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News Release Information

20-63-SAN
Tuesday, January 14, 2020

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Technical information:
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  • (415) 625-2270

Consumer Price Index, Alaska area – December 2019

Area prices were down 0.5 percent over the past two months, unchanged 0.0 percent from a year ago

Prices in the Anchorage area, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), decreased 0.5 percent for the two months ending in December 2019, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations Richard Holden noted that the December decrease was influenced by lower prices for new vehicles and education and communication. (Data in this report are not seasonally adjusted. Accordingly, bi-monthly changes may reflect seasonal influences.)

Over the last 12 months, the CPI-U were unchanged. The index for all items less food and energy decreased 0.4 percent over the year. Food prices rose 2.2 percent. Energy prices advanced 0.6 percent, largely the result of an increase in the price of natural gas service. (See table 1.)

Food

Food prices were unchanged for the two months ending in December. (See table 1.) Prices for both food at home and food away from home were unchanged for the same period.

Over the year, food prices rose 2.2 percent. Prices for food away from home rose 3.7 percent ago since a year ago, and prices for food at home rose 1.1 percent.

Energy

The energy index decreased 0.8 percent for the two months ending in December. The decrease was mainly due to lower prices for gasoline (-1.5 percent). Prices for electricity and natural gas service were both unchanged from two months ago.

Energy prices advanced 0.6 percent over the year, largely due to higher prices for natural gas service (5.3 percent). Prices for electricity decreased 0.8 percent, and prices paid for gasoline inched down 0.2 percent during the past year.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy decreased 0.5 percent in the latest two-month period. Lower prices for apparel (-3.4 percent) and education and communication (-1.3 percent) were partially offset by higher prices for household furnishings and operations (2.1 percent) and medical care (0.8 percent).

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy decreased 0.4 percent. Components contributing to the decrease included apparel (-4.0 percent), shelter (-1.3 percent), and recreation (-1.2 percent). Partly offsetting the decreases were price increases in medical care (4.7 percent) and other goods and services (3.3 percent).

The December 2019 Consumer Price Index for the Anchorage area is scheduled to be released on January 14, 2020.

Consumer Price Index Geographic Revision for 2018

In January 2018, BLS introduced a new geographic area sample for the Consumer Price Index (CPI). This index changed to a bimonthly publication schedule beginning in February, 2018. Additional information on the geographic revision is available at: www.bls.gov/cpi/additional-resources/geographic-revision-2018.htm.

Historical data, including semiannual and annual averages, are available at: www.bls.gov/cpi/data.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 89 percent of the total population and (2) a CPI for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) which covers 28 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 87 urban areas across the country from about 6,000 housing units and approximately 24,000 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 Urban Alaska area covered in this release consists of Anchorage and Matanuska-Susitna Borough in the State of Alaska.

Information in this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: 202-691-5200; Federal Relay Service: 1-800-877-8339.

Table 1. Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U): Indexes and percent changes for selected periods

Urban Alaska (1982-84=100 unless otherwise noted)
Item and Group

Indexes Percent change from-
Oct.
2019
Nov.
2019
Dec.
2019
Dec.
2018
Oct.
2019
Nov.
2019

Expenditure category

All items

227.552 - 226.527 0.0 -0.5 -

All items (1967=100)

607.367 - 604.633 - - -

Food and beverages

216.673 - 216.444 2.1 -0.1 -

Food

222.343 - 222.266 2.2 0.0 -

Food at home

214.477 214.926 214.390 1.1 0.0 -0.2

Cereals and bakery products

227.795 - 227.741 7.5 0.0 -

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

196.159 - 199.793 -0.2 1.9 -

Dairy and related products

210.809 - 205.880 4.2 -2.3 -

Fruits and vegetables

338.397 - 336.725 3.4 -0.5 -

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials(1)

149.170 - 147.453 -3.5 -1.2 -

Other food at home

175.072 - 175.554 -2.2 0.3 -

Food away from home

232.445 - 232.381 3.7 0.0 -

Alcoholic beverages

159.562 - 158.065 0.8 -0.9 -

Housing

205.984 - 206.020 -0.7 0.0 -

Shelter

204.584 204.914 204.161 -1.3 -0.2 -0.4

Rent of primary residence(2)

199.771 199.888 198.473 -2.6 -0.6 -0.7

Owners' equiv. rent of residences(2)

205.927 206.422 205.857 -0.3 0.0 -0.3

Owners' equiv. rent of primary residence(2)

205.927 206.422 205.857 -0.3 0.0 -0.3

Fuels and utilities

360.437 - 360.488 2.4 0.0 -

Household energy

379.384 379.271 379.256 1.4 0.0 0.0

Energy services

422.871 422.871 422.871 1.5 0.0 0.0

Electricity

373.728 373.728 373.728 -0.8 0.0 0.0

Utility (piped) gas service

483.350 483.350 483.350 5.3 0.0 0.0

Household furnishings and operations

128.620 - 131.335 0.9 2.1 -

Apparel

155.878 - 150.610 -4.0 -3.4 -

Transportation

225.017 - 221.517 -1.2 -1.6 -

Private transportation

235.303 - 231.099 -1.6 -1.8 -

New and used motor vehicles(3)

- - 109.313 - - -

New vehicles(1)

- - 246.367 - - -

Used cars and trucks(1)

259.331 - 255.478 -1.5 -1.5 -

Motor fuel

246.542 252.268 242.916 -0.2 -1.5 -3.7

Gasoline (all types)

247.496 253.034 243.669 -0.2 -1.5 -3.7

Gasoline, unleaded regular(4)

238.220 243.750 234.358 -1.0 -1.6 -3.9

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(4)(5)

238.323 243.764 236.199 1.6 -0.9 -3.1

Gasoline, unleaded premium(4)

254.099 258.550 250.937 3.6 -1.2 -2.9

Motor vehicle insurance(1)

926.761 - 895.661 -11.1 -3.4 -

Medical care

625.275 - 630.543 4.7 0.8 -

Recreation(3)

129.878 - 128.981 -1.2 -0.7 -

Education and communication(3)

115.361 - 113.834 -0.4 -1.3 -

Tuition, other school fees, and child care(1)

748.486 - - - - -

Other goods and services

361.859 - 365.348 3.3 1.0 -

Commodity and service group

All items

227.552 - 226.527 0.0 -0.5 -

Commodities

184.448 - 182.804 0.0 -0.9 -

Commodities less food & beverages

167.630 - 165.428 -1.1 -1.3 -

Nondurables less food & beverages

215.767 - 211.982 -1.1 -1.8 -

Durables

- - 125.924 -1.1 - -

Services

264.640 - 264.179 0.0 -0.2 -

Special aggregate indexes

All items less medical care

213.741 - 212.558 -0.4 -0.6 -

All items less shelter

237.128 - 235.795 0.6 -0.6 -

Commodities less food

167.666 - 165.489 -1.0 -1.3 -

Nondurables

216.706 - 214.783 0.6 -0.9 -

Nondurables less food

211.850 - 208.273 -0.9 -1.7 -

Services less rent of shelter(2)

363.629 - 363.128 1.3 -0.1 -

Services less medical care services

243.765 - 243.026 -0.6 -0.3 -

Energy

302.799 306.314 300.495 0.6 -0.8 -1.9

All items less energy

223.475 - 222.530 -0.1 -0.4 -

All items less food and energy

224.052 - 222.969 -0.4 -0.5 -

Footnotes
(1) Indexes on a December 1978=100 base.
(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.

- Data not available
NOTE: Index applies to a month as a whole, not to any specific date.

 

Last Modified Date: Tuesday, January 14, 2020