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News Release Information

16-353-SAN
Friday, February 19, 2016

Contacts

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

Consumer Price Index, West Region — January 2016

Area prices were up 0.5 percent over the past month, up 2.6 percent from a year ago

Prices in the West Region, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), advanced 0.5 percent in January, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (See table A.) The January increase was influenced by higher prices for shelter and food. (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 2.6 percent. The last time the CPI-U increased more than 2.5 percent for a 12-month period was in January 2012. (See chart 1.) Energy prices advanced 1.9 percent, largely the result of an increase in the price of gasoline. The index for all items less food and energy rose 3.0 percent over the year. (See table 1.)

 Chart 1. Over-the-year percent change in CPI-U, West Region, January 2013-January 2016

Food

Food prices increased 0.4 percent for the month of January. (See table 1.) Prices for food at home and prices for food away from home each increased 0.4 percent for the same period.

Over the year, food prices advanced 1.2 percent. Prices for food away from home increased 3.4 percent since a year ago, but prices for food at home decreased 0.3 percent.

Energy

The energy index advanced 0.6 percent over the month. The increase was mainly due to higher prices for electricity (2.0 percent) and natural gas service (1.5 percent). Prices for gasoline declined 0.4 percent in the same period.

Energy prices advanced 1.9 percent over the year, largely due to higher prices for gasoline (5.0 percent). Prices paid for electricity increased 0.8 percent, but prices for natural gas service declined 5.5 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 January. Prices increased for household furnishings and operations (1.0 percent), recreation (0.7 percent), shelter (0.6 percent), and apparel (0.6 percent).

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy rose 3.0 percent. Components contributing to the increase included shelter (4.6 percent), medical care (3.0 percent), and recreation (2.2 percent). Partly offsetting the increases were price declines in new cars (-0.6 percent) and apparel (-0.1 percent).

Table A. West Region CPI-U monthly and annual percent changes (not seasonally adjusted)
Month 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
Monthly Annual Monthly Annual Monthly Annual Monthly Annual Monthly Annual Monthly Annual

January

0.5 1.4 0.4 2.6 0.3 1.7 0.3 1.7 -0.3 0.7 0.5 2.6

February

0.6 1.9 0.4 2.5 0.8 2.0 0.4 1.3 0.6 0.9    

March

0.9 2.6 0.9 2.4 0.4 1.5 0.6 1.5 0.8 1.1    

April

0.6 3.0 0.2 2.1 0.0 1.3 0.3 1.8 0.3 1.0    

May

0.3 3.2 0.2 2.0 0.2 1.3 0.6 2.3 0.8 1.2    

June

-0.2 3.1 -0.2 2.0 0.1 1.5 0.1 2.3 0.0 1.1    

July

-0.1 2.9 -0.3 1.8 0.0 1.9 0.1 2.3 0.3 1.3    

August

0.2 3.0 0.5 2.1 0.1 1.5 -0.1 2.1 -0.1 1.3    

September

0.4 3.5 0.5 2.2 0.2 1.3 0.1 2.0 -0.2 1.0    

October

0.0 3.4 0.4 2.5 -0.1 0.9 -0.1 2.0 0.0 1.1    

November

-0.2 3.2 -0.7 1.9 -0.4 1.3 -0.6 1.7 -0.2 1.5    

December

-0.3 2.7 -0.5 1.7 0.0 1.8 -0.5 1.3 -0.1 1.8    

The February 2016 Consumer Price Index for the West Region is scheduled to be released on March 16, 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-
Nov.
2015
Dec.
2015
Jan.
2016
Jan.
2015
Nov.
2015
Dec.
2015

Expenditure category

 
 

All Items

243.749 243.434 244.600 2.6 0.3 0.5

All items (December 1977=100)

394.007 393.498 395.382      

Food and beverages

251.757 251.102 252.297 1.2 0.2 0.5

Food

251.951 251.300 252.408 1.2 0.2 0.4

Food at home

249.920 248.480 249.584 -0.3 -0.1 0.4

Food away from home

253.577 254.041 255.149 3.4 0.6 0.4

Alcoholic beverages

245.827 245.138 247.478 1.6 0.7 1.0

Housing

257.121 258.106 259.985 3.9 1.1 0.7

Shelter

292.216 293.423 295.183 4.6 1.0 0.6

Rent of primary residence (1)

