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News Release Information

20-1207-SAN
Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Contacts

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

Consumer Price Index, West Region — May 2020

Area prices were up 0.1 percent over the past month, up 0.8 percent from a year ago

Prices in the West Region, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), edged up 0.1 percent in May, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (See table A.) The May 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 rose 0.8 percent. (See chart 1 and table A.) This is the lowest year-over-year increase in the CPI-U since January 2015 (0.7 percent.)The index for all items less food and energy advanced 1.9 percent over the year. Food prices rose 4.3 percent. Energy prices fell 18.7 percent, largely the result of a decrease in the price of gasoline. (See table 1.)

Food

Food prices increased 0.5 percent for the month of May. (See table 1.) Prices for food at home rose 0.6 percent, and prices for food away from home advanced 0.5 percent for the same period.

Over the year, food prices rose 4.3 percent. Prices for food at home increased 4.6 percent since a year ago, and prices for food away from home increased 3.8 percent.

Energy

The energy index decreased 0.8 percent over the month. The decrease was mainly due to lower prices for gasoline (-4.5 percent). Prices for natural gas service increased 3.8 percent, and prices for electricity rose 3.4 percent for the same period.

Energy prices fell 18.7 percent over the year, largely due to lower prices for gasoline (-32.7 percent). Prices paid for natural gas service advanced 7.1 percent, and prices for electricity advanced 2.7 percent during the past year.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy was unchanged in May. Higher prices for household furnishings and operations (1.3 percent), recreation (1.2 percent), and shelter (0.2 percent) were partially offset by lower prices for apparel (-3.0 percent).

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy advanced 1.9 percent. Components contributing to the increase included medical care (6.2 percent), household furnishings and operations (3.7 percent), and shelter (3.3 percent). Partly offsetting the increases was a price decrease in apparel (-6.5 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

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 June 2020 Consumer Price Index for the West Region is scheduled to be released on July 14, 2020.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic Impact on May 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 May 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-
Mar.
2020
Apr.
2020
May
2020
May
2019
Mar.
2020
Apr.
2020

Expenditure category

All Items

273.995 272.913 273.062 0.8 -0.3 0.1

All items (December 1977=100)

442.898 441.149 441.390      

Food and beverages

271.333 275.516 276.925 4.2 2.1 0.5

Food

271.492 275.641 277.148 4.3 2.1 0.5

Food at home

254.483 261.197 262.813 4.6 3.3 0.6

Cereals and bakery products

265.166 271.272 272.076 1.1 2.6 0.3

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

263.630 276.071 280.200 7.9 6.3 1.5

Dairy and related products

241.558 241.599 243.306 5.6 0.7 0.7

Fruits and vegetables

337.847 342.233 341.515 1.8 1.1 -0.2

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials

179.269 187.682 188.511 7.9 5.2 0.4

Other food at home

214.953 219.675 221.161 3.9 2.9 0.7

Food away from home

293.552 294.153 295.501 3.8 0.7 0.5

Alcoholic beverages

265.791 270.351 270.519 2.6 1.8 0.1

Housing

304.886 305.807 307.387 3.3 0.8 0.5

Shelter

353.446 354.156 354.997 3.3 0.4 0.2

Rent of primary residence(1)

377.417 378.119 379.044 4.2 0.4 0.2

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

372.093 372.566 373.203 3.5 0.3 0.2

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

372.108 372.571 373.207 3.5 0.3 0.2

Fuels and utilities

309.696 309.517 316.367 3.2 2.2 2.2

Household energy

259.304 258.870 267.642 3.4 3.2 3.4

Energy services(1)

261.370 261.216 270.223 3.6 3.4 3.4

Electricity(1)

294.333 292.080 301.886 2.7 2.6 3.4

Utility (piped) gas service(1)

198.659 203.872 211.584 7.1 6.5 3.8

Household furnishings and operations

133.972 135.860 137.629 3.7 2.7 1.3

Apparel

116.235 112.484 109.115 -6.5 -6.1 -3.0

Transportation

213.878 204.370 200.154 -11.8 -6.4 -2.1

Private transportation

210.630 201.473 196.948 -11.1 -6.5 -2.2

New and used motor vehicles(3)

