For release: Wednesday, December 16, 2009 PLS - 4618
Technical Information: (215) 597-3282 • BLSInfoPhiladelphia@bls.govwww.bls.gov/ro3
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South Region Consumer Price Index – November 2009 (PDF)

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for the South1 edged up 0.2 percent in November to a level of 209.738 (1982-84=100), the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Sheila Watkins, the Bureau’s regional commissioner, noted that the increase was led by advances in costs for transportation and medical care, while decreases in the housing, apparel, and recreation indexes helped to moderate the overall increase in the CPI. (See chart 1.) The energy index increased 2.8 percent over the month, while food costs were unchanged. The core inflation rate, as measured by the all items less food and energy index, inched down 0.1 percent over the month. (See table 1.)

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

1-month and 12-month percent changes ended November 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 increased 2.0 percent, due largely to increases in transportation, other goods and services, and medical care costs. This was the first 12-month increase in the all items index since February 2009. Energy costs in the region increased 7.1 percent, while food prices declined 0.4 percent since last November. Over the same period, the core inflation rate was 1.9 percent.

Among the major categories, the transportation index rose 2.4 percent in November, as prices for both motor fuel and new and used motor vehicles increased, up 5.6 percent and 1.4 percent, respectively. Over the year, transportation costs advanced 9.7 percent, largely reflecting a 22.4-percent increase in motor fuel prices.

The index for medical care increased 0.7 percent since October, as costs for medical care services rose 1.0 percent. Medical care commodities prices were unchanged since October. Over the year, the medical care index advanced 3.3 percent, as prices increased for both medical care services (3.2 percent) and medical care commodities (3.8 percent).

The other goods and services index (which includes tobacco and smoking products, personal care products and services, and miscellaneous personal goods) increased 0.3 percent over the month. Since November 2008, the other goods and services index rose 9.8 percent.

The index for housing decreased 0.4 percent since 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, declined 0.4 percent. The fuels and utilities index edged down 0.2 percent in November, as a 1.1-percent decrease in costs for electricity was partially offset by a 3.9-percent increase in utility (piped) gas service prices. Household furnishings and operations costs inched down 0.1 percent over the month. The housing index declined 0.4 percent over the year in the South―the fourth consecutive 12-month decline. A 4.4-percent 12-month decrease in the fuels and utilities index was partially offset by increases in costs for shelter (0.2 percent) and household furnishings and operations (0.7 percent).

Following normal seasonal patterns, the apparel index decreased 1.3 percent in November. The apparel index edged up 0.2 percent over the year. 

Recreation prices declined 0.8 percent since October. Over the past 12 months, the recreation index declined 0.6 percent―the largest 12-month decline since the index began in December 1997. 

Prices for education and communication edged down 0.2 percent over the month. Since November 2008, this index advanced 2.4 percent.

The food and beverages index was unchanged in November, as a 0.2-percent decrease in costs for food at home was offset by increases in costs for both food away from home (0.2 percent) and alcoholic beverages (0.1 percent). Over the year, the food and beverages index declined 0.3 percent due to a 2.6-percent decrease in prices for food at home—the largest annual decline in the food and beverages index since the series inception in December 1977. Moderating the overall decrease in food and beverages prices were higher costs for food away from home (2.2 percent) and alcoholic beverages (2.0 percent).

Population size groups

Over the month, consumer prices in the South inched up 0.1 percent 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 October. In the smallest areas, those with populations of less than 50,000 (Size Class D), prices increased 0.4 percent over the month. Over the past 12 months, consumer prices in the South increased 1.3 percent in the largest areas (Size Class A). Prices advanced 2.3 percent in the mid-sized areas (Size Class B/C) and increased 3.2 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
Nov.
2009
Nov.
2008
Oct.
2009
Nov.
2009
Nov.
2008
Oct.
2009

All items

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209.738 2.0 0.2
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206.859 2.5 0.4

All items (Dec. 1977 = 100)

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340.225    
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335.032    
 

Food and beverages

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215.814 -0.3 0.0
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214.451 -0.4 -0.1

Food

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216.295 -0.4 0.0
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214.910 -0.5 -0.1

Food at home

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210.217 -2.6 -0.2
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208.343 -2.8 -0.3

