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17-430-SAN
Friday, April 14, 2017

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Consumer Price Index, West Region — March 2017

Area prices were up 0.3 percent over the past month, up 3.1 percent from a year ago

Prices in the West Region, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), increased 0.3 percent in March, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (See table A.) The March increase was influenced by higher prices for gasoline and shelter. (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 3.1 percent.  (See chart 1 and table A.) Energy prices jumped 11.5 percent, largely the result of an increase in the price of gasoline. The index for all items less food and energy rose 2.8 percent over the year. (See table 1.)

Food

Food prices increased 0.3 percent for the month of March. (See table 1.) Prices for food at home advanced 0.4 percent, and prices for food away from home inched up 0.2 percent for the same period.

Over the year, food prices increased 0.9 percent. Since a year ago, prices for food away from home rose 3.2 percent, but prices for food at home decreased 0.7 percent.

Energy

The energy index rose 1.8 percent over the month. The increase was mainly due to higher prices for gasoline (3.6 percent). Prices for electricity inched up 0.2 percent, but prices for natural gas service declined 0.9 percent in March.

Energy prices advanced 11.5 percent over the year, largely due to a jump in gasoline prices (20.2 percent). Prices paid for natural gas service increased 5.6 percent, and prices for electricity advanced 1.7 percent during the past year.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy edged up 0.1 percent in March. Higher prices for apparel (0.7 percent) and shelter (0.3 percent) were partially offset by lower prices for education and communication (-1.2 percent) and household furnishings and operations (-0.2 percent).

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy rose 2.8 percent. Components contributing to the increase included shelter (5.2 percent) and medical care (2.4 percent). Partly offsetting the increases were price declines in education and communication (-2.2 percent) and household furnishings and operations (-0.9 percent).

Table A. West Region CPI-U monthly and annual percent changes (not seasonally adjusted)
Month 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Monthly Annual Monthly Annual Monthly Annual Monthly Annual Monthly Annual Monthly Annual

January

0.4 2.6 0.3 1.7 0.3 1.7 -0.3 0.7 0.5 2.6 0.5 2.5

February

0.4 2.5 0.8 2.0 0.4 1.3 0.6 0.9 0.1 2.1 0.6 3.0

March

0.9 2.4 0.4 1.5 0.6 1.5 0.8 1.1 0.2 1.5 0.3 3.1

April

0.2 2.1 0.0 1.3 0.3 1.8 0.3 1.0 0.5  1.8    

May

0.2 2.0 0.2 1.3 0.6 2.3 0.8 1.2 0.5 1.5    

June

-0.2 2.0 0.1 1.5 0.1 2.3 0.0 1.1 0.2 1.6    

July

-0.3 1.8 0.0 1.9 0.1 2.3 0.3 1.3 0.1 1.4    

August

0.5 2.1 0.1 1.5 -0.1 2.1 -0.1 1.3 0.0 1.5    

September

0.5 2.2 0.2 1.3 0.1 2.0 -0.2 1.0 0.3 2.0    

October

0.4 2.5 -0.1 0.9 -0.1 2.0 0.0 1.1 0.3 2.3    

November

-0.7 1.9 -0.4 1.3 -0.6 1.7 -0.2 1.5 -0.2 2.3    

December

-0.5 1.7 0.0 1.8 -0.5 1.3 -0.1 1.8 0.0 2.5    

The April 2017 Consumer Price Index for the West Region is scheduled to be released May 12, 2017.


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 89 percent of the total population and (2) a CPI for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) which covers 28 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 87 urban areas across the country from about 6,000 housing units and approximately 24,000 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-
Jan.
2017
Feb.
2017
Mar.
2017
Mar.
2016
Jan.
2017
Feb.
2017

Expenditure category

 
 

All Items

250.814 252.252 252.949 3.1 0.9 0.3

All items (December 1977=100)

405.426 407.752 408.878      

Food and beverages

252.503 253.665 254.373 1.0 0.7 0.3

Food

252.229 253.451 254.222 0.9 0.8 0.3

Food at home

244.028 245.268 246.208 -0.7 0.9 0.4

Food away from home

262.638 263.827 264.355 3.2 0.7 0.2

Alcoholic beverages

252.864 253.216 253.051 2.2 0.1 -0.1

Housing

271.486 272.828 273.355 4.5 0.7 0.2

Shelter

310.723 312.523 313.379 5.2 0.9 0.3

Rent of primary residence(1)

