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News Release Information

21-874-SAN
Wednesday, May 12, 2021

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

Consumer Price Index, Phoenix area – April 2021

Area prices were up 2.4 percent over the past two months, up 4.9 percent from a year ago

Prices in the Phoenix area, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), advanced 2.4 percent for the two months ending in April 2021, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Chris Rosenlund noted that the April increase was influenced by higher prices for gasoline and recreation. (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 4.9 percent. Food prices increased 3.0 percent. Energy prices jumped 18.6 percent, largely the result of an increase in the price of gasoline. The index for all items less food and energy rose 4.2 percent over the year. (See table 1.)

Food

Food prices rose 1.3 percent for the two months ending in April. (See table 1.) Prices for food at home increased 2.4 percent. Prices for food away from home edged up 0.2 percent for the same period.

Over the year, food prices increased 3.0 percent. Prices for food away from home increased 3.4 percent, and prices for food at home increased 2.7 percent since a year ago.

Energy

The energy index jumped 10.3 percent for the two months ending in April. The increase was mainly due to higher prices for gasoline (17.9 percent). Prices for natural gas service rose 3.9 percent, and prices for electricity advanced 1.7 percent for the same period.

Energy prices jumped 18.6 percent over the year, largely due to higher prices for gasoline (34.3 percent). Prices paid for natural gas service increased 10.5 percent, and prices for electricity rose 2.7 percent during the past year.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy increased 2.0 percent in the latest two-month period. Higher prices for apparel (8.8 percent), recreation (5.8 percent), and shelter (0.7 percent) were partially offset by lower prices for other goods and services (-1.7 percent).

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy rose 4.2 percent. Components contributing to the increase included motor vehicle insurance (29.3 percent), used cars and trucks (20.0 percent), apparel (12.8 percent), and shelter (3.7 percent). Partly offsetting the increases was a price decrease in other goods and services (-0.2 percent).

The June 2021 Consumer Price Index for the Phoenix area is scheduled to be released on July 13, 2021.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic Impact on April 2021 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 April 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 measures 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 U.S. population and (2) a CPI for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) which covers approximately 29 percent of the total U.S. 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 6,000 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; for most of the CPI-U the reference base is 1982-84 equals 100. An increase of 7 percent from the reference base, for example, is shown as 107.000.  Alternatively, that relationship can also be expressed as the price of a base period market basket of goods and services rising from $100 to $107. For further details see the CPI home page on the internet at www.bls.gov/cpi and the CPI section of the BLS Handbook of Methods available on the internet at www.bls.gov/opub/hom/cpi/.

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 individuals with sensory impairments 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-
Feb.
2021
Mar.
2021
Apr.
2021
Apr.
2020
Feb.
2021
Mar.
2021

Expenditure category

All items

147.186-150.7874.92.4-

Food and beverages

156.457-158.5162.71.3-

Food

157.951-160.0633.01.3-

Food at home

153.238153.548156.9252.72.42.2

Cereals and bakery products

195.735-196.3781.20.3-

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

183.322-190.548-0.43.9-

Dairy and related products

129.853-128.1534.6-1.3-

Fruits and vegetables

128.660-133.9420.74.1-

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials

120.277-125.5607.54.4-

Other food at home

149.874-152.9433.62.0-

Food away from home

166.140-166.5543.40.2-

Alcoholic beverages

142.287-143.701-1.31.0-

Housing

155.488-156.7553.40.8-

Shelter

164.876165.236165.9703.70.70.4

Rent of primary residence

175.726176.070176.6773.10.50.3

Owners' equiv. rent of residences

163.408163.650164.3813.60.60.4

Owners' equiv. rent of primary residence

163.408163.650164.3813.60.60.4

Fuels and utilities

158.741-160.8774.71.3-

Household energy

153.232155.132156.2453.52.00.7

Energy services

152.872154.752155.8803.42.00.7

Electricity

161.414163.325164.2312.71.70.6

Utility (piped) gas service

110.151111.953114.49010.53.92.3

Household furnishings and operations

98.541-99.9110.91.4-

Apparel

126.906-138.04212.88.8-

Transportation

125.638-135.82913.98.1-

Private transportation

129.895-139.93314.97.7-

New and used motor vehicles

------

New vehicles

------

Used cars and trucks

92.490-102.48620.010.8-

Motor fuel

219.613262.053259.00333.917.9-1.2

Gasoline (all types)

220.077262.653259.56034.317.9-1.2

Gasoline, unleaded regular(1)

219.450262.972260.00335.218.5-1.1

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(1)

236.082275.256271.88229.215.2-1.2

Gasoline, unleaded premium(1)

226.383265.179261.34030.315.4-1.4

Motor vehicle insurance

158.538-161.03729.31.6-

Medical care

------

Recreation

114.490-121.1323.75.8-

Education and communication

118.410-120.2102.91.5-

Tuition, other school fees, and child care

------

Other goods and services

153.790-151.237-0.2-1.7-

Commodity and service group

All items

147.186-150.7874.92.4-

Commodities

124.984-130.4566.14.4-

Commodities less food & beverages

109.419-116.1738.06.2-

Nondurables less food & beverages

143.896-156.28610.88.6-

Durables

79.700-82.4915.03.5-

Services

162.598-164.7604.21.3-

Special aggregate indexes

All items less medical care

144.020-147.7585.12.6-

All items less shelter

138.173-142.8775.63.4-

Commodities less food

110.619-117.2477.76.0-

Nondurables

150.556-157.7146.54.8-

Nondurables less food

143.592-155.24910.08.1-

Services less rent of shelter

159.531-162.9195.02.1-

Services less medical care services

158.694-161.1104.31.5-

Energy

185.649205.527204.82018.610.3-0.3

All items less energy

144.891-147.6884.11.9-

All items less food and energy

142.846-145.7364.22.0-

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, May 12, 2021