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19-51-SAN
Friday, January 11, 2019

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Consumer Price Index, West Region — December 2018

Area prices were down 0.2 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), edged down 0.2 percent in December, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (See table A.) The December decrease was influenced by lower prices for gasoline and apparel. (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 rose 6.9 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 advanced 0.4 percent for the month of December. (See table 1.) Prices for food at home advanced 0.4 percent, and prices for food away from home increased 0.3 percent for the same period.

Over the year, food prices rose 2.2 percent. Prices for food away from home advanced 3.5 percent since a year ago, and prices for food at home advanced 1.1 percent

Energy

The energy index decreased 3.8 percent over the month. The decrease was mainly due to lower prices for gasoline (-6.8 percent). Prices for natural gas service increased 5.3 percent, while prices for electricity were unchanged for the same period.

Energy prices rose 6.9 percent over the year, largely due to higher prices for gasoline (10.4 percent). Prices paid for electricity increased 2.3 percent, while prices for natural gas service were virtually unchanged 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 December. Higher prices for recreation (1.0 percent), medical care (0.5 percent), and shelter (0.3 percent) were partially offset by lower prices for apparel (-3.3 percent).

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy rose 2.9 percent. Components contributing to the increase included shelter (4.0 percent) and medical care (3.3 percent). Partly offsetting the increases was a price decline in apparel (-0.6 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

0.21.30.62.30.81.20.51.50.22.60.53.5

June

0.11.50.12.30.01.10.21.60.02.50.23.6

July

0.01.90.12.30.31.30.11.40.12.50.13.6

August

0.11.5-0.12.1-0.11.30.01.50.22.70.23.6

September

0.21.30.12.0-0.21.00.32.00.52.90.33.4

October

-0.10.9-0.12.00.01.10.32.30.32.90.43.5

November

-0.41.3-0.61.7-0.21.5-0.22.30.03.1-0.23.3

December

0.01.8-0.51.3-0.11.80.02.50.13.1-0.23.1

The January 2019 Consumer Price Index for the West Region is scheduled to be released on February 13, 2019.


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-
Oct.
2018
Nov.
2018
Dec.
2018
Dec.
2017
Oct.
2018
Nov.
2018

Expenditure category

All Items

266.195265.658265.2093.1-0.4-0.2

All items (December 1977=100)

430.289429.421428.696   

Food and beverages

260.903261.227262.1812.30.50.4

Food

260.593260.931261.8552.20.50.4

Food at home

247.233247.176248.2181.10.40.4

Cereals and bakery products

257.879260.910261.8532.71.50.4

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

255.331256.148257.2461.10.80.4

Dairy and related products

228.597226.764226.828-0.7-0.80.0

Fruits and vegetables

328.262326.857331.6471.71.01.5

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials

173.788172.861172.4322.6-0.8-0.2

Other food at home

211.686211.539211.8720.20.10.2

Food away from home

277.981278.829279.6003.50.60.3

Alcoholic beverages

261.592261.725263.0562.80.60.5

Housing

290.099290.141291.2043.70.40.4

Shelter

334.494335.387336.3084.00.50.3

Rent of primary residence(1)

354.472356.448357.8504.61.00.4

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

351.644353.001354.1934.10.70.3

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

351.657353.009354.1994.10.70.3

Fuels and utilities

301.160296.737298.9712.9-0.70.8

Household energy

256.716249.918252.4251.7-1.71.0

Energy services(1)

258.541251.610254.2771.8-1.61.1

Electricity(1)

291.133285.186285.2892.3-2.00.0

Utility (piped) gas service(1)

196.435186.173195.9990.1-0.25.3

Household furnishings and operations

130.992129.971131.0161.70.00.8

Apparel

121.809117.200113.373-0.6-6.9-3.3

Transportation

222.181221.074215.7134.1-2.9-2.4

Private transportation

217.647216.667211.6454.6-2.8-2.3

New and used motor vehicles(3)

100.223100.804100.1030.7-0.1-0.7

New vehicles

146.648147.272147.7350.70.70.3

New cars and trucks(3)(4)

101.848102.278102.6070.70.70.3

New cars(4)

144.055145.021145.3071.40.90.2

Used cars and trucks

131.485132.754132.9511.31.10.1

Motor fuel

281.378273.456255.21010.4-9.3-6.7

Gasoline (all types)

280.212272.121253.74710.4-9.4-6.8

Gasoline, unleaded regular(4)

277.448269.291250.79210.5-9.6-6.9

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(4)(5)

265.885260.202244.10810.7-8.2-6.2

Gasoline, unleaded premium(4)

272.982265.512249.0229.9-8.8-6.2

Motor vehicle insurance(6)

852.160854.876852.9866.20.1-0.2

Medical Care

496.643498.112500.6993.30.80.5

Medical care commodities

384.194385.779385.3422.60.3-0.1

Medical care services

531.989533.409537.0123.40.90.7

Professional services

355.136355.201355.5540.40.10.1

Recreation(3)

114.160114.244115.3301.61.01.0

Education and communication(3)

138.038136.678137.1140.6-0.70.3

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

1,458.5101,460.1151,458.0005.20.0-0.1

Other goods and services

438.842440.655439.6723.20.2-0.2

Commodity and Service Group

All Items

266.195265.658265.2093.1-0.4-0.2

Commodities

187.076185.928184.3752.1-1.4-0.8

Commodities less food & beverages

149.986148.347145.9362.0-2.7-1.6

Nondurables less food & beverages

200.593196.810190.8293.6-4.9-3.0

Nondurables less food, beverages, and apparel

255.761252.612245.1295.1-4.2-3.0

Durables

105.083105.143105.547-0.20.40.4

Services

339.488339.594340.2933.60.20.2

Rent of shelter(2)

356.135357.100358.0884.10.50.3

Transportation services

322.968323.655317.8323.0-1.6-1.8

Other services

355.272353.623355.3472.60.00.5

Special aggregate indexes:

All items less medical care

255.646255.025254.4473.0-0.5-0.2

All items less food

267.246266.572265.9093.2-0.5-0.2

All items less shelter

239.469238.357237.3582.5-0.9-0.4

Commodities less food

154.166152.561150.2292.0-2.6-1.5

Nondurables

231.381229.451226.6072.9-2.1-1.2

Nondurables less food

205.317201.737196.1443.5-4.5-2.8

Nondurables less food and apparel

256.007253.173246.5334.9-3.7-2.6

Services less rent of shelter(2)

356.282355.316355.7273.0-0.20.1

Services less medical care services

326.014326.034326.5413.60.20.2

Energy

275.834268.239257.9606.9-6.5-3.8

All items less energy

267.708267.680267.9432.80.10.1

All items less food and energy

269.737269.647269.7972.90.00.1

Commodities less food and energy commodities

140.104139.238138.7750.3-0.9-0.3

Energy commodities

286.234278.235259.88710.2-9.2-6.6

Services less energy services

345.495345.988346.5823.70.30.2

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) 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: Friday, January 11, 2019