News Release Information
Wednesday, January 20, 2016
Consumer Price Index, Anchorage – Second Half 2015
Area prices were down 0.2 percent over the past six months, down 0.1 percent from a year ago
Prices in the Anchorage Area, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), decreased 0.2 percent in the second half of 2015, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (See table A.).) Regional Commissioner Richard J. Holden noted this latest six-month decrease was influenced by lower prices for recreation and gasoline. (Data in this report are not seasonally adjusted. Accordingly, six-month-to-six-month changes may reflect seasonal influences.)
Over the last 12 months, the CPI-U edged down 0.1 percent. (See chart 1) Energy prices dropped 13.2 percent, largely the result of a decrease in the price of gasoline. The index for all items less food and energy advanced 1.1 percent over the year.
Food prices remained unchanged in the second half of 2015. (See table 1.) Prices for food at home decreased 0.2 percent, and prices for food away from home increased 0.4 percent for the same period.
Over the year, food prices increased 0.8 percent. Prices for food away from home increased 1.8 percent since a year ago, and prices for food at home moved up 0.2 percent.
The energy index decreased 3.3 percent since the first half of 2015. The decrease was mainly due to lower prices for gasoline (-3.0 percent). Prices for natural gas service decreased 8.3 percent, but prices for electricity increased 0.9 percent for the same period.
Energy prices dropped 13.2 percent over the year, largely due to lower prices for gasoline (-25.1 percent). Prices paid for natural gas service moved down 5.1 percent, but prices for electricity moved up 5.9 percent during the past year.
All items less food and energy
The index for all items less food and energy inched up 0.1 percent in the latest six-month period. Higher prices for apparel (3.7 percent), medical care (1.1 percent), and shelter (0.3 percent) were partially offset by lower prices for recreation (-1.7 percent) and household furnishings and operations (-0.3 percent).
Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy advanced 1.1 percent. Components contributing to the increase included apparel (2.7 percent), medical care (3.5 percent), and shelter (1.6 percent). Partly offsetting the increases were price declines in recreation (-1.4 percent) and other goods and services (-0.6 percent).
The first half of 2016 Consumer Price Index for the Anchorage is scheduled to be released on July 15, 2016.
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 89 percent of the total population and (2) a CPI for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) which covers 28 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 87 urban areas across the country from about 6,000 housing units and approximately 24,000 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 Anchorage, AK. metropolitan area covered in this release is comprised of Anchorage Borough in the State of Alaska.
Information in this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: 202-691-5200; Federal Relay Service: 1-800-877-8339.
|Item and Group||Semiannual average indexes||Percent change to|
2nd half 2015 from-
All items (1967=100)
Food and beverages
Food at home
Food away from home
Rent of primary residence
Owners' equiv. rent of residences (1)
Owners' equiv. rent of primary residence (1)
Fuels and utilities
Utility (piped) gas service
Household furnishings and operations
Gasoline (all types)
Gasoline, unleaded regular (2)
Gasoline, unleaded premium (2)
Education and communication (4)
Other goods and services
Commodity and service group
Commodities less food & beverages
Nondurables less food & beverages
Special aggregate indexes
All items less medical care
All items less shelter
Commodities less food
Nondurables less food
Services less rent of shelter (1)
Services less medical care services
All items less energy
All items less food and energy
- Data not available.
Last Modified Date: Wednesday, January 20, 2016