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News Release Information

15-300-SAN
Thursday, February 26, 2015

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Technical information:
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  • (415) 625-2270

Consumer Price Index, Anchorage – Second Half 2014

Area prices up 1.0 percent over the past six months, up 1.4 percent from a year ago

Prices in the greater Anchorage area, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), advanced 1.0 percent in the second half of 2014, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (See table A.) Regional Commissioner Richard J. Holden noted the latest six-month increase was influenced by higher prices for shelter. (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 1.4 percent. (See chart 1) Energy prices advanced 5.5 percent, mainly due to an increase in the price of natural gas service. The index for all items less food and energy increased 1.0 percent over the year.

Food

Food prices advanced 2.1 percent in the second half of 2014. (See table 1.) Prices for food at home rose 2.5 percent, and prices for food away from home were up 1.7 percent for the past six months.

For the year ending in the second half of 2014, food prices increased 2.1 percent. Prices for food at home rose 2.4 percent during the past 12 months, and prices for food away from home increased 1.8 percent.

Energy

The energy index increased 3.4 percent since the first half of 2014. This advance was strongly influenced by the price of natural gas, which jumped 17.2 percent. Electricity prices rose 4.8 percent, but gasoline prices declined 1.5 percent for the same period.

Energy prices rose 5.5 percent over the year, influenced by a 20.9 percent jump in natural gas service prices and a 14.8 percent surge in electricity prices. Gasoline prices declined 2.1 percent during the past 12 months.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy increased 0.5 percent from the first half of 2014 to the second half of 2014. Among the index components, the largest increases were recorded for shelter (1.5 percent) and recreation (1.4 percent). In contrast, prices declined for household furnishings and operations (-1.7 percent) and apparel (-0.9 percent) for the same period.

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy advanced 1.0 percent. Prices increased for medical care (3.1 percent) and shelter (2.6 percent). Over the past year, prices declined 3.3 percent for apparel.

Table A. Anchorage CPI-U semi-annual and annual percent changes (not seasonally adjusted)
Month200920102011201220132014
Semi-annualAnnualSemi-annualAnnualSemi-annualAnnualSemi-annualAnnualSemi-annualAnnualSemi-annualAnnual

First Half

-0.71.30.72.52.52.81.32.52.12.70.41.9

Second Half

1.81.10.31.01.13.60.72.01.43.5 1.01.4 

The Consumer Price Index for the first half of 2015 is scheduled to be released on August 19, 2015.


Technical Note

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 89 percent of the total population and (2) a CPI for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) which covers 28 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 www.bls.gov/opub/hom/homch17_a.htm.

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 Anchorage, AK. metropolitan area covered in this release is comprised of Anchorage Borough in the State of Alaska.

Information in this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: 202-691-5200; Federal Relay Service: 1-800-877-8339.

Table 1. Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U): Indexes for semiannual averages and percent changes for selected periods

Anchorage, AK (1982-84=100 unless otherwise noted)
Item and Group

 
Semiannual average indexes
 
Percent change to
2nd half 2014 from-
2nd half
2013
1st half
2014
2nd half
2014
2nd half
2013
1st half
2014

Expenditure category

 
 

All items

213.910214.777216.8331.41.0

All items (1967=100)

570.956573.268578.759--

Food and beverages

204.418204.631208.6262.12.0

Food

209.954210.066214.3952.12.1

Food at home

210.985210.759215.9802.42.5

Food away from home

207.211207.379210.9991.81.7

Alcoholic beverages

148.496149.699150.3231.20.4

Housing

191.969194.382197.9193.11.8

Shelter

196.334198.425201.3882.61.5

Rent of primary residence

193.305195.654199.0243.01.7

Owners' equiv. rent of residences (1)

197.472199.968203.0232.81.5

Owners' equiv. rent of primary residence (1)

197.472199.968203.0232.81.5

Fuels and utilities

258.121266.791287.51411.47.8

Household energy

257.766274.258299.67316.39.3

Energy services

278.878297.351327.75017.510.2

Electricity

234.905257.413269.70214.84.8

Utility (piped) gas service

341.565352.320412.79420.917.2

Household furnishings and operations

127.799128.333126.188-1.3-1.7

Apparel

163.198159.211157.839-3.3-0.9

Transportation

229.949227.237224.134-2.5-1.4

Private transportation

233.265229.433227.948-2.3-0.6

Motor fuel

307.826306.475301.754-2.0-1.5

Gasoline (all types)

308.883307.046302.434-2.1-1.5

Gasoline, unleaded regular (2)

300.615298.782294.223-2.1-1.5

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade (2) (3)

290.844289.228285.221-1.9-1.4

Gasoline, unleaded premium (2)

299.965298.363294.080-2.0-1.4

Medical care

478.573489.452493.1893.10.8

Recreation (4)

119.782118.993120.6250.71.4

Education and communication (4)

113.846115.611116.5472.40.8

Other goods and services

327.378331.170331.6381.30.1
 

Commodity and service group

 
 

All Items

213.910214.777216.8331.41.0

Commodities

182.979181.924182.008-0.50.0

Commodities less food & beverages

171.441169.761167.832-2.1-1.1

Nondurables less food & beverages

220.959219.179216.666-1.9-1.1

Durables

129.097127.465126.031-2.4-1.1

Services

239.954242.578246.3992.71.6
 

Special aggregate indexes

 
 

All items less medical care

204.052204.612206.6001.21.0

All items less shelter

220.476220.612222.2570.80.7

Commodities less food

170.814169.275167.454-2.0-1.1

Nondurables

213.323212.599213.4660.10.4

Nondurables less food

215.633214.155211.909-1.7-1.0

Services less rent of shelter (1)

309.737313.161318.5192.81.7

Services less medical care services

223.965226.131229.8962.61.7

Energy

279.791285.579295.2045.53.4

All items less energy

209.976210.808212.3781.10.7

All items less food and energy

210.324211.289212.3431.00.5

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

- Data not available.
 

 

Last Modified Date: Thursday, February 26, 2015