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News Release Information

15-671-SAN
Friday, April 17, 2015

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

Consumer Price Index, Los Angeles area – March 2015

Area prices were up 1.0 percent over the past month, up 0.5 percent from a year ago

Prices in the Los Angeles area, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), rose 1.0 percent in March, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (See table A.) Regional Commissioner Richard J. Holden noted that the March increase was influenced by higher prices for gasoline. (Data in this report are not seasonally adjusted. Accordingly, month-to-month changes may reflect seasonal influences.)

Over the last 12 months, the CPI-U advanced 0.5 percent.  (See chart 1 and table A.) Energy prices fell 12.6 percent, largely the result of a decrease in the price of gasoline. The index for all items less food and energy advanced 1.5 percent over the year. (See table 1.)

Food

Food prices decreased 0.2 percent for the month of March. (See table 1.) Prices for food at home decreased 0.4 percent, but prices for food away from home edged up (0.1 percent) for the same period.

Over the year, food prices advanced 2.7 percent. Prices for food away from home increased 2.9 percent since a year ago, and prices for food at home rose 2.6 percent.

Energy

The energy index jumped 10.2 percent over the month. The increase was mainly due to higher prices for gasoline (18.1 percent). Prices for electricity moved down 0.6 percent, and prices for natural gas service decreased 0.4 percent for the same period.

Energy prices fell 12.6 percent over the year, largely due to lower prices for gasoline (-17.2 percent). Prices paid for natural gas service fell 12.1 percent, and prices for electricity declined 0.2 percent percent during the past year.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy advanced 0.5 percent in March. Higher prices for apparel (1.6 percent), medical care (0.7 percent), and shelter (0.5 percent) were partially offset by lower prices for other goods and services (-0.2 percent) and household furnishings and operations (-0.1 percent).

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy advanced 1.5 percent. Components contributing to the increase included shelter (3.6 percent), other goods and services (1.6 percent), and medical care (1.0 percent). Partly offsetting the increases were price declines in apparel (-4.7 percent) and recreation (-2.1 percent).

Table A . Los Angeles-Riverside-Orange County CPI-U monthly and annual percent changes (not seasonally adjusted)
Month201020112012201320142015
MonthlyAnnualMonthlyAnnualMonthlyAnnualMonthlyAnnualMonthlyAnnualMonthlyAnnual

January

0.41.80.91.80.82.10.82.00.50.8-0.3-0.1

February

0.01.40.52.30.52.10.72.20.50.50.70.1

March

0.41.91.13.01.02.00.11.30.61.01.00.5

April

0.21.90.53.30.01.5-0.40.90.01.4  

May

0.21.80.03.10.11.60.11.00.41.7  

June

-0.20.9-0.42.9-0.41.6-0.11.40.11.8  

July

0.10.9-0.42.4-0.11.9-0.11.30.12.0  

August

0.20.80.22.40.62.30.10.8-0.11.8  

September

-0.10.40.53.10.42.20.20.60.01.7  

October

0.30.70.02.80.83.00.1-0.1-0.11.4  

November

-0.40.7-0.13.0-1.02.1-0.50.4-0.71.3  

December

0.31.3-0.52.2-0.71.90.01.1-0.50.7  

The April 2015 Consumer Price Index for the Los Angeles-Riverside-Orange County is scheduled to be released on May 22, 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 Los Angeles-Riverside-Orange County, CA. metropolitan area covered in this release is comprised of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Ventura Counties in the State of California.

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 and percent changes for selected periods

Los Angeles-Riverside-Orange County, CA (1982-84=100 unless otherwise noted)
Item and Group

 
Indexes
 
Percent change from-
Jan.
2015
Feb.
2015
Mar.
2015
Mar.
2014
Jan.
2015
Feb.
2015

Expenditure category

 
 

All items

239.724241.297243.7380.51.71.0

All items (1967=100)

708.250712.900720.111---

Food and beverages

248.959248.892248.3632.7-0.2-0.2

Food

249.162249.082248.5342.7-0.3-0.2

Food at home

260.007259.032257.9602.6-0.8-0.4

Food away from home

231.880232.938233.0642.90.50.1

Alcoholic beverages

231.529231.635231.3592.4-0.1-0.1

Housing

263.629264.550265.4212.60.70.3

Shelter

297.583298.537299.8973.60.80.5

Rent of primary residence (1)

311.244312.124313.5083.90.70.4

Owners' equiv. rent of residences (1) (2)

309.388310.325311.7223.20.80.5

Owners' equiv. rent of primary residence (1) (2)

309.380310.319311.7123.20.80.4

Fuels and utilities

296.410296.282295.360-0.5-0.4-0.3

Household energy

263.239262.995261.682-3.8-0.6-0.5

Energy services (1)

262.078261.782260.382-3.7-0.6-0.5

Electricity (1)

305.940305.940304.112-0.2-0.6-0.6

Utility (piped) gas service (1)

207.746206.883206.125-12.1-0.8-0.4

Household furnishings and operations

116.202117.341117.203-1.90.9-0.1

Apparel

107.874109.115110.898-4.72.81.6

Transportation

184.091191.014201.691-6.09.65.6

Private transportation

178.621185.603196.427-6.010.05.8

Motor fuel

196.162219.228258.782-17.331.918.0

Gasoline (all types)

191.752214.426253.274-17.232.118.1

Gasoline, unleaded regular (3)

191.777215.041254.262-17.432.618.2

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade (3) (4)

184.785203.866241.234-16.430.518.3

Gasoline, unleaded premium (3)

184.240204.587239.499-16.830.017.1

Medical care

424.232418.580421.6011.0-0.60.7

Recreation (5)

102.217102.833102.860-2.10.60.0

Education and communication (5)

145.220145.243145.7100.40.30.3

Other goods and services

382.703382.310381.6471.6-0.3-0.2
 

Commodity and service group

 
 

All items

239.724241.297243.7380.51.71.0

Commodities

171.908174.376177.798-2.03.42.0

Commodities less food & beverages

131.745135.194140.160-5.36.43.7

Nondurables less food & beverages

167.072173.694183.253-7.39.75.5

Durables

97.02297.45698.057-1.71.10.6

Services

299.803300.456301.8702.10.70.5
 

Special aggregate indexes

 
 

All items less medical care

231.600233.401235.8020.51.81.0

All items less shelter

214.533216.374219.281-1.22.21.3

Commodities less food

136.014139.383144.221-5.06.03.5

Nondurables

208.578212.127217.046-2.14.12.3

Nondurables less food

172.880179.152188.180-6.68.95.0

Services less rent of shelter (2)

311.525311.748313.2640.10.60.5

Services less medical care services

288.946290.106291.3102.30.80.4

Energy

222.571236.829260.937-12.617.210.2

All items less energy

242.822243.487244.3731.70.60.4

All items less food and energy

242.003242.806243.9571.50.80.5

Footnotes
(1) This index series was calculated using a Laspeyres estimator. All other item stratum index series were calculated using a geometric means estimator.
(2) Index is on a December 1982=100 base.
(3) Special index based on a substantially smaller sample.
(4) Indexes on a December 1993=100 base.
(5) Indexes on a December 1997=100 base.
 

- Data not available
NOTE: Index applies to a month as a whole, not to any specific date.
 

 

Last Modified Date: Friday, April 17, 2015