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15-79-ATL
January 16, 2015

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Consumer Price Index, Atlanta-December 2014

Area prices down 1.5 percent over the two months; up 0.9 percent over the year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for Atlanta declined 1.5 percent over the two months, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Janet S. Rankin noted that energy prices decreased 12.5 percent over the two-month pricing period. The all items less food and energy group edged down 0.2 percent reflecting a seasonal decline in apparel prices. The food index rose 0.4 percent over the November-December pricing period. (Data in this report are not seasonally adjusted. Accordingly, month-to-month changes may reflect the impact of seasonal influences.)

Over the last 12 months, the CPI-U rose 0.9 percent, as price increases for shelter, food, and medical care were largely offset by a decline in motor fuel prices. The index for all items less food and energy advanced 2.2 percent over the year. (See chart 1 and table 1.)

 Chart 1. 12-month percent change in CPI for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), Atlanta, December 2011–December 2014

Food

Food prices increased 0.4 percent during the November-December pricing period reflecting higher prices for food away from home (1.1 percent). Prices for food at home inched down 0.1 percent over the two month pricing period.

Over the year, the food index rose 3.5 percent, reflecting price increases for both food at home (3.9 percent) and food away from home (2.8 percent).

Energy

The energy index fell 12.5 percent over the two-month pricing period, led by a 20.7-percent drop in motor fuel prices. This was the largest two-month percent decrease in motor fuel prices since December 2008. Also contributing to the decrease was a 3.5-percent decline in electricity prices. Utility (piped) gas service prices rose 0.8 percent over the two months.

Over the year, the energy index decreased 11.1 percent, primarily due to a 20.8-percent decline in motor fuel prices. Prices for electricity and utility (piped) gas service increased 1.6 and 2.2 percent, respectively.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy edged down 0.2 percent during the November-December pricing period, led by a seasonal decrease in apparel prices (-6.0 percent). Prices for women’s apparel  recorded a decline over the two months.

From December 2013 to December 2014, the index for all items less food and energy advanced 2.2 percent, reflecting higher prices for several indexes including shelter (3.6 percent),  medical care (5.1 percent) and other goods and services (3.9 percent).

Table A. Atlanta metropolitan area CPI-U 2-month and 12-month percent changes, all items index, not seasonally adjusted
Month 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month

February

1.1 -2.4 1.1 1.7 1.6 1.5 1.0 2.4 1.9 2.1 1.3 1.8

April

0.0 -3.5 0.7 2.4 1.7 2.5 1.1 1.8 0.1 1.1 0.8 2.5

June

2.2 -4.0 0.3 0.6 0.9 3.1 0.6 1.5 1.0 1.4 1.5 3.0

August

-0.1 -3.8 -0.1 0.6 0.6 3.8 0.6 1.5 0.7 1.5 -0.1 2.2

October

-1.1 -2.6 -0.8 0.9 -1.5 3.1 -1.2 1.8 -1.0 1.6 -1.1 2.2

December

-0.3 1.8 -0.2 1.0 -0.3 3.0 -0.9 1.2 -0.2 2.4 -1.5 0.9

The Consumer Price Index for January 2015 is scheduled to be released on Thursday, February 26, 2015, at 8:30 a.m. (ET).


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 89 percent of the total population and (2) a CPI for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) which covers 28 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 87 urban areas across the country from about 4,000 housing units and approximately 26,000 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 www.bls.gov/cpi and the BLS Handbook of Methods, Chapter 17, The Consumer Price Index, available on the Internet at www.bls.gov/opub/hom/homch17_a.htm.

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 Atlanta, Ga. metropolitan area covered in this release is comprised of Barrow, Bartow, Carroll, Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, Coweta, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry, Newton, Paulding, Pickens, Rockdale, Spalding, and Walton Counties in Georgia.

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.

