News Release Information

15-671-SAN
Friday, April 17, 2015

Contacts

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

Consumer Price Index, Los Angeles area – March 2015

Area prices were up 1.0 percent over the past month, up 0.5 percent from a year ago

Prices in the Los Angeles area, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), rose 1.0 percent in March, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (See table A.) Regional Commissioner Richard J. Holden noted that the March increase was influenced by higher prices for gasoline. (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 0.5 percent.  (See chart 1 and table A.) Energy prices fell 12.6 percent, largely the result of a decrease in the price of gasoline. The index for all items less food and energy advanced 1.5 percent over the year. (See table 1.)

 Chart 1. Over-the-year percent change in CPI-U, Los Angeles, March 2012-March 2015

Food

Food prices decreased 0.2 percent for the month of March. (See table 1.) Prices for food at home decreased 0.4 percent, but prices for food away from home edged up (0.1 percent) for the same period.

Over the year, food prices advanced 2.7 percent. Prices for food away from home increased 2.9 percent since a year ago, and prices for food at home rose 2.6 percent.

Energy

The energy index jumped 10.2 percent over the month. The increase was mainly due to higher prices for gasoline (18.1 percent). Prices for electricity moved down 0.6 percent, and prices for natural gas service decreased 0.4 percent for the same period.

Energy prices fell 12.6 percent over the year, largely due to lower prices for gasoline (-17.2 percent). Prices paid for natural gas service fell 12.1 percent, and prices for electricity declined 0.2 percent 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 March. Higher prices for apparel (1.6 percent), medical care (0.7 percent), and shelter (0.5 percent) were partially offset by lower prices for other goods and services (-0.2 percent) and household furnishings and operations (-0.1 percent).

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy advanced 1.5 percent. Components contributing to the increase included shelter (3.6 percent), other goods and services (1.6 percent), and medical care (1.0 percent). Partly offsetting the increases were price declines in apparel (-4.7 percent) and recreation (-2.1 percent).

Table A . Los Angeles-Riverside-Orange County CPI-U monthly and annual percent changes (not seasonally adjusted)
Month 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Monthly Annual Monthly Annual Monthly Annual Monthly Annual Monthly Annual Monthly Annual

January

0.4 1.8 0.9 1.8 0.8 2.1 0.8 2.0 0.5 0.8 -0.3 -0.1

February

0.0 1.4 0.5 2.3 0.5 2.1 0.7 2.2 0.5 0.5 0.7 0.1

March

0.4 1.9 1.1 3.0 1.0 2.0 0.1 1.3 0.6 1.0 1.0 0.5

April

0.2 1.9 0.5 3.3 0.0 1.5 -0.4 0.9 0.0 1.4    

May

0.2 1.8 0.0 3.1 0.1 1.6 0.1 1.0 0.4 1.7    

June

-0.2 0.9 -0.4 2.9 -0.4 1.6 -0.1 1.4 0.1 1.8    

July

0.1 0.9 -0.4 2.4 -0.1 1.9 -0.1 1.3 0.1 2.0    

August

0.2 0.8 0.2 2.4 0.6 2.3 0.1 0.8 -0.1 1.8    

September

-0.1 0.4 0.5 3.1 0.4 2.2 0.2 0.6 0.0 1.7    

October

0.3 0.7 0.0 2.8 0.8 3.0 0.1 -0.1 -0.1 1.4    

November

-0.4 0.7 -0.1 3.0 -1.0 2.1 -0.5 0.4 -0.7 1.3    

December

0.3 1.3 -0.5 2.2 -0.7 1.9 0.0 1.1 -0.5 0.7    

The April 2015 Consumer Price Index for the Los Angeles-Riverside-Orange County is scheduled to be released on May 22, 2015.


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 4,000 housing units and approximately 26,000 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 Los Angeles-Riverside-Orange County, CA. metropolitan area covered in this release is comprised of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Ventura Counties in the State of California.

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.

