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18-11-SAN
Friday, January 12, 2018

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Consumer Price Index, Anchorage – Second Half 2017

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

Prices in the Anchorage Area, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), increased 0.2 percent in the second half of 2017, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (See table A.) Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations Richard Holden noted this latest six-month increase was influenced by higher prices for gasoline, medical care, and apparel. (Data in this report are not seasonally adjusted. Accordingly, six-month-to-six-month changes may reflect seasonal influences.)

Over the last 12 months, the CPI-U rose 0.2 percent.  (See chart 1 and table A.) Energy prices advanced 5.4 percent, largely the result of an increase in the price of gasoline. The index for all items less food and energy edged down 0.1 percent over the year. (See table 1.)

Food

Food prices decreased 0.6 percent in the second half of 2017. (See table 1.) Prices for food at home decreased 1.4 percent, but prices for food away from home increased 0.6 percent for the same period.

Over the year, food prices inched down 0.1 percent. Prices for food at home decreased 0.8 percent since a year ago, but prices for food away from home moved up 0.7 percent.

Energy

The energy index increased 5.4 percent since the first half of 2017. The increase was mainly due to higher prices for gasoline (7.2 percent). Prices for natural gas service increased 9.1 percent, and prices for electricity increased 0.2 percent for the same period.

Energy prices advanced 12.1 percent over the year, largely due to higher prices for gasoline (16.8 percent). Prices paid for natural gas service moved up 11.2 percent, and prices for electricity advanced 6.8 percent during the past year.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy edged down 0.1 percent in the latest six-month period. Lower prices for education and communication (-2.2 percent) and shelter (-0.6 percent) were partially offset by higher prices for apparel (3.3 percent) and medical care (1.9 percent).

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy declined 0.7 percent. Components contributing to the decrease included education and communication (-4.8 percent) and shelter (-1.3 percent). Partly offsetting the decreases were price advances in medical care (1.7 percent) and apparel (1.6 percent).

Table A. Anchorage CPI-U semi-annual and annual percent changes (not seasonally adjusted)
Month 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Semi-annual Annual Semi-annual Annual Semi-annual Annual Semi-annual Annual Semi-annual Annual Semi-annual Annual

First Half

1.3 2.5 2.1 2.7 0.4 1.9 0.1 1.1 0.1 -0.1 0.0 0.7

Second Half

0.7 2.0 1.4 3.5  1.0 1.4  -0.2 -0.1 0.8 0.9 0.2 0.2

The February 2018 Consumer Price Index for the Anchorage area is scheduled to be released March 13, 2018.

Consumer Price Index Geographic Revision for 2018

In January 2018, BLS will introduce a new geographic area sample for the Consumer Price Index (CPI). This index will change to a bimonthly publication schedule beginning in February, 2018. The first indexes using the new structure will be published in February 2018. Additional information on the geographic revision is available at: www.bls.gov/cpi/georevision2018.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 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 Anchorage, AK. metropolitan area covered in this release is comprised of Anchorage Borough in the State of Alaska.

Information in this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: 202-691-5200; Federal Relay Service: 1-800-877-8339.

Table 1. Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U): Indexes for semiannual averages and percent changes for selected periods

Anchorage, AK (1982-84=100 unless otherwise noted)
Item and Group

 
Semiannual average indexes
 
Percent change to
2nd half 2017 from-
2nd half
2016
1st half
2017
2nd half
2017
2nd half
2016
1st half
2017

Expenditure category

 
 

All items

218.660 218.616 219.131 0.2 0.2

All items (1967=100)

583.635 583.517 584.891 - -

Food and beverages

208.183 209.188 207.988 -0.1 -0.6

Food

213.553 214.481 213.258 -0.1 -0.6

Food at home

209.617 210.977 208.003 -0.8 -1.4

Food away from home

218.136 218.448 219.708 0.7 0.6

Alcoholic beverages

153.657 155.367 154.411 0.5 -0.6

Housing

203.505 203.427 203.228 -0.1 -0.1

Shelter

206.548 205.134 203.949 -1.3 -0.6

Rent of primary residence

201.915 200.300 200.753 -0.6 0.2

Owners' equiv. rent of residences(1)

208.873 206.284 204.637 -2.0 -0.8

Owners' equiv. rent of primary residence(1)

208.873 206.284 204.637 -2.0 -0.8

Fuels and utilities

303.873 315.618 326.748 7.5 3.5

Household energy

316.332 330.329 343.697 8.7 4.0

Energy services

352.161 368.028 383.079 8.8 4.1

Electricity

300.074 319.964 320.567 6.8 0.2

Utility (piped) gas service

425.662 433.649 473.312 11.2 9.1

Household furnishings and operations

128.502 129.758 129.283 0.6 -0.4

Apparel

163.859 161.230 166.554 1.6 3.3

Transportation

208.146 210.427 213.390 2.5 1.4

Private transportation

212.469 223.073 224.501 5.7 0.6

Motor fuel

201.509 219.453 235.305 16.8 7.2

Gasoline (all types)

202.191 220.277 236.198 16.8 7.2

Gasoline, unleaded regular(2)

195.790 213.509 229.061 17.0 7.3

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(2)(3)

192.336 209.310 224.106 16.5 7.1

Gasoline, unleaded premium(2)

200.829 217.860 232.955 16.0 6.9

Medical care

534.701 533.511 543.827 1.7 1.9

Recreation(4)

119.503 120.039 119.860 0.3 -0.1

Education and communication(4)

118.767 115.579 113.073 -4.8 -2.2

Other goods and services

336.779 333.862 336.426 -0.1 0.8
 

Commodity and service group

 
 

All Items

218.660 218.616 219.131 0.2 0.2

Commodities

176.195 178.962 179.790 2.0 0.5

Commodities less food & beverages

159.196 162.815 164.639 3.4 1.1

Nondurables less food & beverages

200.521 204.450 212.978 6.2 4.2

Durables

124.251 127.512 124.619 0.3 -2.3

Services

255.076 252.716 252.975 -0.8 0.1
 

Special aggregate indexes

 
 

All items less medical care

207.224 207.215 207.429 0.1 0.1

All items less shelter

222.403 223.144 224.624 1.0 0.7

Commodities less food

159.330 162.872 164.576 3.3 1.0

Nondurables

205.259 207.612 210.887 2.7 1.6

Nondurables less food

197.403 201.139 208.773 5.8 3.8

Services less rent of shelter(1)

333.188 329.238 332.218 -0.3 0.9

Services less medical care services

237.225 235.151 235.384 -0.8 0.1

Energy

252.275 268.219 282.766 12.1 5.4

All items less energy

217.100 216.086 215.751 -0.6 -0.2

All items less food and energy

218.031 216.688 216.502 -0.7 -0.1

Footnotes
(1) Index is on a December 1982=100 base.
(2) Special index based on a substantially smaller sample.
(3) Indexes on a December 1993=100 base.
(4) Indexes on a December 1997=100 base.
 

- Data not available.
 

 

Last Modified Date: Friday, January 12, 2018