Department of Labor Logo United States Department of Labor
Dot gov

The .gov means it's official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you're on a federal government site.

Https

The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

News Release Information

21-47-SAN
Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Contacts

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

Consumer Price Index, Phoenix area – December 2020

Area prices were down 0.8 percent over the past two months, up 0.5 percent from a year ago

Prices in the Phoenix area, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), decreased 0.8 percent for the two months ending in December 2020, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations Richard Holden noted that the December decrease was influenced by lower prices for electricity and apparel. (Data in this report are not seasonally adjusted. Accordingly, bi-monthly changes may reflect seasonal influences.)

Over the last 12 months, the CPI-U advanced 0.5 percent. The index for all items less food and energy increased 1.0 percent over the year. Food prices rose 3.4 percent. Energy prices dropped 10.8 percent, largely the result of a decrease in the price of gasoline. (See table 1.)

Food

Food prices advanced 0.5 percent for the two months ending in December. (See table 1.) Prices for food at home advanced 0.8 percent, influenced by higher prices for fruits and vegetables. Prices for food away from home edged up 0.1 percent for the same period.

Over the year, food prices rose 3.4 percent. Prices for food at home rose 4.5 percent since a year ago, and prices for food away from home rose 2.3 percent.

Energy

The energy index decreased 9.1 percent for the two months ending in December. The decrease was mainly due to lower prices for electricity (-16.1 percent). Prices for gasoline decreased 2.3 percent, but prices for natural gas service edged up 0.2 percent for the same period.

Energy prices dropped 10.8 percent over the year, largely due to lower prices for gasoline (-23.6 percent). Prices for natural gas service decreased 1.2 percent, but prices paid for electricity rose 7.1 percent during the past year.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy decreased 0.4 percent in the latest two-month period. Lower prices for apparel (-5.7 percent), recreation (-2.1 percent), and household furnishings and operations (-2.1 percent) were partially offset by higher prices for shelter (0.9 percent).

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy increased 1.0 percent. Components contributing to the increase included used cars and trucks (10.5 percent) and shelter (3.1 percent). Partly offsetting the increases were price decreases in motor vehicle insurance (-7.5 percent), recreation (-5.0 percent), and household furnishings and operations (-1.7 percent).

The February 2021 Consumer Price Index for the Phoenix area is scheduled to be released on March 10, 2021.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic Impact on December 2020 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 December 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

Indexes Percent change from-
Oct.
2020
Nov.
2020
Dec.
2020
Dec.
2019
Oct.
2020
Nov.
2020

Expenditure category

All items

146.830 - 145.660 0.5 -0.8 -

Food and beverages

155.403 - 155.853 3.4 0.3 -

Food

156.282 - 156.999 3.4 0.5 -

Food at home

150.911 151.074 152.179 4.5 0.8 0.7

Cereals and bakery products

186.972 - 189.992 4.7 1.6 -

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

180.911 - 181.781 1.0 0.5 -

Dairy and related products

126.511 - 126.791 6.3 0.2 -

Fruits and vegetables

128.168 - 132.540 3.5 3.4 -

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials

114.989 - 114.864 6.4 -0.1 -

Other food at home

150.967 - 150.985 5.6 0.0 -

Food away from home

165.165 - 165.287 2.3 0.1 -

Alcoholic beverages

149.613 - 146.423 4.4 -2.1 -

Housing

155.407 - 154.282 2.7 -0.7 -

Shelter

162.212 162.310 163.601 3.1 0.9 0.8

Rent of primary residence

172.967 172.648 174.271 3.4 0.8 0.9

Owners' equiv. rent of residences

160.559 160.800 162.039 3.0 0.9 0.8

Owners' equiv. rent of primary residence

160.559 160.800 162.039 3.0 0.9 0.8

Fuels and utilities

174.185 - 155.554 5.5 -10.7 -

Household energy

177.223 151.828 150.946 6.3 -14.8 -0.6

Energy services

176.972 151.491 150.612 6.3 -14.9 -0.6

Electricity

192.102 162.110 161.090 7.1 -16.1 -0.6

Utility (piped) gas service

95.861 96.148 96.064 -1.2 0.2 -0.1

Household furnishings and operations

100.886 - 98.753 -1.7 -2.1 -

Apparel

130.344 - 122.862 -1.2 -5.7 -

Transportation

123.758 - 121.357 -7.6 -1.9 -

Private transportation

126.095 - 125.588 -5.5 -0.4 -

New and used motor vehicles

95.196 - - - - -

New vehicles

94.906 - - - - -

Used cars and trucks

94.008 - 92.699 10.5 -1.4 -

Motor fuel

194.545 191.612 190.154 -23.6 -2.3 -0.8

Gasoline (all types)

194.937 191.969 190.402 -23.6 -2.3 -0.8

Gasoline, unleaded regular(1)

193.823 190.615 189.038 -24.5 -2.5 -0.8

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(1)

210.840 209.142 206.112 -20.7 -2.2 -1.4

Gasoline, unleaded premium(1)

203.524 201.697 200.427 -19.4 -1.5 -0.6

Motor vehicle insurance

156.315 - 156.315 -7.5 0.0 -

Medical care

- - - - - -

Recreation

116.236 - 113.834 -5.0 -2.1 -

Education and communication

119.442 - 118.420 1.9 -0.9 -

Tuition, other school fees, and child care

- - - - - -

Other goods and services

- - 147.535 -1.9 - -

Commodity and service group

All items

146.830 - 145.660 0.5 -0.8 -

Commodities

124.911 - 123.650 -0.9 -1.0 -

Commodities less food & beverages

109.750 - 107.813 -3.3 -1.8 -

Nondurables less food & beverages

143.150 - 139.693 -7.1 -2.4 -

Durables

80.657 - 79.799 1.1 -1.1 -

Services

162.033 - 160.942 1.4 -0.7 -

Special aggregate indexes

All items less medical care

143.450 - 142.159 0.1 -0.9 -

All items less shelter

138.858 - 136.545 -0.8 -1.7 -

Commodities less food

111.140 - 109.164 -3.1 -1.8 -

Nondurables

149.651 - 148.175 -1.8 -1.0 -

Nondurables less food

143.373 - 139.938 -6.4 -2.4 -

Services less rent of shelter

161.440 - 157.450 -0.5 -2.5 -

Services less medical care services

158.213 - 156.900 1.0 -0.8 -

Energy

188.405 172.447 171.292 -10.8 -9.1 -0.7

All items less energy

144.376 - 144.025 1.3 -0.2 -

All items less food and energy

142.496 - 141.993 1.0 -0.4 -

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, January 13, 2021