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News Release Information

21-1659-SAN
Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Contacts

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

Consumer Price Index, West Region — August 2021

Area prices were up 0.2 percent over the past month, up 5.0 percent from a year ago

Prices in the West Region, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), crept up 0.2 percent in August, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (See table A.) The August 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 5.0 percent. (See chart 1 and table A.) Food prices rose 4.1 percent. Energy prices jumped 25.3 percent, largely the result of an increase in the price of gasoline. The index for all items less food and energy increased 3.8 percent over the year. (See table 1.)

Food

Food prices inched up 0.2 percent for the month of August. (See table 1.) Prices for food at home rose 0.3 percent, influenced by higher prices for fruits and vegetables (1.1 percent). Prices for food away from home edged up 0.1 percent for the same period.

Over the year, food prices rose 4.1 percent. Prices for food away from home advanced 4.8 percent. Prices for food at home rose 3.6 percent since a year ago, led by higher prices for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs (9.3 percent).

Energy

The energy index rose 1.3 percent over the month. The increase was mainly due to higher prices for gasoline (2.0 percent). Prices for natural gas service increased 1.0 percent, while prices for electricity were unchanged for the same period.

Energy prices jumped 25.3 percent over the year, largely due to higher prices for gasoline (40.1 percent). Prices paid for natural gas service jumped 11.6 percent, and prices for electricity increased 6.5 percent during the past year.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy inched up 0.1 percent in August. Higher prices for recreation (1.1 percent) and shelter (0.3 percent) were partially offset by lower prices for new and used motor vehicles (-0.9 percent).

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy increased 3.8 percent. Components contributing to the increase included new and used motor vehicles (17.5 percent), recreation (5.1 percent), and shelter (2.6 percent). Partially offsetting the increases was a lower price for medical care (-0.3 percent).

Table A. West region CPI-U 1-month and 12-month percent changes, all items index, not seasonally adjusted
Month 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
1-month 12-month 1-month 12-month 1-month 12-month 1-month 12-month 1-month 12-month

January

0.5 2.5 0.5 3.1 0.2 2.7 0.3 2.9 0.2 1.4

February

0.6 3.0 0.5 3.1 0.2 2.4 0.4 3.1 0.5 1.6

March

0.3 3.1 0.4 3.2 0.4 2.4 -0.2 2.5 0.7 2.4

April

0.3 2.9 0.4 3.2 0.8 2.9 -0.4 1.3 1.0 3.9

May

0.2 2.6 0.5 3.5 0.5 2.9 0.1 0.8 0.8 4.7

June

0.0 2.5 0.2 3.6 0.0 2.7 0.4 1.2 0.9 5.1

July

0.1 2.5 0.1 3.6 0.0 2.7 0.5 1.7 0.6 5.2

August

0.2 2.7 0.2 3.6 0.1 2.6 0.3 1.9 0.2 5.0

September

0.5 2.9 0.3 3.4 0.3 2.6 0.0 1.6

October

0.3 2.9 0.4 3.5 0.5 2.8 0.2 1.2

November

0.0 3.1 -0.2 3.3 -0.1 2.8 0.0 1.4

December

0.1 3.1 -0.2 3.1 -0.2 2.8 -0.1 1.5

The September 2021 Consumer Price Index for the West Region is scheduled to be released on October 13, 2021.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic Impact on August 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 August 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 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-
Jun.
2021
Jul.
2021
Aug.
2021
Aug.
2020
Jun.
2021
Jul.
2021

Expenditure category

All Items

288.263 289.863 290.393 5.0 0.7 0.2

All items (December 1977=100)

465.962 468.547 469.404      

Food and beverages

287.615 290.472 291.059 4.0 1.2 0.2

Food

288.239 291.398 291.915 4.1 1.3 0.2

Food at home

269.676 272.502 273.184 3.6 1.3 0.3

Cereals and bakery products

271.134 275.279 273.850 1.8 1.0 -0.5

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

301.824 304.475 305.328 9.3 1.2 0.3

Dairy and related products

244.958 249.618 247.499 0.1 1.0 -0.8

Fruits and vegetables

349.760 348.995 352.899 0.7 0.9 1.1

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials

190.854 191.918 194.802 3.9 2.1 1.5

Other food at home

223.990 227.921 227.589 2.9 1.6 -0.1

Food away from home

312.352 315.954 316.242 4.8 1.2 0.1

Alcoholic beverages

276.072 275.127 276.575 2.7 0.2 0.5

Housing

315.145 316.374 317.480 2.8 0.7 0.3

Shelter

362.727 364.668 365.599 2.6 0.8 0.3

Rent of primary residence(1)

