For release: Wednesday, November 18, 2009 PLS - 4608
Technical Information: (215) 597-3282 • BLSInfoPhiladelphia@bls.govwww.bls.gov/ro3
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South Region Consumer Price Index – October 2009 (PDF)

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for the South1 edged up 0.2 percent in October to a level of 209.292 (1982-84=100), the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Sheila Watkins, the Bureau’s regional commissioner, noted that price increases in most major categories, led by transportation and food and beverages, were partially offset by decreases in housing and recreation. (See chart 1.) The energy index decreased 1.1 percent over the month, while food costs inched up 0.1 percent. The core inflation rate, as measured by the all items less food and energy index, advanced 0.4 percent over the month. (See table 1.)

Chart 1. 1-month and 12-month percent changes ended October 2009 for the major categories of the CPI-U for the South region, not seasonally adjusted

1-month and 12-month percent changes ended October 2009 for the major categories of the CPI-U for the South region, not seasonally adjusted

Chart Data

Over the last 12 months, prices in the South declined 0.4 percent, due largely to a 5.3-percent decline in transportation costs. This was the eighth consecutive 12-month decrease in the all items index. Energy costs in the region decreased 15.5 percent, while food prices declined 0.4 percent since last October. Over the same period, the core inflation rate was 1.9 percent.

Among the major categories, the transportation index rose 1.4 percent in October, as prices for both new and used motor vehicles and motor fuel increased, up 2.4 and 0.9 percent, respectively. Over the year, transportation costs declined 5.3 percent, dominated by a 21.2-percent drop in motor fuel prices.

The apparel index rose 1.2 percent in October. Over the year, apparel costs increased 1.3 percent.

The food and beverages index inched up 0.1 percent in October due to higher prices for both food away from home (0.2 percent) and alcoholic beverages (0.3 percent). The index for food at home was unchanged over the month. Over the year, the food and beverages index edged down 0.2 percent due to a 2.6-percent decrease in prices for food at home—the largest decline since the series inception in December 1977. Moderating the overall decrease in food and beverages prices were higher costs for food away from home (2.3 percent) and alcoholic beverages (2.0 percent).

Prices for education and communication increased 0.3 percent over the month. Since October 2008, this index advanced 2.7 percent. The other goods and services index (which includes tobacco and smoking products, personal care products and services, and miscellaneous personal goods) increased 0.4 percent over the month. Since October 2008, the other goods and services index rose 9.8 percent.

The index for medical care edged up 0.2 percent in October, reflecting higher costs for both medical care services (0.2 percent) and medical care commodities (0.3 percent). Over the year, the medical care index advanced 2.9 percent, as prices increased for both medical care services (2.3 percent) and medical care commodities (4.5 percent).

The two remaining indexes decreased over the month. The index for housing edged down 0.3 percent since September. The fuels and utilities index declined 2.2 percent in October, as a 4.2-percent decrease in costs for electricity was partially offset by a 2.6-percent increase in utility (piped) gas service prices. Electricity prices normally rise in June as summer rate schedules are introduced, then decline in October. The shelter index, which includes rent of primary residence, lodging away from home, owners’ equivalent rent of primary residence, and tenants’ and household insurance, was unchanged since September. Household furnishings and operations costs inched down 0.1 percent over the month. The housing index edged down 0.3 percent over the year in the South―the third consecutive 12-month decline following uninterrupted increases since this index began in December 1977. A 6.0-percent 12-month decrease in the fuels and utilities index was partially offset by increases in shelter (0.7 percent) and household furnishings and operations (0.4 percent).

Recreation prices declined 0.7 percent in October—the largest one-month percent decrease since May 2004. The recreation index inched up 0.1 percent over the year.

Population size groups

Over the month, consumer prices in the South were unchanged in the largest metropolitan areas, those with 1.5 million or more residents (Size Class A). Prices in the mid-size areas, those with populations between 50,000 and 1.5 million (Size Class B/C), edged up 0.2 percent since September. In the smallest areas, those with populations of less than 50,000 (Size Class D), prices increased 0.7 percent over the month. Over the past 12 months, consumer prices in the South decreased 0.7 percent in the largest areas (Size Class A). Prices edged down 0.2 percent in the mid-sized areas (Size Class B/C) and declined 0.3 percent in the smallest areas (Size Class D).

Technical Note

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has updated the consumption expenditure weights in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) and Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) to the 2005-06 period. The updated expenditure weights for these indexes replace the 2003-2004 weights that were introduced effective with the January 2006 CPI release. As originally announced by BLS in December 1998, CPI expenditure weights will continue to be updated at two year intervals.

The CPI program completed its conversion to Computer Assisted Data Collection (CADC). Due to the efficiencies gained from conversion to CADC, BLS has extended data collection to cover the entire month, beginning with data for January 2004. CPI data collection is scheduled in terms of business days—weekdays excluding holidays. Formerly, data collection covered three pricing periods, each comprising six business days in most months and five days in November and December. Consequently, the last day of scheduled data collection was usually the 18th business day of the month. This allowed time during the end of the month for the mailing of paper schedules back to the Washington Office and the data entry of the information in these schedules. Starting in January 2004, the three pricing periods now have variable lengths, between six and eight business days long. The third pricing period normally will end on the last business day of the month.

Local area CPI indexes are by-products of the national CPI program. Because each local index is a small subset of the national index, it has a smaller sample size and is, therefore, subject to substantially more sampling and measurement error than the national index, although their long-term trends are quite similar. The Bureau of Labor Statistics strongly urges users to consider adopting the national average CPI for use in escalator clauses.

