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News Release Information

15-1614-SAN
Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Contacts

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

Consumer Price Index, West Region — July 2015

Area prices were up 0.3 percent over the past month, up 1.3 percent from a year ago

Prices in the West Region, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), increased 0.3 percent in July, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (See table A.) The July increase was influenced by higher prices for shelter and 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 increased 1.3 percent. (See chart 1.) Energy prices decreased 9.3 percent, largely the result of a decrease in the price of gasoline. The index for all items less food and energy rose 2.4 percent since July 2014.

Food

Food prices inched up 0.1 percent for the month of July. (See table 1.) Prices for food at home advanced 0.5 percent, but prices for food away from home declined 0.5 percent for the same period.

Over the year, food prices rose 1.7 percent. Prices for food away from home rose 2.1 percent, and prices for food at home advanced 1.5 percent since a year ago.

Energy

The energy index rose 2.1 percent over the month. The increase was mainly due to higher prices for gasoline (4.3 percent). Prices for electricity increased 0.3 percent, but prices for natural gas service decreased 2.4 percent in July.

Energy prices decreased 9.3 percent over the year, largely due to lower prices for gasoline (-14.2 percent). Prices for natural gas service decreased 4.7 percent, while prices paid for electricity edged up 0.2 percent during the past year.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy edged up 0.2 percent in July. Higher prices for shelter (0.5 percent) and medical care (0.4 percent) were partially offset by lower prices for apparel (-1.2 percent), new cars (-0.4 percent), and education and communication (-0.2 percent).

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy rose 2.4 percent. Components contributing to the increase included shelter (4.2 percent) and medical care (3.2 percent). Partly offsetting the increases were price declines in apparel (-2.0 percent) and education and communication (-0.6 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

0.31.60.92.60.92.40.41.50.61.50.81.1

April

0.21.50.63.00.22.10.01.30.31.80.31.0

May

0.11.30.33.20.22.00.21.30.62.30.81.2

June

-0.10.6-0.23.1-0.22.00.11.50.12.30.01.1

July

0.10.8-0.12.9-0.31.80.01.90.12.30.31.3

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 August 2015 Consumer Price Index for the West Region is scheduled to be released on September 16, 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 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 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: (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-
May
2015
Jun.
2015
Jul.
2015
Jul.
2014
May
2015
Jun.
2015

Expenditure category

 
 

All Items

244.227244.332245.0401.30.30.3

All items (December 1977=100)

394.779394.950396.093   

Food and beverages

248.352248.831249.0411.70.30.1

Food

248.429249.018249.2291.70.30.1

Food at home

247.018247.781249.0771.50.80.5

Food away from home

249.196249.537248.2172.1-0.4-0.5

Alcoholic beverages

243.962243.043243.2371.7-0.30.1

Housing

253.790254.543255.5923.50.70.4

Shelter

286.077286.858288.4184.20.80.5

Rent of primary residence (1)

299.516300.077301.2824.20.60.4

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

299.898300.971302.1654.20.80.4

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

299.887300.959302.1504.20.80.4

Fuels and utilities

281.185283.095282.5910.50.5-0.2

Household energy

247.553249.570248.442-1.40.4-0.5

Energy services (1)

250.363252.200251.242-1.00.4-0.4

Electricity (1)

275.611276.156276.8480.20.40.3

Utility (piped) gas service (1)

205.983211.028206.061-4.70.0-2.4

Household furnishings and operations

129.596129.694129.6730.90.10.0

Apparel

120.486117.569116.120-2.0-3.6-1.2

Transportation

212.655212.102213.790-3.90.50.8

Private transportation

205.723204.699207.669-4.00.91.5

New and used motor vehicles (3)

102.208102.482102.6780.90.50.2

New vehicles

147.661147.987147.6201.70.0-0.2

New cars and trucks (3) (4)

102.610102.854102.5861.60.0-0.3

New cars (4)

147.015147.414146.8100.6-0.1-0.4

Used cars and trucks

145.806146.081146.251-1.70.30.1

Motor fuel

268.693263.316274.229-14.42.14.1

Gasoline (all types)

268.144262.634273.797-14.22.14.3

Gasoline, unleaded regular (4)

266.188260.676271.793-14.72.14.3

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade (4) (5)

254.903249.069259.585-13.21.84.2

Gasoline, unleaded premium (4)

258.601253.719264.212-12.52.24.1

Medical Care

455.768453.453455.0893.2-0.10.4

Medical care commodities

344.021343.741345.5064.20.40.5

Medical care services

491.402488.314489.8652.9-0.30.3

Professional services

336.863339.843341.4353.31.40.5

Recreation (3)

110.491111.025111.0300.60.50.0

Education and communication (3)

137.667137.813137.604-0.60.0-0.2

Other goods and services

401.752402.541402.4991.10.20.0
 

Commodity and Service Group

 
 

All Items

244.227244.332245.0401.30.30.3

Commodities

183.355182.581183.246-1.5-0.10.4

Commodities less food & beverages

150.207148.943149.773-3.5-0.30.6

Nondurables less food & beverages

192.865190.276192.300-5.4-0.31.1

Nondurables less food, beverages, and apparel

243.739241.327245.683-6.40.81.8

Durables

110.832110.771110.518-0.5-0.3-0.2

Services

300.174301.127301.8663.00.60.2

Rent of shelter (2)

304.362305.205306.8294.20.80.5

Transportation services

285.891287.959285.5011.8-0.1-0.9

Other services

334.293336.128336.0670.80.50.0
 

Special aggregate indexes:

 
 

All items less medical care

234.530234.732235.3991.20.40.3

All items less food

243.761243.790244.5771.30.30.3

All items less shelter

228.591228.409228.759-0.20.10.2

Commodities less food

153.862152.600153.416-3.3-0.30.5

Nondurables

221.181220.002221.198-1.80.00.5

Nondurables less food

196.912194.409196.334-4.9-0.31.0

Nondurables less food and apparel

243.387241.122245.071-5.70.71.6

Services less rent of shelter (2)

328.894330.100329.7631.60.3-0.1

Services less medical care services

286.924288.102288.7893.00.60.2

Energy

261.834259.758265.318-9.31.32.1

All items less energy

244.871245.143245.4882.30.30.1

All items less food and energy

245.018245.235245.6052.40.20.2

Commodities less food and energy commodities

141.292140.485140.120-0.2-0.8-0.3

Energy commodities

272.201267.044277.746-14.42.04.0

Services less energy services

304.102305.001305.8503.20.60.3

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: Wednesday, August 19, 2015