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News Release Information

20-424-SAN
Wednesday, March 11, 2020

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

Consumer Price Index, West Region — February 2020

Area prices were up 0.4 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), advanced 0.4 percent in February, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (See table A.) The February increase was influenced by higher prices for shelter and food. (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 increased 3.1 percent. (See chart 1 and table A.) The index for all items less food and energy advanced 2.9 percent over the year. Energy prices increased 6.5 percent, largely the result of an increase in the price of gasoline. Food prices rose 2.5 percent. (See table 1.)

Food

Food prices increased 0.6 percent for the month of February. (See table 1.) Prices for food at home increased 0.8 percent, and prices for food away from home increased 0.4 percent for the same period.

Over the year, food prices rose 2.5 percent. Prices for food away from home rose 4.1 percent since a year ago, and prices for food at home advanced 1.1 percent.

Energy

The energy index decreased 1.0 percent over the month. The decrease was mainly due to lower prices for gasoline (-1.5 percent). Prices for natural gas service declined 1.7 percent, but prices for electricity inched up 0.2 percent for the same period.

Energy prices increased 6.5 percent over the year, largely due to higher prices for gasoline (8.4 percent). Prices paid for electricity advanced 3.9 percent, and prices for natural gas service increased 2.4 percent during the past year.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy increased 0.5 percent in February. Higher prices for apparel (1.6 percent), household furnishings and operations (1.4 percent), and shelter (0.5 percent) were partially offset by lower prices for recreation (-0.3 percent) and medical care (-0.1 percent).

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy advanced 2.9 percent. Components contributing to the increase included medical care (6.2 percent) and shelter (4.2 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

April

0.5 1.8 0.3 2.9 0.4 3.2 0.8 2.9

May

0.5 1.5 0.2 2.6 0.5 3.5 0.5 2.9

June

0.2 1.6 0.0 2.5 0.2 3.6 0.0 2.7

July

0.1 1.4 0.1 2.5 0.1 3.6 0.0 2.7

August

0.0 1.5 0.2 2.7 0.2 3.6 0.1 2.6

September

0.3 2.0 0.5 2.9 0.3 3.4 0.3 2.6

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 March 2020 Consumer Price Index for the West Region is scheduled to be released on April 10, 2020.


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-
Dec.
2019
Jan.
2020
Feb.
2020
Feb.
2019
Dec.
2019
Jan.
2020

Expenditure category

All Items

272.584 273.340 274.412 3.1 0.7 0.4

All items (December 1977=100)

440.616 441.839 443.572      

Food and beverages

267.096 268.585 270.347 2.3 1.2 0.7

Food

267.425 268.822 270.567 2.5 1.2 0.6

Food at home

250.222 250.901 253.013 1.1 1.1 0.8

Cereals and bakery products

262.004 262.896 264.157 0.1 0.8 0.5

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

260.400 260.270 262.564 2.1 0.8 0.9

Dairy and related products

236.295 239.091 237.350 3.7 0.4 -0.7

Fruits and vegetables

331.526 334.287 335.656 0.2 1.2 0.4

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials

174.619 176.334 177.397 0.9 1.6 0.6

Other food at home

211.683 210.466 214.762 0.5 1.5 2.0

Food away from home

289.770 292.149 293.380 4.1 1.2 0.4

Alcoholic beverages

259.502 262.106 264.063 -0.2 1.8 0.7

Housing

302.112 303.450 305.030 3.8 1.0 0.5

Shelter

350.777 351.875 353.541 4.2 0.8 0.5

Rent of primary residence(1)

374.382 375.390 376.628 4.6 0.6 0.3

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

369.702 370.471 371.409 4.1 0.5 0.3

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

369.707 370.477 371.422 4.1 0.5 0.3

Fuels and utilities

304.982 309.674 309.627 3.5 1.5 0.0

Household energy

254.281 260.234 259.601 3.4 2.1 -0.2

Energy services(1)

256.032 262.095 261.609 3.6 2.2 -0.2

Electricity(1)

287.434 293.364 293.999 3.9 2.3 0.2

Utility (piped) gas service(1)

