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News Release Information

15-1619-SAN
Wednesday, August 19, 2015

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

Consumer Price Index, Portland – First Half 2015

Area prices up 0.1 percent over the past six months, up 1.3 percent from a year ago

Prices in the greater Portland 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 and medical care, but partially 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 1.3 percent.  (See chart 1 and table A.) Energy prices fell 14.4 percent, mainly due to an increase in the price of gasoline. The index for all items less food and energy increased 2.6 percent over the year. (See table 1.)

Food

Food prices advanced 0.7 percent in the first half of 2015. (See table 1.) Prices for food away from home rose 1.5 percent for the past six months. Prices for food at home increased 0.5 percent for the same period. 

For the year ending in the first half of 2015, food prices rose 3.6 percent. Prices for food away from home advanced 4.4 percent during the past 12 months, and prices for food at home increased 3.3 percent.

Energy

Energy prices fell 12.6 percent since the second half of 2014. A drop in gasoline prices (-22.5 percent) offset higher prices for natural gas service and electricity (0.8 percent each).

Energy prices dropped 14.4 percent over the year, largely due to a decrease on gasoline prices (-25.0 percent). Prices for electricity moved up 0.7 percent, and prices for natural gas service increased 1.7 percent during the same period.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy increased 1.2 percent from the second half of 2014 to the first half of 2015. Among the index components, price increases were recorded for medical care (3.1 percent), shelter (2.3 percent), and apparel (1.0 percent). In contrast, prices declined for education and communication (-1.4 percent), household furnishings and operations (-0.4 percent), and other goods and services (-0.3 percent).

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy advanced 2.6 percent. Prices increased for shelter (5.1 percent), medical care (5.1 percent), and apparel (2.0 percent). Partially offsetting the increases were lower prices for alcoholic beverages (-1.6 percent) and education and communication (-0.7 percent).

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

First Half

0.11.61.82.61.22.51.32.21.02.60.11.3

Second Half

0.80.91.33.10.92.11.52.81.22.3  

The second half of 2015 Consumer Price Index for Portland 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 Portland-Salem, OR, WA metropolitan area covered in this release consists of Clackamas, Columbia, Marion, Multnomah, Polk, Washington, and Yamhill Counties in the State of Oregon and Clark County in the State of Washington.

Information in this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals 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 for semiannual averages and percent changes for selected periods

Portland-Salem, OR-WA (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

239.751242.679242.9761.30.1

All items (1967=100)

701.889710.462711.334--

Food and beverages

225.641231.522232.7983.20.6

Food

227.401233.825235.5113.60.7

Food at home

213.328219.350220.3483.30.5

Food away from home

249.125256.078259.9854.41.5

Alcoholic beverages

209.176209.062205.775-1.6-1.6

Housing

231.548236.783241.5054.32.0

Shelter

268.974276.248282.7335.12.3

Rent of primary residence

267.855275.558282.0545.32.4

Owners' equiv. rent of residences (1)

280.762287.642294.6354.92.4

Owners' equiv. rent of primary residence (1)

280.762287.642294.6354.92.4

Fuels and utilities

257.502259.356261.4821.50.8

Household energy

208.833208.499209.6690.40.6

Energy services

255.323255.710257.6910.90.8

Electricity

298.351298.193300.4430.70.8

Utility (piped) gas service

166.438167.798169.2061.70.8

Household furnishings and operations

104.905105.624105.2300.3-0.4

Apparel

124.700125.834127.1492.01.0

Transportation

242.858237.213220.578-9.2-7.0

Private transportation

245.511241.753223.573-8.9-7.5

Motor fuel

315.835305.276236.809-25.0-22.4

Gasoline (all types)

318.419307.919238.707-25.0-22.5

Gasoline, unleaded regular (2)

316.695306.226236.265-25.4-22.8

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade (2) (3)

268.829259.803203.349-24.4-21.7

Gasoline, unleaded premium (2)

291.450282.174222.462-23.7-21.2

Medical care

504.334513.925529.8935.13.1

Recreation (4)

110.231109.679110.166-0.10.4

Education and communication (4)

115.807116.664114.984-0.7-1.4

Other goods and services

468.845472.044470.8580.4-0.3
 

Commodity and service group

 
 

All Items

239.751242.679242.9761.30.1

Commodities

181.550182.562178.573-1.6-2.2

Commodities less food & beverages

159.936158.647152.218-4.8-4.1

Nondurables less food & beverages

200.948199.795189.034-5.9-5.4

Durables

116.571115.187113.046-3.0-1.9

Services

298.488303.328307.8923.21.5
 

Special aggregate indexes

 
 

All items less medical care

227.874230.520230.1901.0-0.1

All items less shelter

229.690230.794228.285-0.6-1.1

Commodities less food

161.621160.378154.070-4.7-3.9

Nondurables

212.258214.540209.650-1.2-2.3

Nondurables less food

200.455199.385189.217-5.6-5.1

Services less rent of shelter (1)

343.621344.944346.2590.80.4

Services less medical care services

283.101287.979292.4273.31.5

Energy

259.747254.520222.367-14.4-12.6

All items less energy

241.399245.176247.9442.71.1

All items less food and energy

245.815249.113252.1082.61.2

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