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News Release Information

21-663-SAN
Tuesday, April 13, 2021

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

Consumer Price Index, Los Angeles area – March 2021

Area prices were up 0.5 percent over the past month, up 2.2 percent from a year ago

Prices in the Los Angeles area, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), advanced 0.5 percent in March, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (See table A.) Regional Commissioner Christopher J. Rosenlund noted that the March increase was influenced by higher prices for 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 increased 2.2 percent. (See chart 1 and table A.) Food prices advanced 3.9 percent. Energy prices jumped 14.9 percent, largely the result of an increase in the price of gasoline. The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.9 percent over the year. (See table 1.)

Food

Food prices were unchanged for the month of March. (See table 1.) Prices for food at home declined 0.7 percent, but prices for food away from home advanced 0.7 percent for the same period.

Over the year, food prices advanced 3.9 percent. Prices for food away from home advanced 4.1 percent since a year ago. Prices for food at home moved up 3.5 percent led, by higher prices for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs (6.6 percent).

Energy

The energy index rose 4.9 percent over the month. The increase was mainly due to higher prices for gasoline (8.0 percent). Prices for electricity and natural gas service both edged up 0.1 percent for the same period.

Energy prices jumped 14.9 percent over the year, largely due to higher prices for gasoline (15.4 percent). Prices paid for natural gas service moved up 16.1 percent, and prices for electricity increased 13.4 percent during the past year.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy edged up 0.2 percent in March. Higher prices for apparel (3.9 percent) and recreation (3.3 percent) were partially offset by lower prices for education and communication (-1.9 percent) and new and used vehicles (-0.9 percent).

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy rose 0.9 percent. Components contributing to the increase included alcoholic beverages (11.1 percent), used cars and trucks (8.7 percent), other goods and services (3.9 percent), and shelter (0.9 percent). Partly offsetting the increases were price decreases in recreation (-1.9 percent) and education and communication (-1.1 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 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
1-month 12-month 1-month 12-month 1-month 12-month 1-month 12-month 1-month 12-month

January

0.9 2.1 0.8 3.5 0.7 3.2 0.8 3.1 0.2 0.9

February

0.6 2.7 0.7 3.6 0.1 2.5 0.3 3.4 0.4 1.0

March

0.3 2.7 0.4 3.8 0.6 2.7 -0.7 1.9 0.5 2.2

April

0.2 2.7 0.4 4.0 1.0 3.3 -0.3 0.7

May

0.3 2.5 0.4 4.1 0.2 3.1 0.4 0.9

June

-0.2 2.2 -0.2 4.0 0.0 3.3 0.5 1.4

July

0.3 2.5 0.2 3.9 0.1 3.3 0.6 1.9

August

0.3 2.8 0.2 3.9 0.0 3.0 0.1 2.0

September

0.4 3.1 0.5 3.9 0.5 3.0 -0.3 1.2

October

0.4 3.1 0.5 4.1 0.7 3.2 0.2 0.7

November

0.1 3.6 -0.3 3.6 -0.3 3.2 0.1 1.0

December

0.0 3.6 -0.3 3.2 -0.6 3.0 -0.2 1.5

The April 2021 Consumer Price Index for the Los Angeles area is scheduled to be released on May 12, 2021.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic Impact on March 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 March 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-
Jan.
2021
Feb.
2021
Mar.
2021
Mar.
2020
Jan.
2021
Feb.
2021

Expenditure category

All items

280.178 281.347 282.648 2.2 0.9 0.5

All items (1967=100)

827.771 831.223 835.067 - - -

Food and beverages

282.411 283.522 283.505 4.4 0.4 0.0

Food

282.453 283.715 283.750 3.9 0.5 0.0

Food at home

265.426 269.217 267.292 3.5 0.7 -0.7

Cereals and bakery products

274.140 277.500 281.430 3.6 2.7 1.4

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

290.529 299.450 302.461 6.6 4.1 1.0

Dairy and related products

263.911 261.590 259.853 3.9 -1.5 -0.7

Fruits and vegetables

364.430 363.625 358.042 2.6 -1.8 -1.5

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials(1)

