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News Release Information

21-1046-SAN
Thursday, June 10, 2021

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

Consumer Price Index, West Region — May 2021

Area prices were up 0.8 percent over the past month, up 4.7 percent from a year ago

Prices in the West Region, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), advanced 0.8 percent in May, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (See table A.) The May increase was influenced by higher prices for new and used motor vehicles and gasoline. (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 advanced 4.7 percent. This is the largest 12-month increase since a 4.9 percent increase for the period ending August 2008. (See chart 1 and table A.) Food prices rose 3.3 percent. Energy prices jumped 28.2 percent, largely the result of an increase in the price of gasoline. The index for all items less food and energy rose 3.3 percent over the year. (See table 1.)

Food

Food prices advanced 0.5 percent for the month of May. (See table 1.) Prices for food at home rose 0.5 percent, influenced by higher prices for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs (1.9 percent). Prices for food away from home also rose 0.5 percent for the same period.

Over the year, food prices rose 3.3 percent. Prices for food at home rose 2.0 percent since a year ago, led by higher prices for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs (5.0 percent). Prices for food away from home advanced 4.9 percent.

Energy

The energy index rose 3.2 percent over the month. The increase was mainly due to higher prices for gasoline (3.9 percent). Prices for natural gas service increased 6.3 percent, and prices for electricity rose 1.4 percent for the same period.

Energy prices jumped 28.2 percent over the year, largely due to higher prices for gasoline (49.5 percent). Prices paid for natural gas service increased 6.9 percent, and prices for electricity rose 6.6 percent during the past year.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.7 percent in May. Higher prices for new and used motor vehicles (3.7 percent), household furnishings and operations (1.7 percent), and shelter (0.3 percent) were partially offset by lower prices for apparel (-0.7 percent) and medical care (-0.4 percent).

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy rose 3.3 percent. Components contributing to the increase included motor vehicle insurance (17.1 percent), new and used motor vehicles (14.3 percent), and shelter (1.8 percent). Partly offsetting the increases was a price decrease in medical care commodities (-2.1 percent).

Table A. West region CPI-U 1-month and 12-month percent changes, all items index, not seasonally adjusted
Month20172018201920202021
1-month12-month1-month12-month1-month12-month1-month12-month1-month12-month

January

0.52.50.53.10.22.70.32.90.21.4

February

0.63.00.53.10.22.40.43.10.51.6

March

0.33.10.43.20.42.4-0.22.50.72.4

April

0.32.90.43.20.82.9-0.41.31.03.9

May

0.22.60.53.50.52.90.10.80.84.7

June

0.02.50.23.60.02.70.41.2

July

0.12.50.13.60.02.70.51.7

August

0.22.70.23.60.12.60.31.9

September

0.52.90.33.40.32.60.01.6

October

0.32.90.43.50.52.80.21.2

November

0.03.1-0.23.3-0.12.80.01.4

December

0.13.1-0.23.1-0.22.8-0.11.5

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

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic Impact on May 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 May 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 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-
Mar.
2021
Apr.
2021
May
2021
May
2020
Mar.
2021
Apr.
2021

Expenditure category

All Items

280.625283.507285.7934.71.80.8

All items (December 1977=100)

453.614458.273461.969   

Food and beverages

282.539284.355285.8133.21.20.5

Food

282.984284.914286.3963.31.20.5

Food at home

264.033266.730268.1422.01.60.5

Cereals and bakery products

270.165269.249272.2270.10.81.1

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

285.621288.847294.2245.03.01.9

Dairy and related products

243.666247.295246.9581.51.4-0.1

Fruits and vegetables

342.914349.697348.3992.01.6-0.4

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials

187.960191.764189.5980.60.9-1.1

Other food at home

221.830222.444224.1711.41.10.8

Food away from home

307.658308.522310.0954.90.80.5

Alcoholic beverages

273.293273.669274.8031.60.60.4

Housing

311.022312.588314.3632.31.10.6

Shelter

358.434360.206361.3171.80.80.3

Rent of primary residence(1)

383.015383.676384.8651.50.50.3

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

378.007378.360379.8211.80.50.4

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

377.971378.321379.7681.80.50.4

Fuels and utilities

327.513329.032334.3145.72.11.6

Household energy

277.188279.181285.8166.83.12.4

Energy services(1)

279.092281.445288.2776.73.32.4

Electricity(1)

312.934317.385321.9116.62.91.4

Utility (piped) gas service(1)

215.606212.777226.0906.94.96.3

Household furnishings and operations

138.858139.702142.0723.22.31.7

Apparel

114.734116.236115.4035.80.6-0.7

Transportation

223.648232.073239.34219.67.03.1

Private transportation

222.390229.708236.54420.16.43.0

New and used motor vehicles(3)

104.453109.175113.19014.38.43.7

New vehicles

150.926151.248153.7213.01.91.6

New cars and trucks(3)(4)

104.850105.067106.7773.01.81.6

New cars(4)

148.892148.679    

Used cars and trucks

148.563162.090172.77930.016.36.6

Motor fuel

275.493285.588296.57948.97.73.8

Gasoline (all types)

274.640284.730295.85949.57.73.9

Gasoline, unleaded regular(4)

271.134281.215292.57050.87.94.0

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(4)(5)

262.995272.745282.73345.57.53.7

Gasoline, unleaded premium(4)

271.228280.653290.07244.16.93.4

Motor vehicle insurance(6)

837.972837.169844.42317.10.80.9

Medical Care

541.390544.218542.2350.70.2-0.4

Medical care commodities

410.237420.757420.523-2.12.5-0.1

Medical care services

581.993582.389579.8561.3-0.4-0.4

Professional services

375.957375.933375.7042.7-0.1-0.1

Recreation(3)

116.717117.684118.2071.01.30.4

Education and communication(3)

139.985140.214140.4991.30.40.2

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

1,506.7341,507.0491,509.7790.80.20.2

Other goods and services

472.339473.215473.6563.00.30.1

Commodity and Service Group

All Items

280.625283.507285.7934.71.80.8

Commodities

195.466198.575201.3118.13.01.4

Commodities less food & beverages

152.981156.428159.51311.74.32.0

Nondurables less food & beverages

199.814203.642205.78013.93.01.0

Nondurables less food, beverages, and apparel

259.550264.997269.17716.53.71.6

Durables

110.303113.199116.5749.55.73.0

Services

359.550362.045363.7312.71.20.5

Rent of shelter(2)

381.786383.683384.8731.80.80.3

Transportation services

310.120322.115328.55212.05.92.0

Other services

368.095369.206370.2641.00.60.3

Special aggregate indexes:

All items less medical care

268.736271.611274.0685.02.00.9

All items less food

280.385283.425285.8444.91.90.9

All items less shelter

250.091253.404256.1486.32.41.1

Commodities less food

157.422160.809163.86411.24.11.9

Nondurables

241.273244.141245.9597.61.90.7

Nondurables less food

205.335208.950211.02912.72.81.0

Nondurables less food and apparel

260.654265.557269.40914.73.41.5

Services less rent of shelter(2)

371.518375.052377.5573.91.60.7

Services less medical care services

344.054346.683348.6472.81.30.6

Energy

280.792287.601296.91828.25.73.2

All items less energy

282.978285.618287.4463.31.60.6

All items less food and energy

283.772286.547288.4423.31.60.7

Commodities less food and energy commodities

144.411147.135149.3845.93.41.5

Energy commodities

280.696290.608301.63148.27.53.8

Services less energy services

365.594368.108369.5112.51.10.4

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: Thursday, June 10, 2021