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Prices in the West region of the United States were unchanged in July, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Aug. 13.

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) was flat, with lower gasoline prices offsetting higher prices for shelter, according to the BLS. Data are not seasonally adjusted and may reflect seasonal influences.

Over the last 12 months, the CPI-U rose 2.7 percent. For all items excluding food and energy, the index advanced 2.9 percent over the past year.

The CPI is based on prices of food, clothing, shelter, fuels, transportation fares, charges for doctors’ and dentists’ services, drugs and the other goods and services that people buy for day-to-day living. Prices are collected in 75 urban areas across the country from about 5,000 households and 22,000 retail establishments. Taxes on purchased items are included in the index.

The West region covers Colorado, Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.

Food prices edged up 0.2 percent for the month of July. Prices for food away from home advanced 0.3 percent, and prices for food at home rose 0.2 percent for the same period.

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Over the year to date, food prices advanced 2.7 percent. Prices for food away from home advanced 3.6 percent since a year ago, and prices for food at home increased 1.8 percent.

The energy index decreased 1.9 percent over the month of July. The decrease was mainly due to lower prices for gasoline (-3.6 percent). Prices for natural gas service increased 2.8 percent, and prices for electricity rose 0.5 percent for the same period.

Energy prices edged down 0.2 percent over the year, largely due to lower prices for gasoline (-0.8 percent). Prices for natural gas service decreased 1.9 percent, but prices paid for electricity advanced 1.8 percent during the past year.

The index for all items less food and energy inched up 0.2 percent in July. Higher prices for shelter (0.5 percent) were partially offset by lower prices for apparel (-1.8 percent) and household furnishings and operations (-0.2 percent).

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy advanced 2.9 percent. Components contributing to the 2.9 percent increase in the index for all items less food and energy included shelter (4.6 percent) and medical care (2.8 percent). Partly offsetting the increases was a price decline in apparel (-1.3 percent).

For detailed information, visit bls.gov.

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