On April 22, 2023, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics released data on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the Riverside area, which showed that prices in the region were unchanged over the past two months but had increased by 4.6 percent from a year ago. The CPI measures the average price change of a fixed basket of goods and services over time. This article aims to help readers understand the CPI data for March 2023 in the Riverside area.
The CPI Data
According to the CPI data released by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, prices in the Riverside area were unchanged for the two months ending in March 2023. This means there was no significant change in the cost of living in the region during this period. However, over the past year, the CPI-U had advanced by 4.6 percent, indicating a higher cost of living in the area than the previous year.
The CPI data showed that food prices increased by 0.6 percent for the two months ending in March 2023. The costs for food at home advanced by 0.4 percent, led by higher prices for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs (1.4 percent). Food prices away from home increased by 1.0 percent for the same period. Over the year, food prices increased by 8.9 percent, with prices for food at home rising by 7.8 percent since a year ago.
The energy index declined by 7.8 percent for the two months ending in March 2023, mainly due to lower prices for natural gas services (-60.5 percent). However, gasoline prices advanced by 9.6 percent for the same period. Over the year, energy prices declined by 7.7 percent, mainly due to lower gasoline prices (-14.8 percent). Prices for natural gas services advanced by 4.9 percent during the past year.
All Items Less Food and Energy
The index for all items less food and energy increased by 0.8 percent in the latest two-month period, with higher prices for shelter (1.5 percent) and new vehicles (0.6 percent), partially offset by lower costs for household furnishings and operations (-1.2 percent) and education and communication (-1.2 percent). Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy advanced by 5.9 percent, with components contributing to the increase, including shelter (8.7 percent) and new vehicles (6.1 percent). However, partly offsetting the increases was a price decrease in used cars and trucks (-9.4 percent).
The CPI data for March 2023 in the Riverside area indicates that prices were unchanged over the past two months but had increased by 4.6 percent from a year ago. The data showed that food prices increased, energy prices declined, and prices for all items less food and energy increased. The CPI data can be helpful for policymakers, businesses, and consumers to make informed decisions about prices, wages, and economic policies. It is essential to monitor CPI trends to monitor the region’s cost of living and inflation.