Prices in the West Region, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers, increased 0.4 percent in April, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. 

(See table A.) The April increase was influenced by higher prices for gasoline and shelter. (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 advanced 3.2 percent. (See chart 1 and table A.) Energy prices advanced 10.8 percent, largely the result of an increase in the price of gasoline. The index for all items less food and energy rose 2.9 percent over the year. (See table 1.)


Food

Food prices edged up 0.2 percent for the month of April. (See table 1.) Prices for food away from home increased 0.4 percent, and prices for food at home inched up 0.1 percent for the same period.

Over the year, food prices advanced 1.6 percent. Prices for food away from home rose 3.4 percent, while prices for food at home were virtually unchanged.

Energy

The energy index rose 4.4 percent over the month. The increase was mainly due to higher prices for gasoline (6.9 percent). Prices for natural gas service rose 1.0 percent, and prices for electricity advanced 0.6 percent for the same period.

Energy prices jumped 10.8 percent over the year, largely due to higher prices for gasoline (17.3 percent). Prices paid for electricity increased 3.8 percent, but prices for natural gas service declined 3.7 percent during the past year.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy edged up 0.1 percent in April. Higher prices for alcoholic beverages (0.8 percent), household furnishings and operations (0.6 percent), and shelter (0.2 percent) were partially offset by lower prices for recreation (-0.7 percent), new and used motor vehicles (-0.5 percent), and education and communication (-0.1 percent).

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy rose 2.9 percent. Components contributing to the increase included shelter (4.3 percent) and medical care (3.0 percent). Partly offsetting the increases was a price decline for new vehicles (-2.2 percent).

Table A. West Region CPI-U monthly and annual percent changes (not seasonally adjusted)
Month201320142015201620172018
MonthlyAnnualMonthlyAnnualMonthlyAnnualMonthlyAnnualMonthlyAnnualMonthlyAnnual

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 0.4 3.2

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 May 2018 Consumer Price Index for the West Region is scheduled to be released on June 12, 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 GroupIndexesPercent change from-
Feb.
2018
Mar.
2018
Apr.
2018
Apr.
2017
Feb.
2018
Mar.
2018

Expenditure category

 
 

All Items

259.986 260.994 262.037 3.2 0.8 0.4

All items (December 1977=100)

420.252 421.883 423.568      

Food and beverages

257.552 258.422 259.152 1.6 0.6 0.3

Food

257.364 258.260 258.887 1.6 0.6 0.2

Food at home

245.834 246.683 246.843 0.1 0.4 0.1

Cereals and bakery products

256.095 258.468 257.067   0.4 -0.5

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

253.836 257.212 258.696   1.9 0.6

Dairy and related products

225.991 227.306 227.303   0.6 0.0

Fruits and vegetables

327.416 325.096 325.959   -0.4 0.3

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials

170.867 169.825 169.217   -1.0 -0.4

Other food at home

211.710 212.397 212.407   0.3 0.0

Food away from home

272.390 273.346 274.576 3.4 0.8 0.4

Alcoholic beverages

256.715 257.254 259.285 1.8 1.0 0.8

Housing

283.071 283.968 284.763 3.9 0.6 0.3

Shelter

325.619 326.804 327.549 4.3 0.6 0.2

Rent of primary residence(1)

344.082 344.503 345.911 4.7 0.5 0.4

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

342.157 343.115 344.234 4.4 0.6 0.3

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

342.156 343.116 344.237 4.4 0.6 0.3

Fuels and utilities

295.214 295.361 296.545 2.4 0.5 0.4

Household energy

251.781 251.607 252.987 2.1 0.5 0.5

Energy services(1)

253.481 253.156 254.807 2.1 0.5 0.7

Electricity(1)

283.732 285.080 286.660 3.8 1.0 0.6

Utility (piped) gas service(1)

