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News Release Information

16-353-SAN
Friday, February 19, 2016

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

Consumer Price Index, West Region — January 2016

Area prices were up 0.5 percent over the past month, up 2.6 percent from a year ago

Prices in the West Region, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), advanced 0.5 percent in January, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (See table A.) TThe January 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 advanced 2.6 percent. The last time the CPI-U increased more than 2.5 percent for a 12-month period was in January 2012. (See chart 1.) Energy prices advanced 1.9 percent, largely the result of an increase in the price of gasoline. The index for all items less food and energy rose 3.0 percent over the year. (See table 1.)

Food

Food prices increased 0.4 percent for the month of January. (See table 1.) Prices for food at home and prices for food away from home each increased 0.4 percent for the same period.

Over the year, food prices advanced 1.2 percent. Prices for food away from home increased 3.4 percent since a year ago, but prices for food at home decreased 0.3 percent.

Energy

The energy index advanced 0.6 percent over the month. The increase was mainly due to higher prices for electricity (2.0 percent) and natural gas service (1.5 percent). Prices for gasoline declined 0.4 percent in the same period.

Energy prices advanced 1.9 percent over the year, largely due to higher prices for gasoline (5.0 percent). Prices paid for electricity increased 0.8 percent, but prices for natural gas service declined 5.5 percent during the past year.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy advanced 0.5 percent in January. Prices increased for household furnishings and operations (1.0 percent), recreation (0.7 percent), shelter (0.6 percent), and apparel (0.6 percent).

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy rose 3.0 percent. Components contributing to the increase included shelter (4.6 percent), medical care (3.0 percent), and recreation (2.2 percent). Partly offsetting the increases were price declines in new cars (-0.6 percent) and apparel (-0.1 percent).

Table A. West Region CPI-U monthly and annual percent changes (not seasonally adjusted)
Month201120122013201420152016
MonthlyAnnualMonthlyAnnualMonthlyAnnualMonthlyAnnualMonthlyAnnualMonthlyAnnual

January

0.51.40.42.60.31.70.31.7-0.30.70.52.6

February

0.61.90.42.50.82.00.41.30.60.9  

March

0.92.60.92.40.41.50.61.50.81.1  

April

0.63.00.22.10.01.30.31.80.31.0  

May

0.33.20.22.00.21.30.62.30.81.2  

June

-0.23.1-0.22.00.11.50.12.30.01.1  

July

-0.12.9-0.31.80.01.90.12.30.31.3  

August

0.23.00.52.10.11.5-0.12.1-0.11.3  

September

0.43.50.52.20.21.30.12.0-0.21.0  

October

0.03.40.42.5-0.10.9-0.12.00.01.1  

November

-0.23.2-0.71.9-0.41.3-0.61.7-0.21.5  

December

-0.32.7-0.51.70.01.8-0.51.3-0.11.8  

The February 2016 Consumer Price Index for the West Region is scheduled to be released on March 16, 2016.


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 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 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-
Nov.
2015
Dec.
2015
Jan.
2016
Jan.
2015
Nov.
2015
Dec.
2015

Expenditure category

 
 

All Items

243.749243.434244.6002.60.30.5

All items (December 1977=100)

394.007393.498395.382   

Food and beverages

251.757251.102252.2971.20.20.5

Food

251.951251.300252.4081.20.20.4

Food at home

249.920248.480249.584-0.3-0.10.4

Food away from home

253.577254.041255.1493.40.60.4

Alcoholic beverages

245.827245.138247.4781.60.71.0

Housing

257.121258.106259.9853.91.10.7

Shelter

292.216293.423295.1834.61.00.6

Rent of primary residence (1)

307.166308.893310.1124.81.00.4

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

306.998308.301309.4854.60.80.4

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

306.978308.284309.4724.60.80.4

Fuels and utilities

273.243273.085277.1440.91.41.5

Household energy

234.637234.451238.794-0.61.81.9

Energy services (1)

236.244236.140240.609-0.71.81.9

Electricity (1)

261.784260.589265.8640.81.62.0

Utility (piped) gas service (1)

190.266192.761195.589-5.52.81.5

Household furnishings and operations

128.345129.113130.4361.81.61.0

Apparel

118.848115.729116.407-0.1-2.10.6

Transportation

197.083195.062194.9072.1-1.1-0.1

Private transportation

190.213188.654188.5552.3-0.9-0.1

New and used motor vehicles (3)

100.15999.77899.7300.2-0.40.0

New vehicles

146.557146.074146.1380.4-0.30.0

New cars and trucks (3) (4)

101.779101.454101.4960.3-0.30.0

New cars (4)

145.296144.765144.848-0.6-0.30.1

Used cars and trucks

138.050137.111137.0430.0-0.70.0

Motor fuel

205.325199.182198.0784.4-3.5-0.6

Gasoline (all types)

204.427198.342197.5135.0-3.4-0.4

Gasoline, unleaded regular (4)

201.794195.732194.6664.8-3.5-0.5

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade (4) (5)

197.104190.802190.8435.4-3.20.0

Gasoline, unleaded premium (4)

201.449196.112196.1236.1-2.60.0

Medical Care

458.708459.224460.6413.00.40.3

Medical care commodities

346.064345.408347.6881.80.50.7

Medical care services

494.643495.621496.6933.30.40.2

Professional services

341.335341.980342.5952.70.40.2

Recreation (3)

111.266110.725111.4982.20.20.7

Education and communication (3)

138.879138.660138.8960.40.00.2

Other goods and services

405.941406.063406.2631.30.10.0
 

Commodity and Service Group

 
 

All Items

243.749243.434244.6002.60.30.5

Commodities

178.287177.122177.7381.0-0.30.3

Commodities less food & beverages

141.820140.486140.8490.8-0.70.3

Nondurables less food & beverages

177.597175.142175.5101.3-1.20.2

Nondurables less food, beverages, and apparel

219.207217.157217.3361.8-0.90.1

Durables

108.704108.388108.7370.00.00.3

Services

304.128304.636306.3183.60.70.6

Rent of shelter (2)

310.884312.178314.0554.61.00.6

Transportation services

286.091284.624285.0132.4-0.40.1

Other services

339.305338.421339.9392.10.20.4
 

Special aggregate indexes:

 
 

All items less medical care

233.918233.571234.7242.60.30.5

All items less food

242.648242.386243.5612.90.40.5

All items less shelter

225.289224.322225.2441.60.00.4

Commodities less food

145.727144.404144.8220.8-0.60.3

Nondurables

214.504212.867213.6261.3-0.40.4

Nondurables less food

182.593180.233180.7141.3-1.00.3

Nondurables less food and apparel

221.429219.512219.8851.8-0.70.2

Services less rent of shelter (2)

329.931329.466331.0832.30.30.5

Services less medical care services

290.890291.366293.0833.60.80.6

Energy

220.716217.214218.5291.9-1.00.6

All items less energy

247.467247.391248.5552.70.40.5

All items less food and energy

247.460247.485248.6613.00.50.5

Commodities less food and energy commodities

139.613138.860139.4600.2-0.10.4

Energy commodities

209.693203.507202.4204.4-3.5-0.5

Services less energy services

309.218309.766311.2803.80.70.5

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.
 

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, February 19, 2016