100.255 99.753 99.034 -1.1 -1.2 -0.7

New vehicles

149.093 149.164 149.301 0.7 0.1 0.1

New cars and trucks(3)(4)

103.547 103.600 103.681 0.7 0.1 0.1

New cars(4)

147.940 147.766 147.708 1.1 -0.2 0.0

Used cars and trucks

135.137 133.884 132.932 -0.9 -1.6 -0.7

Motor fuel

242.430 208.592 199.168 -32.4 -17.8 -4.5

Gasoline (all types)

241.209 207.227 197.908 -32.7 -18.0 -4.5

Gasoline, unleaded regular(4)

237.743 203.402 194.064 -33.4 -18.4 -4.6

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(4)(5)

234.805 205.018 194.281 -30.3 -17.3 -5.2

Gasoline, unleaded premium(4)

239.430 209.613 201.306 -29.4 -15.9 -4.0

Motor vehicle insurance(6)

850.000 793.060 721.405 -15.2 -15.1 -9.0

Medical Care

536.698 535.571 538.722 6.2 0.4 0.6

Medical care commodities

428.797 427.784 429.435 10.3 0.1 0.4

Medical care services

569.968 568.807 572.427 5.1 0.4 0.6

Professional services

363.126 363.232 365.655 1.7 0.7 0.7

Recreation(3)

116.013 115.634 116.986 2.3 0.8 1.2

Education and communication(3)

138.229 138.623 138.681 1.3 0.3 0.0

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

1,497.109 1,497.312 1,498.314 2.2 0.1 0.1

Other goods and services

459.989 460.098 459.898 3.0 0.0 0.0

Commodity and Service Group

All Items

273.995 272.913 273.062 0.8 -0.3 0.1

Commodities

188.077 186.623 186.192 -1.8 -1.0 -0.2

Commodities less food & beverages

147.396 143.882 142.776 -5.7 -3.1 -0.8

Nondurables less food & beverages

192.993 184.066 180.727 -10.7 -6.4 -1.8

Nondurables less food, beverages, and apparel

247.003 234.472 231.123 -12.0 -6.4 -1.4

Durables

105.990 106.093 106.449 0.3 0.4 0.3

Services

354.069 353.443 354.215 2.3 0.0 0.2

Rent of shelter(2)

376.453 377.209 378.107 3.3 0.4 0.2

Transportation services

314.092 302.810 293.348 -9.8 -6.6 -3.1

Other services

363.911 364.152 366.729 3.1 0.8 0.7

Special aggregate indexes:

All items less medical care

262.049 260.972 260.995 0.4 -0.4 0.0

All items less food

274.548 272.609 272.536 0.2 -0.7 0.0

All items less shelter

242.825 241.044 240.923 -0.6 -0.8 -0.1

Commodities less food

151.744 148.426 147.347 -5.3 -2.9 -0.7

Nondurables

232.275 229.695 228.654 -2.6 -1.6 -0.5

Nondurables less food

198.445 190.374 187.254 -9.6 -5.6 -1.6

Nondurables less food and apparel

248.657 237.950 234.978 -10.5 -5.5 -1.2

Services less rent of shelter(2)

365.238 362.787 363.485 1.0 -0.5 0.2

Services less medical care services

339.019 338.430 339.011 2.0 0.0 0.2

Energy

253.650 233.488 231.664 -18.7 -8.7 -0.8

All items less energy

277.685 277.889 278.173 2.2 0.2 0.1

All items less food and energy

279.573 279.072 279.139 1.9 -0.2 0.0

Commodities less food and energy commodities

141.536 141.293 141.049 0.6 -0.3 -0.2

Energy commodities

247.053 212.911 203.477 -32.1 -17.6 -4.4

Services less energy services

360.782 360.127 360.437 2.2 -0.1 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: Wednesday, June 10, 2020