News Release Information

16-135-ATL
Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Contacts

Technical information:
Media contact:
  • (404) 893-4220

Consumer Price Index, South Region – December 2015

Prices down 0.4 percent over the month; up 0.5 percent over the year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for the South decreased 0.4 percent in December, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. The energy index declined 2.7 percent over the month. The all items less food and energy, and food indexes were little changed in December, down 0.1 and 0.3 percent, respectively. (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 all items CPI-U rose 0.5 percent. The all items less food and energy index advanced 2.0 percent over the year as several categories within this group recorded increases. (See chart 1.)

 Chart 1. Over-the-year percent change in CPI-U, South region, December 2012–December 2015

Food

The food index declined 0.3 percent in December. Prices for food at home decreased 0.7 percent over the month, while those for food away from home inched up 0.1 percent.

Since December 2014, the food index advanced 0.8 percent, reflecting higher prices for food away from home (2.6 percent). The food at home index declined 0.5 percent over the year.

Energy

The energy index decreased 2.7 percent in December, led by a 5.6-percent decline in motor fuel prices. The electricity and utility (piped) gas service indexes also decreased over the month, down 0.3 and 0.8 percent, respectively.

Over the year, energy prices fell 13.4 percent, reflecting a 22.6-percent drop in motor fuel prices. Prices for electricity (-2.8 percent) and utility (piped) gas service (-11.2 percent) also declined over the year.

All items less food and energy

The all items less food and energy index inched down 0.1 percent in December. A seasonal decline in apparel prices (-4.7 percent), was partially offset by an increase in prices for shelter (0.1 percent) over the month.

Since December 2014, the all items less food and energy index advanced 2.0 percent as several indexes recorded increases, most notably shelter (3.0 percent). Medical care, led by increases in both medical care services (2.7 percent) and medical care commodities (2.8 percent), rose 2.7 percent over the year. Other indexes with over-the-year increases included education and communication (1.9 percent) and other goods and services (1.6 percent).

Table A. South region CPI-U 1-month and 12-month percent changes, all items index, not seasonally adjusted
Month 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
1-month 12-month 1-month 12-month 1-month 12-month 1-month 12-month 1-month 12-month

January

0.5 1.7 0.5 3.2 0.4 1.6 0.3 1.7 -0.7 -0.4

February

0.5 2.2 0.6 3.3 0.9 1.8 0.4 1.2 0.5 -0.3

March

1.2 2.8 0.7 2.8 0.3 1.5 0.6 1.5 0.6 -0.3

April

0.7 3.4 0.4 2.5 -0.2 0.9 0.5 2.3 0.3 -0.6

May

0.5 4.0 -0.4 1.6 0.0 1.3 0.2 2.4 0.4 -0.4

June

-0.2 3.8 -0.2 1.7 0.4 1.9 0.2 2.3 0.5 -0.1

July

0.2 4.1 -0.2 1.4 0.2 2.2 -0.1 2.0 -0.1 -0.1

August

0.4 4.3 0.6 1.6 0.1 1.7 -0.2 1.7 -0.2 -0.2

September

0.0 4.1 0.5 2.1 0.0 1.3 0.1 1.7 -0.2 -0.4

October

-0.2 3.7 -0.2 2.1 -0.2 1.3 -0.3 1.6 0.0 -0.1

November

0.0 3.8 -0.5 1.6 -0.3 1.5 -0.6 1.3 -0.2 0.3

December

-0.2 3.3 -0.1 1.7 0.1 1.8 -0.6 0.6 -0.4 0.5

The Consumer Price Index for January 2016 is scheduled to be released on Friday, February 19, 2016.


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 6,000 housing units and approximately 24,000 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 http://www.bls.gov/opub/hom/pdf/homch17.pdf.

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 South region is comprised of Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia.

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
South (1982-84=100 unless otherwise noted)
Item and Group

 
Indexes
 
Percent change from-
Oct.
2015
Nov.
2015
Dec.
2015
Dec.
2014
Oct.
2015
Nov.
2015

Expenditure category

 
 

All Items

230.860 230.422 229.581 0.5 -0.6 -0.4

All items (December 1977=100)

374.487 373.776 372.412 - - -

Food and beverages

247.559 246.957 246.125 0.8 -0.6 -0.3

Food

249.050 248.396 247.543 0.8 -0.6 -0.3

Food at home

242.704 241.401 239.762 -0.5 -1.2 -0.7

Food away from home

261.397 261.693 261.992 2.6 0.2 0.1

Alcoholic beverages

226.136 226.257 225.705 0.8 -0.2 -0.2

Housing

222.701 222.564 222.710 1.9 0.0 0.1

Shelter

253.160 253.487 253.815 3.0 0.3 0.1

Rent of primary residence (1)

