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19-367-SAN
Tuesday, March 12, 2019

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Consumer Price Index, Phoenix area – February 2019

Area prices were down 0.3 percent over the past two months, up 2.1 percent from a year ago

Prices in the Phoenix area, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), declined 0.3 percent for the two months ending in February 2019, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (See table A.) Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations Richard Holden noted that the February decrease was influenced by lower prices for gasoline and recreation. (Data in this report are not seasonally adjusted. Accordingly, bi-monthly changes may reflect seasonal influences.)

Over the last 12 months, the CPI-U increased 2.1 percent. (See chart 1 and table A.) Energy prices declined 0.3 percent, largely the result of a decrease in the price of electricity. The index for all items less food and energy advanced 2.3 percent over the year. (See table 1.)

Food

Food prices increased 1.1 percent for the two months ending in February. (See table 1.) Prices for food at home rose 1.2 percent, and prices for food away from home increased 0.9 percent for the same period.

Over the year, food prices advanced 2.1 percent. Prices for food away from home advanced 3.3 percent since a year ago, and prices for food at home increased 1.1 percent.

Energy

The energy index decreased 7.3 percent for the two months ending in February. The decrease was mainly due to lower prices for gasoline (-11.7 percent). Prices for natural gas service declined 1.5 percent, and prices for electricity decreased 1.1 percent for the same period.

Energy prices declined 0.3 percent over the year, largely due to lower prices for electricity (-4.1 percent). Prices for natural gas service decreased 7.8 percent, but prices paid for gasoline advanced 3.4 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 the latest two-month period. Higher prices for shelter (0.8 percent) were partially offset by lower prices for new vehicles (-2.9 percent) and recreation (-2.5 percent).

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy advanced 2.3 percent. Components contributing to the increase included shelter (5.6 percent) and recreation (3.0 percent). Partly offsetting the increases were price declines in new vehicles (-10.0 percent), education and communication (-3.1 percent), and apparel (-1.5 percent).

The April 2019 Consumer Price Index for the Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale area is scheduled to be released on May 10, 2019.

Consumer Price Index Geographic Revision for 2018

In January 2018, BLS introduced a new geographic area sample for the Consumer Price Index (CPI). This index changed to a bimonthly publication schedule beginning in February, 2018. Additional information on the geographic revision is available at: www.bls.gov/cpi/additional-resources/geographic-revision-2018.htm.


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 Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale metropolitan area covered in this release consists of Maricopa and Pinal Counties in the State of Arizona.

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

Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale (December 2001=100 unless otherwise noted)
Item and Group

IndexesPercent change from-
Dec.
2018
Jan.
2019
Feb.
2019
Feb.
2018
Dec.
2018
Jan.
2019

Expenditure category

All items

140.083-139.6602.1-0.3-

Food and beverages

145.801-147.5571.91.2-

Food

146.886-148.4462.11.1-

Food at home

141.436141.714143.1791.11.21.0

Cereals and bakery products

182.456-178.299-1.7-2.3-

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

179.420-178.4073.9-0.6-

Dairy and related products

107.515-104.299-3.2-3.0-

Fruits and vegetables

122.423-134.0847.99.5-

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials

105.095-105.701-0.20.6-

Other food at home

138.092-139.795-1.71.2-

Food away from home

155.524-156.8463.30.9-

Food away from home

155.524-156.8463.30.9-

Alcoholic beverages

136.483-140.145-0.42.7-

Housing

143.856-144.5374.40.5-

Shelter

149.537149.836150.6815.60.80.6

Rent of primary residence

156.120157.187157.7505.51.00.4

Owners' equiv. rent of residences

148.644149.017149.8335.70.80.5

Owners' equiv. rent of primary residence

148.644149.017149.8335.70.80.5

Fuels and utilities

157.916-156.708-1.8-0.8-

Household energy

157.147156.635155.412-4.5-1.1-0.8

Energy services

156.929156.439155.160-4.6-1.1-0.8

Electricity

167.077166.674165.274-4.1-1.1-0.8

Utility (piped) gas service

105.370104.478103.799-7.8-1.5-0.6

Household furnishings and operations

99.656-98.8050.9-0.9-

Apparel

139.874-138.691-1.5-0.8-

Transportation

127.383-123.137-1.3-3.3-

Private transportation

129.969-125.196-1.6-3.7-

New and used motor vehicles

93.218-92.200-6.4-1.1-

New vehicles

95.577-92.839-10.0-2.9-

Used cars and trucks

83.951-85.2721.91.6-

Motor fuel

234.562219.303207.2533.4-11.6-5.5

Gasoline (all types)

234.424219.157207.0693.4-11.7-5.5

Gasoline, unleaded regular(1)

235.152219.431207.0903.3-11.9-5.6

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(1)

248.251232.192219.0453.6-11.8-5.7

Gasoline, unleaded premium(1)

233.649220.746210.0094.0-10.1-4.9

Motor vehicle insurance

172.093-172.0930.70.0-

Medical care

175.439-176.786-0.8-

Recreation

120.377-117.3363.0-2.5-

Education and communication

116.721-116.427-3.1-0.3-

Tuition, other school fees, and child care

196.180-196.746-4.30.3-

Other goods and services

144.940-144.583-1.0-0.2-

Commodity and service group

All items

140.083-139.6602.1-0.3-

Commodities

121.675-120.134-0.4-1.3-

Commodities less food & beverages

109.251-106.203-1.8-2.8-

Nondurables less food & beverages

144.915-138.9760.7-4.1-

Durables

79.246-78.510-5.1-0.9-

Services

152.806-153.1123.40.2-

Special aggregate indexes

All items less medical care

138.044-137.5002.0-0.4-

All items less shelter

135.091-133.8580.2-0.9-

Commodities less food

110.284-107.517-1.7-2.5-

Nondurables

145.639-143.6251.3-1.4-

Nondurables less food

144.196-139.1130.6-3.5-

Services less rent of shelter

156.327-155.5500.9-0.5-

Services less medical care services

149.839-150.0243.40.1-

Energy

192.976185.383178.969-0.3-7.3-3.5

All items less energy

137.031-137.3692.30.2-

All items less food and energy

135.453-135.6252.30.1-

Footnotes
(1) Special index based on a substantially smaller sample.

- Data not available
NOTE: Index applies to a month as a whole, not to any specific date.

 

Last Modified Date: Tuesday, March 12, 2019