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News Release Information

20-1718-SAN
Friday, September 11, 2020

Contacts

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

Consumer Price Index, West Region — August 2020

Area prices were up 0.3 percent over the past month, up 1.9 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 August, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (See table A.) The August increase was influenced by higher prices for used cars and trucks 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 advanced 1.9 percent. (See chart 1 and table A.) The index for all items less food and energy also increased 1.9 percent over the year. Food prices rose 5.6 percent. Energy prices decreased 6.4 percent, largely the result of a decrease in the price of gasoline. (See table 1.)

Food

Food prices advanced 0.6 percent for the month of August. (See table 1.) Prices for food at home increased 0.7 percent, led by fruit and vegetable prices (1.4 percent), and prices for food away from home advanced 0.5 percent for the same period.

Over the year, food prices rose 5.6 percent. Prices for food at home increased 5.8 percent since a year ago, largely due to price increases in meat, poultry, fish and eggs (8.6 percent), and prices for food away from home advanced 5.3 percent.

Energy

The energy index advanced 1.0 percent over the month. The increase was mainly due to higher prices for gasoline (1.8 percent). Prices for natural gas service rose 0.4 percent, but prices for electricity edged down 0.1 percent for the same period.

Energy prices decreased 6.4 percent over the year, largely due to lower prices for gasoline (-13.0 percent). Prices paid for natural gas service increased 5.5 percent, and prices for electricity advanced 1.9 percent during the past year.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy inched up 0.2 percent in August. Higher prices for used cars and trucks (5.7 percent), apparel (2.1 percent), and household furnishings and operations (0.7 percent) were partially offset by lower prices for motor vehicle insurance (-2.2 percent) and other goods and services (-0.8 percent).

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy increased 1.9 percent. Components contributing to the increase included medical care (6.1 percent), household furnishings and operations (4.2 percent), and shelter (2.3 percent). Partly offsetting the increases were price decreases in motor vehicle insurance (-3.9 percent) and apparel (-3.2 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 -0.2 2.5

April

0.5 1.8 0.3 2.9 0.4 3.2 0.8 2.9 -0.4 1.3

May

0.5 1.5 0.2 2.6 0.5 3.5 0.5 2.9 0.1 0.8

June

0.2 1.6 0.0 2.5 0.2 3.6 0.0 2.7 0.4 1.2

July

0.1 1.4 0.1 2.5 0.1 3.6 0.0 2.7 0.5 1.7

August

0.0 1.5 0.2 2.7 0.2 3.6 0.1 2.6 0.3 1.9

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 September 2020 Consumer Price Index for the West Region is scheduled to be released on October 13, 2020.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic Impact on August 2020 Consumer Price Index Data

Data collection by personal visit for the Consumer Price Index (CPI) program has been suspended since March 16, 2020. When possible, data normally collected by personal visit were collected either online or by phone. Additionally, data collection in August was affected by the temporary closing or limited operations of certain types of establishments. These factors resulted in an increase in the number of prices considered temporarily unavailable and imputed.

While the CPI program attempted to collect as much data as possible, many indexes are based on smaller amounts of collected prices than usual, and a small number of indexes that are normally published were not published this month. Additional information is available at https://www.bls.gov/covid19/effects-of-covid-19-pandemic-on-consumer-price-index.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 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-
Jun.
2020
Jul.
2020
Aug.
2020
Aug.
2019
Jun.
2020
Jul.
2020

Expenditure category

All Items

274.155 275.597 276.443 1.9 0.8 0.3

All items (December 1977=100)

443.156 445.488 446.855      

Food and beverages

278.677 278.110 279.790 5.3 0.4 0.6

Food

278.995 278.597 280.333 5.6 0.5 0.6

Food at home

264.126 261.964 263.762 5.8 -0.1 0.7

Cereals and bakery products

269.376 267.275 268.954 1.5 -0.2 0.6

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

289.818 280.540 279.385 8.6 -3.6 -0.4

Dairy and related products

242.486 243.167 247.264 6.6 2.0 1.7

Fruits and vegetables

345.015 345.610 350.341 5.3 1.5 1.4

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials

186.193 184.062 187.429 9.5 0.7 1.8

Other food at home

220.080 220.641 221.197 4.0 0.5 0.3

Food away from home

298.074 300.104 301.748 5.3 1.2 0.5

Alcoholic beverages

271.064 268.402 269.351 1.9 -0.6 0.4

Housing

307.520 308.454 308.782 2.6 0.4 0.1

Shelter

355.083 356.272 356.336 2.3 0.4 0.0

Rent of primary residence(1)

