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News Release Information

20-2119-SAN
Thursday, November 12, 2020

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

Consumer Price Index, West Region — October 2020

Area prices were up 0.2 percent over the past month, up 1.2 percent from a year ago

Prices in the West Region, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), crept up 0.2 percent in October, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (See table A.) The October increase was influenced by higher prices for recreation 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 1.2 percent. (See chart 1 and table A.) The index for all items less food and energy increased 1.6 percent over the year. Food prices rose 5.1 percent. Energy prices fell 11.4 percent, largely the result of a decrease in the price of gasoline. (See table 1.)

Food

Food prices rose 0.3 percent for the month of October. (See table 1.) Prices for food at home rose 0.3 percent influenced by higher prices for fruits and vegetables (1.4 percent). Prices for food away from home crept up 0.2 percent for the same period.

Over the year, food prices rose 5.1 percent. Prices for food at home rose 5.1 percent, led by higher prices for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs (7.4 percent). Prices for food away from home rose 5.1 percent since a year ago.

Energy

The energy index decreased 0.4 percent over the month. The decrease was mainly due to lower prices for gasoline (-1.7 percent). Prices for natural gas service edged down 0.1 percent, but prices for electricity rose 1.4 percent for the same period.

Energy prices fell 11.4 percent over the year, largely due to lower prices for gasoline (-21.0 percent). Prices paid for natural gas service advanced 6.6 percent, and prices for electricity increased 2.7 percent during the past year.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy edged up 0.2 percent in October. Higher prices for recreation (0.8 percent) and new and used motor vehicles (0.4 percent) were partially offset by lower prices for household furnishings and operations (-0.7 percent) and medical care (-0.6 percent).

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy increased 1.6 percent. Components contributing to the increase included medical care (3.6 percent) and shelter (1.9 percent). Partly offsetting the increases were price decreases in motor vehicle insurance (-7.0 percent) and apparel (-4.1 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

0.01.50.22.70.23.60.12.60.31.9

September

0.32.00.52.90.33.40.32.60.01.6

October

0.32.30.32.90.43.50.52.80.21.2

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 November 2020 Consumer Price Index for the West Region is scheduled to be released on December 10, 2020.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic Impact on October 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 October 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-
Aug.
2020
Sep.
2020
Oct.
2020
Oct.
2019
Aug.
2020
Sep.
2020

Expenditure category

All Items

276.443276.422276.8761.20.20.2

All items (December 1977=100)

446.855446.821447.555   

Food and beverages

279.790279.730280.6164.90.30.3

Food

280.333280.332281.1145.10.30.3

Food at home

263.762262.926263.8305.10.00.3

Cereals and bakery products

268.954270.310272.5342.21.30.8

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

279.385278.513277.1377.4-0.8-0.5

Dairy and related products

247.264248.005245.1324.7-0.9-1.2

Fruits and vegetables

350.341348.551353.4224.90.91.4

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials

187.429185.622186.1576.9-0.70.3

Other food at home

221.197220.032221.5434.10.20.7

Food away from home

301.748302.893303.5055.10.60.2

Alcoholic beverages

269.351268.566270.7353.10.50.8

Housing

308.782308.769308.8922.20.00.0

Shelter

356.336356.135356.3451.90.00.1

Rent of primary residence(1)

379.915380.372380.9752.40.30.2

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

374.293374.761375.9102.30.40.3

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

374.292374.752375.8992.30.40.3

Fuels and utilities

318.565318.589321.0453.40.80.8

Household energy

268.310268.275271.2793.51.11.1

Energy services(1)

270.918270.855273.6753.51.01.0

Electricity(1)

302.959301.408305.4982.70.81.4

Utility (piped) gas service(1)

211.367215.112214.9146.61.7-0.1

Household furnishings and operations

138.799139.340138.3434.1-0.3-0.7

Apparel

111.588114.364114.301-4.12.4-0.1

Transportation

210.669210.598211.599-5.40.40.5

Private transportation

208.959208.569208.300-5.0-0.3-0.1

New and used motor vehicles(3)

102.058102.215102.6452.90.60.4

New vehicles

149.765149.776149.6731.5-0.1-0.1

New cars and trucks(3)(4)

104.015104.021103.9501.6-0.1-0.1

New cars(4)

148.458148.391147.8341.4-0.4-0.4

Used cars and trucks

143.303146.170147.73111.03.11.1

Motor fuel

229.485230.476226.601-21.0-1.3-1.7

Gasoline (all types)

228.850229.834225.976-21.0-1.3-1.7

Gasoline, unleaded regular(4)

225.212226.172222.260-21.5-1.3-1.7

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(4)(5)

222.275222.975220.112-19.2-1.0-1.3

Gasoline, unleaded premium(4)

229.037230.049226.711-18.9-1.0-1.5

Motor vehicle insurance(6)

813.922778.628783.498-7.0-3.70.6

Medical Care

544.247543.151540.0153.6-0.8-0.6

Medical care commodities

428.583426.720424.6103.2-0.9-0.5

Medical care services

579.956579.105575.6493.6-0.7-0.6

Professional services

366.673366.869365.9951.8-0.2-0.2

Recreation(3)

115.718115.061116.0230.30.30.8

Education and communication(3)

140.519140.343140.7772.10.20.3

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

1,510.8161,511.4011,512.1151.20.10.0

Other goods and services

458.151457.191458.6941.60.10.3

Commodity and Service Group

All Items

276.443276.422276.8761.20.20.2

Commodities

190.608191.281191.2570.70.30.0

Commodities less food & beverages

147.562148.480148.113-2.20.4-0.2

Nondurables less food & beverages

188.437189.214188.327-7.2-0.1-0.5

Nondurables less food, beverages, and apparel

242.467241.891240.436-8.1-0.8-0.6

Durables

109.011109.930109.9133.90.80.0

Services

356.307355.533356.4851.50.00.3

Rent of shelter(2)

379.536379.313379.5011.90.00.0

Transportation services

300.958296.416302.720-5.90.62.1

Other services

366.382365.053367.0461.90.20.5

Special aggregate indexes:

All items less medical care

264.274264.298264.9011.00.20.2

All items less food

275.950275.926276.3270.60.10.1

All items less shelter

245.099245.148245.6970.90.20.2

Commodities less food

152.004152.881152.582-2.00.4-0.2

Nondurables

234.043234.416234.389-0.50.10.0

Nondurables less food

194.407195.084194.395-6.40.0-0.4

Nondurables less food and apparel

244.984244.386243.316-6.9-0.7-0.4

Services less rent of shelter(2)

366.653365.092367.1201.10.10.6

Services less medical care services

340.737339.969341.2121.30.10.4

Energy

249.846250.416249.409-11.4-0.2-0.4

All items less energy

280.578280.516281.0742.10.20.2

All items less food and energy

281.410281.338281.8571.60.20.2

Commodities less food and energy commodities

143.128143.988144.0272.10.60.0

Energy commodities

233.876234.889231.195-20.7-1.1-1.6

Services less energy services

362.617361.799362.6491.40.00.2

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: Thursday, November 12, 2020