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News Release Information

20-1934-SAN
Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Contacts

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

Consumer Price Index, West Region — September 2020

Area prices were unchanged over the past month, up 1.6 percent from a year ago

Prices in the West Region, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), were unchanged in September, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (See table A.) A decrease in motor vehicle insurance helped offset higher prices for apparel. (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 1.6 percent. (See chart 1 and table A.) The index for all items less food and energy increased 1.6 percent over the year. Food prices rose 5.0 percent. Energy prices declined 6.8 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 0.3 percent, but prices for food away from home advanced 0.4 percent for the same period.

Over the year, food prices rose 5.0 percent. Prices for food away from home advanced 5.1 percent, and prices for food at home increased 4.9 percent since a year ago. All food group prices increased with meats, poultry, fish, and eggs making the largest impact.

Energy

The energy index inched up 0.2 percent over the month. The increase was mainly due to higher prices for gasoline (0.4 percent). Prices for natural gas service rose 1.8 percent, but prices for electricity decreased 0.5 percent for the same period.

Energy prices declined 6.8 percent over the year, largely due to lower prices for gasoline (-13.9 percent). Prices paid for natural gas service advanced 8.4 percent, and prices for electricity rose 2.0 percent during the past year.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy was unchanged in September. Higher prices for apparel (2.5 percent) and used cars and trucks (2.0 percent) were countered by lower prices for motor vehicle insurance (-4.3 percent) and recreation (-0.6 percent).

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy increased 1.6 percent. Components contributing to the increase included medical care (5.9 percent) and shelter (2.0 percent). Partly offsetting the increases were price decreases in motor vehicle insurance (-8.1 percent) and apparel (-4.9 percent).

Table A. West region 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

0.5 2.6 0.5 2.5 0.5 3.1 0.2 2.7 0.3 2.9

February

0.1 2.1 0.6 3.0 0.5 3.1 0.2 2.4 0.4 3.1

March

0.2 1.5 0.3 3.1 0.4 3.2 0.4 2.4 -0.2 2.5

April

0.5 1.8 0.3 2.9 0.4 3.2 0.8 2.9 -0.4 1.3

May

0.5 1.5 0.2 2.6 0.5 3.5 0.5 2.9 0.1 0.8

June

0.2 1.6 0.0 2.5 0.2 3.6 0.0 2.7 0.4 1.2

July

0.1 1.4 0.1 2.5 0.1 3.6 0.0 2.7 0.5 1.7

August

0.0 1.5 0.2 2.7 0.2 3.6 0.1 2.6 0.3 1.9

September

0.3 2.0 0.5 2.9 0.3 3.4 0.3 2.6 0.0 1.6

October

0.3 2.3 0.3 2.9 0.4 3.5 0.5 2.8

November

-0.2 2.3 0.0 3.1 -0.2 3.3 -0.1 2.8

December

0.0 2.5 0.1 3.1 -0.2 3.1 -0.2 2.8

The October 2020 Consumer Price Index for the West Region 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 West Region covered in this release is comprised of the following thirteen states: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.

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

West (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

275.597 276.443 276.422 1.6 0.3 0.0

All items (December 1977=100)

445.488 446.855 446.821      

Food and beverages

278.110 279.790 279.730 4.8 0.6 0.0

Food

278.597 280.333 280.332 5.0 0.6 0.0

Food at home

261.964 263.762 262.926 4.9 0.4 -0.3

Cereals and bakery products

267.275 268.954 270.310 0.8 1.1 0.5

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

280.540 279.385 278.513 7.4 -0.7 -0.3

Dairy and related products

243.167 247.264 248.005 7.3 2.0 0.3

Fruits and vegetables

345.610 350.341 348.551 4.7 0.9 -0.5

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials

184.062 187.429 185.622 7.9 0.8 -1.0

Other food at home

220.641 221.197 220.032 3.0 -0.3 -0.5

Food away from home

300.104 301.748 302.893 5.1 0.9 0.4

Alcoholic beverages

268.402 269.351 268.566 1.7 0.1 -0.3

Housing

308.454 308.782 308.769 2.3 0.1 0.0

Shelter

356.272 356.336 356.135 2.0 0.0 -0.1

Rent of primary residence(1)

379.785 379.915 380.372 2.8 0.2 0.1

Owners' equiv. rent of residences(1)(2)

373.920 374.293 374.761 2.4 0.2 0.1

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

373.926 374.292 374.752 2.4 0.2 0.1

Fuels and utilities

317.905 318.565 318.589 3.2 0.2 0.0

Household energy

268.110 268.310 268.275 3.3 0.1 0.0

Energy services(1)

270.792 270.918 270.855 3.3 0.0 0.0

Electricity(1)

