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19-1637-SAN
Thursday, September 12, 2019

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Consumer Price Index, Alaska area – August 2019

Area prices were down 1.6 percent over the past two months, up 0.7 percent from a year ago

Prices in the Anchorage area, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), decreased 1.6 percent for the two months ending in August 2019, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (See table A.) Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations Richard Holden noted that the August decrease was influenced by lower prices for all items less food and energy. (Data in this report are not seasonally adjusted. Accordingly, bi-monthly changes may reflect seasonal influences.)

Over the last 12 months, the CPI-U increased 0.7 percent.  (See chart 1 and table A.) The index for all items less food and energy advanced 0.6 percent over the year. Food prices increased 3.1 percent. Energy prices decreased 1.4 percent, largely the result of a decrease in the price of gasoline. (See table 1.)

Food

Food prices inched down 0.1 percent for the two months ending in August. (See table 1.) Prices for food at home decreased 1.3 percent, but prices for food away from home rose 1.4 percent for the same period.

Over the year, food prices increased 3.1 percent. Prices for food away from home advanced 4.5 percent since a year ago, and prices for food at home increased 2.1 percent.

Energy

The energy index decreased 5.6 percent for the two months ending in August. The decrease was mainly due to lower prices for gasoline (-9.2 percent). Prices for electricity decreased 6.0 percent, but prices for natural gas service advanced 5.3 percent for the same period.

Energy prices decreased 1.4 percent over the year, largely due to lower prices for gasoline (-8.2 percent). Prices paid for electricity advanced 7.9 percent, and prices for natural gas service increased 5.3 percent during the past year.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy declined 1.4 percent in the latest two-month period. Lower prices for shelter (-3.8 percent) and household furnishings and operations (-2.2 percent) were partially offset by higher prices for apparel (2.1 percent) and education and communication (1.2 percent).

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy advanced 0.6 percent. Components contributing to the increase included medical care (4.5 percent) and other goods and services (3.2 percent). Partly offsetting the increases were price declines in apparel (-6.6 percent) and recreation (-1.7 percent).

The October 2019 Consumer Price Index for the Anchorage area is scheduled to be released on November 13, 2019.

Consumer Price Index Geographic Revision for 2018

In January 2018, BLS introduced a new geographic area sample for the Consumer Price Index (CPI). This index changed to a bimonthly publication schedule beginning in February, 2018. Additional information on the geographic revision is available at: www.bls.gov/cpi/additional-resources/geographic-revision-2018.htm.

Historical data, including semiannual and annual averages, are available at: www.bls.gov/cpi/data.htm


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 Urban Alaska area covered in this release consists of Anchorage and Matanuska-Susitna Borough in the State of Alaska.

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

Urban Alaska (1982-84=100 unless otherwise noted)
Item and Group

Indexes Percent change from-
Jun.
2019
Jul.
2019
Aug.
2019
Aug.
2018
Jun.
2019
Jul.
2019

Expenditure category

All items

234.179 - 230.406 0.7 -1.6 -

All items (1967=100)

625.057 - 614.985 - - -

Food and beverages

216.386 - 216.210 3.1 -0.1 -

Food

222.170 - 221.923 3.1 -0.1 -

Food at home

216.487 214.063 213.707 2.1 -1.3 -0.2

Cereals and bakery products

229.490 - 218.575 -1.4 -4.8 -

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

200.417 - 197.438 -0.3 -1.5 -

Dairy and related products

201.828 - 206.577 5.9 2.4 -

Fruits and vegetables

337.937 - 338.855 8.0 0.3 -

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials(1)

152.298 - 150.428 -0.9 -1.2 -

Other food at home

179.853 - 175.883 0.8 -2.2 -

Food away from home

229.239 - 232.512 4.5 1.4 -

Alcoholic beverages

158.334 - 158.759 2.9 0.3 -

Housing

219.951 - 212.472 0.4 -3.4 -

Shelter

221.485 214.565 213.044 -0.3 -3.8 -0.7

Rent of primary residence(2)

201.021 201.844 200.744 -0.6 -0.1 -0.5

Owners' equiv. rent of residences(2)

206.237 206.514 205.856 0.5 -0.2 -0.3

Owners' equiv. rent of primary residence(2)

206.237 206.514 205.856 0.5 -0.2 -0.3

Fuels and utilities

362.233 - 357.184 6.7 -1.4 -

Household energy

382.101 375.283 375.169 6.7 -1.8 0.0

Energy services

425.742 418.271 418.271 6.9 -1.8 0.0

Electricity

390.372 366.844 366.844 7.9 -6.0 0.0

Utility (piped) gas service

459.057 483.599 483.599 5.3 5.3 0.0

Household furnishings and operations

131.232 - 128.363 -1.4 -2.2 -

Apparel

151.944 - 155.197 -6.6 2.1 -

Transportation

232.431 - 227.990 0.4 -1.9 -

Private transportation

243.149 - 238.482 0.2 -1.9 -

New and used motor vehicles(3)

112.246 - - - - -

New vehicles(1)

255.423 - - - - -

Used cars and trucks(1)

264.737 - 271.005 2.6 2.4 -

Motor fuel

264.336 250.042 240.413 -8.2 -9.1 -3.9

Gasoline (all types)

265.709 251.154 241.182 -8.2 -9.2 -4.0

Gasoline, unleaded regular(4)

256.617 242.071 232.048 -8.7 -9.6 -4.1

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(4)(5)

254.432 241.602 233.172 -7.2 -8.4 -3.5

Gasoline, unleaded premium(4)

267.860 255.900 248.004 -6.1 -7.4 -3.1

Motor vehicle insurance(1)

1,007.596 - 1,007.596 3.2 0.0 -

Medical care

618.009 - 623.192 4.5 0.8 -

Recreation(3)

126.900 - 126.733 -1.7 -0.1 -

Education and communication(3)

113.521 - 114.889 -0.6 1.2 -

Tuition, other school fees, and child care(1)

727.981 - 729.669 2.6 0.2 -

Other goods and services

360.376 - 362.222 3.2 0.5 -

Commodity and service group

All items

234.179 - 230.406 0.7 -1.6 -

Commodities

186.344 - 184.902 0.3 -0.8 -

Commodities less food & beverages

170.399 - 168.457 -1.2 -1.1 -

Nondurables less food & beverages

217.598 - 213.585 -3.8 -1.8 -

Durables

130.127 - 129.492 1.4 -0.5 -

Services

275.467 - 269.628 1.0 -2.1 -

Special aggregate indexes

All items less medical care

220.663 - 216.693 0.5 -1.8 -

All items less shelter

238.209 - 236.964 1.2 -0.5 -

Commodities less food

170.271 - 168.425 -1.0 -1.1 -

Nondurables

217.426 - 215.423 -0.3 -0.9 -

Nondurables less food

213.372 - 209.794 -3.3 -1.7 -

Services less rent of shelter(2)

362.612 - 361.924 2.5 -0.2 -

Services less medical care services

255.124 - 248.962 0.6 -2.4 -

Energy

314.929 303.358 297.329 -1.4 -5.6 -2.0

All items less energy

229.771 - 226.877 0.9 -1.3 -

All items less food and energy

231.374 - 228.059 0.6 -1.4 -

Footnotes
(1) Indexes on a December 1978=100 base.
(2) Indexes 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.

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

 

Last Modified Date: Thursday, September 12, 2019