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16-117-SAN
Wednesday, January 20, 2016

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Consumer Price Index, Los Angeles area — December 2015

Area prices were down 0.1 percent over the past month, up 2.0 percent from a year ago

Prices in the Los Angeles area, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), inched down 0.1 percent in December, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (See table A.) Regional Commissioner Richard J. Holden noted that the December decrease was influenced by lower prices for food at home and apparel. (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 2.0 percent. (See chart 1 and table A.) Energy prices declined 3.0 percent, largely the result of a decrease in the price of electricity. The index for all items less food and energy increased 2.8 percent over the year. (See table 1.)

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

Food

Food prices decreased 0.8 percent for the month of December. (See table 1.) Prices for food at home declined 1.6 percent, yet prices for food away from home inched up 0.2 percent for the same period.

Over the year, food prices rose 0.5 percent. Prices for food away from home increased 2.8 percent since a year ago, but prices for food at home decreased 1.1 percent.

Energy

The energy index decreased 0.4 percent over the month. The decrease was mainly due to lower prices for electricity (-1.6 percent). Prices for gasoline decreased 0.7 percent, but prices for natural gas service advanced 4.4 percent for the same period.

Energy prices declined 3.0 percent over the year, largely due to lower prices for electricity (-6.0 percent). Prices paid for natural gas service decreased 7.2 percent and prices for gasoline decreased 0.4 percent, during the past year.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy was unchanged in December. Higher prices for household furnishings and operations (1.1 percent) and shelter (0.4 percent) were partially offset by lower prices for apparel (-3.7 percent) and other goods and services (-0.4 percent).

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy increased 2.8 percent. Components contributing to the increase included medical care (4.4 percent) and recreation (4.3 percent). Partly offsetting the increases was a price decline in apparel (-0.3 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 -0.1 0.5

May

0.2 1.8 0.0 3.1 0.1 1.6 0.1 1.0 0.4 1.7 1.0 1.1

June

-0.2 0.9 -0.4 2.9 -0.4 1.6 -0.1 1.4 0.1 1.8 -0.3 0.8

July

0.1 0.9 -0.4 2.4 -0.1 1.9 -0.1 1.3 0.1 2.0 0.7 1.4

August

0.2 0.8 0.2 2.4 0.6 2.3 0.1 0.8 -0.1 1.8 -0.3 1.1

September

-0.1 0.4 0.5 3.1 0.4 2.2 0.2 0.6 0.0 1.7 -0.4 0.7

October

0.3 0.7 0.0 2.8 0.8 3.0 0.1 -0.1 -0.1 1.4 0.2 1.0

November

-0.4 0.7 -0.1 3.0 -1.0 2.1 -0.5 0.4 -0.7 1.3 0.0 1.6

December

0.3 1.3 -0.5 2.2 -0.7 1.9 0.0 1.1 -0.5 0.7 -0.1 2.0

The January 2016 Consumer Price Index for the Los Angeles-Riverside-Orange County is scheduled to be released on February 19, 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 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: (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-
Oct.
2015
Nov.
2015
Dec.
2015
Dec.
2014
Oct.
2015
Nov.
2015

Expenditure category

 
 

All items

245.812 245.711 245.357 2.0 -0.2 -0.1

All items (1967=100)

726.237 725.941 724.893 - - -

Food and beverages

251.272 251.700 249.752 0.6 -0.6 -0.8

Food

251.648 251.968 249.838 0.5 -0.7 -0.8

Food at home

260.999 260.238 256.077 -1.1 -1.9 -1.6

Food away from home

236.232 237.921 238.404 2.8 0.9 0.2

Alcoholic beverages

231.621 233.316 233.690 1.3 0.9 0.2

Housing

269.317 269.198 270.386 2.8 0.4 0.4

Shelter

305.625 306.503 307.810 3.9 0.7 0.4

Rent of primary residence (1)

320.343 321.865 323.270 4.2 0.9 0.4

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

317.784 318.506 320.073 3.7 0.7 0.5

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

317.756 318.482 320.054 3.7 0.7 0.5

Fuels and utilities

297.508 291.090 290.880 -4.0 -2.2 -0.1

Household energy

265.167 256.173 256.045 -6.3 -3.4 0.0

Energy services (1)

264.044 254.962 254.881 -6.3 -3.5 0.0

Electricity (1)

300.925 300.925 296.080 -6.0 -1.6 -1.6

Utility (piped) gas service (1)

222.585 196.124 204.688 -7.2 -8.0 4.4

Household furnishings and operations

115.363 114.359 115.587 0.4 0.2 1.1

Apparel

113.500 110.747 106.662 -0.3 -6.0 -3.7

Transportation

194.011 192.619 191.681 0.9 -1.2 -0.5

Private transportation

188.820 186.873 186.458 1.0 -1.3 -0.2

Motor fuel

228.651 219.830 218.367 -0.5 -4.5 -0.7

Gasoline (all types)

223.802 215.129 213.709 -0.4 -4.5 -0.7

Gasoline, unleaded regular (3)

224.227 215.431 214.090 -0.3 -4.5 -0.6

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade (3) (4)

214.672 206.756 204.578 -1.0 -4.7 -1.1

Gasoline, unleaded premium (3)

213.374 205.609 204.270 -0.1 -4.3 -0.7

Medical care

433.038 443.047 443.162 4.4 2.3 0.0

Recreation (5)

106.169 106.536 106.622 4.3 0.4 0.1

Education and communication (5)

147.283 147.079 146.643 0.4 -0.4 -0.3

Other goods and services

391.837 391.758 390.022 2.0 -0.5 -0.4
 

Commodity and service group

 
 

All items

245.812 245.711 245.357 2.0 -0.2 -0.1

Commodities

175.708 174.412 173.172 0.0 -1.4 -0.7

Commodities less food & beverages

136.021 134.043 133.158 -0.4 -2.1 -0.7

Nondurables less food & beverages

176.352 173.450 171.621 -0.4 -2.7 -1.1

Durables

96.558 95.469 95.479 -0.5 -1.1 0.0

Services

307.972 309.048 309.571 3.2 0.5 0.2
 

Special aggregate indexes

 
 

All items less medical care

237.547 237.112 236.745 1.9 -0.3 -0.2

All items less shelter

219.771 219.247 218.173 0.9 -0.7 -0.5

Commodities less food

140.190 138.314 137.462 -0.3 -1.9 -0.6

Nondurables

214.695 213.329 211.415 0.1 -1.5 -0.9

Nondurables less food

181.667 179.029 177.323 -0.2 -2.4 -1.0

Services less rent of shelter (2)

320.088 321.475 320.856 2.2 0.2 -0.2

Services less medical care services

296.875 297.471 297.997 3.0 0.4 0.2

Energy

243.522 234.598 233.640 -3.0 -4.1 -0.4

All items less energy

247.878 248.417 248.104 2.4 0.1 -0.1

All items less food and energy

247.539 248.120 248.140 2.8 0.2 0.0

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: Wednesday, January 20, 2016