Department of Labor Logo United States Department of Labor
Dot gov

The .gov means it's official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you're on a federal government site.

Https

The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

News Release Information

16-116-SAN
Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Contacts

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

Consumer Price Index, West Region — December 2015

Area prices were down 0.1 percent over the past month, up 1.8 percent from a year ago

Prices in the West Region, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), edged down 0.1 percent in December, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (See table A.) The December decrease was influenced by lower prices for gasoline and apparel. (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 rose 1.8 percent. (See chart 1.) This marks the 14th consecutive month in which consumer prices rose by less than 2.0 percent on an annual basis in the West. Energy prices declined 6.8 percent, largely the result of a decrease in the price of gasoline. The index for all items less food and energy increased 2.7 percent over the year. (See table 1.)

Food

Food prices decreased 0.3 percent for the month of December. (See table 1.) Prices for food at home decreased 0.6 percent, while prices for food away from home edged up 0.2 percent for the same period.

Over the year, food prices increased 1.0 percent. Prices for food away from home rose 3.1 percent since a year ago, but prices for food at home declined 0.4 percent.

Energy

The energy index decreased 1.6 percent over the month. The decrease was mainly due to lower prices for gasoline (-3.0 percent). Prices for electricity decreased 0.5 percent, while prices for natural gas service advanced 1.3 percent for the same period.

Energy prices declined 6.8 percent over the year, largely due to lower prices for gasoline (-11.1 percent). Prices for natural gas service decreased 7.0 percent during the past year, but prices paid for electricity increased 0.7 percent.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy was unchanged in December. Higher prices for household furnishings and operations (0.6 percent) and shelter (0.4 percent) were partially offset by lower prices for apparel (-2.6 percent) and recreation (-0.5 percent).

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy increased 2.7 percent. Components contributing to the increase included shelter (4.4 percent) and medical care (2.9 percent). Partly offsetting the increases was a price decline in apparel (-0.7 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

0.10.70.23.00.52.10.11.5-0.12.1-0.11.3

September

-0.10.50.43.50.52.20.21.30.12.0-0.21.0

October

0.10.60.03.40.42.5-0.10.9-0.12.00.01.1

November

0.00.9-0.23.2-0.71.9-0.41.3-0.61.7-0.21.5

December

0.21.3-0.32.7-0.51.70.01.8-0.51.3-0.11.8

The January 2016 Consumer Price Index for the West Region is scheduled to be released on February 19, 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 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-
Oct.
2015
Nov.
2015
Dec.
2015
Dec.
2014
Oct.
2015
Nov.
2015

Expenditure category

 
 

All Items

244.341243.749243.4341.8-0.4-0.1

All items (December 1977=100)

394.963394.007393.498   

Food and beverages

252.442251.757251.1021.0-0.5-0.3

Food

252.711251.951251.3001.0-0.6-0.3

Food at home

251.638249.920248.480-0.4-1.3-0.6

Food away from home

252.981253.577254.0413.10.40.2

Alcoholic beverages

245.569245.827245.1380.6-0.2-0.3

Housing

257.502257.121258.1063.60.20.4

Shelter

291.392292.216293.4234.40.70.4

Rent of primary residence (1)

305.692307.166308.8934.81.00.6

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

305.840306.998308.3014.50.80.4

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

305.821306.978308.2844.50.80.4

Fuels and utilities

281.656273.243273.0850.3-3.0-0.1

Household energy

245.478234.637234.451-1.5-4.5-0.1

Energy services (1)

247.731236.244236.140-1.3-4.70.0

Electricity (1)

272.223261.784260.5890.7-4.3-0.5

Utility (piped) gas service (1)

204.989190.266192.761-7.0-6.01.3

Household furnishings and operations

129.160128.345129.1130.80.00.6

Apparel

121.277118.848115.729-0.7-4.6-2.6

Transportation

198.551197.083195.062-1.9-1.8-1.0

Private transportation

192.229190.213188.654-2.1-1.9-0.8

New and used motor vehicles (3)

100.417100.15999.7780.4-0.6-0.4

New vehicles

145.919146.557146.0740.70.1-0.3

New cars and trucks (3) (4)

101.336101.779101.4540.60.1-0.3

New cars (4)

145.050145.296144.765-0.3-0.2-0.4

Used cars and trucks

140.675138.050137.111-0.4-2.5-0.7

Motor fuel

214.565205.325199.182-11.5-7.2-3.0

Gasoline (all types)

213.808204.427198.342-11.1-7.2-3.0

Gasoline, unleaded regular (4)

211.165201.794195.732-11.6-7.3-3.0

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade (4) (5)

205.851197.104190.802-10.0-7.3-3.2

Gasoline, unleaded premium (4)

210.479201.449196.112-9.0-6.8-2.6

Medical Care

456.524458.708459.2242.90.60.1

Medical care commodities

343.522346.064345.4081.40.5-0.2

Medical care services

492.647494.643495.6213.30.60.2

Professional services

338.351341.335341.9802.81.10.2

Recreation (3)

111.405111.266110.7251.5-0.6-0.5

Education and communication (3)

138.708138.879138.6600.40.0-0.2

Other goods and services

405.842405.941406.0631.70.10.0
 

Commodity and Service Group

 
 

All Items

244.341243.749243.4341.8-0.4-0.1

Commodities

179.745178.287177.122-0.8-1.5-0.7

Commodities less food & beverages

143.546141.820140.486-2.1-2.1-0.9

Nondurables less food & beverages

180.618177.597175.142-3.4-3.0-1.4

Nondurables less food, beverages, and apparel

222.666219.207217.157-4.3-2.5-0.9

Durables

109.252108.704108.388-0.2-0.8-0.3

Services

303.877304.128304.6363.30.20.2

Rent of shelter (2)

310.015310.884312.1784.40.70.4

Transportation services

283.241286.091284.6242.10.5-0.5

Other services

338.900339.305338.4211.7-0.1-0.3
 

Special aggregate indexes:

 
 

All items less medical care

234.618233.918233.5711.7-0.4-0.1

All items less food

243.213242.648242.3861.9-0.3-0.1

All items less shelter

226.489225.289224.3220.4-1.0-0.4

Commodities less food

147.405145.727144.404-2.0-2.0-0.9

Nondurables

216.464214.504212.867-1.0-1.7-0.8

Nondurables less food

185.433182.593180.233-3.1-2.8-1.3

Nondurables less food and apparel

224.525221.429219.512-3.8-2.2-0.9

Services less rent of shelter (2)

330.462329.931329.4662.0-0.3-0.1

Services less medical care services

290.741290.890291.3663.40.20.2

Energy

230.777220.716217.214-6.8-5.9-1.6

All items less energy

247.346247.467247.3912.40.00.0

All items less food and energy

247.185247.460247.4852.70.10.0

Commodities less food and energy commodities

140.428139.613138.860-0.1-1.1-0.5

Energy commodities

218.688209.693203.507-11.4-6.9-3.0

Services less energy services

308.219309.218309.7663.60.50.2

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, January 20, 2016