385.176 385.960 387.334 2.0 0.6 0.4

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

381.084 382.556 384.151 2.6 0.8 0.4

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

381.031 382.499 384.080 2.6 0.8 0.4

Fuels and utilities

335.277 338.607 339.920 6.7 1.4 0.4

Household energy

286.018 288.609 289.239 7.8 1.1 0.2

Energy services(1)

288.319 290.859 291.461 7.6 1.1 0.2

Electricity(1)

321.124 322.740 322.659 6.5 0.5 0.0

Utility (piped) gas service(1)

228.262 233.384 235.786 11.6 3.3 1.0

Household furnishings and operations

140.834 139.064 140.539 1.3 -0.2 1.1

Apparel

115.707 115.154 117.294 5.1 1.4 1.9

Transportation

248.397 251.485 249.282 18.3 0.4 -0.9

Private transportation

245.123 248.783 248.765 19.0 1.5 0.0

New and used motor vehicles(3)

119.848 121.095 119.949 17.5 0.1 -0.9

New vehicles

157.642 160.029 160.827 7.4 2.0 0.5

New cars and trucks(3)(4)

109.535 111.174 111.723 7.4 2.0 0.5

New cars(4)

155.634   158.469 6.7 1.8  

Used cars and trucks

190.639 191.889 189.367 32.1 -0.7 -1.3

Motor fuel

304.173 315.205 321.517 40.1 5.7 2.0

Gasoline (all types)

303.449 314.438 320.704 40.1 5.7 2.0

Gasoline, unleaded regular(4)

300.179 311.203 317.473 41.0 5.8 2.0

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(4)(5)

289.837 300.051 306.023 37.7 5.6 2.0

Gasoline, unleaded premium(4)

297.126 307.334 313.192 36.7 5.4 1.9

Motor vehicle insurance(6)

844.862 838.731 820.964 0.9 -2.8 -2.1

Medical Care

540.688 541.222 542.553 -0.3 0.3 0.2

Medical care commodities

417.626 417.940 417.318 -2.6 -0.1 -0.1

Medical care services

578.738 579.341 581.285 0.2 0.4 0.3

Professional services

375.654 377.271 378.388 3.2 0.7 0.3

Recreation(3)

119.441 120.253 121.615 5.1 1.8 1.1

Education and communication(3)

140.538 140.400 140.721 0.1 0.1 0.2

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

1,514.489 1,514.781 1,528.969 1.2 1.0 0.9

Other goods and services

475.949 476.463 476.138 3.9 0.0 -0.1

Commodity and Service Group

All Items

288.263 289.863 290.393 5.0 0.7 0.2

Commodities

204.374 206.153 207.313 8.8 1.4 0.6

Commodities less food & beverages

162.903 164.187 165.508 12.2 1.6 0.8

Nondurables less food & beverages

207.632 210.323 212.392 12.7 2.3 1.0

Nondurables less food, beverages, and apparel

272.099 277.022 279.061 15.1 2.6 0.7

Durables

120.586 120.895 121.638 11.6 0.9 0.6

Services

365.436 366.763 366.581 2.9 0.3 0.0

Rent of shelter(2)

386.375 388.466 389.465 2.6 0.8 0.3

Transportation services

335.488 334.006 319.961 6.3 -4.6 -4.2

Other services

373.204 374.008 375.390 2.5 0.6 0.4

Special aggregate indexes:

All items less medical care

276.697 278.336 278.830 5.5 0.8 0.2

All items less food

288.418 289.763 290.295 5.2 0.7 0.2

All items less shelter

259.030 260.495 260.868 6.4 0.7 0.1

Commodities less food

167.221 168.452 169.787 11.7 1.5 0.8

Nondurables

247.797 250.584 251.941 7.6 1.7 0.5

Nondurables less food

212.849 215.310 217.345 11.8 2.1 0.9

Nondurables less food and apparel

272.153 276.448 278.422 13.6 2.3 0.7

Services less rent of shelter(2)

379.711 380.216 378.514 3.2 -0.3 -0.4

Services less medical care services

350.537 351.909 351.586 3.2 0.3 -0.1

Energy

301.487 309.105 313.100 25.3 3.9 1.3

All items less energy

289.794 290.999 291.298 3.8 0.5 0.1

All items less food and energy

290.888 291.746 292.007 3.8 0.4 0.1

Commodities less food and energy commodities

152.290 152.531 153.360 7.1 0.7 0.5

Energy commodities

309.363 320.517 326.880 39.8 5.7 2.0

Services less energy services

371.317 372.581 372.354 2.7 0.3 -0.1

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) 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.
(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: Tuesday, September 14, 2021