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News Release Information

21-1663-SAN
Tuesday, September 14, 2021

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

Consumer Price Index, Phoenix area – August 2021

Area prices were up 0.2 percent over the past two months, up 5.1 percent from a year ago

Prices in the Phoenix area, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), crept up 0.2 percent for the two months ending in August 2021, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Chris Rosenlund noted that the August increase was influenced by higher prices for shelter. (Data in this report are not seasonally adjusted. Accordingly, bi-monthly changes may reflect seasonal influences.)

Over the last 12 months, the CPI-U rose 5.1 percent. Food prices rose 2.7 percent. Energy prices jumped 16.0 percent, largely the result of an increase in the price of gasoline. The index for all items less food and energy increased 4.7 percent over the year. (See table 1.)

Food

Food prices decreased 0.8 percent for the two months ending in August. Prices for food away from home declined 2.6 percent. (See table 1.) Prices for food at home rose 1.1 percent. Higher prices for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs (2.3 percent) were largely offset by lower prices for fruits and vegetables (1.6 percent) for the same period.

Over the year, food prices rose 2.7 percent. Prices for food at home rose 3.3 percent since a year ago. Price increases were similar across all sub-categories except for a smaller increase for dairy and related products (0.4 percent). Prices for food away from home advanced 2.1 percent.

Energy

The energy index rose 1.2 percent for the two months ending in August. The increase was mainly due to higher prices for electricity (2.9 percent). Prices for natural gas service increased 1.4 percent, but prices for gasoline declined 0.3 percent for the same period.

Energy prices jumped 16.0 percent over the year, largely due to higher prices for gasoline (31.4 percent). Prices paid for natural gas service jumped 30.8 percent, and prices for electricity increased 0.9 percent during the past year.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy inched up 0.2 percent in the latest two-month period. Higher prices for apparel (2.1 percent) and shelter (1.6 percent) were partially offset by lower prices for recreation (-2.4 percent) and other goods and services (-1.1 percent).

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy increased 4.7 percent. Components contributing to the increase included apparel (6.9 percent) and shelter (6.4 percent). Partly offsetting the increases were lower prices for motor vehicle insurance (-3.0 percent).

The October 2021 Consumer Price Index for the Phoenix area is scheduled to be released on November 10, 2021.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic Impact on August 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 August 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 Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale metropolitan area covered in this release consists of Maricopa and Pinal Counties in the State of Arizona.

Information in this release will be made available to individuals with sensory impairments 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

Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale (December 2001=100 unless otherwise noted)
Item and Group

Indexes Percent change from-
Jun.
2021
Jul.
2021
Aug.
2021
Aug.
2020
Jun.
2021
Jul.
2021

Expenditure category

All items

153.672 - 153.931 5.1 0.2 -

Food and beverages

158.559 - 157.330 2.6 -0.8 -

Food

160.047 - 158.835 2.7 -0.8 -

Food at home

153.867 153.719 155.553 3.3 1.1 1.2

Cereals and bakery products

191.645 - 195.859 5.8 2.2 -

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

188.077 - 192.474 3.9 2.3 -

Dairy and related products

127.337 - 126.369 0.4 -0.8 -

Fruits and vegetables

133.484 - 131.392 2.2 -1.6 -

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials

119.549 - 121.536 6.0 1.7 -

Other food at home

149.540 - 152.149 2.3 1.7 -

Food away from home

169.892 - 165.461 2.1 -2.6 -

Alcoholic beverages

144.565 - 143.045 1.7 -1.1 -

Housing

160.593 - 163.057 5.4 1.5 -

Shelter

168.779 169.928 171.444 6.4 1.6 0.9

Rent of primary residence

178.886 174.714 175.741 2.7 -1.8 0.6

Owners' equiv. rent of residences

166.496 168.079 169.972 6.7 2.1 1.1

Owners' equiv. rent of primary residence

166.496 168.079 169.972 6.7 2.1 1.1

Fuels and utilities

179.392 - 182.945 3.1 2.0 -

Household energy

182.358 188.303 187.370 3.1 2.7 -0.5

Energy services

182.005 187.952 187.019 3.1 2.8 -0.5

Electricity

193.665 200.508 199.268 0.9 2.9 -0.6

Utility (piped) gas service

122.142 123.020 123.889 30.8 1.4 0.7

Household furnishings and operations

99.959 - 100.784 0.8 0.8 -

Apparel

134.390 - 137.272 6.9 2.1 -

Transportation

143.443 - 140.580 13.8 -2.0 -

Private transportation

148.005 - 145.799 14.3 -1.5 -

New and used motor vehicles

- - - - - -

New vehicles

- - - - - -

Used cars and trucks

120.368 - 119.706 30.9 -0.5 -

Motor fuel

262.339 262.326 261.722 31.4 -0.2 -0.2

Gasoline (all types)

262.867 262.839 262.176 31.4 -0.3 -0.3

Gasoline, unleaded regular(1)

263.323 263.246 262.589 32.1 -0.3 -0.2

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(1)

275.777 275.676 275.133 29.0 -0.2 -0.2

Gasoline, unleaded premium(1)

264.347 264.518 263.807 27.5 -0.2 -0.3

Motor vehicle insurance

161.037 - 161.037 -3.0 0.0 -

Medical care

- - 200.276 - - -

Recreation

123.261 - 120.284 3.3 -2.4 -

Education and communication

118.650 - 119.427 0.4 0.7 -

Tuition, other school fees, and child care

- - - - - -

Other goods and services

153.550 - 151.798 3.7 -1.1 -

Commodity and service group

All items

153.672 - 153.931 5.1 0.2 -

Commodities

132.226 - 132.112 6.5 -0.1 -

Commodities less food & beverages

118.613 - 118.959 8.7 0.3 -

Nondurables less food & beverages

156.147 - 156.840 9.6 0.4 -

Durables

86.299 - 86.408 7.7 0.1 -

Services

168.459 - 168.995 4.4 0.3 -

Special aggregate indexes

All items less medical care

150.980 - 151.252 5.9 0.2 -

All items less shelter

145.775 - 144.949 4.5 -0.6 -

Commodities less food

119.651 - 119.948 8.5 0.2 -

Nondurables

157.668 - 157.383 6.0 -0.2 -

Nondurables less food

155.175 - 155.722 9.1 0.4 -

Services less rent of shelter

167.612 - 165.607 1.9 -1.2 -

Services less medical care services

165.429 - 165.969 5.2 0.3 -

Energy

221.372 224.798 223.992 16.0 1.2 -0.4

All items less energy

149.868 - 150.005 4.4 0.1 -

All items less food and energy

148.224 - 148.552 4.7 0.2 -

Footnotes
(1) Special index based on a substantially smaller sample.

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

 

Last Modified Date: Tuesday, September 14, 2021