CONSUMER PRICE INDEX,WEST REGION – JUNE 2012
Area prices were down 0.2 percent over the past month, up 2.0 percent from a year ago
Prices in the West Region, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U),
edged down 0.2 percent in June, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (See table A.)
Regional Commissioner Stanley W. Suchman noted that the June decrease was influenced by lower
prices for gasoline and apparel. (Data in this report are not seasonally adjusted. Accordingly, month-tomonth
changes may reflect seasonal influences.)
Over the last 12 months, the CPI-U advanced 2.0 percent, the same as in the prior month. This follows
an eight-month trend of falling annual price increases. (See chart 1.) Energy prices rose 1.1 percent,
largely the result of an increase in the price of gasoline. The index for all items less food and energy
advanced 2.0 percent since June 2011.
Food prices increased 0.2 percent for the month of June. (See table 1.) Prices for food at home were
virtually unchanged, while prices for food away from home advanced 0.3 percent for the same period.
Over the year, food prices rose 2.4 percent. Prices for food at home advanced 2.0 percent since a year
ago, and prices for food away from home rose 3.1 percent.
The energy index declined 3.0 percent over the month. The decrease was mainly due to lower prices for
gasoline (-4.9 percent). Prices for natural gas service rose 4.1 percent, while prices for electricity were
virtually unchanged in June.
Energy prices rose 1.1 percent over the year, largely due to higher prices for gasoline (2.5 percent) and
electricity (1.4 percent). Prices for natural gas service decreased 7.6 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 June. Higher prices for recreation
(0.8 percent), other goods and services (0.6 percent), and shelter (0.1 percent) were partially offset by
lower prices for apparel (-1.6 percent) and education and communication (-0.1 percent).
Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy advanced 2.0 percent. Components
contributing to the increase included apparel (3.9 percent), medical care (3.5 percent), and shelter (2.3
In June, the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) was 227.543,
down 0.3 percent from May. The CPI-W increased 1.9 percent over the year.
The July 2012 Consumer Price Index for the West Region is scheduled to be released on
August 15, 2012.
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
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
Information in this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice
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For personal assistance or further information on Consumer Price Indexes, as well as other Bureau
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