303.123 302.959 301.408 2.0 -0.6 -0.5

Utility (piped) gas service(1)

210.489 211.367 215.112 8.4 2.2 1.8

Household furnishings and operations

137.821 138.799 139.340 4.0 1.1 0.4

Apparel

109.244 111.588 114.364 -4.9 4.7 2.5

Transportation

209.147 210.669 210.598 -4.0 0.7 0.0

Private transportation

206.739 208.959 208.569 -3.0 0.9 -0.2

New and used motor vehicles(3)

100.337 102.058 102.215 2.5 1.9 0.2

New vehicles

149.904 149.765 149.776 1.5 -0.1 0.0

New cars and trucks(3)(4)

104.112 104.015 104.021 1.5 -0.1 0.0

New cars(4)

148.599 148.458 148.391 1.7 -0.1 0.0

Used cars and trucks

135.518 143.303 146.170 9.6 7.9 2.0

Motor fuel

225.536 229.485 230.476 -13.9 2.2 0.4

Gasoline (all types)

224.837 228.850 229.834 -13.9 2.2 0.4

Gasoline, unleaded regular(4)

221.156 225.212 226.172 -14.2 2.3 0.4

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(4)(5)

218.152 222.275 222.975 -12.7 2.2 0.3

Gasoline, unleaded premium(4)

225.608 229.037 230.049 -12.2 2.0 0.4

Motor vehicle insurance(6)

832.394 813.922 778.628 -8.1 -6.5 -4.3

Medical Care

544.125 544.247 543.151 5.9 -0.2 -0.2

Medical care commodities

428.925 428.583 426.720 9.8 -0.5 -0.4

Medical care services

579.688 579.956 579.105 4.9 -0.1 -0.1

Professional services

369.491 366.673 366.869 2.3 -0.7 0.1

Recreation(3)

115.497 115.718 115.061 0.2 -0.4 -0.6

Education and communication(3)

140.134 140.519 140.343 1.6 0.1 -0.1

Tuition, other school fees, and child care(6)

1,503.445 1,510.816 1,511.401 1.3 0.5 0.0

Other goods and services

461.650 458.151 457.191 1.7 -1.0 -0.2

Commodity and Service Group

All Items

275.597 276.443 276.422 1.6 0.3 0.0

Commodities

188.740 190.608 191.281 1.6 1.3 0.4

Commodities less food & beverages

145.715 147.562 148.480 -0.5 1.9 0.6

Nondurables less food & beverages

186.745 188.437 189.214 -4.0 1.3 0.4

Nondurables less food, beverages, and apparel

241.203 242.467 241.891 -3.7 0.3 -0.2

Durables

107.242 109.011 109.930 3.3 2.5 0.8

Services

356.613 356.307 355.533 1.6 -0.3 -0.2

Rent of shelter(2)

379.458 379.536 379.313 2.0 0.0 -0.1

Transportation services

306.127 300.958 296.416 -7.7 -3.2 -1.5

Other services

366.379 366.382 365.053 1.8 -0.4 -0.4

Special aggregate indexes:

All items less medical care

263.401 264.274 264.298 1.2 0.3 0.0

All items less food

275.250 275.950 275.926 1.0 0.2 0.0

All items less shelter

243.949 245.099 245.148 1.4 0.5 0.0

Commodities less food

150.168 152.004 152.881 -0.4 1.8 0.6

Nondurables

232.347 234.043 234.416 0.9 0.9 0.2

Nondurables less food

192.758 194.407 195.084 -3.5 1.2 0.3

Nondurables less food and apparel

243.754 244.984 244.386 -3.0 0.3 -0.2

Services less rent of shelter(2)

367.480 366.653 365.092 1.0 -0.6 -0.4

Services less medical care services

341.080 340.737 339.969 1.2 -0.3 -0.2

Energy

247.429 249.846 250.416 -6.8 1.2 0.2

All items less energy

279.831 280.578 280.516 2.1 0.2 0.0

All items less food and energy

280.839 281.410 281.338 1.6 0.2 0.0

Commodities less food and energy commodities

141.518 143.128 143.988 2.1 1.7 0.6

Energy commodities

229.858 233.876 234.889 -13.7 2.2 0.4

Services less energy services

362.948 362.617 361.799 1.5 -0.3 -0.2

Footnotes
(1) This index series was calculated using a Laspeyres estimator. All other item stratum index series were calculated using a geometric means estimator.
(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.
(6) Indexes on a December 1977=100 base.

- Data not available
Regions defined as the four Census regions. West includes Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.
NOTE: Index applies to a month as a whole, not to any specific date. Data not seasonally adjusted.

 

Last Modified Date: Tuesday, October 13, 2020