

254.531-263.7326.63.6-

New and used motor vehicles(3)

107.208-105.028-2.1-2.0-

New vehicles(1)

211.504-201.554-7.9-4.7-

Used cars and trucks(1)

289.065-297.2448.52.8-

Motor fuel

196.672204.405240.22435.322.117.5

Gasoline (all types)

195.406202.991238.49735.822.117.5

Gasoline, unleaded regular(4)

188.016195.456230.90037.522.818.1

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(4)(5)

197.394203.977236.82829.220.016.1

Gasoline, unleaded premium(4)

222.336230.309263.55528.318.514.4

Motor vehicle insurance(1)

3,080.901-3,145.9293.92.1-

Medical care

631.437-644.3362.42.0-

Recreation(3)

158.160-160.142-1.41.3-

Education and communication(3)

127.041-127.9372.90.7-

Tuition, other school fees, and childcare(1)

1,101.129-1,116.0802.61.4-

Other goods and services

385.770-385.2141.3-0.1-

Commodity and service group

Commodities

177.152-180.3054.21.8-

Commodities less food and beverages

141.341-146.2055.73.4-

Nondurables less food and beverages

167.746-180.51911.87.6-

Durables

113.358-112.345-0.3-0.9-

Services

356.546-357.7340.20.3-

Special aggregate indexes

All items less shelter

250.844-253.3372.91.0-

All items less medical care

255.858-257.7021.50.7-

Commodities less food

143.991-148.6395.53.2-

Nondurables

208.689-214.8026.22.9-

Nondurables less food

170.562-182.24810.96.9-

Services less rent of shelter(2)

409.507-409.7301.40.1-

Services less medical care services

332.909-333.081-0.10.1-

Energy

172.455176.264193.41418.612.29.7

All items less energy

282.515-283.2930.80.3-

All items less food and energy

288.371-289.6390.70.4-

Footnotes
(1) Indexes on a January 1978=100 base.
(2) Indexes on a November 1982=100 base.
(3) Indexes on a December 1997=100 base.
(4) Special index based on a substantially smaller sample.
(5) Index on a December 1993=100 base.

- Data not available.

 

Last Modified Date: Tuesday, April 13, 2021