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News Release Information

20-1542-SAN
Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Contacts

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

Consumer Price Index, West Region — July 2020

Area prices were up 0.5 percent over the past month, up 1.7 percent from a year ago

Prices in the West Region, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), advanced 0.5 percent in July, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (See table A.) The July 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 increased 1.7 percent. (See chart 1 and table A.) The index for all items less food and energy increased 2.0 percent over the year. Food prices rose 4.8 percent. Energy prices decreased 9.2 percent, largely the result of a decrease in the price of gasoline. (See table 1.)

Food

Food prices inched down 0.1 percent for the month of July. (See table 1.) Prices for food at home declined 0.8 percent, but prices for food away from home rose 0.7 percent for the same period.

Over the year, food prices rose 4.8 percent. Prices for food away from home advanced 5.0 percent since a year ago, and prices for food at home increased 4.6 percent.

Energy

The energy index advanced 2.7 percent over the month. The increase was mainly due to higher prices for gasoline (4.6 percent). Prices for electricity rose 1.1 percent, but prices for natural gas service decreased 1.1 percent for the same period.

Energy prices decreased 9.2 percent over the year, largely due to lower prices for gasoline (-17.0 percent). Prices paid for natural gas service increased 4.3 percent, and prices for electricity increased 1.3 percent during the past year.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy advanced 0.5 percent in July. Higher prices for new and used motor vehicles (1.7 percent), education and communication (1.2 percent), and shelter (0.3 percent) were partially offset by lower prices for alcoholic beverages (-1.0 percent), recreation (-0.9 percent), and household furnishings and operations (-0.3 percent).

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy increased 2.0 percent. Components contributing to the increase included medical care (6.7 percent), household furnishings and operations (3.1 percent), and shelter (2.7 percent.). Partly offsetting the increases were price decreases in apparel (-4.7 percent) and new and used motor vehicles (-1.1 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

0.21.50.33.10.43.20.42.4-0.22.5

April

0.51.80.32.90.43.20.82.9-0.41.3

May

0.51.50.22.60.53.50.52.90.10.8

June

0.21.60.02.50.23.60.02.70.41.2

July

0.11.40.12.50.13.60.02.70.51.7

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 August 2020 Consumer Price Index for the West Region is scheduled to be released on September 11, 2020.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic Impact on July 2020 Consumer Price Index Data

Data collection by personal visit for the Consumer Price Index (CPI) program has been suspended since March 16, 2020. When possible, data normally collected by personal visit were collected either online or by phone. Additionally, data collection in July was affected by the temporary closing or limited operations of certain types of establishments. These factors resulted in an increase in the number of prices considered temporarily unavailable and imputed.

While the CPI program attempted to collect as much data as possible, many indexes are based on smaller amounts of collected prices than usual, and a small number of indexes that are normally published were not published this month. Additional information is available at https://www.bls.gov/covid19/effects-of-covid-19-pandemic-on-consumer-price-index.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 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-
May
2020
Jun.
2020
Jul.
2020
Jul.
2019
May
2020
Jun.
2020

Expenditure category

All Items

273.062274.155275.5971.70.90.5

All items (December 1977=100)

441.390443.156445.488   

Food and beverages

276.925278.677278.1104.60.4-0.2

Food

277.148278.995278.5974.80.5-0.1

Food at home

262.813264.126261.9644.6-0.3-0.8

Cereals and bakery products

272.076269.376267.2750.0-1.8-0.8

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

280.200289.818280.5408.90.1-3.2

Dairy and related products

243.306242.486243.1675.9-0.10.3

Fruits and vegetables

341.515345.015345.6103.01.20.2

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials

188.511186.193184.0626.3-2.4-1.1

Other food at home

221.161220.080220.6413.3-0.20.3

Food away from home

295.501298.074300.1045.01.60.7

Alcoholic beverages

270.519271.064268.4021.4-0.8-1.0

Housing

307.387307.520308.4542.80.30.3

Shelter

354.997355.083356.2722.70.40.3

Rent of primary residence(1)

379.044379.296379.7853.40.20.1

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

373.203373.384373.9202.90.20.1

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

373.207373.389373.9262.90.20.1

Fuels and utilities

316.367315.578317.9052.40.50.7

Household energy

267.642266.415268.1101.80.20.6

Energy services(1)

270.223269.039270.7921.90.20.7

Electricity(1)

301.886299.699303.1231.30.41.1

Utility (piped) gas service(1)

211.584212.874210.4894.3-0.5-1.1

Household furnishings and operations

137.629138.230137.8213.10.1-0.3

Apparel

109.115109.226109.244-4.70.10.0

Transportation

200.154204.029209.147-5.64.52.5

Private transportation

196.948200.980206.739-4.85.02.9

New and used motor vehicles(3)

99.03498.678100.337-1.11.31.7

New vehicles

149.301148.806149.9041.30.40.7

New cars and trucks(3)(4)

103.681103.332104.1121.30.40.8

New cars(4)

147.708147.456148.5991.70.60.8

Used cars and trucks

132.932131.430135.518-1.51.93.1

Motor fuel

199.168215.803225.536-17.013.24.5

Gasoline (all types)

197.908214.925224.837-17.013.64.6

Gasoline, unleaded regular(4)

194.064211.355221.156-17.414.04.6

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(4)(5)

194.281208.762218.152-15.812.34.5

Gasoline, unleaded premium(4)

201.306215.932225.608-15.012.14.5

Motor vehicle insurance(6)

721.405765.701832.394-1.715.48.7

Medical Care

538.722540.943544.1256.71.00.6

Medical care commodities

429.435428.922428.92510.5-0.10.0

Medical care services

572.427575.507579.6885.71.30.7

Professional services

365.655366.273369.4912.71.00.9

Recreation(3)

116.986116.512115.4971.0-1.3-0.9

Education and communication(3)

138.681138.505140.1341.81.01.2

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

1,498.3141,500.8911,503.4451.90.30.2

Other goods and services

459.898461.650461.6503.00.40.0

Commodity and Service Group

All Items

273.062274.155275.5971.70.90.5

Commodities

186.192187.662188.7400.61.40.6

Commodities less food & beverages

142.776144.067145.715-2.22.11.1

Nondurables less food & beverages

180.727184.367186.745-4.83.31.3

Nondurables less food, beverages, and apparel

231.123237.198241.203-4.84.41.7

Durables

106.449106.190107.2420.60.71.0

Services

354.215354.845356.6132.30.70.5

Rent of shelter(2)

378.107378.200379.4582.80.40.3

Transportation services

293.348298.883306.127-5.04.42.4

Other services

366.729366.325366.3792.6-0.10.0

Special aggregate indexes:

All items less medical care

260.995262.036263.4011.30.90.5

All items less food

272.536273.505275.2501.21.00.6

All items less shelter

240.923242.407243.9491.11.30.6

Commodities less food

147.347148.627150.168-2.01.91.0

Nondurables

228.654231.393232.3470.41.60.4

Nondurables less food

187.254190.704192.758-4.32.91.1

Nondurables less food and apparel

234.978240.460243.754-4.13.71.4

Services less rent of shelter(2)

363.485364.867367.4801.81.10.7

Services less medical care services

339.011339.476341.0802.00.60.5

Energy

231.664240.961247.429-9.26.82.7

All items less energy

278.173278.718279.8312.40.60.4

All items less food and energy

279.139279.452280.8392.00.60.5

Commodities less food and energy commodities

141.049140.799141.5181.00.30.5

Energy commodities

203.477220.103229.858-16.913.04.4

Services less energy services

360.437361.172362.9482.30.70.5

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, August 12, 2020