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News Release Information

20-62-SAN
Tuesday, January 14, 2020

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

Consumer Price Index, Phoenix area – December 2019

Area prices were down 0.6 percent over the past two months, up 3.4 percent from a year ago

Prices in the Phoenix area, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), decreased 0.6 percent for the two months ending in December 2019, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations Richard Holden noted that the December decrease was influenced by lower prices for electricity and medical care. (Data in this report are not seasonally adjusted. Accordingly, bi-monthly changes may reflect seasonal influences.)

Over the last 12 months, the CPI-U advanced 3.4 percent. The index for all items less food and energy rose 3.8 percent over the year. Food prices rose 3.4 percent. Energy prices declined 0.4 percent, largely the result of a decrease in the price of electricity. (See table 1.)

Food

Food prices increased 0.3 percent for the two months ending in December. (See table 1.) Prices for food away from home rose 1.5 percent, but prices for food at home decreased 0.8 percent for the same period.

Over the year, food prices rose 3.4 percent. Prices for food away from home rose 3.9 percent since a year ago, and prices for food at home rose 3.0 percent.

Energy

The energy index decreased 9.0 percent for the two months ending in December. The decrease was mainly due to lower prices for electricity (-21.8 percent). Prices for gasoline declined 1.3 percent, but prices for natural gas service advanced 0.5 percent for the same period.

Energy prices declined 0.4 percent over the year, largely due to lower prices for electricity (-10.0 percent). Prices for natural gas service declined 7.7 percent during the past year, but prices paid for gasoline rose 6.4 percent.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy were unchanged in the latest two-month period. Higher prices for recreation (2.8 percent) and shelter (1.3 percent) helped counter lower prices for apparel (-9.3 percent) and medical care (-4.3 percent).

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy rose 3.8 percent. Components contributing to the increase included medical care (10.5 percent) and shelter (6.2 percent). Partly offsetting the increases was a price decrease in apparel (-11.1 percent). Recreation and education and communication also declined by 0.4 percent each).

The February 2020 Consumer Price Index for the Phoenix area is scheduled to be released on March 11, 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.


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 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 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

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

Indexes Percent change from-
Oct.
2019
Nov.
2019
Dec.
2019
Dec.
2018
Oct.
2019
Nov.
2019

Expenditure category

All items

145.833 - 144.910 3.4 -0.6 -

Food and beverages

150.047 - 150.694 3.4 0.4 -

Food

151.519 - 151.898 3.4 0.3 -

Food at home

146.811 147.399 145.678 3.0 -0.8 -1.2

Cereals and bakery products

189.444 - 181.429 -0.6 -4.2 -

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

183.387 - 179.956 0.3 -1.9 -

Dairy and related products

113.307 - 119.319 11.0 5.3 -

Fruits and vegetables

128.122 - 128.001 4.6 -0.1 -

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials

105.863 - 107.963 2.7 2.0 -

Other food at home

145.560 - 143.045 3.6 -1.7 -

Food away from home

159.174 - 161.633 3.9 1.5 -

Alcoholic beverages

137.042 - 140.273 2.8 2.4 -

Housing

150.860 - 150.228 4.4 -0.4 -

Shelter

156.743 157.893 158.740 6.2 1.3 0.5

Rent of primary residence

165.859 167.484 168.610 8.0 1.7 0.7

Owners' equiv. rent of residences

155.395 156.488 157.337 5.8 1.2 0.5

Owners' equiv. rent of primary residence

155.395 156.488 157.337 5.8 1.2 0.5

Fuels and utilities

171.364 - 147.383 -6.7 -14.0 -

Household energy

176.470 151.640 142.012 -9.6 -19.5 -6.3

Energy services

176.258 151.309 141.646 -9.7 -19.6 -6.4

Electricity

192.170 162.104 150.354 -10.0 -21.8 -7.2

Utility (piped) gas service

96.744 96.764 97.272 -7.7 0.5 0.5

Household furnishings and operations

100.864 - 100.470 0.8 -0.4 -

Apparel

137.049 - 124.325 -11.1 -9.3 -

Transportation

131.000 - 131.396 3.2 0.3 -

Private transportation

132.756 - 132.857 2.2 0.1 -

New and used motor vehicles

92.519 - 93.747 0.6 1.3 -

New vehicles

93.993 - 96.202 0.7 2.4 -

Used cars and trucks

84.428 - 83.894 -0.1 -0.6 -

Motor fuel

252.012 253.609 248.899 6.1 -1.2 -1.9

Gasoline (all types)

252.611 254.156 249.343 6.4 -1.3 -1.9

Gasoline, unleaded regular(1)

254.074 255.543 250.250 6.4 -1.5 -2.1

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(1)

262.284 263.102 260.010 4.7 -0.9 -1.2

Gasoline, unleaded premium(1)

248.921 251.067 248.521 6.4 -0.2 -1.0

Motor vehicle insurance

168.981 - 168.981 -1.8 0.0 -

Medical care

202.553 - 193.813 10.5 -4.3 -

Recreation

116.559 - 119.850 -0.4 2.8 -

Education and communication

116.834 - 116.267 -0.4 -0.5 -

Tuition, other school fees, and child care

200.384 - 200.384 2.1 0.0 -

Other goods and services

149.993 - 150.456 3.8 0.3 -

Commodity and service group

All items

145.833 - 144.910 3.4 -0.6 -

Commodities

127.112 - 124.789 2.6 -1.8 -

Commodities less food & beverages

115.180 - 111.511 2.1 -3.2 -

Nondurables less food & beverages

158.614 - 150.403 3.8 -5.2 -

Durables

79.004 - 78.945 -0.4 -0.1 -

Services

158.788 - 158.777 3.9 0.0 -

Special aggregate indexes

All items less medical care

142.360 - 141.965 2.8 -0.3 -

All items less shelter

140.082 - 137.650 1.9 -1.7 -

Commodities less food

115.984 - 112.605 2.1 -2.9 -

Nondurables

154.529 - 150.834 3.6 -2.4 -

Nondurables less food

156.725 - 149.534 3.7 -4.6 -

Services less rent of shelter

160.768 - 158.169 1.2 -1.6 -

Services less medical care services

155.381 - 155.406 3.7 0.0 -

Energy

211.231 199.313 192.132 -0.4 -9.0 -3.6

All items less energy

142.076 - 142.172 3.8 0.1 -

All items less food and energy

140.545 - 140.603 3.8 0.0 -

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, January 14, 2020