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18-561-SAN
Wednesday, April 11, 2018

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Consumer Price Index, West Region — March 2018

Area prices were up 0.4 percent over the past month, up 3.2 percent from a year ago

Prices in the West Region, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), advanced 0.4 percent in March, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (See table A.) The March increase was influenced by higher prices for shelter and gasoline. (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 rose 3.2 percent. (See chart 1 and table A.) Energy prices advanced 7.7 percent, largely the result of an increase in the price of gasoline. The index for all items less food and energy advanced 3.1 percent over the year. (See table 1.)

Food

Food prices increased 0.3 percentfor the month of March. (See table 1.) Prices for food away from home advanced 0.4 percent, and prices for food at home increased 0.3 percent for the same period.

Over the year, food prices increased 1.6 percent. Prices for food away from home advanced 3.4 percent since a year ago, and prices for food at home inched up 0.2 percent.

Energy

The energy index increased 1.0 percent over the month. The increase was mainly due to higher prices for gasoline (1.7 percent). Prices for electricity rose 0.5 percent, but prices for natural gas service decreased 2.5 percent for the same period.

Energy prices advanced 7.7 percent over the year, largely due to higher prices for gasoline (11.2 percent). Prices paid for electricity advanced 4.4 percent, but prices for natural gas service decreased 1.5 percent during the past year.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy increased 0.3 percent in March. Higher prices for used cars and trucks (1.3 percent), recreation (0.7 percent), and shelter (0.4 percent) were partially offset by a lower price for other goods and services (-0.1 percent).

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy advanced 3.1 percent. Components contributing to the increase included shelter (4.3 percent) and medical care (3.2 percent). Partly offsetting the increases was a price decline in apparel (-0.9 percent).

Table A. West Region CPI-U monthly and annual percent changes (not seasonally adjusted)
Month 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Monthly Annual Monthly Annual Monthly Annual Monthly Annual Monthly Annual Monthly Annual

January

0.3 1.7 0.3 1.7 -0.3 0.7 0.5 2.6 0.5 2.5 0.5 3.1

February

0.8 2.0 0.4 1.3 0.6 0.9 0.1 2.1 0.6 3.0 0.5 3.1

March

0.4 1.5 0.6 1.5 0.8 1.1 0.2 1.5 0.3 3.1 0.4 3.2

April

0.0 1.3 0.3 1.8 0.3 1.0 0.5 1.8 0.3 2.9

May

0.2 1.3 0.6 2.3 0.8 1.2 0.5 1.5 0.2 2.6

June

0.1 1.5 0.1 2.3 0.0 1.1 0.2 1.6 0.0 2.5

July

0.0 1.9 0.1 2.3 0.3 1.3 0.1 1.4 0.1 2.5

August

0.1 1.5 -0.1 2.1 -0.1 1.3 0.0 1.5 0.2 2.7

September

0.2 1.3 0.1 2.0 -0.2 1.0 0.3 2.0 0.5 2.9

October

-0.1 0.9 -0.1 2.0 0.0 1.1 0.3 2.3 0.3 2.9

November

-0.4 1.3 -0.6 1.7 -0.2 1.5 -0.2 2.3 0.0 3.1

December

0.0 1.8 -0.5 1.3 -0.1 1.8 0.0 2.5 0.1 3.1

The April 2018 Consumer Price Index for the West Region is scheduled to be released on May 10, 2018.


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 93 percent of the total population and (2) a CPI for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) which covers 29 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 75 urban areas across the country from about 5,000 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 (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 West Region covered in this release is comprised of the following thirteen states: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.

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

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

Indexes Percent change from-
Jan.
2018
Feb.
2018
Mar.
2018
Mar.
2017
Jan.
2018
Feb.
2018

Expenditure category

All Items

258.638 259.986 260.994 3.2 0.9 0.4

All items (December 1977=100)

418.073 420.252 421.883      

Food and beverages

257.656 257.552 258.422 1.6 0.3 0.3

Food

257.498 257.364 258.260 1.6 0.3 0.3

Food at home

246.729 245.834 246.683 0.2 0.0 0.3

Cereals and bakery products

257.314 256.095 258.468   0.4 0.9

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

253.147 253.836 257.212   1.6 1.3

Dairy and related products

227.833 225.991 227.306   -0.2 0.6

Fruits and vegetables

332.137 327.416 325.096   -2.1 -0.7

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials

170.209 170.867 169.825   -0.2 -0.6

Other food at home

212.163 211.710 212.397   0.1 0.3

Food away from home

271.543 272.390 273.346 3.4 0.7 0.4

Alcoholic beverages

256.442 256.715 257.254 1.7 0.3 0.2

Housing

282.103 283.071 283.968 3.9 0.7 0.3

Shelter

324.386 325.619 326.804 4.3 0.7 0.4

Rent of primary residence(1)

