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News Release Information

20-58-SAN
Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Contacts

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

Consumer Price Index, West Region — December 2019

Area prices were down 0.2 percent over the past month, up 2.8 percent from a year ago

Prices in the West Region, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), edged down 0.2 percent in December, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (See table A.) The December decrease was influenced by lower prices for energy. (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 2.8 percent. (See chart 1 and table A.) The index for all items less food and energy rose 2.8 percent over the year. Food prices rose 2.1 percent. Energy prices advanced 3.4 percent, largely the result of an increase in the price of gasoline. (See table 1.)

Food

Food prices crept up 0.1 percent for the month of December. (See table 1.) Prices for food away from home rose 0.3 percent, while prices for food at home were virtually unchanged and for the same period.

Over the year, food prices rose 2.1 percent. Prices for food away from home rose 3.6 percent since a year ago, and prices for food at home rose 0.8 percent.

Energy

The energy index decreased 3.9 percent over the month. The decrease was mainly due to lower prices for gasoline (-6.2 percent). Prices for electricity declined 1.2 percent, but prices for natural gas service advanced 4.4 percent for the same period.

Energy prices advanced 3.4 percent over the year, largely due to higher prices for gasoline (5.2 percent). Prices paid for electricity rose 0.8 percent, and prices for natural gas service advanced 0.4 percent during the past year.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy crept up 0.1 percent in December. Higher prices for medical care (1.4 percent), recreation (0.4 percent), and shelter (0.1 percent) were partially offset by lower prices for apparel (-1.3 percent) and education and communication (-0.3 percent).

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy rose 2.8 percent. Components contributing to the increase included medical care (6.0 percent) and shelter (4.3 percent). Partly offsetting the increases was a price decrease in apparel (-0.1 percent).

Table A. West region CPI-U 1-month and 12-month percent changes, all items index, not seasonally adjusted
Month 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
1-month 12-month 1-month 12-month 1-month 12-month 1-month 12-month 1-month 12-month

January

-0.3 0.7 0.5 2.6 0.5 2.5 0.5 3.1 0.2 2.7

February

0.6 0.9 0.1 2.1 0.6 3.0 0.5 3.1 0.2 2.4

March

0.8 1.1 0.2 1.5 0.3 3.1 0.4 3.2 0.4 2.4

April

0.3 1.0 0.5 1.8 0.3 2.9 0.4 3.2 0.8 2.9

May

0.8 1.2 0.5 1.5 0.2 2.6 0.5 3.5 0.5 2.9

June

0.0 1.1 0.2 1.6 0.0 2.5 0.2 3.6 0.0 2.7

July

0.3 1.3 0.1 1.4 0.1 2.5 0.1 3.6 0.0 2.7

August

-0.1 1.3 0.0 1.5 0.2 2.7 0.2 3.6 0.1 2.6

September

-0.2 1.0 0.3 2.0 0.5 2.9 0.3 3.4 0.3 2.6

October

0.0 1.1 0.3 2.3 0.3 2.9 0.4 3.5 0.5 2.8

November

-0.2 1.5 -0.2 2.3 0.0 3.1 -0.2 3.3 -0.1 2.8

December

-0.1 1.8 0.0 2.5 0.1 3.1 -0.2 3.1 -0.2 2.8

The January 2020 Consumer Price Index for the West Region is scheduled to be released on February 13, 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-
Oct.
2019
Nov.
2019
Dec.
2019
Dec.
2018
Oct.
2019
Nov.
2019

Expenditure category

All Items

273.524 273.128 272.584 2.8 -0.3 -0.2

All items (December 1977=100)

442.137 441.496 440.616      

Food and beverages

267.382 266.850 267.096 1.9 -0.1 0.1

Food

267.487 267.107 267.425 2.1 0.0 0.1

Food at home

251.030 250.350 250.222 0.8 -0.3 -0.1

Cereals and bakery products

266.617 266.219 262.004 0.1 -1.7 -1.6

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

257.933 259.911 260.400 1.2 1.0 0.2

Dairy and related products

234.068 233.698 236.295 4.2 1.0 1.1

Fruits and vegetables

336.864 330.634 331.526 0.0 -1.6 0.3

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials

174.118 174.995 174.619 1.3 0.3 -0.2

Other food at home

212.827 211.908 211.683 -0.1 -0.5 -0.1

Food away from home

288.871 288.878 289.770 3.6 0.3 0.3

Alcoholic beverages

262.665 260.173 259.502 -1.4 -1.2 -0.3

Housing

302.144 301.908 302.112 3.7 0.0 0.1

Shelter

349.802 350.397 350.777 4.3 0.3 0.1

Rent of primary residence(1)

