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14-1728-SAN

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

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Consumer Price Index, Los Angeles area – August 2014

Area prices were down 0.1 percent over the past month, up 1.8 percent from a year ago

Prices in the Los Angeles area, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), inched down 0.1 percent in August, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.(See table A.) Regional Commissioner Richard J. Holden noted that the August decrease was influenced by lower prices for gasoline and natural gas service. (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 1.8 percent. (See chart 1.) Energy prices increased 0.6 percent, largely the result of an increase in the price of electricity. The index for all items less food and energy advanced 1.7 percent since August 2013.

 Chart 1. Over-the-year percent change in CPI-U, Los Angeles-Riverside-Orange County, August 2011  August 2014

Food

Food prices advanced 0.4 percent for the month of August. (See table 1.) Prices for food away from home increased 0.7 percent, and prices for food at home advanced 0.3 percent for the same period.

Over the year, food prices advanced 3.4 percent. Prices for food away from home advanced 3.7 percent since a year ago, and prices for food at home advanced 3.1 percent.

Energy

The energy index declined 3.9 percent over the month. The decrease was mainly due to lower prices for gasoline (-5.0 percent). Prices for natural gas service declined 6.0 percent in August, while prices for electricity were unchanged.

Energy prices increased 0.6 percent over the year. Higher prices for electricity (5.1 percent) led the increase, followed by higher prices for natural gas service (7.4 percent). Prices for gasoline declined 1.9 percent during the past year.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy inched up 0.2 percent in August. Higher prices for apparel (5.1 percent) and education and communication (0.6 percent) were partially offset by lower prices for household furnishings and operations (-1.0 percent) and recreation (-0.9 percent).

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy advanced 1.7 percent. Components largely contributing to the increase included apparel (5.2 percent) and shelter (2.4 percent). Partly offsetting the increase was price a decline in the household furnishings and operations index (-1.7 percent).

Table A. Los Angeles-Riverside-Orange County CPI-U monthly and annual percent changes (not seasonally adjusted)
Month 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Monthly Annual Monthly Annual Monthly Annual Monthly Annual Monthly Annual Monthly Annual

January

0.5 -0.1 0.4 1.8 0.9 1.8 0.8 2.1 0.8 2.0 0.5 0.8

February

0.3 0.0 0.0 1.4 0.5 2.3 0.5 2.1 0.7 2.2 0.5 0.5

March

0.0 -1.0 0.4 1.9 1.1 3.0 1.0 2.0 0.1 1.3 0.6 1.0

April

0.1 -1.3 0.2 1.9 0.5 3.3 0.0 1.5 -0.4 0.9 0.0 1.4

May

0.4 -1.8 0.2 1.8 0.0 3.1 0.1 1.6 0.1 1.0 0.4 1.7

June

0.6 -2.2 -0.2 0.9 -0.4 2.9 -0.4 1.6 -0.1 1.4 0.1 1.8

July

0.0 -2.6 0.1 0.9 -0.4 2.4 -0.1 1.9 -0.1 1.3 0.1 2.0

August

0.2 -1.7 0.2 0.8 0.2 2.4 0.6 2.3 0.1 0.8 -0.1 1.8

September

0.3 -1.0 -0.1 0.4 0.5 3.1 0.4 2.2 0.2 0.6

October

0.0 -0.4 0.3 0.7 0.0 2.8 0.8 3.0 0.1 -0.1

November

-0.4 0.9 -0.4 0.7 -0.1 3.0 -1.0 2.1 -0.5 0.4

December

-0.3 1.8 0.3 1.3 -0.5 2.2 -0.7 1.9 0.0 1.1

CPI-W

In August, the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) was 236.504, down 0.2 percent from July. The CPI-W increased 1.8 percent over the year.

The September 2014 Consumer Price Index for the Los Angeles-Riverside-Orange County is scheduled to be released on October 22, 2014, at 10:00 a.m. (PDT).

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 88 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 87 urban areas across the country from about 4,000 housing units and approximately 26,000 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 Los Angeles-Riverside-Orange County, CA. metropolitan area covered in this release is comprised of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Ventura Counties in the State of California.

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.

Please click here for a text formatted copy of the table issued with this release.

Last Modified Date: September 17, 2014