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15-504-SAN
Tuesday, March 24, 2015

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Consumer Price Index, Los Angeles area – February 2015

Area prices were up 0.7 percent over the past month, up 0.1 percent from a year ago

Prices in the Los Angeles area, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), advanced 0.7 percent in February, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (See table A.) Regional Commissioner Richard J. Holden noted that the February increase was influenced by higher prices for gasoline and shelter. (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 inched up 0.1 percent.  (See chart 1 and table A.) Energy prices fell 16.9 percent, largely the result of a decrease in the price of gasoline. The index for all items less food and energy increased 1.2 percent over the year. (See table 1.)

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

Food

Food prices were unchanged for the month of February. (See table 1.) Prices for food at home declined 0.4 percent, but prices for food away from home rose 0.5 percent for the same period.

Over the year, food prices rose 3.5 percent. Prices for food at home advanced 3.6 percent since a year ago, and prices for food away from home rose 3.4 percent.

Energy

The energy index advanced 6.4 percent over the month. The increase was mainly due to higher prices for gasoline (11.8 percent). Prices for electricity were unchanged, while prices for natural gas service declined 0.4 percent for the same period.

Energy prices fell 16.9 percent over the year, largely due to lower prices for gasoline (-25.6 percent). Prices paid for natural gas service declined 5.7 percent, but prices for electricity rose 0.5 percent during the past year.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy advanced 0.3 percent in February. The increase was primarily due to higher prices for apparel (1.2 percent), household furnishings and operations (1.0 percent), and shelter (0.3 percent). Partly offsetting the increases were lower prices for medical care (-1.3 percent).

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy increased 1.2 percent. Higher prices for shelter (3.1 percent) and other goods and services (0.9 percent) were partially offset by price declines in recreation (-2.6 percent), household furnishings and operations (-1.6 percent), and apparel (-1.6 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    

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 March 2015 Consumer Price Index for the Los Angeles-Riverside-Orange County is scheduled to be released on April 17, 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-
Dec.
2014
Jan.
2015
Feb.
2015
Feb.
2014
Dec.
2014
Jan.
2015

Expenditure category

 
 

All items

240.475 239.724 241.297 0.1 0.3 0.7

All items (1967=100)

710.470 708.250 712.900 - - -

Food and beverages

248.373 248.959 248.892 3.5 0.2 0.0

Food

248.592 249.162 249.082 3.5 0.2 0.0

Food at home

259.048 260.007 259.032 3.6 0.0 -0.4

Food away from home

231.812 231.880 232.938 3.4 0.5 0.5

Alcoholic beverages

230.784 231.529 231.635 2.9 0.4 0.0

Housing

263.089 263.629 264.550 2.5 0.6 0.3

Shelter

296.369 297.583 298.537 3.1 0.7 0.3

Rent of primary residence (1)

310.326 311.244 312.124 3.6 0.6 0.3

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

308.752 309.388 310.325 2.7 0.5 0.3

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

308.746 309.380 310.319 2.7 0.5 0.3

Fuels and utilities

303.089 296.410 296.282 1.2 -2.2 0.0

Household energy

273.371 263.239 262.995 -1.4 -3.8 -0.1

Energy services (1)

272.074 262.078 261.782 -1.3 -3.8 -0.1

Electricity (1)

314.900 305.940 305.940 0.5 -2.8 0.0

Utility (piped) gas service (1)

220.590 207.746 206.883 -5.7 -6.2 -0.4

Household furnishings and operations

115.178 116.202 117.341 -1.6 1.9 1.0

Apparel

106.951 107.874 109.115 -1.6 2.0 1.2

Transportation

189.984 184.091 191.014 -8.8 0.5 3.8

Private transportation

184.663 178.621 185.603 -8.9 0.5 3.9

Motor fuel

219.410 196.162 219.228 -25.6 -0.1 11.8

Gasoline (all types)

214.466 191.752 214.426 -25.6 0.0 11.8

Gasoline, unleaded regular (3)

214.765 191.777 215.041 -25.7 0.1 12.1

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade (3) (4)

206.660 184.785 203.866 -24.9 -1.4 10.3

Gasoline, unleaded premium (3)

204.481 184.240 204.587 -24.8 0.1 11.0

Medical care

424.437 424.232 418.580 -1.3 -1.4 -1.3

Recreation (5)

102.267 102.217 102.833 -2.6 0.6 0.6

Education and communication (5)

146.118 145.220 145.243 0.4 -0.6 0.0

Other goods and services

382.251 382.703 382.310 0.9 0.0 -0.1
 

Commodity and service group

 
 

All items

240.475 239.724 241.297 0.1 0.3 0.7

Commodities

173.170 171.908 174.376 -2.7 0.7 1.4

Commodities less food & beverages

133.745 131.745 135.194 -7.0 1.1 2.6

Nondurables less food & beverages

172.279 167.072 173.694 -9.6 0.8 4.0

Durables

95.992 97.022 97.456 -2.3 1.5 0.4

Services

300.033 299.803 300.456 1.7 0.1 0.2
 

Special aggregate indexes

 
 

All items less medical care

232.363 231.600 233.401 0.2 0.4 0.8

All items less shelter

216.134 214.533 216.374 -1.6 0.1 0.9

Commodities less food

137.941 136.014 139.383 -6.5 1.0 2.5

Nondurables

211.115 208.578 212.127 -2.8 0.5 1.7

Nondurables less food

177.759 172.880 179.152 -8.7 0.8 3.6

Services less rent of shelter (2)

313.853 311.525 311.748 -0.1 -0.7 0.1

Services less medical care services

289.222 288.946 290.106 2.1 0.3 0.4

Energy

240.905 222.571 236.829 -16.9 -1.7 6.4

All items less energy

242.302 242.822 243.487 1.6 0.5 0.3

All items less food and energy

241.491 242.003 242.806 1.2 0.5 0.3

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: Tuesday, March 24, 2015