Food away from home

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227.291 2.2 0.2
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226.685 2.3 0.2

Alcoholic beverages

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208.049 2.0 0.1
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207.238 2.5 0.1
 

Housing

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200.754 -0.4 -0.4
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200.308 -0.3 -0.2

Shelter

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222.007 0.2 -0.4
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221.436 0.4 -0.2

Rent of primary residence (1)

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223.630 0.8 -0.2
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222.292 0.7 -0.2

Owners' equivalent rent of primary residence (1) (2) (3)

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226.118 0.7 -0.1
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210.403 0.6 -0.1

Fuels and utilities

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211.609 -4.4 -0.2
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211.653 -4.1 -0.3

Household energy

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181.181 -6.3 -0.3
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179.528 -6.0 -0.4

Gas (piped) and electricity (1)

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182.080 -6.1 -0.4
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181.128 -5.9 -0.6

Electricity (1)

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177.454 -4.2 -1.1
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175.280 -4.2 -1.2

Utility (piped) gas service (1)

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197.915 -16.3 3.9
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200.672 -16.2 3.8

Household furnishings and operations

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128.784 0.7 -0.1
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123.737 0.8 0.0
 

Apparel

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133.391 0.2 -1.3
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133.639 0.2 -1.3
 

Transportation

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185.561 9.7 2.4
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182.681 10.3 2.5

Private transportation

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183.724 10.1 2.5
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181.053 10.5 2.5

New and used motor vehicles (4)

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96.137 5.7 1.4
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93.785 6.1 1.3

New vehicles

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143.401 5.8 1.7
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143.071 5.8 1.5

New cars and trucks (4) (5)

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97.537 5.8 1.7
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New cars (5)

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147.489 4.6 2.0
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Used cars and trucks

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133.470 6.8 1.3
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134.192 6.8 1.3

Motor fuel

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224.488 22.4 5.6
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224.342 22.4 5.6

Gasoline (all types)

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223.935 24.6 5.7
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223.887 24.7 5.6

Gasoline, unleaded regular (5)

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222.603 25.5 5.8
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222.533 25.6 5.8

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade (5) (6)

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234.261 23.3 5.2
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234.184 23.4 5.2

Gasoline, unleaded premium (5)

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223.228 21.5 5.3
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222.881 21.6 5.2
 

Medical care

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361.505 3.3 0.7
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365.061 3.5 0.8

Medical care commodities

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295.206 3.8 0.0
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288.233 3.8 0.0

Medical care services

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383.154 3.2 1.0
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388.497 3.4 1.1

Professional services

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318.569 2.5 0.1
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320.102 2.5 0.0
 

Recreation (4)

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114.140 -0.6 -0.8
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110.670 -0.7 -0.5
 

Education and communication (4)

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124.557 2.4 -0.2
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119.491 1.9 -0.2
 

Other goods and services

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370.599 9.8 0.3
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393.931 13.6 0.5
 

Commodities

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174.350 3.9 0.8
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175.464 4.9 0.9

Services

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245.951 0.7 -0.2
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244.812 0.7 -0.1
 

All items less shelter

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206.126 2.9 0.5
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203.006 3.4 0.6

All items less medical care

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200.996 1.9 0.2
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199.074 2.4 0.3

Energy

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196.078 7.1 2.8
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196.471 7.9 2.8

All items less energy

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211.920 1.5 -0.1
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208.247 1.8 0.0

All items less food and energy

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211.544 1.9 -0.1
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207.039 2.3 0.1
 

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

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211.424 1.3 0.1
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209.161 1.7 0.3

South size B/C (50,000 to 1,500,000) (7)

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133.342 2.3 0.2
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132.129 2.8 0.4

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

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213.372 3.2 0.4
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213.396 3.7 0.5

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) This index series will undergo a change in composition in January, 2010. The expenditure class will include weight from secondary residences, and will be re-titled Owners' equivalent rent of residences. The item stratum Owners' equivalent rent of primary residences, which prior to January, 2010 is identical to the EC, will be published as well.
(3) Indexes for CPI-U on December 1982=100 base; CPI-W on a December 1984=100 base.
(4) Indexes on a December 1997=100 base.
(5) Special index based on a substantially smaller sample.
(6) Indexes on a December 1993=100 base.
(7) 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: December 17, 2009