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18-1457-SAN
Thursday, September 13, 2018

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Consumer Price Index, West Region — August 2018

Area prices were up 0.2 percent over the past month, up 3.6 percent from a year ago

Prices in the West Region, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), inched up 0.2 percent in August, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (See table A.) The August increase was influenced by higher prices for shelter and education and communication. (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 rose 3.6 percent. (See chart 1 and table A.) Energy prices jumped 13.4 percent, largely the result of an increase in the price of gasoline. The index for all items less food and energy increased 3.1 percent over the year. (See table 1.)

Food

Food prices rose 0.3 percent for the month of August. (See table 1.) Prices for food at home and prices for food away from home each rose 0.3 percent for the same period.

Over the year, food prices rose 1.9 percent. Prices for food away from home rose 3.5 percent since a year ago, and prices for food at home rose 0.5 percent.

Energy

The energy index edged down 0.2 percent over the month. The decrease was mainly due to lower prices for gasoline (-1.2 percent). Prices for electricity were unchanged, while prices for natural gas service increased 6.1 percent for the same period.

Energy prices jumped 13.4 percent over the year, largely due to higher prices for gasoline (21.6 percent). Prices paid for natural gas service increased 5.1 percent, and prices for electricity advanced 2.4 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 education and communication (0.8 percent), apparel (0.5 percent), and shelter (0.4 percent) were partially offset by lower prices for new vehicles (-0.8 percent), household furnishings and operations (-0.6 percent), and medical care (-0.4 percent).

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy increased 3.1 percent. Components contributing to the increase included shelter (4.4 percent) and medical care (2.8 percent). Partly offsetting the increases was a price decline in apparel (-0.4 percent).

Table A. West Region CPI-U monthly and annual percent changes (not seasonally adjusted)
Month 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Monthly Annual Monthly Annual Monthly Annual Monthly Annual Monthly Annual Monthly Annual

January

0.3 1.7 0.3 1.7 -0.3 0.7 0.5 2.6 0.5 2.5 0.5 3.1

February

0.8 2.0 0.4 1.3 0.6 0.9 0.1 2.1 0.6 3.0 0.5 3.1

March

0.4 1.5 0.6 1.5 0.8 1.1 0.2 1.5 0.3 3.1 0.4 3.2

April

0.0 1.3 0.3 1.8 0.3 1.0 0.5 1.8 0.3 2.9 0.4 3.2

May

0.2 1.3 0.6 2.3 0.8 1.2 0.5 1.5 0.2 2.6 0.5 3.5

June

0.1 1.5 0.1 2.3 0.0 1.1 0.2 1.6 0.0 2.5 0.2 3.6

July

0.0 1.9 0.1 2.3 0.3 1.3 0.1 1.4 0.1 2.5 0.1 3.6

August

0.1 1.5 -0.1 2.1 -0.1 1.3 0.0 1.5 0.2 2.7 0.2 3.6

September

0.2 1.3 0.1 2.0 -0.2 1.0 0.3 2.0 0.5 2.9

October

-0.1 0.9 -0.1 2.0 0.0 1.1 0.3 2.3 0.3 2.9

November

-0.4 1.3 -0.6 1.7 -0.2 1.5 -0.2 2.3 0.0 3.1

December

0.0 1.8 -0.5 1.3 -0.1 1.8 0.0 2.5 0.1 3.1

The September 2018 Consumer Price Index for the West Region is scheduled to be released on October 11, 2018.


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.
2018
Jul.
2018
Aug.
2018
Aug.
2017
Jun.
2018
Jul.
2018

Expenditure category

All Items

263.732 263.971 264.395 3.6 0.3 0.2

All items (December 1977=100)

426.308 426.695 427.380      

Food and beverages

258.621 259.346 260.098 1.9 0.6 0.3

Food

258.236 258.957 259.839 1.9 0.6 0.3

Food at home

244.882 246.043 246.873 0.5 0.8 0.3

Cereals and bakery products

259.246 257.604 259.020   -0.1 0.5

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

253.607 254.621 258.828   2.1 1.7

Dairy and related products

225.572 225.280 225.159   -0.2 -0.1

Fruits and vegetables

321.080 328.882 325.125   1.3 -1.1

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials

168.188 169.007 171.246   1.8 1.3

Other food at home

211.942 211.847 211.715   -0.1 -0.1

Food away from home

275.616 275.768 276.720 3.5 0.4 0.3

Alcoholic beverages

260.296 261.082 260.135 3.0 -0.1 -0.4

Housing

286.923 287.898 288.932 3.9 0.7 0.4

Shelter

330.401 331.639 332.959 4.4 0.8 0.4

Rent of primary residence(1)