307.166 308.893 310.112 4.8 1.0 0.4

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

306.998 308.301 309.485 4.6 0.8 0.4

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

306.978 308.284 309.472 4.6 0.8 0.4

Fuels and utilities

273.243 273.085 277.144 0.9 1.4 1.5

Household energy

234.637 234.451 238.794 -0.6 1.8 1.9

Energy services (1)

236.244 236.140 240.609 -0.7 1.8 1.9

Electricity (1)

261.784 260.589 265.864 0.8 1.6 2.0

Utility (piped) gas service (1)

190.266 192.761 195.589 -5.5 2.8 1.5

Household furnishings and operations

128.345 129.113 130.436 1.8 1.6 1.0

Apparel

118.848 115.729 116.407 -0.1 -2.1 0.6

Transportation

197.083 195.062 194.907 2.1 -1.1 -0.1

Private transportation

190.213 188.654 188.555 2.3 -0.9 -0.1

New and used motor vehicles (3)

100.159 99.778 99.730 0.2 -0.4 0.0

New vehicles

146.557 146.074 146.138 0.4 -0.3 0.0

New cars and trucks (3) (4)

101.779 101.454 101.496 0.3 -0.3 0.0

New cars (4)

145.296 144.765 144.848 -0.6 -0.3 0.1

Used cars and trucks

138.050 137.111 137.043 0.0 -0.7 0.0

Motor fuel

205.325 199.182 198.078 4.4 -3.5 -0.6

Gasoline (all types)

204.427 198.342 197.513 5.0 -3.4 -0.4

Gasoline, unleaded regular (4)

201.794 195.732 194.666 4.8 -3.5 -0.5

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade (4) (5)

197.104 190.802 190.843 5.4 -3.2 0.0

Gasoline, unleaded premium (4)

201.449 196.112 196.123 6.1 -2.6 0.0

Medical Care

458.708 459.224 460.641 3.0 0.4 0.3

Medical care commodities

346.064 345.408 347.688 1.8 0.5 0.7

Medical care services

494.643 495.621 496.693 3.3 0.4 0.2

Professional services

341.335 341.980 342.595 2.7 0.4 0.2

Recreation (3)

111.266 110.725 111.498 2.2 0.2 0.7

Education and communication (3)

138.879 138.660 138.896 0.4 0.0 0.2

Other goods and services

405.941 406.063 406.263 1.3 0.1 0.0
 

Commodity and Service Group

 
 

All Items

243.749 243.434 244.600 2.6 0.3 0.5

Commodities

178.287 177.122 177.738 1.0 -0.3 0.3

Commodities less food & beverages

141.820 140.486 140.849 0.8 -0.7 0.3

Nondurables less food & beverages

177.597 175.142 175.510 1.3 -1.2 0.2

Nondurables less food, beverages, and apparel

219.207 217.157 217.336 1.8 -0.9 0.1

Durables

108.704 108.388 108.737 0.0 0.0 0.3

Services

304.128 304.636 306.318 3.6 0.7 0.6

Rent of shelter (2)

310.884 312.178 314.055 4.6 1.0 0.6

Transportation services

286.091 284.624 285.013 2.4 -0.4 0.1

Other services

339.305 338.421 339.939 2.1 0.2 0.4
 

Special aggregate indexes:

 
 

All items less medical care

233.918 233.571 234.724 2.6 0.3 0.5

All items less food

242.648 242.386 243.561 2.9 0.4 0.5

All items less shelter

225.289 224.322 225.244 1.6 0.0 0.4

Commodities less food

145.727 144.404 144.822 0.8 -0.6 0.3

Nondurables

214.504 212.867 213.626 1.3 -0.4 0.4

Nondurables less food

182.593 180.233 180.714 1.3 -1.0 0.3

Nondurables less food and apparel

221.429 219.512 219.885 1.8 -0.7 0.2

Services less rent of shelter (2)

329.931 329.466 331.083 2.3 0.3 0.5

Services less medical care services

290.890 291.366 293.083 3.6 0.8 0.6

Energy

220.716 217.214 218.529 1.9 -1.0 0.6

All items less energy

247.467 247.391 248.555 2.7 0.4 0.5

All items less food and energy

247.460 247.485 248.661 3.0 0.5 0.5

Commodities less food and energy commodities

139.613 138.860 139.460 0.2 -0.1 0.4

Energy commodities

209.693 203.507 202.420 4.4 -3.5 -0.5

Services less energy services

309.218 309.766 311.280 3.8 0.7 0.5

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) 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: Friday, February 19, 2016