270.014 275.704 268.265 2.4 -0.6 -2.7

Other food at home

199.499 203.485 199.524 1.6 0.0 -1.9

Food away from home

296.186 294.972 296.916 4.1 0.2 0.7

Alcoholic beverages

261.550 260.811 260.197 11.1 -0.5 -0.2

Housing

324.947 326.053 326.591 1.7 0.5 0.2

Shelter

374.862 375.778 375.676 0.9 0.2 0.0

Rent of primary residence(2)

399.228 401.167 400.962 0.9 0.4 -0.1

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

391.601 392.372 392.227 1.2 0.2 0.0

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

391.579 392.349 392.204 1.2 0.2 0.0

Fuels and utilities

363.244 372.538 373.221 12.1 2.7 0.2

Household energy

314.114 325.529 325.995 14.0 3.8 0.1

Energy services(2)

312.707 324.104 324.444 14.1 3.8 0.1

Electricity(2)

360.746 381.106 381.498 13.4 5.8 0.1

Utility (piped) gas service(2)

256.013 250.556 250.837 16.1 -2.0 0.1

Household furnishings and operations

118.378 117.480 120.176 0.8 1.5 2.3

Apparel

107.232 107.305 111.445 1.7 3.9 3.9

Transportation

208.813 211.493 216.878 4.9 3.9 2.5

Private transportation

208.134 213.448 218.064 6.0 4.8 2.2

New and used motor vehicles(4)

91.787 92.547 91.675 1.0 -0.1 -0.9

New vehicles(1)

168.749 172.218 171.386 0.1 1.6 -0.5

Used cars and trucks(1)

284.903 286.569 293.092 8.7 2.9 2.3

Motor fuel

252.791 270.418 291.927 15.4 15.5 8.0

Gasoline (all types)

246.904 264.161 285.179 15.4 15.5 8.0

Gasoline, unleaded regular(4)

246.180 263.769 284.872 15.5 15.7 8.0

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(4)(5)

238.894 255.014 273.815 14.1 14.6 7.4

Gasoline, unleaded premium(4)

240.606 256.056 276.184 15.6 14.8 7.9

Motor vehicle insurance(1)

802.689 802.689 802.689 2.1 0.0 0.0

Medical care

509.547 507.285 505.630 1.1 -0.8 -0.3

Recreation(6)

102.102 102.330 105.756 -1.9 3.6 3.3

Education and communication(6)

149.515 149.850 147.020 -1.1 -1.7 -1.9

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

1,910.404 1,910.404 1,911.766 -2.5 0.1 0.1

Other goods and services

462.877 466.852 462.504 3.9 -0.1 -0.9

Commodity and service group

All items

280.178 281.347 282.648 2.2 0.9 0.5

Commodities

186.017 187.956 190.310 4.2 2.3 1.3

Commodities less food & beverages

136.865 139.124 142.487 4.0 4.1 2.4

Nondurables less food & beverages

184.195 188.403 194.778 5.0 5.7 3.4

Durables

90.772 91.359 92.146 2.3 1.5 0.9

Services

363.933 364.297 364.509 1.2 0.2 0.1

Special aggregate indexes

All items less medical care

270.245 271.527 272.925 2.3 1.0 0.5

All items less shelter

238.459 239.730 241.621 3.0 1.3 0.8

Commodities less food

142.180 144.350 147.596 4.4 3.8 2.2

Nondurables

234.499 237.175 240.376 4.6 2.5 1.3

Nondurables less food

191.729 195.613 201.533 5.6 5.1 3.0

Services less rent of shelter(3)

357.969 357.544 358.214 1.6 0.1 0.2

Services less medical care services

350.343 350.902 351.183 1.1 0.2 0.1

Energy

276.433 291.972 306.138 14.9 10.7 4.9

All items less energy

282.653 282.868 283.317 1.4 0.2 0.2

All items less food and energy

282.846 282.860 283.389 0.9 0.2 0.2

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, April 13, 2021