348.033 349.575 351.431 4.7 1.0 0.5

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

346.374 347.643 349.126 4.3 0.8 0.4

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

346.390 347.658 349.141 4.3 0.8 0.4

Fuels and utilities

301.858 303.862 306.943 3.4 1.7 1.0

Household energy

259.055 260.716 263.985 3.0 1.9 1.3

Energy services(1)

261.183 263.022 266.349 2.9 2.0 1.3

Electricity(1)

292.957 293.988 294.006 2.4 0.4 0.0

Utility (piped) gas service(1)

201.537 205.731 218.282 5.1 8.3 6.1

Household furnishings and operations

129.427 129.110 128.378 0.1 -0.8 -0.6

Apparel

115.992 116.023 116.614 -0.4 0.5 0.5

Transportation

221.744 220.363 219.235 7.6 -1.1 -0.5

Private transportation

216.718 215.824 215.011 8.1 -0.8 -0.4

New and used motor vehicles(3)

100.459 100.701 100.683 0.6 0.2 0.0

New vehicles

147.909 147.075 145.903 0.1 -1.4 -0.8

New cars and trucks(3)(4)

102.731 102.160 101.334 0.1 -1.4 -0.8

New cars(4)

144.775 144.240 143.377 0.7 -1.0 -0.6

Used cars and trucks

133.492 134.821 135.579 0.9 1.6 0.6

Motor fuel

279.527 274.374 271.188 21.7 -3.0 -1.2

Gasoline (all types)

278.459 273.199 269.963 21.6 -3.1 -1.2

Gasoline, unleaded regular(4)

275.824 270.477 267.197 21.9 -3.1 -1.2

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(4)(5)

264.458 259.895 257.208 21.3 -2.7 -1.0

Gasoline, unleaded premium(4)

270.652 266.183 263.377 20.3 -2.7 -1.1

Motor vehicle insurance(6)

842.944 843.244 841.012   -0.2 -0.3

Medical Care

496.224 496.037 494.151 2.8 -0.4 -0.4

Medical care commodities

385.823 384.693 385.085 2.9 -0.2 0.1

Medical care services

530.874 531.008 528.357 2.8 -0.5 -0.5

Professional services

358.284 357.697 354.203 0.6 -1.1 -1.0

Recreation(3)

114.081 113.911 114.002 1.4 -0.1 0.1

Education and communication(3)

135.789 136.063 137.172 1.0 1.0 0.8

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

1,384.425 1,399.067 1,433.387   3.5 2.5

Other goods and services

436.019 436.007 436.312 2.5 0.1 0.1

Commodity and Service Group

All Items

263.732 263.971 264.395 3.6 0.3 0.2

Commodities

185.761 185.376 185.265 2.8 -0.3 -0.1

Commodities less food & beverages

149.100 148.319 147.891 3.4 -0.8 -0.3

Nondurables less food & beverages

197.741 196.321 195.806 6.9 -1.0 -0.3

Nondurables less food, beverages, and apparel

255.085 252.628 251.316 9.4 -1.5 -0.5

Durables

105.729 105.466 105.123 -1.1 -0.6 -0.3

Services

335.919 336.793 337.754 4.0 0.5 0.3

Rent of shelter(2)

351.787 353.072 354.490 4.4 0.8 0.4

Transportation services

320.245 319.043 318.229 5.8 -0.6 -0.3

Other services

349.432 350.245 352.039 2.5 0.7 0.5

Special aggregate indexes:

All items less medical care

253.102 253.359 253.881 3.6 0.3 0.2

All items less food

264.765 264.929 265.282 3.8 0.2 0.1

All items less shelter

237.654 237.493 237.558 3.1 0.0 0.0

Commodities less food

153.262 152.516 152.071 3.4 -0.8 -0.3

Nondurables

228.753 228.310 228.376 4.2 -0.2 0.0

Nondurables less food

202.538 201.237 200.694 6.6 -0.9 -0.3

Nondurables less food and apparel

255.274 253.126 251.851 8.8 -1.3 -0.5

Services less rent of shelter(2)

353.301 353.751 354.242 3.4 0.3 0.1

Services less medical care services

322.294 323.213 324.408 4.1 0.7 0.4

Energy

275.620 273.095 272.425 13.4 -1.2 -0.2

All items less energy

265.061 265.503 266.010 2.9 0.4 0.2

All items less food and energy

267.033 267.428 267.873 3.1 0.3 0.2

Commodities less food and energy commodities

139.320 139.098 138.970 -0.1 -0.3 -0.1

Energy commodities

284.236 278.990 275.826 21.5 -3.0 -1.1

Services less energy services

341.570 342.395 343.230 4.0 0.5 0.2

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) Index is 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: Thursday, September 13, 2018