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News Release Information

21-44-SAN
Wednesday, January 13, 2021

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

Consumer Price Index, Los Angeles area – December 2020

Area prices were down 0.2 percent over the past month, up 1.5 percent from a year ago

Prices in the Los Angeles area, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), decreased 0.2 percent in December, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (See table A.) Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations Richard Holden noted that the December decrease was influenced by lower prices for apparel and recreation. (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 1.5 percent. (See chart 1 and table A.) This marks the tenth consecutive month of price increases of 2.0 percent or less. The index for all items less food and energy increased 1.5 percent over the year. Food prices rose 4.5 percent. Energy prices declined 5.7 percent, largely the result of a decrease in the price of gasoline. (See table 1.)

Food

Food prices increased 0.2 percent for the month of December. (See table 1.) Prices for food at home increased 0.3 percent largely due to price advances for nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials (1.2 percent) and dairy and related products (1.1 percent). Prices for food away from home moved up 0.2 percent for the same period.

Over the year, food prices rose 4.5 percent. Prices for food away from home rose 5.6 percent since a year ago, and prices for food at home increased 3.3 percent.

Energy

The energy index increased 0.6 percent over the month. The increase was mainly due to higher prices for gasoline (0.8 percent). Prices for natural gas service advanced 1.7 percent, while prices for electricity were unchanged for the same period.

Energy prices declined 5.7 percent over the year, largely due to lower prices for gasoline (-14.5 percent). Prices paid for natural gas service jumped 13.1 percent, and prices for electricity rose 9.4 percent during the past year.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy decreased 0.3 percent in December. Lower prices for apparel (-4.4 percent), recreation (-1.8 percent), and household furnishings and operations (-1.4 percent) were partially offset by higher prices for new vehicles (1.0 percent) and education and communication (0.4 percent).

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy increased 1.5 percent. Components contributing to the increase included medical care (4.2 percent) and shelter (1.1 percent). Partly offsetting the increases were price decreases in apparel (-1.8 percent) and household furnishings and operations (-0.1 percent).

Table A. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA, CPI-U 1-month and 12-month percent changes, all items index, not seasonally adjusted
Month 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
1-month 12-month 1-month 12-month 1-month 12-month 1-month 12-month 1-month 12-month

January

0.7 3.1 0.9 2.1 0.8 3.5 0.7 3.2 0.8 3.1

February

0.0 2.4 0.6 2.7 0.7 3.6 0.1 2.5 0.3 3.4

March

0.3 1.7 0.3 2.7 0.4 3.8 0.6 2.7 -0.7 1.9

April

0.2 2.0 0.2 2.7 0.4 4.0 1.0 3.3 -0.3 0.7

May

0.5 1.4 0.3 2.5 0.4 4.1 0.2 3.1 0.4 0.9

June

0.1 1.8 -0.2 2.2 -0.2 4.0 0.0 3.3 0.5 1.4

July

0.0 1.1 0.3 2.5 0.2 3.9 0.1 3.3 0.6 1.9

August

0.0 1.4 0.3 2.8 0.2 3.9 0.0 3.0 0.1 2.0

September

0.2 1.9 0.4 3.1 0.5 3.9 0.5 3.0 -0.3 1.2

October

0.4 2.2 0.4 3.1 0.5 4.1 0.7 3.2 0.2 0.7

November

-0.4 1.8 0.1 3.6 -0.3 3.6 -0.3 3.2 0.1 1.0

December

0.0 2.0 0.0 3.6 -0.3 3.2 -0.6 3.0 -0.2 1.5

The January 2021 Consumer Price Index for the Los Angeles area is scheduled to be released on February 10, 2021.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic Impact on December 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 December 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 Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA metropolitan area includes Los Angeles and Orange Counties in California.

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

Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim (1982-84=100 unless otherwise noted)
Item and Group

Indexes Percent change from-
Oct.
2020
Nov.
2020
Dec.
2020
Dec.
2019
Oct.
2020
Nov.
2020

Expenditure category

All items

279.947 280.102 279.560 1.5 -0.1 -0.2

All items (1967=100)

827.088 827.545 825.943 - - -

Food and beverages

281.665 281.077 281.658 5.2 0.0 0.2

Food

282.121 280.852 281.552 4.5 -0.2 0.2

Food at home

267.182 264.325 265.017 3.3 -0.8 0.3

Cereals and bakery products

280.215 276.914 277.127 2.1 -1.1 0.1

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

297.874 294.640 294.757 4.7 -1.0 0.0

Dairy and related products

257.931 254.654 257.360 1.7 -0.2 1.1

Fruits and vegetables

364.104 360.548 359.525 5.0 -1.3 -0.3

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials(1)