371.955 373.143 374.382 4.6 0.7 0.3

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

367.314 368.433 369.702 4.4 0.7 0.3

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

367.318 368.436 369.707 4.4 0.7 0.3

Fuels and utilities

310.623 305.066 304.982 2.0 -1.8 0.0

Household energy

262.208 254.427 254.281 0.7 -3.0 -0.1

Energy services(1)

264.312 256.323 256.032 0.7 -3.1 -0.1

Electricity(1)

297.331 290.952 287.434 0.8 -3.3 -1.2

Utility (piped) gas service(1)

201.626 188.520 196.879 0.4 -2.4 4.4

Household furnishings and operations

132.956 132.061 131.794 0.6 -0.9 -0.2

Apparel

119.233 114.668 113.210 -0.1 -5.1 -1.3

Transportation

223.674 223.156 218.713 1.4 -2.2 -2.0

Private transportation

219.314 218.956 214.895 1.5 -2.0 -1.9

New and used motor vehicles(3)

99.743 99.531 99.488 -0.6 -0.3 0.0

New vehicles

147.391 147.579 147.969 0.2 0.4 0.3

New cars and trucks(3)(4)

102.350 102.480 102.754 0.1 0.4 0.3

New cars(4)

145.782 146.222 146.602 0.9 0.6 0.3

Used cars and trucks

133.071 132.086 131.779 -0.9 -1.0 -0.2

Motor fuel

286.854 285.613 268.140 5.1 -6.5 -6.1

Gasoline (all types)

286.207 284.666 266.882 5.2 -6.8 -6.2

Gasoline, unleaded regular(4)

283.162 281.564 263.581 5.1 -6.9 -6.4

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(4)(5)

272.405 271.444 256.745 5.2 -5.7 -5.4

Gasoline, unleaded premium(4)

279.515 278.300 262.545 5.4 -6.1 -5.7

Motor vehicle insurance(6)

842.158 843.534 843.608 -1.1 0.2 0.0

Medical Care

521.163 523.141 530.506 6.0 1.8 1.4

Medical care commodities

411.526 413.647 434.657 12.8 5.6 5.1

Medical care services

555.400 557.317 559.982 4.3 0.8 0.5

Professional services

359.664 359.655 359.697 1.2 0.0 0.0

Recreation(3)

115.627 115.738 116.187 0.7 0.5 0.4

Education and communication(3)

137.928 138.301 137.914 0.6 0.0 -0.3

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

1,494.313 1,495.444 1,494.758 2.5 0.0 0.0

Other goods and services

451.586 455.293 453.836 3.2 0.5 -0.3

Commodity and Service Group

All Items

273.524 273.128 272.584 2.8 -0.3 -0.2

Commodities

190.020 189.091 187.603 1.8 -1.3 -0.8

Commodities less food & beverages

151.460 150.430 148.369 1.7 -2.0 -1.4

Nondurables less food & beverages

202.934 200.892 197.070 3.3 -2.9 -1.9

Nondurables less food, beverages, and apparel

261.643 261.450 255.951 4.4 -2.2 -2.1

Durables

105.835 105.618 104.983 -0.5 -0.8 -0.6

Services

351.102 351.264 351.706 3.4 0.2 0.1

Rent of shelter(2)

372.536 373.174 373.602 4.3 0.3 0.1

Transportation services

321.753 321.138 318.458 0.2 -1.0 -0.8

Other services

360.056 360.878 362.528 2.0 0.7 0.5

Special aggregate indexes:

All items less medical care

262.221 261.724 260.842 2.5 -0.5 -0.3

All items less food

274.649 274.249 273.570 2.9 -0.4 -0.2

All items less shelter

243.616 242.821 241.905 1.9 -0.7 -0.4

Commodities less food

155.642 154.565 152.523 1.5 -2.0 -1.3

Nondurables

235.675 234.306 232.319 2.5 -1.4 -0.8

Nondurables less food

207.598 205.518 201.855 2.9 -2.8 -1.8

Nondurables less food and apparel

261.427 261.017 255.981 3.8 -2.1 -1.9

Services less rent of shelter(2)

363.142 362.722 363.231 2.1 0.0 0.1

Services less medical care services

336.825 336.873 337.168 3.3 0.1 0.1

Energy

281.399 277.542 266.687 3.4 -5.2 -3.9

All items less energy

275.227 275.079 275.280 2.7 0.0 0.1

All items less food and energy

277.386 277.277 277.459 2.8 0.0 0.1

Commodities less food and energy commodities

141.127 140.062 139.819 0.8 -0.9 -0.2

Energy commodities

291.662 290.390 272.955 5.0 -6.4 -6.0

Services less energy services

357.483 358.093 358.577 3.5 0.3 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: Tuesday, January 14, 2020