197.169 192.315 194.318 -3.7 -1.4 1.0

Household furnishings and operations

129.828 130.039 130.820 2.0 0.8 0.6

Apparel

120.338 120.474 120.914 0.4 0.5 0.4

Transportation

211.782 213.377 216.897 5.8 2.4 1.6

Private transportation

206.681 208.246 211.852 6.5 2.5 1.7

New and used motor vehicles(3)

100.372 100.700 100.206 -0.7 -0.2 -0.5

New vehicles

147.182 147.020 146.001 -2.2 -0.8 -0.7

New cars and trucks(3)(4)

102.231 102.119 101.409 -2.2 -0.8 -0.7

New cars(4)

143.662 143.454 142.395 -2.5 -0.9 -0.7

Used cars and trucks

132.834 134.616 134.162 -0.8 1.0 -0.3

Motor fuel

242.672 246.796 263.723 17.3 8.7 6.9

Gasoline (all types)

241.523 245.739 262.783 17.3 8.8 6.9

Gasoline, unleaded regular(4)

238.678 242.874 260.153 17.5 9.0 7.1

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(4)(5)

230.775 234.631 249.448 16.6 8.1 6.3

Gasoline, unleaded premium(4)

237.552 241.566 256.204 16.0 7.9 6.1

Motor vehicle insurance(6)

817.530 824.374 824.995   0.9 0.1

Medical Care

488.655 491.089 491.184 3.0 0.5 0.0

Medical care commodities

380.225 378.301 379.122 3.4 -0.3 0.2

Medical care services

522.677 526.583 526.431 2.9 0.7 0.0

Professional services

356.793 357.605 358.344 2.2 0.4 0.2

Recreation(3)

113.538 114.298 113.495 0.5 0.0 -0.7

Education and communication(3)

135.575 135.674 135.561 0.3 0.0 -0.1

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

1,378.817 1,380.942 1,381.239   0.2 0.0

Other goods and services

433.833 433.408 434.942 2.4 0.3 0.4
 

Commodity and Service Group

 
 

All Items

259.986 260.994 262.037 3.2 0.8 0.4

Commodities

183.013 183.741 185.388 2.3 1.3 0.9

Commodities less food & beverages

145.864 146.501 148.408 2.7 1.7 1.3

Nondurables less food & beverages

190.304 191.230 195.852 5.8 2.9 2.4

Nondurables less food, beverages, and apparel

239.179 240.668 248.276 7.6 3.8 3.2

Durables

105.822 106.213 105.975 -1.3 0.1 -0.2

Services

331.260 332.527 332.917 3.7 0.5 0.1

Rent of shelter(2)

346.684 347.957 348.755 4.3 0.6 0.2

Transportation services

314.358 315.796 316.800 5.8 0.8 0.3

Other services

347.101 348.440 347.053 1.5 0.0 -0.4
 

Special aggregate indexes:

 
 

All items less medical care

249.529 250.474 251.555 3.3 0.8 0.4

All items less food

260.568 261.595 262.703 3.5 0.8 0.4

All items less shelter

234.313 235.254 236.418 2.6 0.9 0.5

Commodities less food

149.990 150.630 152.555 2.7 1.7 1.3

Nondurables

224.170 225.082 227.961 3.5 1.7 1.3

Nondurables less food

195.279 196.188 200.688 5.4 2.8 2.3

Nondurables less food and apparel

240.553 241.950 249.022 7.0 3.5 2.9

Services less rent of shelter(2)

348.681 350.084 350.002 3.0 0.4 0.0

Services less medical care services

317.878 318.969 319.393 3.8 0.5 0.1

Energy

249.957 252.436 263.443 10.8 5.4 4.4

All items less energy

262.878 263.788 264.114 2.7 0.5 0.1

All items less food and energy

264.619 265.534 265.809 2.9 0.4 0.1

Commodities less food and energy commodities

139.981 140.204 140.387 -0.1 0.3 0.1

Energy commodities

247.397 251.623 268.456 17.0 8.5 6.7

Services less energy services

337.056 338.416 338.739 3.8 0.5 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.