264.366 263.921 267.137 2.9 1.0 1.2

Other food at home

202.108 199.194 199.659 2.3 -1.2 0.2

Food away from home

293.824 294.116 294.816 5.6 0.3 0.2

Alcoholic beverages

256.017 263.423 262.588 15.4 2.6 -0.3

Housing

325.723 324.681 324.149 1.5 -0.5 -0.2

Shelter

375.196 374.409 374.059 1.1 -0.3 -0.1

Rent of primary residence(2)

399.028 399.286 399.271 1.3 0.1 0.0

Owners' equiv. rent of residences(2)(3)

391.973 391.008 391.045 1.6 -0.2 0.0

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

391.950 390.986 391.023 1.6 -0.2 0.0

Fuels and utilities

363.872 358.059 359.099 8.2 -1.3 0.3

Household energy

318.229 311.089 312.367 10.3 -1.8 0.4

Energy services(2)

316.915 309.675 310.964 10.3 -1.9 0.4

Electricity(2)

361.126 361.082 361.082 9.4 0.0 0.0

Utility (piped) gas service(2)

268.634 245.671 249.775 13.1 -7.0 1.7

Household furnishings and operations

120.701 120.354 118.717 -0.1 -1.6 -1.4

Apparel

110.685 109.352 104.579 -1.8 -5.5 -4.4

Transportation

203.415 205.939 206.284 -3.6 1.4 0.2

Private transportation

199.929 202.898 205.099 -3.3 2.6 1.1

New and used motor vehicles(4)

87.585 91.440 92.134 2.7 5.2 0.8

New vehicles(1)

166.373 170.244 171.936 2.1 3.3 1.0

Used cars and trucks(1)

293.357 289.811 287.062 9.2 -2.1 -0.9

Motor fuel

242.042 238.730 240.660 -14.5 -0.6 0.8

Gasoline (all types)

236.445 233.181 235.018 -14.5 -0.6 0.8

Gasoline, unleaded regular(4)

235.584 232.135 234.021 -14.9 -0.7 0.8

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(4)(5)

229.142 227.580 228.316 -14.1 -0.4 0.3

Gasoline, unleaded premium(4)

231.003 228.358 230.072 -12.7 -0.4 0.8

Motor vehicle insurance(1)

768.182 768.182 788.183 0.7 2.6 2.6

Medical care

506.799 507.010 506.219 4.2 -0.1 -0.2

Recreation(6)

105.041 107.758 105.869 0.0 0.8 -1.8

Education and communication(6)

151.505 151.268 151.838 1.9 0.2 0.4

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

1,968.838 1,963.776 1,963.558 0.2 -0.3 0.0

Other goods and services

449.762 452.822 454.213 1.5 1.0 0.3

Commodity and service group

All items

279.947 280.102 279.560 1.5 -0.1 -0.2

Commodities

185.088 184.780 184.677 1.0 -0.2 -0.1

Commodities less food & beverages

135.880 135.708 135.296 -2.6 -0.4 -0.3

Nondurables less food & beverages

181.569 180.616 178.861 -6.0 -1.5 -1.0

Durables

91.132 91.581 92.245 2.9 1.2 0.7

Services

364.403 365.011 364.052 1.7 -0.1 -0.3

Special aggregate indexes

All items less medical care

270.104 270.256 269.726 1.3 -0.1 -0.2

All items less shelter

237.989 238.544 237.923 1.7 0.0 -0.3

Commodities less food

141.028 141.120 140.691 -1.6 -0.2 -0.3

Nondurables

232.803 232.028 231.437 0.6 -0.6 -0.3

Nondurables less food

188.862 188.518 186.814 -4.1 -1.1 -0.9

Services less rent of shelter(3)

358.643 361.281 359.424 2.5 0.2 -0.5

Services less medical care services

351.024 351.674 350.789 1.4 -0.1 -0.3

Energy

270.903 266.204 267.915 -5.7 -1.1 0.6

All items less energy

282.775 283.257 282.559 1.9 -0.1 -0.2

All items less food and energy

283.055 283.873 282.907 1.5 -0.1 -0.3

Footnotes
(1) Indexes on a December 1977=100 base.
(2) This index series was calculated using a Laspeyres estimator. All other item stratum index series were calculated using a geometric means estimator.
(3) Indexes on a December 1982=100 base.
(4) Special index based on a substantially smaller sample.
(5) Indexes on a December 1993=100 base.
(6) Indexes on a December 1997=100 base.

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

 

Last Modified Date: Wednesday, January 13, 2021