A map of price increases
The regional increase was 2.5 percent over the year.

Prices for almost everything in the Los Angeles region continue to increase but the rate of growth is slowing dramatically offering a glimmer of hope to price-strapped consumers. 

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, prices in the Los Angeles area, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), increased by 0.5 percent in June. Over the past 12 months, the CPI-U in Los Angeles increased by 2.5 percent.

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 in a given region. The CPI-U is the broader of two data sets provided by federal regulators and covers about 93 percent of the total U.S. population including wage earners, clerical workers, professionals, managers, tech workers, the self employed, short-term workers, unemployed residents and retirees. The data covers a 12-month period and provided month by month measurements. 

Annually, food prices in Los Angeles increased by 4.5 percent, with food at home increasing by 2.7 percent and food away from home rising by 7 percent. 

In the monthly comparison, food prices increased by 0.4 percent in June. Prices for food at home rose by 0.5 percent, driven by higher prices for nonalcoholic drinks as well as meats, poultry, fish, and eggs. Food prices away from home increased by 0.3 percent during the same period. 

Energy prices were the only category to decrease over the year, by 14.8 percent, mainly due to a drop in gasoline prices. Prices for natural gas service declined by 24.9 percent, while electricity prices increased by 9.6 percent.

While energy dropped over the course of the year, it has ticked up recently. Energy prices saw a 1.3 percent increase in June, mainly due to higher gasoline prices. Electricity prices rose by 1.6 percent, and natural gas service prices advanced by 1.2 percent during the same month.

Over the year, the index for all items excluding food and energy increased by 4 percent, with notable contributions from other goods and services and shelter. However, there was a decrease in prices for used cars and trucks.

The regional numbers are on par with national trends. Inflation was at its lowest point since early 2021 — 3 percent in June compared with a year earlier — thanks in part to easing prices for gasoline, airline fares, used cars and groceries. Nationwide, the 3 percent rate was down from 4 percent in May but still above the Federal Reserve’s target of 2 percent. 

Nationally, prices increased by 0.2 percent for the month of June. Housing was the largest contributor to the monthly all items increase, accounting for over 70 percent of the increase, with the index for motor vehicle insurance also contributing to cost increases. The food index increased 0.1 percent in June after increasing 0.2 percent the previous month. The price for food at home was unchanged over the month while the price for food away from home rose 0.4 percent in June. The energy costs rose 0.6 percent in June.

While eating at home got more expensive (by 4.7 percent) annually, it was still cheaper than eating out where prices rose by 7.7 percent. 

When eating at home, prices for cereals and bakery products rose 8.8 percent over the 12 months ending in June. Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs declined 0.2 percent over the year. The remaining major grocery store food groups posted increases ranging from 2.7 percent (dairy and related products) to 7.6 percent (nonalcoholic beverages).

Prices for full service meals eaten at a restaurant rose 6.2 percent over the last 12 months, and prices for limited service meals rose 7.8 percent over the same period.


Matthew Hall has a Masters Degree in International Journalism from City University in London and has been Editor-in-Chief of SMDP since 2014. Prior to working at SMDP he managed a chain of weekly papers...