We encourage users interested in learning more about changes to the CPI to contact the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Information on the Consumer Price Index and other surveys are available on our Web site at www.bls.gov. Current and historical BLS data are also posted on our Web site at www.bls.gov/ro3/. If you have additional questions, you can contact the Mid-Atlantic information office directly by dialing (215) 597-3282. Information from the Consumer Price Index program is available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: 202-691-5200, Federal Relay Services: 1-800-877-8339.

1 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.

Table 1. Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers and Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers, South Region, (1982-84=100 unless otherwise noted) (not seasonally adjusted)
Item and group All Urban Consumers (CPI-U)
Urban Wage Earners and
Clerical Workers (CPI-W)
Historical
data
Index Percent change from
Historical
data
Index Percent change from
Oct.
2009
Oct.
2008
Sep.
2009
Oct.
2009
Oct.
2008
Sep.
2009

All items

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209.292 -0.4 0.2
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206.121 -0.6 0.2

All items (Dec. 1977 = 100)

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339.501    
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333.836    
 

Food and beverages

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215.843 -0.2 0.1
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214.580 -0.3 0.2

Food

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216.335 -0.4 0.1
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215.061 -0.5 0.2

Food at home

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210.606 -2.6 0.0
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208.881 -2.8 0.1

Food away from home

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226.896 2.3 0.2
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226.317 2.6 0.3

Alcoholic beverages

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207.938 2.0 0.3
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207.014 2.8 0.4
 

Housing

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201.488 -0.3 -0.3
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200.774 -0.3 -0.4

Shelter

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222.988 0.7 0.0
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221.983 0.9 0.0

Rent of primary residence (1)

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223.987 1.2 0.0
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222.674 1.1 0.0

Owners' equivalent rent of primary residence (1) (2)

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226.287 1.1 0.0
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210.556 1.0 0.0

Fuels and utilities

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212.011 -6.0 -2.2
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212.317 -5.6 -2.5

Household energy

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181.714 -8.4 -3.2
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180.320 -7.9 -3.5

Gas (piped) and electricity (1)

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182.898 -7.8 -3.3
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182.136 -7.5 -3.6

Electricity (1)

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179.516 -5.1 -4.2
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177.343 -5.1 -4.5

Utility (piped) gas service (1)

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190.548 -21.5 2.6
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193.233 -21.5 3.1

Household furnishings and operations

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128.872 0.4 -0.1
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123.711 0.6 -0.1
 

Apparel

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135.205 1.3 1.2
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135.460 1.4 1.0
 

Transportation

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181.127 -5.3 1.4
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178.221 -5.9 1.5

Private transportation

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179.249 -5.4 1.5
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176.571 -6.0 1.5

New and used motor vehicles (3)

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94.826 3.4 2.4
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92.569 3.3 2.5

New vehicles

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141.045 3.5 2.7
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140.894 3.5 2.8

New cars and trucks (3) (4)

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95.933 3.5 2.7
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New cars (4)

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144.624 2.3 2.9
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Used cars and trucks

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131.738 2.9 2.6
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132.454 2.9 2.6

Motor fuel

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212.498 -21.2 0.9
Jump to page with historical data
212.469 -21.2 1.0

Gasoline (all types)

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211.954 -20.6 0.9
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212.026 -20.6 1.0

Gasoline, unleaded regular (4)

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210.355 -21.3 0.9
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210.399 -21.3 1.0

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade (4) (5)

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222.596 -19.5 1.0
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222.680 -19.4 1.0

Gasoline, unleaded premium (4)

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212.084 -18.7 0.7
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211.875 -18.5 0.7
 

Medical care

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358.951 2.9 0.2
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362.164 2.9 0.2

Medical care commodities

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295.283 4.5 0.3
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288.223 4.5 0.3

Medical care services

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379.382 2.3 0.2
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384.383 2.4 0.2

Professional services

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318.345 2.6 0.3
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320.029 2.7 0.3
 

Recreation (3)

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115.050 0.1 -0.7
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111.234 -0.3 -0.7
 

Education and communication (3)

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124.757 2.7 0.3
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119.743 2.2 0.2
 

Other goods and services

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369.452 9.8 0.4
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392.027 13.2 0.5
 

Commodities

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172.986 -1.9 0.7
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173.831 -2.3 0.8

Services

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246.433 0.8 -0.2
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245.030 0.8 -0.2
 

All items less shelter

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205.072 -0.9 0.3
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201.762 -1.2 0.3

All items less medical care

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200.640 -0.6 0.2
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198.417 -0.8 0.2

Energy

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190.767 -15.5 -1.1
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191.074 -15.6 -1.1

All items less energy

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212.038 1.5 0.3
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208.161 1.8 0.4

All items less food and energy

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211.677 1.9 0.4
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206.908 2.2 0.4
 

South size A (more than 1,500,000)

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211.152 -0.7 0.0
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208.577 -1.0 0.0

South size B/C (50,000 to 1,500,000) (6)

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133.035 -0.2 0.2
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131.621 -0.3 0.3

South size D (nonmetropolitan, less than 50,000)

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212.423 -0.3 0.7
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212.368 -0.6 0.7

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) Indexes for CPI-U on December 1982=100 base; CPI-W on a December 1984=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.
(6) Indexes on a December 1996=100 base.

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

 

Last Modified Date: November 19, 2009