Table 1. Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U): Indexes and percent changes for selected periods

Los Angeles-Riverside-Orange County, CA (1982-84=100 unless otherwise noted)
Item and Group

 
Indexes
 
Percent change from-
Jan.
2015
Feb.
2015
Mar.
2015
Mar.
2014
Jan.
2015
Feb.
2015

Expenditure category

 
 

All items

239.724 241.297 243.738 0.5 1.7 1.0

All items (1967=100)

708.250 712.900 720.111 - - -

Food and beverages

248.959 248.892 248.363 2.7 -0.2 -0.2

Food

249.162 249.082 248.534 2.7 -0.3 -0.2

Food at home

260.007 259.032 257.960 2.6 -0.8 -0.4

Food away from home

231.880 232.938 233.064 2.9 0.5 0.1

Alcoholic beverages

231.529 231.635 231.359 2.4 -0.1 -0.1

Housing

263.629 264.550 265.421 2.6 0.7 0.3

Shelter

297.583 298.537 299.897 3.6 0.8 0.5

Rent of primary residence (1)

311.244 312.124 313.508 3.9 0.7 0.4

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

309.388 310.325 311.722 3.2 0.8 0.5

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

309.380 310.319 311.712 3.2 0.8 0.4

Fuels and utilities

296.410 296.282 295.360 -0.5 -0.4 -0.3

Household energy

263.239 262.995 261.682 -3.8 -0.6 -0.5

Energy services (1)

262.078 261.782 260.382 -3.7 -0.6 -0.5

Electricity (1)

305.940 305.940 304.112 -0.2 -0.6 -0.6

Utility (piped) gas service (1)

207.746 206.883 206.125 -12.1 -0.8 -0.4

Household furnishings and operations

116.202 117.341 117.203 -1.9 0.9 -0.1

Apparel

107.874 109.115 110.898 -4.7 2.8 1.6

Transportation

184.091 191.014 201.691 -6.0 9.6 5.6

Private transportation

178.621 185.603 196.427 -6.0 10.0 5.8

Motor fuel

196.162 219.228 258.782 -17.3 31.9 18.0

Gasoline (all types)

191.752 214.426 253.274 -17.2 32.1 18.1

Gasoline, unleaded regular (3)

191.777 215.041 254.262 -17.4 32.6 18.2

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade (3) (4)

184.785 203.866 241.234 -16.4 30.5 18.3

Gasoline, unleaded premium (3)

184.240 204.587 239.499 -16.8 30.0 17.1

Medical care

424.232 418.580 421.601 1.0 -0.6 0.7

Recreation (5)

102.217 102.833 102.860 -2.1 0.6 0.0

Education and communication (5)

145.220 145.243 145.710 0.4 0.3 0.3

Other goods and services

382.703 382.310 381.647 1.6 -0.3 -0.2
 

Commodity and service group

 
 

All items

239.724 241.297 243.738 0.5 1.7 1.0

Commodities

171.908 174.376 177.798 -2.0 3.4 2.0

Commodities less food & beverages

131.745 135.194 140.160 -5.3 6.4 3.7

Nondurables less food & beverages

167.072 173.694 183.253 -7.3 9.7 5.5

Durables

97.022 97.456 98.057 -1.7 1.1 0.6

Services

299.803 300.456 301.870 2.1 0.7 0.5
 

Special aggregate indexes

 
 

All items less medical care

231.600 233.401 235.802 0.5 1.8 1.0

All items less shelter

214.533 216.374 219.281 -1.2 2.2 1.3

Commodities less food

136.014 139.383 144.221 -5.0 6.0 3.5

Nondurables

208.578 212.127 217.046 -2.1 4.1 2.3

Nondurables less food

172.880 179.152 188.180 -6.6 8.9 5.0

Services less rent of shelter (2)

311.525 311.748 313.264 0.1 0.6 0.5

Services less medical care services

288.946 290.106 291.310 2.3 0.8 0.4

Energy

222.571 236.829 260.937 -12.6 17.2 10.2

All items less energy

242.822 243.487 244.373 1.7 0.6 0.4

All items less food and energy

242.003 242.806 243.957 1.5 0.8 0.5

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) Special index based on a substantially smaller sample.
(4) Indexes on a December 1993=100 base.
(5) Indexes on a December 1997=100 base.
 

- Data not available
NOTE: Index applies to a month as a whole, not to any specific date.
 

 

Last Modified Date: Friday, April 17, 2015