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19-2022-SAN
Wednesday, November 13, 2019

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Consumer Price Index, Alaska area – October 2019

Area prices were down 1.2 percent over the past two months, down 0.3 percent from a year ago

Prices in the Anchorage area, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), decreased 1.2 percent for the two months ending in October 2019, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations Richard Holden noted that the October decrease was influenced by lower prices for shelter and used cars and trucks. (Data in this report are not seasonally adjusted. Accordingly, bi-monthly changes may reflect seasonal influences.)

Over the last 12 months, the CPI-U decreased 0.3 percent. The index for all items less food and energy decreased 0.4 percent over the year. Energy prices decreased 3.7 percent, largely the result of a decrease in the price of gasoline. Food prices rose 3.2 percent. (See table 1.)

Food

Food prices edged up 0.2 percent for the two months ending in October. (See table 1.) Prices for food at home rose 0.4 percent, while prices for food away from home were unchanged for the same period.

Over the year, food prices rose 3.2 percent. Prices for food away from home increased 5.0 percent, and prices for food at home advanced 1.7 percent since a year ago.

Energy

The energy index rose 1.8 percent for the two months ending in October. The increase was mainly due to higher prices for gasoline (2.6 percent). Prices for electricity advanced 1.9 percent, while prices for natural gas service were virtually unchanged for the same period.

Energy prices decreased 3.7 percent over the year, largely due to lower prices for gasoline (-8.2 percent). Prices for electricity decreased 0.8 percent, but prices paid for natural gas service advanced 5.3 percent during the past year.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy declined 1.8 percent in the latest two-month period. Lower prices for used cars and trucks (-4.3 percent) and shelter (-4.0 percent) were partially offset by higher prices for recreation (2.5 percent), apparel (0.4 percent), and medical care (0.3 percent).

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy declined 0.4 percent. Components contributing to the decrease included apparel (-7.1 percent), education and communication (-1.2 percent), and shelter (-0.6 percent). Partly offsetting the decreases were price advances in medical care (4.4 percent) and other goods and services (3.4 percent).

The December 2019 Consumer Price Index for the Anchorage area is scheduled to be released on January 14, 2020.

Consumer Price Index Geographic Revision for 2018

In January 2018, BLS introduced a new geographic area sample for the Consumer Price Index (CPI). This index changed to a bimonthly publication schedule beginning in February, 2018. Additional information on the geographic revision is available at: www.bls.gov/cpi/additional-resources/geographic-revision-2018.htm.

Historical data, including semiannual and annual averages, are available at: www.bls.gov/cpi/data.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 Urban Alaska area covered in this release consists of Anchorage and Matanuska-Susitna 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 and percent changes for selected periods

Urban Alaska (1982-84=100 unless otherwise noted)
Item and Group

Indexes Percent change from-
Aug.
2019
Sep.
2019
Oct.
2019
Oct.
2018
Aug.
2019
Sep.
2019

Expenditure category

All items

230.406 - 227.552 -0.3 -1.2 -

All items (1967=100)

614.985 - 607.367 - - -

Food and beverages

216.210 - 216.673 3.0 0.2 -

Food

221.923 - 222.343 3.2 0.2 -

Food at home

213.707 213.744 214.477 1.7 0.4 0.3

Cereals and bakery products

218.575 - 227.795 3.1 4.2 -

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

197.438 - 196.159 1.4 -0.6 -

Dairy and related products

206.577 - 210.809 4.2 2.0 -

Fruits and vegetables

338.855 - 338.397 6.4 -0.1 -

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials(1)

150.428 - 149.170 2.6 -0.8 -

Other food at home

175.883 - 175.072 -3.9 -0.5 -

Food away from home

232.512 - 232.445 5.0 0.0 -

Alcoholic beverages

158.759 - 159.562 1.7 0.5 -

Housing

212.472 - 205.984 -0.2 -3.1 -

Shelter

213.044 205.995 204.584 -0.6 -4.0 -0.7

Rent of primary residence(2)

200.744 200.108 199.771 -1.2 -0.5 -0.2

Owners' equiv. rent of residences(2)

205.856 206.492 205.927 0.3 0.0 -0.3

Owners' equiv. rent of primary residence(2)

205.856 206.492 205.927 0.3 0.0 -0.3

Fuels and utilities

357.184 - 360.437 2.5 0.9 -

Household energy

375.169 375.169 379.384 1.5 1.1 1.1

Energy services

418.271 418.271 422.871 1.5 1.1 1.1

Electricity

366.844 366.844 373.728 -0.8 1.9 1.9

Utility (piped) gas service

483.599 483.599 483.350 5.3 -0.1 -0.1

Household furnishings and operations

128.363 - 128.620 -0.8 0.2 -

Apparel

155.197 - 155.878 -7.1 0.4 -

Transportation

227.990 - 225.017 -3.7 -1.3 -

Private transportation

238.482 - 235.303 -2.6 -1.3 -

New and used motor vehicles(3)

- - - - - -

New vehicles(1)

- - - - - -

Used cars and trucks(1)

271.005 - 259.331 1.0 -4.3 -

Motor fuel

240.413 232.097 246.542 -8.3 2.5 6.2

Gasoline (all types)

241.182 232.913 247.496 -8.2 2.6 6.3

Gasoline, unleaded regular(4)

232.048 223.855 238.220 -8.6 2.7 6.4

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(4)(5)

233.172 225.442 238.323 -7.6 2.2 5.7

Gasoline, unleaded premium(4)

248.004 240.904 254.099 -6.3 2.5 5.5

Motor vehicle insurance(1)

1,007.596 - 926.761 -8.0 -8.0 -

Medical care

623.192 - 625.275 4.4 0.3 -

Recreation(3)

126.733 - 129.878 0.7 2.5 -

Education and communication(3)

114.889 - 115.361 -1.2 0.4 -

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

729.669 - 748.486 3.0 2.6 -

Other goods and services

362.222 - 361.859 3.4 -0.1 -

Commodity and service group

All items

230.406 - 227.552 -0.3 -1.2 -

Commodities

184.902 - 184.448 -0.3 -0.2 -

Commodities less food & beverages

168.457 - 167.630 -1.9 -0.5 -

Nondurables less food & beverages

213.585 - 215.767 -3.5 1.0 -

Durables

129.492 - - - - -

Services

269.628 - 264.640 -0.3 -1.8 -

Special aggregate indexes

All items less medical care

216.693 - 213.741 -0.6 -1.4 -

All items less shelter

236.964 - 237.128 -0.1 0.1 -

Commodities less food

168.425 - 167.666 -1.8 -0.5 -

Nondurables

215.423 - 216.706 -0.2 0.6 -

Nondurables less food

209.794 - 211.850 -3.1 1.0 -

Services less rent of shelter(2)

361.924 - 363.629 0.1 0.5 -

Services less medical care services

248.962 - 243.765 -0.8 -2.1 -

Energy

297.329 292.160 302.799 -3.7 1.8 3.6

All items less energy

226.877 - 223.475 0.0 -1.5 -

All items less food and energy

228.059 - 224.052 -0.4 -1.8 -

Footnotes
(1) Indexes on a December 1978=100 base.
(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.

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

 

Last Modified Date: Wednesday, November 13, 2019