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News Release Information

20-424-SAN
Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Contacts

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

Consumer Price Index, West Region — February 2020

Area prices were up 0.4 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), advanced 0.4 percent in February, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (See table A.) The February increase was influenced by higher prices for shelter and food. (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 increased 3.1 percent. (See chart 1 and table A.) The index for all items less food and energy advanced 2.9 percent over the year. Energy prices increased 6.5 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 0.6 percent for the month of February. (See table 1.) Prices for food at home increased 0.8 percent, and prices for food away from home increased 0.4 percent for the same period.

Over the year, food prices rose 2.5 percent. Prices for food away from home rose 4.1 percent since a year ago, and prices for food at home advanced 1.1 percent.

Energy

The energy index decreased 1.0 percent over the month. The decrease was mainly due to lower prices for gasoline (-1.5 percent). Prices for natural gas service declined 1.7 percent, but prices for electricity inched up 0.2 percent for the same period.

Energy prices increased 6.5 percent over the year, largely due to higher prices for gasoline (8.4 percent). Prices paid for electricity advanced 3.9 percent, and prices for natural gas service increased 2.4 percent during the past year.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy increased 0.5 percent in February. Higher prices for apparel (1.6 percent), household furnishings and operations (1.4 percent), and shelter (0.5 percent) were partially offset by lower prices for recreation (-0.3 percent) and medical care (-0.1 percent).

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy advanced 2.9 percent. Components contributing to the increase included medical care (6.2 percent) and shelter (4.2 percent).

Table A. West region CPI-U 1-month and 12-month percent changes, all items index, not seasonally adjusted
Month20162017201820192020
1-month12-month1-month12-month1-month12-month1-month12-month1-month12-month

January

0.52.60.52.50.53.10.22.70.32.9

February

0.12.10.63.00.53.10.22.40.43.1

March

0.21.50.33.10.43.20.42.4

April

0.51.80.32.90.43.20.82.9

May

0.51.50.22.60.53.50.52.9

June

0.21.60.02.50.23.60.02.7

July

0.11.40.12.50.13.60.02.7

August

0.01.50.22.70.23.60.12.6

September

0.32.00.52.90.33.40.32.6

October

0.32.30.32.90.43.50.52.8

November

-0.22.30.03.1-0.23.3-0.12.8

December

0.02.50.13.1-0.23.1-0.22.8

The March 2020 Consumer Price Index for the West Region is scheduled to be released on April 10, 2020.


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

Expenditure category

All Items

272.584273.340274.4123.10.70.4

All items (December 1977=100)

440.616441.839443.572   

Food and beverages

267.096268.585270.3472.31.20.7

Food

267.425268.822270.5672.51.20.6

Food at home

250.222250.901253.0131.11.10.8

Cereals and bakery products

262.004262.896264.1570.10.80.5

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

260.400260.270262.5642.10.80.9

Dairy and related products

236.295239.091237.3503.70.4-0.7

Fruits and vegetables

331.526334.287335.6560.21.20.4

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials

174.619176.334177.3970.91.60.6

Other food at home

211.683210.466214.7620.51.52.0

Food away from home

289.770292.149293.3804.11.20.4

Alcoholic beverages

259.502262.106264.063-0.21.80.7

Housing

302.112303.450305.0303.81.00.5

Shelter

350.777351.875353.5414.20.80.5

Rent of primary residence(1)

374.382375.390376.6284.60.60.3

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

369.702370.471371.4094.10.50.3

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

369.707370.477371.4224.10.50.3

Fuels and utilities

304.982309.674309.6273.51.50.0

Household energy

254.281260.234259.6013.42.1-0.2

Energy services(1)

256.032262.095261.6093.62.2-0.2

Electricity(1)

287.434293.364293.9993.92.30.2

Utility (piped) gas service(1)

196.879203.788200.3862.41.8-1.7

Household furnishings and operations

131.794132.534134.3280.81.91.4

Apparel

113.210115.274117.0680.53.41.6

Transportation

218.713216.625216.9842.2-0.80.2

Private transportation

214.895212.347212.2752.3-1.20.0

New and used motor vehicles(3)

99.48899.15899.722-0.60.20.6

New vehicles

147.969148.092148.9650.60.70.6

New cars and trucks(3)(4)

102.754102.862103.4720.60.70.6

New cars(4)

146.602146.986147.7711.50.80.5

Used cars and trucks

131.779130.773132.052-1.50.21.0

Motor fuel

268.140258.303254.3998.3-5.1-1.5

Gasoline (all types)

266.882256.949253.1408.4-5.1-1.5

Gasoline, unleaded regular(4)

263.581253.570249.6968.3-5.3-1.5

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(4)(5)

256.745248.008244.0188.8-5.0-1.6

Gasoline, unleaded premium(4)

262.545253.638250.5228.5-4.6-1.2

Motor vehicle insurance(6)

843.608839.206842.220-1.4-0.20.4

Medical Care

530.506533.905533.4136.20.5-0.1

Medical care commodities

434.657433.200425.57011.2-2.1-1.8

Medical care services

559.982564.908566.6705.01.20.3

Professional services

359.697361.014361.5911.40.50.2

Recreation(3)

116.187116.687116.2911.50.1-0.3

Education and communication(3)

137.914137.876138.1120.70.10.2

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

1,494.7581,496.7461,496.8852.50.10.0

Other goods and services

453.836456.835458.6493.51.10.4

Commodity and Service Group

All Items

272.584273.340274.4123.10.70.4

Commodities

187.603187.697188.5672.40.50.5

Commodities less food & beverages

148.369147.931148.4212.40.00.3

Nondurables less food & beverages

197.070196.060195.7854.5-0.7-0.1

Nondurables less food, beverages, and apparel

255.951252.841251.1546.0-1.9-0.7

Durables

104.983104.934105.843-0.60.80.9

Services

351.706353.146354.3863.50.80.4

Rent of shelter(2)

373.602374.781376.5554.20.80.5

Transportation services

318.458318.559320.8190.20.70.7

Other services

362.528363.514363.1972.10.2-0.1

Special aggregate indexes:

All items less medical care

260.842261.485262.6192.80.70.4

All items less food

273.570274.222275.1843.20.60.4

All items less shelter

241.905242.528243.3672.50.60.3

Commodities less food

152.523152.166152.6992.30.10.4

Nondurables

232.319232.523233.2403.40.40.3

Nondurables less food

201.855201.080200.9504.2-0.4-0.1

Nondurables less food and apparel

255.981253.480252.1805.4-1.5-0.5

Services less rent of shelter(2)

363.231365.163365.8622.60.70.2

Services less medical care services

337.168338.373339.5753.30.70.4

Energy

266.687263.417260.8436.5-2.2-1.0

All items less energy

275.280276.317277.6452.80.90.5

All items less food and energy

277.459278.434279.6922.90.80.5

Commodities less food and energy commodities

139.819140.403141.3860.91.10.7

Energy commodities

272.955263.135259.1048.1-5.1-1.5

Services less energy services

358.577359.762361.1043.50.70.4

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) 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: Wednesday, March 11, 2020