196.879 203.788 200.386 2.4 1.8 -1.7

Household furnishings and operations

131.794 132.534 134.328 0.8 1.9 1.4

Apparel

113.210 115.274 117.068 0.5 3.4 1.6

Transportation

218.713 216.625 216.984 2.2 -0.8 0.2

Private transportation

214.895 212.347 212.275 2.3 -1.2 0.0

New and used motor vehicles(3)

99.488 99.158 99.722 -0.6 0.2 0.6

New vehicles

147.969 148.092 148.965 0.6 0.7 0.6

New cars and trucks(3)(4)

102.754 102.862 103.472 0.6 0.7 0.6

New cars(4)

146.602 146.986 147.771 1.5 0.8 0.5

Used cars and trucks

131.779 130.773 132.052 -1.5 0.2 1.0

Motor fuel

268.140 258.303 254.399 8.3 -5.1 -1.5

Gasoline (all types)

266.882 256.949 253.140 8.4 -5.1 -1.5

Gasoline, unleaded regular(4)

263.581 253.570 249.696 8.3 -5.3 -1.5

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(4)(5)

256.745 248.008 244.018 8.8 -5.0 -1.6

Gasoline, unleaded premium(4)

262.545 253.638 250.522 8.5 -4.6 -1.2

Motor vehicle insurance(6)

843.608 839.206 842.220 -1.4 -0.2 0.4

Medical Care

530.506 533.905 533.413 6.2 0.5 -0.1

Medical care commodities

434.657 433.200 425.570 11.2 -2.1 -1.8

Medical care services

559.982 564.908 566.670 5.0 1.2 0.3

Professional services

359.697 361.014 361.591 1.4 0.5 0.2

Recreation(3)

116.187 116.687 116.291 1.5 0.1 -0.3

Education and communication(3)

137.914 137.876 138.112 0.7 0.1 0.2

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

1,494.758 1,496.746 1,496.885 2.5 0.1 0.0

Other goods and services

453.836 456.835 458.649 3.5 1.1 0.4

Commodity and Service Group

All Items

272.584 273.340 274.412 3.1 0.7 0.4

Commodities

187.603 187.697 188.567 2.4 0.5 0.5

Commodities less food & beverages

148.369 147.931 148.421 2.4 0.0 0.3

Nondurables less food & beverages

197.070 196.060 195.785 4.5 -0.7 -0.1

Nondurables less food, beverages, and apparel

255.951 252.841 251.154 6.0 -1.9 -0.7

Durables

104.983 104.934 105.843 -0.6 0.8 0.9

Services

351.706 353.146 354.386 3.5 0.8 0.4

Rent of shelter(2)

373.602 374.781 376.555 4.2 0.8 0.5

Transportation services

318.458 318.559 320.819 0.2 0.7 0.7

Other services

362.528 363.514 363.197 2.1 0.2 -0.1

Special aggregate indexes:

All items less medical care

260.842 261.485 262.619 2.8 0.7 0.4

All items less food

273.570 274.222 275.184 3.2 0.6 0.4

All items less shelter

241.905 242.528 243.367 2.5 0.6 0.3

Commodities less food

152.523 152.166 152.699 2.3 0.1 0.4

Nondurables

232.319 232.523 233.240 3.4 0.4 0.3

Nondurables less food

201.855 201.080 200.950 4.2 -0.4 -0.1

Nondurables less food and apparel

255.981 253.480 252.180 5.4 -1.5 -0.5

Services less rent of shelter(2)

363.231 365.163 365.862 2.6 0.7 0.2

Services less medical care services

337.168 338.373 339.575 3.3 0.7 0.4

Energy

266.687 263.417 260.843 6.5 -2.2 -1.0

All items less energy

275.280 276.317 277.645 2.8 0.9 0.5

All items less food and energy

277.459 278.434 279.692 2.9 0.8 0.5

Commodities less food and energy commodities

139.819 140.403 141.386 0.9 1.1 0.7

Energy commodities

272.955 263.135 259.104 8.1 -5.1 -1.5

Services less energy services

358.577 359.762 361.104 3.5 0.7 0.4

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: Wednesday, March 11, 2020