327.754 328.850 329.966 5.6 0.7 0.3

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

326.607 327.843 328.605 5.4 0.6 0.2

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

326.630 327.861 328.622 5.4 0.6 0.2

Fuels and utilities

285.742 286.151 285.958 3.4 0.1 -0.1

Household energy

244.662 244.239 243.987 2.8 -0.3 -0.1

Energy services(1)

246.089 245.570 245.440 2.6 -0.3 -0.1

Electricity(1)

272.710 272.386 272.976 1.7 0.1 0.2

Utility (piped) gas service(1)

198.154 197.136 195.274 5.6 -1.5 -0.9

Household furnishings and operations

128.894 129.047 128.729 -0.9 -0.1 -0.2

Apparel

116.279 120.784 121.617 0.7 4.6 0.7

Transportation

199.001 201.030 203.506 5.1 2.3 1.2

Private transportation

193.345 195.089 197.594 5.5 2.2 1.3

New and used motor vehicles(3)

99.291 100.007 100.363 -1.2 1.1 0.4

New vehicles

148.786 149.781 149.494 1.0 0.5 -0.2

New cars and trucks(3)(4)

103.325 104.024 103.836 1.0 0.5 -0.2

New cars(4)

145.927 146.679 146.411 0.2 0.3 -0.2

Used cars and trucks

131.723 132.307 133.733 -4.5 1.5 1.1

Motor fuel

210.265 214.221 221.855 20.4 5.5 3.6

Gasoline (all types)

209.298 213.296 220.993 20.2 5.6 3.6

Gasoline, unleaded regular(4)

206.637 210.460 218.145 20.7 5.6 3.7

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(4)(5)

200.136 204.449 212.184 18.2 6.0 3.8

Gasoline, unleaded premium(4)

207.014 211.541 218.508 18.8 5.6 3.3

Medical Care

476.005 474.386 475.647 2.4 -0.1 0.3

Medical care commodities

361.439 362.890 364.078 3.6 0.7 0.3

Medical care services

512.451 509.700 510.971 2.0 -0.3 0.2

Professional services

353.515 353.075 353.935 2.4 0.1 0.2

Recreation(3)

112.584 112.937 112.930 1.5 0.3 0.0

Education and communication(3)

136.460 137.112 135.530 -2.2 -0.7 -1.2

Other goods and services

411.956 412.154 411.921 1.3 0.0 -0.1
 

Commodity and Service Group

 
 

All Items

250.814 252.252 252.949 3.1 0.9 0.3

Commodities

178.141 179.637 180.523 1.8 1.3 0.5

Commodities less food & beverages

141.312 142.872 143.789 2.3 1.8 0.6

Nondurables less food & beverages

178.480 181.496 183.433 5.5 2.8 1.1

Nondurables less food, beverages, and apparel

222.348 224.490 227.175 7.3 2.2 1.2

Durables

107.157 107.494 107.559 -1.8 0.4 0.1

Services

318.074 319.440 319.945 3.8 0.6 0.2

Rent of shelter(2)

330.737 332.665 333.584 5.3 0.9 0.3

Transportation services

292.278 295.116 297.076 3.5 1.6 0.7

Other services

342.567 343.590 342.105 0.7 -0.1 -0.4
 

Special aggregate indexes:

 
 

All items less medical care

240.525 242.097 242.767 3.1 0.9 0.3

All items less food

250.764 252.238 252.923 3.4 0.9 0.3

All items less shelter

227.528 228.826 229.460 1.9 0.8 0.3

Commodities less food

145.419 146.960 147.856 2.3 1.7 0.6

Nondurables

215.340 217.527 218.913 3.0 1.7 0.6

Nondurables less food

183.839 186.725 188.555 5.3 2.6 1.0

Nondurables less food and apparel

224.928 226.907 229.334 6.7 2.0 1.1

Services less rent of shelter(2)

337.665 338.443 338.458 1.9 0.2 0.0

Services less medical care services

304.543 306.169 306.623 4.0 0.7 0.1

Energy

228.035 230.081 234.283 11.5 2.7 1.8

All items less energy

254.573 255.978 256.418 2.5 0.7 0.2

All items less food and energy

255.749 257.189 257.574 2.8 0.7 0.1

Commodities less food and energy commodities

138.646 139.911 140.033 -0.5 1.0 0.1

Energy commodities

215.030 219.042 226.565 20.2 5.4 3.4

Services less energy services

323.459 324.947 325.493 3.9 0.6 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) Index is 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.
 

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: Friday, April 14, 2017