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News Release Information

21-413-SAN
Wednesday, March 10, 2021

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

Consumer Price Index, Phoenix area – February 2021

Area prices were up 1.0 percent over the past two months, up 1.0 percent from a year ago

Prices in the Phoenix area, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), advanced 1.0 percent for the two months ending in February 2021, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations Richard Holden noted that the February increase was influenced by higher prices for gasoline and shelter. (Data in this report are not seasonally adjusted. Accordingly, bi-monthly changes may reflect seasonal influences.)

Over the last 12 months, the CPI-U rose 1.0 percent. Food prices rose 3.8 percent. Energy prices decreased 4.7 percent, largely the result of a decrease in the price of gasoline. The index for all items less food and energy rose 1.0 percent over the year. (See table 1.)

Food

Food prices increased 0.6 percent for the two months ending in February. (See table 1.) Prices for food at home rose 0.7 percent. Higher prices for nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials (4.7 percent) and cereals and bakery products (3.0 percent) were partially offset by lower prices for fruits and vegetables (-2.9 percent). Prices for food away from home increased 0.5 percent over the two-month period.

Over the year, food prices rose 3.8 percent. Prices for food at home rose 4.5 percent since a year ago, led by higher prices for dairy and related products (12.2 percent). Prices for food away from home advanced 3.1 percent.

Energy

The energy index rose 8.4 percent for the two months ending in February. The increase was mainly due to higher prices for gasoline (15.6 percent). Prices for natural gas service jumped 14.7 percent, and prices for electricity edged up 0.2 percent for the same period.

Energy prices decreased 4.7 percent over the year, largely due to lower prices for gasoline (-10.1 percent). Prices paid for natural gas service jumped 13.0 percent, and prices for electricity increased 0.9 percent during the past year.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.6 percent in the latest two-month period. Higher prices for other goods and services (4.2 percent) and shelter (0.8 percent) were partially offset by lower prices for alcoholic beverages (-2.8 percent) and household furnishings and operations (-0.2 percent).

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy rose 1.0 percent. Components contributing to the increase included used cars and trucks (9.4 percent) and shelter (3.7 percent). Partly offsetting the increases were price decreases in apparel (-7.9 percent) and recreation (-3.7 percent).

The April 2021 Consumer Price Index for the Phoenix area is scheduled to be released on May 12, 2021.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic Impact on February 2021 Consumer Price Index Data

Data collection by personal visit for the Consumer Price Index (CPI) program has been suspended since March 16, 2020. When possible, data normally collected by personal visit were collected either online or by phone. Additionally, data collection in February was affected by the temporary closing or limited operations of certain types of establishments. These factors resulted in an increase in the number of prices considered temporarily unavailable and imputed.

While the CPI program attempted to collect as much data as possible, many indexes are based on smaller amounts of collected prices than usual, and a small number of indexes that are normally published were not published this month. Additional information is available at https://www.bls.gov/covid19/effects-of-covid-19-pandemic-on-consumer-price-index.htm.


Technical Note

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) is a measures 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 93 percent of the total U.S. population and (2) a CPI for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) which covers approximately 29 percent of the total U.S. 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 75 urban areas across the country from about 6,000 housing units and approximately 22,000 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; for most of the CPI-U the reference base is 1982-84 equals 100. An increase of 7 percent from the reference base, for example, is shown as 107.000.  Alternatively, that relationship can also be expressed as the price of a base period market basket of goods and services rising from $100 to $107. For further details see the CPI home page on the internet at www.bls.gov/cpi and the CPI section of the BLS Handbook of Methods available on the internet at www.bls.gov/opub/hom/cpi/.

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 Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale metropolitan area covered in this release consists of Maricopa and Pinal Counties in the State of Arizona.

Information in this release will be made available to individuals with sensory impairments 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

Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale (December 2001=100 unless otherwise noted)
Item and Group

IndexesPercent change from-
Dec.
2020
Jan.
2021
Feb.
2021
Feb.
2020
Dec.
2020
Jan.
2021

Expenditure category

All items

145.660-147.1861.01.0-

Food and beverages

155.853-156.4573.70.4-

Food

156.999-157.9513.80.6-

Food at home

152.179152.969153.2384.50.70.2

Cereals and bakery products

189.992-195.7353.03.0-

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

181.781-183.3221.50.8-

Dairy and related products

126.791-129.85312.22.4-

Fruits and vegetables

132.540-128.6600.0-2.9-

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials

114.864-120.27710.34.7-

Other food at home

150.985-149.8744.2-0.7-

Food away from home

165.287-166.1403.10.5-

Alcoholic beverages

146.423-142.2872.7-2.8-

Housing

154.282-155.4883.00.8-

Shelter

163.601164.169164.8763.70.80.4

Rent of primary residence

174.271175.149175.7264.00.80.3

Owners' equiv. rent of residences

162.039162.710163.4083.80.80.4

Owners' equiv. rent of primary residence

162.039162.710163.4083.80.80.4

Fuels and utilities

155.554-158.7413.62.0-

Household energy

150.946152.928153.2322.01.50.2

Energy services

150.612152.595152.8722.01.50.2

Electricity

161.090161.414161.4140.90.20.0

Utility (piped) gas service

96.064108.190110.15113.014.71.8

Household furnishings and operations

98.753-98.541-2.3-0.2-

Apparel

122.862-126.906-7.93.3-

Transportation

121.357-125.638-4.03.5-

Private transportation

125.588-129.895-2.63.4-

New and used motor vehicles

------

New vehicles

------

Used cars and trucks

92.699-92.4909.4-0.2-

Motor fuel

190.154203.324219.613-10.115.58.0

Gasoline (all types)

190.402203.710220.077-10.115.68.0

Gasoline, unleaded regular(1)

189.038202.749219.450-10.616.18.2

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(1)

206.112218.204236.082-7.214.58.2

Gasoline, unleaded premium(1)

200.427211.875226.383-7.513.06.8

Motor vehicle insurance

156.315-158.538-1.4-

Medical care

------

Recreation

113.834-114.490-3.70.6-

Education and communication

118.420-118.4101.30.0-

Tuition, other school fees, and child care

------

Other goods and services

147.535-153.7902.44.2-

Commodity and service group

All items

145.660-147.1861.01.0-

Commodities

123.650-124.984-0.71.1-

Commodities less food & beverages

107.813-109.419-3.21.5-

Nondurables less food & beverages

139.693-143.896-5.83.0-

Durables

79.799-79.700-0.2-0.1-

Services

160.942-162.5982.01.0-

Special aggregate indexes

All items less medical care

142.159-144.0200.91.3-

All items less shelter

136.545-138.173-0.41.2-

Commodities less food

109.164-110.619-3.01.3-

Nondurables

148.175-150.556-1.01.6-

Nondurables less food

139.938-143.592-5.32.6-

Services less rent of shelter

157.450-159.5310.21.3-

Services less medical care services

156.900-158.6941.81.1-

Energy

171.292178.265185.649-4.78.44.1

All items less energy

144.025-144.8911.40.6-

All items less food and energy

141.993-142.8461.00.6-

Footnotes
(1) Special index based on a substantially smaller sample.

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

 

Last Modified Date: Wednesday, March 10, 2021