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News Release Information

17-430-SAN
Friday, April 14, 2017

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

Consumer Price Index, West Region — March 2017

Area prices were up 0.3 percent over the past month, up 3.1 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 March, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (See table A.) The March 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 advanced 3.1 percent.  (See chart 1 and table A.) Energy prices jumped 11.5 percent, largely the result of an increase in the price of gasoline. The index for all items less food and energy rose 2.8 percent over the year. (See table 1.)

Food

Food prices increased 0.3 percent for the month of March. (See table 1.) Prices for food at home advanced 0.4 percent, and prices for food away from home inched up 0.2 percent for the same period.

Over the year, food prices increased 0.9 percent. Since a year ago, prices for food away from home rose 3.2 percent, but prices for food at home decreased 0.7 percent.

Energy

The energy index rose 1.8 percent over the month. The increase was mainly due to higher prices for gasoline (3.6 percent). Prices for electricity inched up 0.2 percent, but prices for natural gas service declined 0.9 percent in March.

Energy prices advanced 11.5 percent over the year, largely due to a jump in gasoline prices (20.2 percent). Prices paid for natural gas service increased 5.6 percent, and prices for electricity advanced 1.7 percent during the past year.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy edged up 0.1 percent in March. Higher prices for apparel (0.7 percent) and shelter (0.3 percent) were partially offset by lower prices for education and communication (-1.2 percent) and household furnishings and operations (-0.2 percent).

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy rose 2.8 percent. Components contributing to the increase included shelter (5.2 percent) and medical care (2.4 percent). Partly offsetting the increases were price declines in education and communication (-2.2 percent) and household furnishings and operations (-0.9 percent).

Table A. West Region CPI-U monthly and annual percent changes (not seasonally adjusted)
Month201220132014201520162017
MonthlyAnnualMonthlyAnnualMonthlyAnnualMonthlyAnnualMonthlyAnnualMonthlyAnnual

January

0.42.60.31.70.31.7-0.30.70.52.60.52.5

February

0.42.50.82.00.41.30.60.90.12.10.63.0

March

0.92.40.41.50.61.50.81.10.21.50.33.1

April

0.22.10.01.30.31.80.31.00.5 1.8  

May

0.22.00.21.30.62.30.81.20.51.5  

June

-0.22.00.11.50.12.30.01.10.21.6  

July

-0.31.80.01.90.12.30.31.30.11.4  

August

0.52.10.11.5-0.12.1-0.11.30.01.5  

September

0.52.20.21.30.12.0-0.21.00.32.0  

October

0.42.5-0.10.9-0.12.00.01.10.32.3  

November

-0.71.9-0.41.3-0.61.7-0.21.5-0.22.3  

December

-0.51.70.01.8-0.51.3-0.11.80.02.5  

The April 2017 Consumer Price Index for the West Region is scheduled to be released May 12, 2017.


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-
Jan.
2017
Feb.
2017
Mar.
2017
Mar.
2016
Jan.
2017
Feb.
2017

Expenditure category

 
 

All Items

250.814252.252252.9493.10.90.3

All items (December 1977=100)

405.426407.752408.878   

Food and beverages

252.503253.665254.3731.00.70.3

Food

252.229253.451254.2220.90.80.3

Food at home

244.028245.268246.208-0.70.90.4

Food away from home

262.638263.827264.3553.20.70.2

Alcoholic beverages

252.864253.216253.0512.20.1-0.1

Housing

271.486272.828273.3554.50.70.2

Shelter

310.723312.523313.3795.20.90.3

Rent of primary residence(1)

327.754328.850329.9665.60.70.3

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

326.607327.843328.6055.40.60.2

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

326.630327.861328.6225.40.60.2

Fuels and utilities

285.742286.151285.9583.40.1-0.1

Household energy

244.662244.239243.9872.8-0.3-0.1

Energy services(1)

246.089245.570245.4402.6-0.3-0.1

Electricity(1)

272.710272.386272.9761.70.10.2

Utility (piped) gas service(1)

198.154197.136195.2745.6-1.5-0.9

Household furnishings and operations

128.894129.047128.729-0.9-0.1-0.2

Apparel

116.279120.784121.6170.74.60.7

Transportation

199.001201.030203.5065.12.31.2

Private transportation

193.345195.089197.5945.52.21.3

New and used motor vehicles(3)

99.291100.007100.363-1.21.10.4

New vehicles

148.786149.781149.4941.00.5-0.2

New cars and trucks(3)(4)

103.325104.024103.8361.00.5-0.2

New cars(4)

145.927146.679146.4110.20.3-0.2

Used cars and trucks

131.723132.307133.733-4.51.51.1

Motor fuel

210.265214.221221.85520.45.53.6

Gasoline (all types)

209.298213.296220.99320.25.63.6

Gasoline, unleaded regular(4)

206.637210.460218.14520.75.63.7

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(4)(5)

200.136204.449212.18418.26.03.8

Gasoline, unleaded premium(4)

207.014211.541218.50818.85.63.3

Medical Care

476.005474.386475.6472.4-0.10.3

Medical care commodities

361.439362.890364.0783.60.70.3

Medical care services

512.451509.700510.9712.0-0.30.2

Professional services

353.515353.075353.9352.40.10.2

Recreation(3)

112.584112.937112.9301.50.30.0

Education and communication(3)

136.460137.112135.530-2.2-0.7-1.2

Other goods and services

411.956412.154411.9211.30.0-0.1
 

Commodity and Service Group

 
 

All Items

250.814252.252252.9493.10.90.3

Commodities

178.141179.637180.5231.81.30.5

Commodities less food & beverages

141.312142.872143.7892.31.80.6

Nondurables less food & beverages

178.480181.496183.4335.52.81.1

Nondurables less food, beverages, and apparel

222.348224.490227.1757.32.21.2

Durables

107.157107.494107.559-1.80.40.1

Services

318.074319.440319.9453.80.60.2

Rent of shelter(2)

330.737332.665333.5845.30.90.3

Transportation services

292.278295.116297.0763.51.60.7

Other services

342.567343.590342.1050.7-0.1-0.4
 

Special aggregate indexes:

 
 

All items less medical care

240.525242.097242.7673.10.90.3

All items less food

250.764252.238252.9233.40.90.3

All items less shelter

227.528228.826229.4601.90.80.3

Commodities less food

145.419146.960147.8562.31.70.6

Nondurables

215.340217.527218.9133.01.70.6

Nondurables less food

183.839186.725188.5555.32.61.0

Nondurables less food and apparel

224.928226.907229.3346.72.01.1

Services less rent of shelter(2)

337.665338.443338.4581.90.20.0

Services less medical care services

304.543306.169306.6234.00.70.1

Energy

228.035230.081234.28311.52.71.8

All items less energy

254.573255.978256.4182.50.70.2

All items less food and energy

255.749257.189257.5742.80.70.1

Commodities less food and energy commodities

138.646139.911140.033-0.51.00.1

Energy commodities

215.030219.042226.56520.25.43.4

Services less energy services

323.459324.947325.4933.90.60.2

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: Friday, April 14, 2017