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News Release Information

18-561-SAN
Wednesday, April 11, 2018

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

Consumer Price Index, West Region — March 2018

Area prices were up 0.4 percent over the past month, up 3.2 percent from a year ago

Prices in the West Region, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), advanced 0.4 percent in March, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (See table A.) The March 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 rose 3.2 percent. (See chart 1 and table A.) Energy prices advanced 7.7 percent, largely the result of an increase in the price of gasoline. The index for all items less food and energy advanced 3.1 percent over the year. (See table 1.)

Food

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

Over the year, food prices increased 1.6 percent. Prices for food away from home advanced 3.4 percent since a year ago, and prices for food at home inched up 0.2 percent.

Energy

The energy index increased 1.0 percent over the month. The increase was mainly due to higher prices for gasoline (1.7 percent). Prices for electricity rose 0.5 percent, but prices for natural gas service decreased 2.5 percent for the same period.

Energy prices advanced 7.7 percent over the year, largely due to higher prices for gasoline (11.2 percent). Prices paid for electricity advanced 4.4 percent, but prices for natural gas service decreased 1.5 percent during the past year.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy increased 0.3 percent in March. Higher prices for used cars and trucks (1.3 percent), recreation (0.7 percent), and shelter (0.4 percent) were partially offset by a lower price for other goods and services (-0.1 percent).

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy advanced 3.1 percent. Components contributing to the increase included shelter (4.3 percent) and medical care (3.2 percent). Partly offsetting the increases was a price decline in apparel (-0.9 percent).

Table A. West Region CPI-U monthly and annual percent changes (not seasonally adjusted)
Month201320142015201620172018
MonthlyAnnualMonthlyAnnualMonthlyAnnualMonthlyAnnualMonthlyAnnualMonthlyAnnual

January

0.31.70.31.7-0.30.70.52.60.52.50.53.1

February

0.82.00.41.30.60.90.12.10.63.00.53.1

March

0.41.50.61.50.81.10.21.50.33.10.43.2

April

0.01.30.31.80.31.00.51.80.32.9

May

0.21.30.62.30.81.20.51.50.22.6

June

0.11.50.12.30.01.10.21.60.02.5

July

0.01.90.12.30.31.30.11.40.12.5

August

0.11.5-0.12.1-0.11.30.01.50.22.7

September

0.21.30.12.0-0.21.00.32.00.52.9

October

-0.10.9-0.12.00.01.10.32.30.32.9

November

-0.41.3-0.61.7-0.21.5-0.22.30.03.1

December

0.01.8-0.51.3-0.11.80.02.50.13.1

The April 2018 Consumer Price Index for the West Region is scheduled to be released on May 10, 2018.


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 93 percent of the total population and (2) a CPI for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) which covers 29 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 75 urban areas across the country from about 5,000 housing units and approximately 22,000 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

IndexesPercent change from-
Jan.
2018
Feb.
2018
Mar.
2018
Mar.
2017
Jan.
2018
Feb.
2018

Expenditure category

All Items

258.638259.986260.9943.20.90.4

All items (December 1977=100)

418.073420.252421.883   

Food and beverages

257.656257.552258.4221.60.30.3

Food

257.498257.364258.2601.60.30.3

Food at home

246.729245.834246.6830.20.00.3

Cereals and bakery products

257.314256.095258.468 0.40.9

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

253.147253.836257.212 1.61.3

Dairy and related products

227.833225.991227.306 -0.20.6

Fruits and vegetables

332.137327.416325.096 -2.1-0.7

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials

170.209170.867169.825 -0.2-0.6

Other food at home

212.163211.710212.397 0.10.3

Food away from home

271.543272.390273.3463.40.70.4

Alcoholic beverages

256.442256.715257.2541.70.30.2

Housing

282.103283.071283.9683.90.70.3

Shelter

324.386325.619326.8044.30.70.4

Rent of primary residence(1)

343.295344.082344.5034.40.40.1

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

341.404342.157343.1154.40.50.3

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

341.401342.156343.1164.40.50.3

Fuels and utilities

293.786295.214295.3613.30.50.0

Household energy

250.575251.781251.6073.10.4-0.1

Energy services(1)

252.135253.481253.1563.10.4-0.1

Electricity(1)

282.727283.732285.0804.40.80.5

Utility (piped) gas service(1)

194.772197.169192.315-1.5-1.3-2.5

Household furnishings and operations

129.937129.828130.0391.00.10.2

Apparel

116.516120.338120.474-0.93.40.1

Transportation

208.490211.782213.3774.92.30.8

Private transportation

203.570206.681208.2465.42.30.8

New and used motor vehicles(3)

99.419100.372100.7000.31.30.3

New vehicles

146.965147.182147.020-1.70.0-0.1

New cars and trucks(3)(4)

102.078102.231102.119-1.70.0-0.1

New cars(4)

143.406143.662143.454-2.00.0-0.1

Used cars and trucks

131.703132.834134.6160.72.21.3

Motor fuel

234.327242.672246.79611.25.31.7

Gasoline (all types)

233.056241.523245.73911.25.41.7

Gasoline, unleaded regular(4)

230.194238.678242.87411.35.51.8

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(4)(5)

223.076230.775234.63110.65.21.7

Gasoline, unleaded premium(4)

229.790237.552241.56610.65.11.7

Motor vehicle insurance(6)

808.172817.530824.374 2.00.8

Medical Care

487.607488.655491.0893.20.70.5

Medical care commodities

379.413380.225378.3013.9-0.3-0.5

Medical care services

521.556522.677526.5833.11.00.7

Professional services

356.214356.793357.6051.00.40.2

Recreation(3)

113.466113.538114.2981.20.70.7

Education and communication(3)

136.314135.575135.6740.1-0.50.1

Tuition, other school fees, and child care(6)

1,383.3171,378.8171,380.942 -0.20.2

Other goods and services

428.382433.833433.4085.21.2-0.1

Commodity and Service Group

All Items

258.638259.986260.9943.20.90.4

Commodities

181.796183.013183.7411.81.10.4

Commodities less food & beverages

144.214145.864146.5011.91.60.4

Nondurables less food & beverages

186.549190.304191.2304.32.50.5

Nondurables less food, beverages, and apparel

235.508239.179240.6685.92.20.6

Durables

105.843105.822106.213-1.30.30.4

Services

329.818331.260332.5273.90.80.4

Rent of shelter(2)

345.360346.684347.9574.30.80.4

Transportation services

309.895314.358315.7966.31.90.5

Other services

346.508347.101348.4401.90.60.4

Special aggregate indexes:

All items less medical care

248.172249.529250.4743.20.90.4

All items less food

258.988260.568261.5953.41.00.4

All items less shelter

232.916234.313235.2542.51.00.4

Commodities less food

148.364149.990150.6301.91.50.4

Nondurables

222.154224.170225.0822.81.30.4

Nondurables less food

191.703195.279196.1884.02.30.5

Nondurables less food and apparel

237.208240.553241.9505.52.00.6

Services less rent of shelter(2)

346.931348.681350.0843.40.90.4

Services less medical care services

316.419317.878318.9694.00.80.3

Energy

244.320249.957252.4367.73.31.0

All items less energy

261.831262.878263.7882.90.70.3

All items less food and energy

263.366264.619265.5343.10.80.3

Commodities less food and energy commodities

139.128139.981140.2040.10.80.2

Energy commodities

239.090247.397251.62311.15.21.7

Services less energy services

335.602337.056338.4164.00.80.4

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.
(6) Indexes on a December 1977=100 base.

- Data not available
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, April 11, 2018