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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

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Consumer Price Index, Anchorage – First Half 2014

Area prices up 0.4 percent over the past six months, up 1.9 percent from a year ago

Prices in the greater Anchorage area, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), advanced 0.4 percent in the first half of 2014, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (See table A.) Regional Commissioner Richard J. Holden noted that this latest six-month increase was influenced by higher prices for shelter and electricity. (Data in this report are not seasonally adjusted. Accordingly, six-month-to-six-month changes may reflect seasonal influences.)

Over the past 12 months, the CPI-U rose 1.9 percent. (See chart 1.) Energy prices declined 0.6 percent, largely due to a decrease in the price of natural gas. The index for all items less food and energy increased 2.5 percent over the year.

Chart 1. Over-the-year percent change in CPI-U, Anchorage, Second half 2010 - First half 2014

Food

Food prices saw little change, up 0.1 percent in the first half of 2014. (See table 1.) Prices for food away from home edged up 0.1 percent for the past six months. Prices for food at home inched down 0.1 percent for the same period.

For the year ending in the first half of 2014, food prices rose 0.6 percent. Prices for food away from home increased 1.5 percent during the past 12 months, but prices for food at home edged down 0.1 percent.

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Energy

Energy prices increased 2.1 percent since the second half of 2013. Higher prices for electricity (9.6 percent) and natural gas service (3.1 percent) were partially offset by lower prices for gasoline (-0.6 percent).

Energy prices declined 0.6 percent over the year. The decreases were led by lower natural gas service prices (-8.5 percent) and gasoline prices (-2.0 percent). Prices for electricity advanced 12.1 percent during the same period.