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News Release Information

20-428-SAN
Wednesday, March 11, 2020

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

Consumer Price Index, Phoenix area – February 2020

Area prices were up 0.6 percent over the past two months, up 4.4 percent from a year ago

Prices in the Phoenix area, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), advanced 0.6 percent for the two months ending in February 2020, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations Richard Holden noted that the February increase was influenced by higher prices for apparel and electricity. (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 4.4 percent. The index for all items less food and energy advanced 4.3 percent over the year. Energy prices increased 8.8 percent, largely the result of an increase in the price of gasoline. Food prices rose 2.5 percent. (See table 1.)

Food

Food prices increased 0.2 percent for the two months ending in February. (See table 1.) Prices for food at home advanced 0.7 percent, but prices for food away from home declined 0.3 percent for the same period.

Over the year, food prices rose 2.5 percent. Prices for food away from home advanced 2.7 percent since a year ago, and prices for food at home increased 2.5 percent.

Energy

The energy index rose 1.4 percent for the two months ending in February. The increase was mainly due to higher prices for electricity (6.4 percent). Prices for natural gas service increased 0.2 percent, but prices for gasoline decreased 1.9 percent for the same period.

Energy prices increased 8.8 percent over the year, largely due to higher prices for gasoline (18.2 percent). Prices paid for natural gas service decreased 6.1 percent and prices for electricity declined 3.2 percent during the past year.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy increased 0.6 percent in the latest two-month period. Higher prices for apparel (10.8 percent) and medical care (1.3 percent) were partially offset by lower prices for recreation (-0.9 percent) and other goods and services (-0.2 percent).

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy advanced 4.3 percent. Components contributing to the increase included medical care (11.1 percent) and shelter (5.5 percent). Partly offsetting the increases was a price decrease in apparel (-0.7 percent).

The April 2020 Consumer Price Index for the Phoenix area is scheduled to be released on May 12, 2020.

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.
2019
Jan.
2020
Feb.
2020
Feb.
2019
Dec.
2019
Jan.
2020

Expenditure category

All items

144.910-145.7464.40.6-

Food and beverages

150.694-150.8312.20.1-

Food

151.898-152.1722.50.2-

Food at home

145.678146.672146.6962.50.70.0

Cereals and bakery products

181.429-189.9916.64.7-

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

179.956-180.5691.20.3-

Dairy and related products

119.319-115.68410.9-3.0-

Fruits and vegetables

128.001-128.623-4.10.5-

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials

107.963-109.0403.21.0-

Other food at home

143.045-143.8442.90.6-

Food away from home

161.633-161.0922.7-0.3-

Alcoholic beverages

140.273-138.534-1.1-1.2-

Housing

150.228-151.0304.50.5-

Shelter

158.740158.515158.9895.50.20.3

Rent of primary residence

168.610168.898168.9527.10.20.0

Owners' equiv. rent of residences

157.337157.317157.3745.00.00.0

Owners' equiv. rent of primary residence

157.337157.317157.3745.00.00.0

Fuels and utilities

147.383-153.161-2.33.9-

Household energy

142.012150.650150.162-3.45.7-0.3

Energy services

141.646150.288149.829-3.45.8-0.3

Electricity

150.354160.514159.930-3.26.4-0.4

Utility (piped) gas service

97.27297.24797.514-6.10.20.3

Household furnishings and operations

100.470-100.8542.10.4-

Apparel

124.325-137.738-0.710.8-

Transportation

131.396-130.9326.3-0.4-

Private transportation

132.857-133.3056.50.3-

New and used motor vehicles

93.747-94.0882.00.4-

New vehicles

96.202-97.0704.60.9-

Used cars and trucks

83.894-84.526-0.90.8-

Motor fuel

248.899246.152244.27317.9-1.9-0.8

Gasoline (all types)

249.343246.558244.72318.2-1.9-0.7

Gasoline, unleaded regular(1)

250.250247.376245.49018.5-1.9-0.8

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(1)

260.010257.176254.52616.2-2.1-1.0

Gasoline, unleaded premium(1)

248.521246.183244.74416.5-1.5-0.6

Motor vehicle insurance

168.981-----

Medical care

193.813-196.32111.11.3-

Recreation

119.850-118.8281.3-0.9-

Education and communication

116.267-116.8900.40.5-

Tuition, other school fees, and child care

200.384-----

Other goods and services

150.456-150.1703.9-0.2-

Commodity and service group

All items

144.910-145.7464.40.6-

Commodities

124.789-125.9084.80.9-

Commodities less food & beverages

111.511-113.0086.41.3-

Nondurables less food & beverages

150.403-152.7029.91.5-

Durables

78.945-79.8351.71.1-

Services

158.777-159.3914.10.4-

Special aggregate indexes

All items less medical care

141.965-142.6723.80.5-

All items less shelter

137.650-138.7433.60.8-

Commodities less food

112.605-114.0186.01.3-

Nondurables

150.834-152.0375.90.8-

Nondurables less food

149.534-151.5669.01.4-

Services less rent of shelter

158.169-159.2052.30.7-

Services less medical care services

155.406-155.8683.90.3-

Energy

192.132195.902194.7898.81.4-0.6

All items less energy

142.172-142.9134.00.5-

All items less food and energy

140.603-141.4094.30.6-

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: Wednesday, March 11, 2020