Calling cost less in 2003

June 01, 2004

The Consumer Price Index for telephone services decreased 2.7 percent in 2003, following a 0.2-percent increase in 2002.

Annual percent changes in Consumer Price Index (CPI-U) for telephone services, 1998 -2003
[Chart data—TXT]

A rise in local charges was offset by decreases in interstate and intrastate toll calls, and in wireless (cellular) telephone services.

Local telephone charges rose 2.6 percent in 2003. Interstate long distance telephone call charges decreased 10.9 percent. Intrastate long distance charges decreased 9.4 percent. Cellular telephone service charges decreased 1.3 percent last year.

Long-distance telephone companies faced continued competition. In recent years, long-distance providers increasingly have incurred losses as customers shifted from making long distance calls by traditional (wire) telephones to making them by wireless telephone.

These data are from the BLS Consumer Price Index program. Information on other consumer prices appears in "Consumer prices during 2003," by Todd Wilson, Monthly Labor Review, April 2004. Percent changes are for 12 months ended in December.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Calling cost less in 2003 on the Internet at (visited September 25, 2016).


Recent editions of Spotlight on Statistics

  • A look at healthcare spending, employment, pay, benefits, and prices
    As one of the largest U.S. industries, healthcare is steadily growing to meet the needs of an increasing population with an increasing life expectancy. This Spotlight looks at how much people spend on healthcare, current and projected employment in the industry, employer-provided healthcare benefits, healthcare prices, and pay for workers in healthcare occupations.

  • Employment and Wages in Healthcare Occupations
    Healthcare occupations are a significant percentage of U.S. employment. Some of the largest and highest paying occupations are in healthcare. This Spotlight examines employment and wages for healthcare occupations.

  • Fifty years of looking at changes in peoples lives
    Longitudinal surveys help us understand long-term changes, such as how events that happened when a person was in high school affect labor market success as an adult.