Table 1. Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U): Indexes and percent changes for selected periods
Atlanta, GA (1982-84=100 unless otherwise noted)
Item and Group

 
Indexes
 
Percent change from-
Oct.
2014
Nov.
2014
Dec.
2014
Dec.
2013
Oct.
2014
Nov.
2014

Expenditure category

 
 

All Items

221.276   218.058 0.9 -1.5  

All items (1967=100)

667.301   657.597      

Food and beverages

246.927   247.678 3.1 0.3  

Food

257.702   258.636 3.5 0.4  

Food at home

253.388 252.797 253.109 3.9 -0.1 0.1

Food away from home

264.879   267.895 2.8 1.1  

Alcoholic beverages

150.737   149.876 -1.7 -0.6  

Housing

212.061   211.579 3.0 -0.2  

Shelter

226.146 225.936 226.473 3.6 0.1 0.2

Rent of primary residence (1)

226.640 227.099 227.608 4.2 0.4 0.2

Owners' equiv. rent of residences (1) (2)

222.477 222.616 222.879 3.5 0.2 0.1

Owners' equiv. rent of primary residence (1) (2)

222.477 222.616 222.879 3.5 0.2 0.1

Fuels and utilities

282.139   276.935 3.1 -1.8  

Household energy

241.568 233.991 235.994 1.6 -2.3 0.9

Energy Services (1)

240.057 232.469 234.610 1.8 -2.3 0.9

Electricity (1)

210.264 202.832 202.910 1.6 -3.5 0.0

Utility (piped) gas service (1)

269.676 263.668 271.842 2.2 0.8 3.1

Household furnishings and operations

127.428   126.382 -1.9 -0.8  

Apparel

137.721   129.478 -2.5 -6.0  

Transportation

208.809   192.809 -7.1 -7.7  

Private transportation

208.579   192.316 -7.0 -7.8  

Motor fuel

282.414 253.223 223.895 -20.8 -20.7 -11.6

Gasoline (all types)

280.374 251.260 222.064 -20.9 -20.8 -11.6

Unleaded regular (3)

277.061 248.070 218.664 -21.2 -21.1 -11.9

Unleaded midgrade (3) (4)

338.446 302.832 273.177 -19.6 -19.3 -9.8

Unleaded premium (3)

283.258 255.999 230.340 -18.4 -18.7 -10.0

Medical Care

398.831   402.706 5.1 1.0  

Recreation (5)

84.274   84.864 -0.3 0.7  

Education and communication (5)

133.896   133.507 0.8 -0.3  

Other goods and services

341.857   343.856 3.9 0.6  
 

Commodity and service group

 
 

All Items

221.276   218.058 0.9 -1.5  

Commodities

184.089   176.914 -2.4 -3.9  

Commodities less food & beverages

154.190   144.547 -5.4 -6.3  

Nondurables less food & beverages

195.815   176.800 -7.8 -9.7  

Durables

112.486   111.466 -1.9 -0.9  

Services

258.257   258.059 2.8 -0.1  
 

Special aggregate indexes

 
 

All items less medical care

211.567   208.095 0.6 -1.6  

All items less shelter

224.404   219.317 -0.4 -2.3  

Commodities less food

153.726   144.408 -5.3 -6.1  

Nondurables

218.748   208.024 -2.6 -4.9  

Nondurables less food

191.261   173.643 -7.4 -9.2  

Services less rent of shelter (2)

310.996   310.002 1.9 -0.3  

Services less medical care services

242.541   242.232 2.8 -0.1  

Energy

238.932 221.904 209.037 -11.1 -12.5 -5.8

All items less energy

219.125   218.767 2.4 -0.2  

All items less food and energy

213.521   212.996 2.2 -0.2  

Footnotes
(1) This index series was calculated using a Laspeyres estimator. All other item stratum index series were calculated using a geometric means estimator.
(2) Index is on a December 1982=100 base.
(3) Special index based on a substantially smaller sample.
(4) Indexes on a December 1993=100 base.
(5) Indexes on a December 1997=100 base.
 

- Data not available.
NOTE: Index applies to a month as a whole, not to any specific date. Data not seasonally adjusted.
 

 

Last Modified Date: Friday, January 16, 2015