343.295 344.082 344.503 4.4 0.4 0.1

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

341.404 342.157 343.115 4.4 0.5 0.3

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

341.401 342.156 343.116 4.4 0.5 0.3

Fuels and utilities

293.786 295.214 295.361 3.3 0.5 0.0

Household energy

250.575 251.781 251.607 3.1 0.4 -0.1

Energy services(1)

252.135 253.481 253.156 3.1 0.4 -0.1

Electricity(1)

282.727 283.732 285.080 4.4 0.8 0.5

Utility (piped) gas service(1)

194.772 197.169 192.315 -1.5 -1.3 -2.5

Household furnishings and operations

129.937 129.828 130.039 1.0 0.1 0.2

Apparel

116.516 120.338 120.474 -0.9 3.4 0.1

Transportation

208.490 211.782 213.377 4.9 2.3 0.8

Private transportation

203.570 206.681 208.246 5.4 2.3 0.8

New and used motor vehicles(3)

99.419 100.372 100.700 0.3 1.3 0.3

New vehicles

146.965 147.182 147.020 -1.7 0.0 -0.1

New cars and trucks(3)(4)

102.078 102.231 102.119 -1.7 0.0 -0.1

New cars(4)

143.406 143.662 143.454 -2.0 0.0 -0.1

Used cars and trucks

131.703 132.834 134.616 0.7 2.2 1.3

Motor fuel

234.327 242.672 246.796 11.2 5.3 1.7

Gasoline (all types)

233.056 241.523 245.739 11.2 5.4 1.7

Gasoline, unleaded regular(4)

230.194 238.678 242.874 11.3 5.5 1.8

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(4)(5)

223.076 230.775 234.631 10.6 5.2 1.7

Gasoline, unleaded premium(4)

229.790 237.552 241.566 10.6 5.1 1.7

Motor vehicle insurance(6)

808.172 817.530 824.374   2.0 0.8

Medical Care

487.607 488.655 491.089 3.2 0.7 0.5

Medical care commodities

379.413 380.225 378.301 3.9 -0.3 -0.5

Medical care services

521.556 522.677 526.583 3.1 1.0 0.7

Professional services

356.214 356.793 357.605 1.0 0.4 0.2

Recreation(3)

113.466 113.538 114.298 1.2 0.7 0.7

Education and communication(3)

136.314 135.575 135.674 0.1 -0.5 0.1

Tuition, other school fees, and child care(6)

1,383.317 1,378.817 1,380.942   -0.2 0.2

Other goods and services

428.382 433.833 433.408 5.2 1.2 -0.1

Commodity and Service Group

All Items

258.638 259.986 260.994 3.2 0.9 0.4

Commodities

181.796 183.013 183.741 1.8 1.1 0.4

Commodities less food & beverages

144.214 145.864 146.501 1.9 1.6 0.4

Nondurables less food & beverages

186.549 190.304 191.230 4.3 2.5 0.5

Nondurables less food, beverages, and apparel

235.508 239.179 240.668 5.9 2.2 0.6

Durables

105.843 105.822 106.213 -1.3 0.3 0.4

Services

329.818 331.260 332.527 3.9 0.8 0.4

Rent of shelter(2)

345.360 346.684 347.957 4.3 0.8 0.4

Transportation services

309.895 314.358 315.796 6.3 1.9 0.5

Other services

346.508 347.101 348.440 1.9 0.6 0.4

Special aggregate indexes:

All items less medical care

248.172 249.529 250.474 3.2 0.9 0.4

All items less food

258.988 260.568 261.595 3.4 1.0 0.4

All items less shelter

232.916 234.313 235.254 2.5 1.0 0.4

Commodities less food

148.364 149.990 150.630 1.9 1.5 0.4

Nondurables

222.154 224.170 225.082 2.8 1.3 0.4

Nondurables less food

191.703 195.279 196.188 4.0 2.3 0.5

Nondurables less food and apparel

237.208 240.553 241.950 5.5 2.0 0.6

Services less rent of shelter(2)

346.931 348.681 350.084 3.4 0.9 0.4

Services less medical care services

316.419 317.878 318.969 4.0 0.8 0.3

Energy

244.320 249.957 252.436 7.7 3.3 1.0

All items less energy

261.831 262.878 263.788 2.9 0.7 0.3

All items less food and energy

263.366 264.619 265.534 3.1 0.8 0.3

Commodities less food and energy commodities

139.128 139.981 140.204 0.1 0.8 0.2

Energy commodities

239.090 247.397 251.623 11.1 5.2 1.7

Services less energy services

335.602 337.056 338.416 4.0 0.8 0.4

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) Indexes on a December 1997=100 base.
(4) Special index based on a substantially smaller sample.
(5) Indexes on a December 1993=100 base.
(6) Indexes on a December 1977=100 base.

- Data not available
Regions defined as the four Census regions. West includes Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.
NOTE: Index applies to a month as a whole, not to any specific date. Data not seasonally adjusted.

 

Last Modified Date: Wednesday, April 11, 2018