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The Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor reported today that the August 2008 All Items Consumer Price Index (CPI) in the West decreased 0.5 percent compared to July. During the past 12 months, the overall index increased 4.9 percent. Regional Commissioner Richard J. Holden noted that the annual increase was primarily due to higher transportation prices. The special all items less food and energy index rose by 0.2 percent in August, but the energy index decreased 6.1 percent. On an annual basis, these indexes rose by 2.5 percent and 28.0 percent, respectively. Regional CPI area data are not seasonally adjusted.
The transportation index, which comprises approximately 19 percent of the all items index, declined 2.8 percent in August. For the year ending August 2008, transportation prices jumped 12.4 percent. Gasoline prices decreased 7.8 percent for the month, but increased 40.4 percent since August 2007. Additionally, new cars and trucks prices were down 0.4 percent in August and were 1.2 percent lower than a year ago.
The housing index was unchanged for August, but rose 3.0 percent since August 2007. The index for shelter, the largest housing component, edged up 0.1 percent for the month and was 2.8 percent higher for the year. Prices for household fuels and utilities decreased 1.6 percent from July to August, but increased 7.8 percent since last year. Within the fuels and utilities index, electricity prices were unchanged in August and advanced 3.9 percent from a year ago. Prices for utility (piped) gas service fell 7.8 percent for the month, but jumped 18.1 percent over the year. Prices for household furnishings and operations crept up 0.3 percent for the month and increased 1.0 percent for the year.
Food and beverages prices rose 0.2 percent in August 2008 and increased 5.3 percent over the past 12 months. Both grocery prices, as measured by the food at home index, along with the food away from home index, advanced 0.2 percent in August. Over the year, prices for groceries increased 6.9 percent, and prices for food away from home increased 3.8 percent. Prices for alcoholic beverages declined 0.2 percent in August, but rose 2.8 percent over the year.
The medical care index edged up 0.1 percent and increased 3.6 percent for the year. In August, prices for medical care services changed little and prices for medical care commodities increased 0.3 percent. Over the latest 12-month period, prices for medical care services and prices for medical care commodities advanced 4.3 and 1.5 percent, respectively.
Apparel prices were up 0.3 percent in August, but decreased 0.8 percent over the past 12 months.
Among the remaining major expenditure categories, prices for education and communication increased 0.7 percent, and prices for other goods and services were up 0.3 percent. Over the past year, prices for education and communication were 3.4 percent higher, and prices for other goods and services were up 3.7 percent. The recreation index inched up 0.1 percent in August and advanced 1.4 percent for the year.
The All Items Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for the West stands at 222.823 (1982-84=100). This means a market basket of goods and services that cost $100.00 in 1982-84 would have cost $222.82 in August 2008.
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Last Modified Date: September 16, 2008