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News Release Information

18-757-SAN
Thursday, May 10, 2018

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

Consumer Price Index, West Region — April 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), increased 0.4 percent in April, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (See table A.) The April 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 3.2 percent. (See chart 1 and table A.) Energy prices advanced 10.8 percent, largely the result of an increase in the price of gasoline. The index for all items less food and energy rose 2.9 percent over the year. (See table 1.)

Food

Food prices edged up 0.2 percent for the month of April. (See table 1.) Prices for food away from home increased 0.4 percent, and prices for food at home inched up 0.1 percent for the same period.

Over the year, food prices advanced 1.6 percent. Prices for food away from home rose 3.4 percent, while prices for food at home were virtually unchanged.

Energy

The energy index rose 4.4 percent over the month. The increase was mainly due to higher prices for gasoline (6.9 percent). Prices for natural gas service rose 1.0 percent, and prices for electricity advanced 0.6 percent for the same period.

Energy prices jumped 10.8 percent over the year, largely due to higher prices for gasoline (17.3 percent). Prices paid for electricity increased 3.8 percent, but prices for natural gas service declined 3.7 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 April. Higher prices for alcoholic beverages (0.8 percent), household furnishings and operations (0.6 percent), and shelter (0.2 percent) were partially offset by lower prices for recreation (-0.7 percent), new and used motor vehicles (-0.5 percent), and education and communication (-0.1 percent).

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy rose 2.9 percent. Components contributing to the increase included shelter (4.3 percent) and medical care (3.0 percent). Partly offsetting the increases was a price decline for new vehicles (-2.2 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

0.01.30.31.80.31.00.51.80.32.90.43.2

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 May 2018 Consumer Price Index for the West Region is scheduled to be released on June 12, 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-
Feb.
2018
Mar.
2018
Apr.
2018
Apr.
2017
Feb.
2018
Mar.
2018

Expenditure category

All Items

259.986260.994262.0373.20.80.4

All items (December 1977=100)

420.252421.883423.568   

Food and beverages

257.552258.422259.1521.60.60.3

Food

257.364258.260258.8871.60.60.2

Food at home

245.834246.683246.8430.10.40.1

Cereals and bakery products

256.095258.468257.067 0.4-0.5

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

253.836257.212258.696 1.90.6

Dairy and related products

225.991227.306227.303 0.60.0

Fruits and vegetables

327.416325.096325.959 -0.40.3

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials

170.867169.825169.217 -1.0-0.4

Other food at home

211.710212.397212.407 0.30.0

Food away from home

272.390273.346274.5763.40.80.4

Alcoholic beverages

256.715257.254259.2851.81.00.8

Housing

283.071283.968284.7633.90.60.3

Shelter

325.619326.804327.5494.30.60.2

Rent of primary residence(1)

344.082344.503345.9114.70.50.4

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

342.157343.115344.2344.40.60.3

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

342.156343.116344.2374.40.60.3

Fuels and utilities

295.214295.361296.5452.40.50.4

Household energy

251.781251.607252.9872.10.50.5

Energy services(1)

253.481253.156254.8072.10.50.7

Electricity(1)

283.732285.080286.6603.81.00.6

Utility (piped) gas service(1)

197.169192.315194.318-3.7-1.41.0

Household furnishings and operations

129.828130.039130.8202.00.80.6

Apparel

120.338120.474120.9140.40.50.4

Transportation

211.782213.377216.8975.82.41.6

Private transportation

206.681208.246211.8526.52.51.7

New and used motor vehicles(3)

100.372100.700100.206-0.7-0.2-0.5

New vehicles

147.182147.020146.001-2.2-0.8-0.7

New cars and trucks(3)(4)

102.231102.119101.409-2.2-0.8-0.7

New cars(4)

143.662143.454142.395-2.5-0.9-0.7

Used cars and trucks

132.834134.616134.162-0.81.0-0.3

Motor fuel

242.672246.796263.72317.38.76.9

Gasoline (all types)

241.523245.739262.78317.38.86.9

Gasoline, unleaded regular(4)

238.678242.874260.15317.59.07.1

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(4)(5)

230.775234.631249.44816.68.16.3

Gasoline, unleaded premium(4)

237.552241.566256.20416.07.96.1

Motor vehicle insurance(6)

817.530824.374824.995 0.90.1

Medical Care

488.655491.089491.1843.00.50.0

Medical care commodities

380.225378.301379.1223.4-0.30.2

Medical care services

522.677526.583526.4312.90.70.0

Professional services

356.793357.605358.3442.20.40.2

Recreation(3)

113.538114.298113.4950.50.0-0.7

Education and communication(3)

135.575135.674135.5610.30.0-0.1

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

1,378.8171,380.9421,381.239 0.20.0

Other goods and services

433.833433.408434.9422.40.30.4

Commodity and Service Group

All Items

259.986260.994262.0373.20.80.4

Commodities

183.013183.741185.3882.31.30.9

Commodities less food & beverages

145.864146.501148.4082.71.71.3

Nondurables less food & beverages

190.304191.230195.8525.82.92.4

Nondurables less food, beverages, and apparel

239.179240.668248.2767.63.83.2

Durables

105.822106.213105.975-1.30.1-0.2

Services

331.260332.527332.9173.70.50.1

Rent of shelter(2)

346.684347.957348.7554.30.60.2

Transportation services

314.358315.796316.8005.80.80.3

Other services

347.101348.440347.0531.50.0-0.4

Special aggregate indexes:

All items less medical care

249.529250.474251.5553.30.80.4

All items less food

260.568261.595262.7033.50.80.4

All items less shelter

234.313235.254236.4182.60.90.5

Commodities less food

149.990150.630152.5552.71.71.3

Nondurables

224.170225.082227.9613.51.71.3

Nondurables less food

195.279196.188200.6885.42.82.3

Nondurables less food and apparel

240.553241.950249.0227.03.52.9

Services less rent of shelter(2)

348.681350.084350.0023.00.40.0

Services less medical care services

317.878318.969319.3933.80.50.1

Energy

249.957252.436263.44310.85.44.4

All items less energy

262.878263.788264.1142.70.50.1

All items less food and energy

264.619265.534265.8092.90.40.1

Commodities less food and energy commodities

139.981140.204140.387-0.10.30.1

Energy commodities

247.397251.623268.45617.08.56.7

Services less energy services

337.056338.416338.7393.80.50.1

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) Indexes 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: Thursday, May 10, 2018