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News Release Information

16-536-SAN
Wednesday, March 16, 2016

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

Consumer Price Index, West Region — February 2016

Area prices were up 0.1 percent over the past month, up 2.1 percent from a year ago

Prices in the West Region, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), inched up 0.1 percent in February, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (See table A.) The February increase was influenced by higher prices for shelter and medical care. (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 2.1 percent. (See chart 1.) Energy prices decreased 7.0 percent, largely the result of a decrease in the price of gasoline. The index for all items less food and energy increased 3.0 percent over the year. (See table 1.)

Food

Food prices edged up 0.2 percent for the month of February. (See table 1.) Prices for food away from home advanced 0.3 percent and prices for food at home inched up 0.2 percent for the same period.

Over the year, food prices rose 1.5 percent. Prices for food away from home increased 3.4 percent since a year ago, and prices for food at home edged up 0.2 percent

Energy

The energy index declined 6.1 percent over the month. The decrease was mainly due to lower prices for gasoline (-12.3 percent). Prices for electricity advanced 0.3 percent, and prices for natural gas service increased 0.4 percent for the same period.

Energy prices decreased 7.0 percent over the year, largely due to lower prices for gasoline (-13.2 percent). Prices for natural gas service declined 4.7 percent, but prices paid for electricity advanced 1.2 percent during the past year.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.5 percent in February. Higher prices for apparel (2.8 percent), medical care (1.2 percent), and shelter (0.5 percent) were partially offset by lower prices for education and communication (-0.3 percent) and household furnishings and operations (-0.2 percent).

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy increased 3.0 percent. Components contributing to the increase included shelter (4.7 percent) and medical care (3.7 percent). Partly offsetting the increases was a price decline for new cars (-0.7 percent).

Table A. West Region CPI-U monthly and annual percent changes (not seasonally adjusted)
Month201120122013201420152016
MonthlyAnnualMonthlyAnnualMonthlyAnnualMonthlyAnnualMonthlyAnnualMonthlyAnnual

January

0.51.40.42.60.31.70.31.7-0.30.70.52.6

February

0.61.90.42.50.82.00.41.30.60.90.12.1

March

0.92.60.92.40.41.50.61.50.81.1  

April

0.63.00.22.10.01.30.31.80.31.0  

May

0.33.20.22.00.21.30.62.30.81.2  

June

-0.23.1-0.22.00.11.50.12.30.01.1  

July

-0.12.9-0.31.80.01.90.12.30.31.3  

August

0.23.00.52.10.11.5-0.12.1-0.11.3  

September

0.43.50.52.20.21.30.12.0-0.21.0  

October

0.03.40.42.5-0.10.9-0.12.00.01.1  

November

-0.23.2-0.71.9-0.41.3-0.61.7-0.21.5  

December

-0.32.7-0.51.70.01.8-0.51.3-0.11.8  

The March 2016 Consumer Price Index for the West Region is scheduled to be released on April 14, 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-
Dec.
2015
Jan.
2016
Feb.
2016
Feb.
2015
Dec.
2015
Jan.
2016

Expenditure category

 
 

All Items

243.434244.600244.8212.10.60.1

All items (December 1977=100)

393.498395.382395.739   

Food and beverages

251.102252.297252.8981.50.70.2

Food

251.300252.408252.9661.50.70.2

Food at home

248.480249.584250.0450.20.60.2

Food away from home

254.041255.149255.8413.40.70.3

Alcoholic beverages

245.138247.478248.6702.11.40.5

Housing

258.106259.985261.1263.91.20.4

Shelter

293.423295.183296.7074.71.10.5

Rent of primary residence (1)

308.893310.112311.3514.90.80.4

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

308.301309.485310.7514.70.80.4

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

308.284309.472310.7424.70.80.4

Fuels and utilities

273.085277.144278.2671.31.90.4

Household energy

234.451238.794239.532-0.12.20.3

Energy services (1)

236.140240.609241.383-0.22.20.3

Electricity (1)

260.589265.864266.6321.22.30.3

Utility (piped) gas service (1)

192.761195.589196.429-4.71.90.4

Household furnishings and operations

129.113130.436130.2200.70.9-0.2

Apparel

115.729116.407119.6970.83.42.8

Transportation

195.062194.907190.635-2.1-2.3-2.2

Private transportation

188.654188.555184.063-2.2-2.4-2.4

New and used motor vehicles (3)

99.77899.730100.6910.00.91.0

New vehicles

146.074146.138147.3760.10.90.8

New cars and trucks (3) (4)

101.454101.496102.3540.00.90.8

New cars (4)

144.765144.848146.173-0.71.00.9

Used cars and trucks

137.111137.043138.133-0.40.70.8

Motor fuel

199.182198.078173.893-13.5-12.7-12.2

Gasoline (all types)

198.342197.513173.287-13.2-12.6-12.3

Gasoline, unleaded regular (4)

195.732194.666170.322-13.7-13.0-12.5

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade (4) (5)

190.802190.843168.365-12.4-11.8-11.8

Gasoline, unleaded premium (4)

196.112196.123174.285-11.0-11.1-11.1

Medical Care

459.224460.641466.3903.71.61.2

Medical care commodities

345.408347.688351.4171.81.71.1

Medical care services

495.621496.693503.1214.31.51.3

Professional services

341.980342.595345.5382.81.00.9

Recreation (3)

110.725111.498111.7642.00.90.2

Education and communication (3)

138.660138.896138.4290.0-0.2-0.3

Other goods and services

406.063406.263405.8121.2-0.1-0.1
 

Commodity and Service Group

 
 

All Items

243.434244.600244.8212.10.60.1

Commodities

177.122177.738176.682-0.6-0.2-0.6

Commodities less food & beverages

140.486140.849139.193-2.1-0.9-1.2

Nondurables less food & beverages

175.142175.510171.339-3.2-2.2-2.4

Nondurables less food, beverages, and apparel

217.157217.336208.314-4.6-4.1-4.2

Durables

108.388108.737109.165-0.50.70.4

Services

304.636306.318307.7703.71.00.5

Rent of shelter (2)

312.178314.055315.6854.71.10.5

Transportation services

284.624285.013286.4402.40.60.5

Other services

338.421339.939339.6071.70.4-0.1
 

Special aggregate indexes:

 
 

All items less medical care

233.571234.724234.7012.00.50.0

All items less food

242.386243.561243.7302.20.60.1

All items less shelter

224.322225.244224.9100.70.3-0.1

Commodities less food

144.404144.822143.228-1.9-0.8-1.1

Nondurables

212.867213.626211.634-0.6-0.6-0.9

Nondurables less food

180.233180.714176.818-2.8-1.9-2.2

Nondurables less food and apparel

219.512219.885211.786-4.0-3.5-3.7

Services less rent of shelter (2)

329.466331.083332.4662.40.90.4

Services less medical care services

291.366293.083294.2103.61.00.4

Energy

217.214218.529205.191-7.0-5.5-6.1

All items less energy

247.391248.555249.7932.71.00.5

All items less food and energy

247.485248.661250.0193.01.00.5

Commodities less food and energy commodities

138.860139.460140.5130.11.20.8

Energy commodities

203.507202.420178.266-13.1-12.4-11.9

Services less energy services

309.766311.280312.7793.91.00.5

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: Wednesday, March 16, 2016