260.738 261.335 261.682 3.5 0.4 0.1

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

255.561 256.092 256.398 2.8 0.3 0.1

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

255.548 256.079 256.387 2.8 0.3 0.1

Fuels and utilities

228.373 225.933 225.482 -2.4 -1.3 -0.2

Household energy

186.316 183.332 182.721 -4.2 -1.9 -0.3

Energy services (1)

186.709 183.643 183.050 -3.9 -2.0 -0.3

Electricity (1)

186.767 183.295 182.834 -2.8 -2.1 -0.3

Utility (piped) gas service (1)

170.886 170.711 169.306 -11.2 -0.9 -0.8

Household furnishings and operations

121.789 121.614 121.533 -0.5 -0.2 -0.1

Apparel

138.679 136.716 130.231 -1.8 -6.1 -4.7

Transportation

193.612 192.674 190.467 -4.6 -1.6 -1.1

Private transportation

191.369 190.298 188.175 -4.8 -1.7 -1.1

New and used motor vehicles (3)

102.623 102.111 102.262 0.2 -0.4 0.1

New vehicles

152.584 152.539 153.011 -0.2 0.3 0.3

New cars and trucks (3) (4)

103.853 103.826 104.155 -0.2 0.3 0.3

New cars (4)

153.118 152.684 153.465 -0.8 0.2 0.5

Used cars and trucks

145.776 143.435 142.825 1.1 -2.0 -0.4

Motor fuel

186.574 180.994 170.941 -22.6 -8.4 -5.6

Gasoline (all types)

185.552 179.960 169.930 -22.3 -8.4 -5.6

Unleaded regular (4)

181.117 175.445 165.316 -23.1 -8.7 -5.8

Unleaded midgrade (4) (5)

204.210 199.105 189.665 -19.7 -7.1 -4.7

Unleaded premium (4)

203.732 199.001 189.917 -17.6 -6.8 -4.6

Medical care

428.455 429.361 428.859 2.7 0.1 -0.1

Medical care commodities

346.080 346.645 344.468 2.8 -0.5 -0.6

Medical care services

455.976 457.012 457.246 2.7 0.3 0.1

Professional services

357.889 358.863 358.852 1.2 0.3 0.0

Recreation (3)

115.958 115.582 115.861 0.3 -0.1 0.2

Education and communication (3)

137.002 137.092 137.064 1.9 0.0 0.0

Other goods and services

410.318 409.946 410.087 1.6 -0.1 0.0
 

Commodity and service group

 
 

All Items

230.860 230.422 229.581 0.5 -0.6 -0.4

Commodities

181.512 180.266 178.113 -2.7 -1.9 -1.2

Commodities less food and beverages

150.198 148.729 146.106 -5.0 -2.7 -1.8

Nondurables less food and beverages

191.118 188.611 183.278 -7.4 -4.1 -2.8

Nondurables less food, beverages, and apparel

224.198 221.338 216.563 -9.2 -3.4 -2.2

Durables

111.006 110.450 110.173 -1.4 -0.8 -0.3

Services

280.687 281.024 281.443 2.6 0.3 0.1

Rent of shelter (2)

259.813 260.134 260.430 3.0 0.2 0.1

Transportation services

314.114 317.389 318.421 4.3 1.4 0.3

Other services

334.204 334.801 335.662 2.7 0.4 0.3
 

Special aggregate indexes

 
 

All items less medical care

219.953 219.462 218.616 0.3 -0.6 -0.4

All items less food

227.832 227.427 226.589 0.4 -0.5 -0.4

All items less shelter

223.279 222.521 221.191 -0.7 -0.9 -0.6

Commodities less food

152.553 151.122 148.549 -4.8 -2.6 -1.7

Nondurables

217.990 216.361 213.102 -3.2 -2.2 -1.5

Nondurables less food

192.866 190.506 185.442 -6.9 -3.8 -2.7

Nondurables less food and apparel

223.245 220.651 216.256 -8.4 -3.1 -2.0

Services less rent of shelter (2)

315.714 316.082 316.668 2.1 0.3 0.2

Services less medical care services

264.730 265.019 265.440 2.6 0.3 0.2

Energy

182.677 178.574 173.686 -13.4 -4.9 -2.7

All items less energy

236.990 236.962 236.573 1.8 -0.2 -0.2

All items less food and energy

235.281 235.362 235.053 2.0 -0.1 -0.1

Commodities less food and energy commodities

149.114 148.263 146.744 -0.9 -1.6 -1.0

Energy commodities

190.061 184.518 174.457 -22.4 -8.2 -5.5

Services less energy services

290.545 291.268 291.800 3.1 0.4 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) Indexes on a December 1997=100 base.
(4) Special index based on a substantially smaller sample.
(5) Indexes on a December 1993=100 base.
 

- Data not available.
Regions defined as the four Census regions. South includes Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia.
NOTE: Index applies to a month as a whole, not to any specific date. Data not seasonally adjusted.
 

 

Last Modified Date: Wednesday, January 20, 2016