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News Release Information

20-1935-SAN
Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Contacts

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

Consumer Price Index, Los Angeles area – September 2020

Area prices were down 0.3 percent over the past month, up 1.2 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 0.3 percent in September, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (See table A.) Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations Richard Holden noted that the September decrease was influenced by lower prices for shelter and new and used motor vehicles. (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 rose 1.2 percent. (See chart 1 and table A.) The index for all items less food and energy increased 1.4 percent over the year. Food prices rose 4.2 percent. Energy prices declined 7.3 percent, largely the result of a decrease in the price of gasoline. (See table 1.)

Food

Food prices were unchanged for the month of September. (See table 1.) Prices for food at home decreased 0.7 percent, led by lower prices for meats, poultry, fish and eggs (-2.3 percent). Prices for food away from home advanced 0.6 percent for the same period.

Over the year, food prices rose 4.2 percent. Prices for food at home increased 3.2 percent, influenced by higher prices for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs (5.2 percent). Prices for food away from home advanced 5.1 percent since a year ago.

Energy

The energy index rose 0.4 percent over the month. The increase was mainly due to higher prices for gasoline (0.8 percent). Prices for electricity edged down 0.1 percent, while natural gas service prices were unchanged for the same period.

Energy prices declined 7.3 percent over the year, largely due to lower prices for gasoline (-15.7 percent). Prices paid for natural gas service jumped 14.2 percent, and prices for electricity rose 6.2 percent during the past year.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy decreased 0.4 percent in September. Lower prices for new and used motor vehicles (-1.8 percent) and shelter (-0.3 percent) were partially offset by higher prices for apparel (3.5 percent) and medical care (0.3 percent).

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy increased 1.4 percent. Components contributing to the increase included medical care (6.1 percent) and shelter (2.3 percent). Partly offsetting the increases were price decreases in new and used motor vehicles (-3.0) and household furnishings and operations (-2.9 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

November

-0.4 1.8 0.1 3.6 -0.3 3.6 -0.3 3.2

December

0.0 2.0 0.0 3.6 -0.3 3.2 -0.6 3.0

The October 2020 Consumer Price Index for the Los Angeles area is scheduled to be released on November 12, 2020.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic Impact on September 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 September 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 Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim. metropolitan area covered in this release is comprised of Los Angeles and Orange Counties in the State of 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-
Jul.
2020
Aug.
2020
Sep.
2020
Sep.
2019
Jul.
2020
Aug.
2020

Expenditure category

All items

279.899 280.116 279.366 1.2 -0.2 -0.3

All items (1967=100)

826.946 827.588 825.370 - - -

Food and beverages

279.461 280.291 280.194 4.5 0.3 0.0

Food

280.204 280.676 280.609 4.2 0.1 0.0

Food at home

265.709 266.554 264.757 3.2 -0.4 -0.7

Cereals and bakery products

275.677 276.742 279.528 2.3 1.4 1.0

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

295.628 300.468 293.475 5.2 -0.7 -2.3

Dairy and related products

256.966 258.292 264.571 8.0 3.0 2.4

Fruits and vegetables

363.937 358.768 358.118 3.8 -1.6 -0.2

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials(1)

264.679 265.168 263.847 2.3 -0.3 -0.5

Other food at home

200.909 201.754 198.226 -0.6 -1.3 -1.7

Food away from home

291.494 291.598 293.217 5.1 0.6 0.6

Alcoholic beverages

250.624 255.566 255.132 7.4 1.8 -0.2

Housing

326.919 326.442 325.431 2.2 -0.5 -0.3

Shelter

377.002 376.498 375.451 2.3 -0.4 -0.3

Rent of primary residence(2)

400.287 399.595 399.559 2.6 -0.2 0.0

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

392.021 392.128 391.998 2.7 0.0 0.0

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

391.998 392.106 391.975 2.7 0.0 0.0

Fuels and utilities

356.211 355.981 355.796 6.9 -0.1 -0.1

Household energy

308.821 308.539 308.311 8.2 -0.2 -0.1

Energy services(2)

307.536 307.244 307.037 8.3 -0.2 -0.1

Electricity(2)

347.185 347.185 346.838 6.2 -0.1 -0.1

Utility (piped) gas service(2)

267.355 266.427 266.479 14.2 -0.3 0.0

Household furnishings and operations

122.514 122.081 120.996 -2.9 -1.2 -0.9

Apparel

105.437 108.784 112.550 0.2 6.7 3.5

Transportation

202.731 203.755 203.106 -6.7 0.2 -0.3

Private transportation

201.397 202.833 201.449 -6.2 0.0 -0.7

New and used motor vehicles(4)

89.794 89.904 88.250 -3.0 -1.7 -1.8

New vehicles(1)

170.138 169.966 169.256 0.3 -0.5 -0.4

Used cars and trucks(1)

269.844 285.349 290.562 9.3 7.7 1.8

Motor fuel

238.014 243.443 245.315 -15.6 3.1 0.8

Gasoline (all types)

232.451 237.788 239.630 -15.7 3.1 0.8

Gasoline, unleaded regular(4)

231.515 236.984 238.628 -16.0 3.1 0.7

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(4)(5)

224.835 230.383 232.920 -15.2 3.6 1.1

Gasoline, unleaded premium(4)

227.498 232.088 234.518 -13.7 3.1 1.0

Motor vehicle insurance(1)

786.324 786.324 763.114 -1.9 -3.0 -3.0

Medical care

511.623 507.625 509.253 6.1 -0.5 0.3

Recreation(6)

105.458 105.364 103.605 -0.5 -1.8 -1.7

Education and communication(6)

150.956 151.748 150.811 1.0 -0.1 -0.6

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

1,969.854 1,984.396 1,970.899 0.5 0.1 -0.7

Other goods and services

459.519 453.984 442.513 -0.1 -3.7 -2.5

Commodity and service group

All items

279.899 280.116 279.366 1.2 -0.2 -0.3

Commodities

183.933 185.074 185.529 -0.4 0.9 0.2

Commodities less food & beverages

135.234 136.484 137.177 -4.3 1.4 0.5

Nondurables less food & beverages

181.290 183.102 183.867 -6.4 1.4 0.4

Durables

90.243 90.972 91.562 -0.8 1.5 0.6

Services

365.455 364.748 362.827 1.9 -0.7 -0.5

Special aggregate indexes

All items less medical care

269.884 270.249 269.419 0.9 -0.2 -0.3

All items less shelter

237.153 237.676 237.055 0.5 0.0 -0.3

Commodities less food

140.211 141.600 142.258 -3.6 1.5 0.5

Nondurables

231.556 232.884 233.221 -0.3 0.7 0.1

Nondurables less food

188.202 190.263 190.947 -5.1 1.5 0.4

Services less rent of shelter(3)

358.530 357.515 354.295 1.4 -1.2 -0.9

Services less medical care services

351.878 351.370 349.322 1.5 -0.7 -0.6

Energy

264.930 268.363 269.500 -7.3 1.7 0.4

All items less energy

283.124 283.128 282.244 1.8 -0.3 -0.3

All items less food and energy

283.839 283.752 282.712 1.4 -0.4 -0.4

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: Tuesday, October 13, 2020