Consumer Price Index, Los Angeles Area – November 2019

CPI is considered the Benchmark inflation guide for the U.S. Economy.  In this Article we will be covering the CPI for The Los Angeles Area.


  • The Consumer Price Index measures the average change in prices over time that consumers pay for a basket of goods and services.

  • CPI is widely used as an economic indicator. It is the most widely used measure of inflation and, by proxy, of the effectiveness of the Local and Federal Government’s Economic Policy.

  • The National CPI statistics cover professionals, self-employed, poor, unemployed and retired people in the country. People not included in the report are non-metro or rural populations, farm families, armed forces, people serving in prison and those in mental hospitals.

  • Two types of National CPIs are reported each time. The CPI-W measures the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers. The CPI-U is the Consumer Price Index for Urban Consumers.

Area prices were down 0.3 percent over the past month, up 3.2 percent from a year ago

Prices in the Los Angeles area, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), decreased 0.3 percent in November, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (See table A.) Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations Richard Holden noted that the November decrease was influenced by lower prices for energy. (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 increased 3.2 percent. (See chart 1 and table A.) The index for all items less food and energy rose 3.0 percent over the year. Energy prices rose 6.0 percent, largely the result of an increase in the price of gasoline. Food prices increased 3.1 percent. (See table 1.)


Food prices edged down 0.1 percent for the month of November. (See table 1.) Prices for food away from home inched down 0.1 percent, while prices for food at home were unchanged for the same period.2

Over the year, food prices increased 3.1 percent. Prices for food away from home rose 4.6 percent since a year ago, and prices for food at home moved up 1.6 percent.


The energy index decreased 4.4 percent over the month. The decrease was mainly due to lower prices for gasoline (-4.3 percent). Prices for natural gas service fell 16.9 percent and prices for electricity decreased 0.3 percent for the same period.

Energy prices rose 6.0 percent over the year, largely due to higher prices for gasoline (8.8 percent). Prices paid for electricity increased 3.3 percent, but prices for natural gas service declined 7.0 percent during the past year.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy were unchanged in November. Higher prices for other goods and services (2.1 percent) and shelter (0.6 percent) helped counter lower prices for household furnishings and operations (-3.2 percent) and apparel (-2.5 percent).

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy rose 3.0 percent. Components contributing to the increase included shelter (5.2 percent) and medical care (2.5 percent). Partly offsetting the increases were price decreases in apparel (-1.2 percent) and recreation (-1.0 percent).

The December 2019 Consumer Price Index for the Los Angeles area is scheduled to be released on January 14, 2020

Consumer Price Index Geographic Revision for 2018

In January 2018, BLS introduced a new geographic area sample for the Consumer Price Index (CPI). As part of the new sample, Los Angeles and Riverside have separate indexes. Additional information on the geographic revision is available at: revision-2018.htm.

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 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 Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim. metropolitan area covered in this release is comprised of Los Angeles and Orange 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: (800) 877-8339.

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