379.296 379.785 379.915 3.2 0.2 0.0

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

373.384 373.920 374.293 2.6 0.2 0.1

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

373.389 373.926 374.292 2.6 0.2 0.1

Fuels and utilities

315.578 317.905 318.565 2.9 0.9 0.2

Household energy

266.415 268.110 268.310 2.6 0.7 0.1

Energy services(1)

269.039 270.792 270.918 2.6 0.7 0.0

Electricity(1)

299.699 303.123 302.959 1.9 1.1 -0.1

Utility (piped) gas service(1)

212.874 210.489 211.367 5.5 -0.7 0.4

Household furnishings and operations

138.230 137.821 138.799 4.2 0.4 0.7

Apparel

109.226 109.244 111.588 -3.2 2.2 2.1

Transportation

204.029 209.147 210.669 -4.1 3.3 0.7

Private transportation

200.980 206.739 208.959 -3.0 4.0 1.1

New and used motor vehicles(3)

98.678 100.337 102.058 0.8 3.4 1.7

New vehicles

148.806 149.904 149.765 1.4 0.6 -0.1

New cars and trucks(3)(4)

103.332 104.112 104.015 1.4 0.7 -0.1

New cars(4)

147.456 148.599 148.458 1.5 0.7 -0.1

Used cars and trucks

131.430 135.518 143.303 3.2 9.0 5.7

Motor fuel

215.803 225.536 229.485 -13.0 6.3 1.8

Gasoline (all types)

214.925 224.837 228.850 -13.0 6.5 1.8

Gasoline, unleaded regular(4)

211.355 221.156 225.212 -13.3 6.6 1.8

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(4)(5)

208.762 218.152 222.275 -11.9 6.5 1.9

Gasoline, unleaded premium(4)

215.932 225.608 229.037 -11.2 6.1 1.5

Motor vehicle insurance(6)

765.701 832.394 813.922 -3.9 6.3 -2.2

Medical Care

540.943 544.125 544.247 6.1 0.6 0.0

Medical care commodities

428.922 428.925 428.583 9.1 -0.1 -0.1

Medical care services

575.507 579.688 579.956 5.2 0.8 0.0

Professional services

366.273 369.491 366.673 1.9 0.1 -0.8

Recreation(3)

116.512 115.497 115.718 1.1 -0.7 0.2

Education and communication(3)

138.505 140.134 140.519 1.8 1.5 0.3

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

1,500.891 1,503.445 1,510.816 1.9 0.7 0.5

Other goods and services

461.650 461.650 458.151 1.6 -0.8 -0.8

Commodity and Service Group

All Items

274.155 275.597 276.443 1.9 0.8 0.3

Commodities

187.662 188.740 190.608 1.8 1.6 1.0

Commodities less food & beverages

144.067 145.715 147.562 -0.6 2.4 1.3

Nondurables less food & beverages

184.367 186.745 188.437 -3.2 2.2 0.9

Nondurables less food, beverages, and apparel

237.198 241.203 242.467 -3.2 2.2 0.5

Durables

106.190 107.242 109.011 2.0 2.7 1.6

Services

354.845 356.613 356.307 2.0 0.4 -0.1

Rent of shelter(2)

378.200 379.458 379.536 2.3 0.4 0.0

Transportation services

298.883 306.127 300.958 -6.3 0.7 -1.7

Other services

366.325 366.379 366.382 2.4 0.0 0.0

Special aggregate indexes:

All items less medical care

262.036 263.401 264.274 1.6 0.9 0.3

All items less food

273.505 275.250 275.950 1.3 0.9 0.3

All items less shelter

242.407 243.949 245.099 1.7 1.1 0.5

Commodities less food

148.627 150.168 152.004 -0.4 2.3 1.2

Nondurables

231.393 232.347 234.043 1.6 1.1 0.7

Nondurables less food

190.704 192.758 194.407 -2.7 1.9 0.9

Nondurables less food and apparel

240.460 243.754 244.984 -2.5 1.9 0.5

Services less rent of shelter(2)

364.867 367.480 366.653 1.5 0.5 -0.2

Services less medical care services

339.476 341.080 340.737 1.6 0.4 -0.1

Energy

240.961 247.429 249.846 -6.4 3.7 1.0

All items less energy

278.718 279.831 280.578 2.5 0.7 0.3

All items less food and energy

279.452 280.839 281.410 1.9 0.7 0.2

Commodities less food and energy commodities

140.799 141.518 143.128 1.8 1.7 1.1

Energy commodities

220.103 229.858 233.876 -12.8 6.3 1.7

Services less energy services

361.172 362.948 362.617 1.9 0.4 -0.1

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: Friday, September 11, 2020