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News Release Information

15-503-SAN
Tuesday, March 24, 2015

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

Consumer Price Index, West Region — February 2015

Area prices were up 0.6 percent over the past month, up 0.9 percent from a year ago

Prices in the West Region, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), increased 0.6 percent in February, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (See table A.) The February increase was influenced by higher prices for gasoline and shelter. (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 increased 0.9 percent.  (See chart 1 and table A.) Energy prices dropped 17.5 percent, largely the result of a decrease in the price of gasoline. The index for all items less food and energy rose 2.3 percent over the year. (See table 1.)

 

Food

Food prices inched down 0.1 percent for the month of February. (See table 1.) Prices for food at home decreased 0.3 percent, but prices for food away from home rose 0.3 percent for the same period.

Over the year, food prices advanced 3.4 percent. Prices for food at home rose 3.7 percent since a year ago, and prices for food away from home advanced 3.1 percent.

Energy

The energy index advanced 2.8 percent over the month. The increase was mainly due to higher prices for gasoline (6.2 percent). Prices for electricity inched down 0.1 percent, and prices for natural gas service declined 0.5 percent for the same period.

Energy prices dropped 17.5 percent over the year, largely due to lower prices for gasoline (-29.8 percent). Prices paid for natural gas service rose 2.7 percent, and prices for electricity advanced 0.8 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 February. The increase was primarily due to higher prices for apparel (1.9 percent), new vehicles (1.2 percent), and shelter (0.5 percent).

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy rose 2.3 percent. Higher prices for shelter (4.0 percent) and medical care (2.5 percent) were partially offset by lower prices for used cars and trucks (-3.5 percent).

Table A. West Region CPI-U monthly and annual percent changes (not seasonally adjusted)
Month201020112012201320142015
MonthlyAnnualMonthlyAnnualMonthlyAnnualMonthlyAnnualMonthlyAnnualMonthlyAnnual

January

0.31.90.51.40.42.60.31.70.31.7-0.30.7

February

0.11.40.61.90.42.50.82.00.41.30.60.9

March

0.31.60.92.60.92.40.41.50.61.5  

April

0.21.50.63.00.22.10.01.30.31.8  

May

0.11.30.33.20.22.00.21.30.62.3  

June

-0.10.6-0.23.1-0.22.00.11.50.12.3  

July

0.10.8-0.12.9-0.31.80.01.90.12.3  

August

0.10.70.23.00.52.10.11.5-0.12.1  

September

-0.10.50.43.50.52.20.21.30.12.0  

October

0.10.60.03.40.42.5-0.10.9-0.12.0  

November

0.00.9-0.23.2-0.71.9-0.41.3-0.61.7  

December

0.21.3-0.32.7-0.51.70.01.8-0.51.3  

The March 2015 Consumer Price Index for the West Region is scheduled to be released on April 17, 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 West Region covered in this release is comprised of the following thirteen states: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.

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

West (1982-84=100 unless otherwise noted)
Item and Group

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

Expenditure category

 
 

All Items

239.095238.318239.7480.90.30.6

All items (December 1977=100)

386.484385.227387.539   

Food and beverages

248.679249.219249.1003.30.20.0

Food

248.803249.403249.2633.40.2-0.1

Food at home

249.592250.441249.6283.70.0-0.3

Food away from home

246.468246.713247.5243.10.40.3

Alcoholic beverages

243.682243.463243.6041.70.00.1

Housing

249.072250.123251.2483.40.90.4

Shelter

281.000282.147283.4264.00.90.5

Rent of primary residence (1)

294.877295.927296.8804.20.70.3

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

295.058295.909296.8713.60.60.3

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

295.047295.900296.8623.60.60.3

Fuels and utilities

272.267274.684274.7602.00.90.0

Household energy

237.907240.250239.7860.40.8-0.2

Energy services (1)

239.150242.408241.9241.31.2-0.2

Electricity (1)

258.855263.658263.3610.81.7-0.1

Utility (piped) gas service (1)

207.308207.079206.1172.7-0.6-0.5

Household furnishings and operations

128.131128.181129.2990.30.90.9

Apparel

116.587116.559118.7181.31.81.9

Transportation

198.919190.929194.638-8.5-2.21.9

Private transportation

192.744184.366188.194-9.1-2.42.1

New and used motor vehicles (3)

99.35199.511100.642-0.51.31.1

New vehicles

145.050145.496147.2720.81.51.2

New cars and trucks (3) (4)

100.847101.157102.3490.81.51.2

New cars (4)

145.247145.783147.2030.21.31.0

Used cars and trucks

137.692137.029138.644-3.50.71.2

Motor fuel

224.945189.669200.971-29.7-10.76.0

Gasoline (all types)

223.075188.054199.636-29.8-10.56.2

Gasoline, unleaded regular (4)

221.296185.737197.305-30.3-10.86.2

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade (4) (5)

211.919181.020192.246-28.4-9.36.2

Gasoline, unleaded premium (4)

215.594184.778195.873-27.9-9.16.0

Medical Care

446.377447.286449.7192.50.70.5

Medical care commodities

340.579341.585345.3174.11.41.1

Medical care services

479.809480.659482.5192.10.60.4

Professional services

332.813333.511336.2612.01.00.8

Recreation (3)

109.058109.062109.6100.00.50.5

Education and communication (3)

138.071138.286138.4390.20.30.1

Other goods and services

399.426401.012401.1420.80.40.0
 

Commodity and Service Group

 
 

All Items

239.095238.318239.7480.90.30.6

Commodities

178.573176.041177.717-2.5-0.51.0

Commodities less food & beverages

143.483139.773142.131-6.3-0.91.7

Nondurables less food & beverages

181.257173.286177.077-9.4-2.32.2

Nondurables less food, beverages, and apparel

226.847213.492218.422-12.7-3.72.3

Durables

108.556108.712109.762-1.41.11.0

Services

294.763295.685296.8633.00.70.4

Rent of shelter (2)

298.941300.156301.5273.90.90.5

Transportation services

278.753278.242279.6341.80.30.5

Other services

332.790332.835333.8260.90.30.3
 

Special aggregate indexes:

 
 

All items less medical care

229.595228.753230.1370.80.20.6

All items less food

237.750236.753238.4340.50.30.7

All items less shelter

223.389221.784223.293-0.70.00.7

Commodities less food

147.288143.659145.965-5.9-0.91.6

Nondurables

215.043210.976212.975-2.8-1.00.9

Nondurables less food

185.924178.377181.969-8.6-2.12.0

Nondurables less food and apparel

228.117216.045220.507-11.4-3.32.1

Services less rent of shelter (2)

322.879323.522324.5811.80.50.3

Services less medical care services

281.909282.829283.9593.10.70.4

Energy

233.116214.552220.630-17.5-5.42.8

All items less energy

241.484242.047243.1372.50.70.5

All items less food and energy

240.962241.520242.8292.30.80.5

Commodities less food and energy commodities

138.982139.182140.4360.01.00.9

Energy commodities

229.604193.829205.085-29.6-10.75.8

Services less energy services

299.047299.823301.1103.10.70.4

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) Indexes on a December 1997=100 base.
(4) Special index based on a substantially smaller sample.
(5) Indexes on a December 1993=100 base.
 

Regions defined as the four Census regions. West includes Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.
NOTE: Index applies to a month as a whole, not to any specific date. Data not seasonally adjusted.
 

 

Last Modified Date: Tuesday, March 24, 2015