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News Release Information

15-1616-SAN
Wednesday, August 19, 2015

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Technical information:
Media contact:
  • (415) 625-2270

Consumer Price Index, Anchorage – First Half 2015

Area prices up 0.1 percent over the past six months, up 1.1 percent from a year ago

Prices in the greater Anchorage area, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), edged up 0.1 percent in the first half of 2015, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (See table A.) Regional Commissioner Richard J. Holden noted that this latest six-month increase was influenced by higher prices for shelter, medical care, and education and communication, but largely offset by lower prices for gasoline. (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 1.1 percent. (See chart 1) Energy prices declined 7.2 percent, largely due to a decrease in the price of gasoline. The index for all items less food and energy increased 1.5 percent over the year.

Food

Food prices advanced 0.8 percent in the first half of 2015. (See table 1.) Prices for food away from home increased 1.3 percent for the past six months, and prices for food at home rose 0.4 percent.

For the year ending in the first half of 2015, food prices rose 2.9 percent. Prices for food away from home increased 3.1 percent during the past 12 months, and prices for food at home advanced 2.9 percent.

Energy

Energy prices decreased 10.2 percent since the second half of 2014. A drop in gasoline prices (-22.8 percent) was countered by higher prices for natural gas service (3.5 percent) and electricity (4.9 percent).

Energy prices fell 7.2 percent over the year. The decrease was led by lower gasoline prices (-23.9 percent). Prices for electricity rose 9.9 percent, and prices for natural gas service rose 21.2 percent.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy increased 1.0 percent from the second half of 2014 to the first half of 2015. Among the index components, price increases were recorded for education and communication (2.6 percent), medical care (2.3 percent), and shelter (1.3 percent). In contrast, prices declined for apparel (-1.0 percent) and other goods and services (-0.6 percent).

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy advanced 1.5 percent. Prices increased for education and communication (3.4 percent), medical care (3.1 percent), and shelter (2.8 percent). Partially offsetting the increases were price decreases for apparel (-1.8 percent) and household furnishings and operations (-1.2 percent).

Table A. Anchorage CPI-U semi-annual and annual percent changes (not seasonally adjusted)
Month201020112012201320142015
Semi-annualAnnualSemi-annualAnnualSemi-annualAnnualSemi-annualAnnualSemi-annualAnnualSemi-annualAnnual

First Half

0.72.52.52.81.32.52.12.70.41.90.11.1

Second Half

0.31.01.13.60.72.01.43.5 1.01.4   

The second half of 2015 Consumer Price Index for Anchorage is scheduled to be released mid-January 2016.


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 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.

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
1st half 2015 from-
1st half
2014
2nd half
2014
1st half
2015
1st half
2014
2nd half
2014

Expenditure category

 
 

All items

214.777216.833217.1111.10.1

All items (1967=100)

573.268578.759579.500--

Food and beverages

204.631208.626210.2682.80.8

Food

210.066214.395216.1222.90.8

Food at home

210.759215.980216.8662.90.4

Food away from home

207.379210.999213.8403.11.3

Alcoholic beverages

149.699150.323151.1030.90.5

Housing

194.382197.919201.0253.41.6

Shelter

198.425201.388203.9992.81.3

Rent of primary residence

195.654199.024201.0042.71.0

Owners' equiv. rent of residences (1)

199.968203.023205.3152.71.1

Owners' equiv. rent of primary residence (1)

199.968203.023205.3152.71.1

Fuels and utilities

266.791287.514299.18412.14.1

Household energy

274.258299.673309.50212.93.3

Energy services

297.351327.750341.64314.94.2

Electricity

257.413269.702282.9939.94.9

Utility (piped) gas service

352.320412.794427.05021.23.5

Household furnishings and operations

128.333126.188126.824-1.20.5

Apparel

159.211157.839156.327-1.8-1.0

Transportation

227.237224.134212.071-6.7-5.4

Private transportation

229.433227.948213.479-7.0-6.3

Motor fuel

306.475301.754233.301-23.9-22.7

Gasoline (all types)

307.046302.434233.608-23.9-22.8

Gasoline, unleaded regular (2)

298.782294.223226.641-24.1-23.0

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade (2) (3)

289.228285.221221.460-23.4-22.4

Gasoline, unleaded premium (2)

298.363294.080230.024-22.9-21.8

Medical care

489.452493.189504.7423.12.3

Recreation (4)

118.993120.625120.9761.70.3

Education and communication (4)

115.611116.547119.5293.42.6

Other goods and services

331.170331.638329.681-0.4-0.6
 

Commodity and service group

 
 

All Items

214.777216.833217.1111.10.1

Commodities

181.924182.008177.742-2.3-2.3

Commodities less food & beverages

169.761167.832160.545-5.4-4.3

Nondurables less food & beverages

219.179216.666201.039-8.3-7.2

Durables

127.465126.031126.401-0.80.3

Services

242.578246.399250.7823.41.8
 

Special aggregate indexes

 
 

All items less medical care

204.612206.600206.5400.90.0

All items less shelter

220.612222.257221.3040.3-0.4

Commodities less food

169.275167.454160.508-5.2-4.1

Nondurables

212.599213.466206.749-2.8-3.1

Nondurables less food

214.155211.909197.659-7.7-6.7

Services less rent of shelter (1)

313.161318.519325.7614.02.3

Services less medical care services

226.131229.896233.8613.41.7

Energy

285.579295.204265.053-7.2-10.2

All items less energy

210.808212.378214.4951.71.0

All items less food and energy

211.289212.343214.5381.51.0

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: Wednesday, August 19, 2015