For release: Friday, February 19, 2010 PLS - 4635
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South Region Consumer Price Index – January 2010 (PDF)

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for the South1 rose 0.3 percent in January to a level of 210.056 (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 higher prices for transportation, food and beverages, and medical care. Lower prices for apparel and housing partially offset the overall rise. The energy index advanced 1.8 percent over the month, while food costs increased 0.5 percent. The core inflation rate, as measured by the all items less food and energy index, was unchanged from December. (See chart 1 and table 1.)

Chart 1. 1-month and 12-month percent changes ended January 2010 for the major categories of the CPI-U for the South region, not seasonally adjusted

1-month and 12-month percent changes ended January 2010 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 2.8 percent, due largely to higher prices for transportation (particularly motor fuel) and other goods and services. Energy costs in the region jumped 17.5 percent, while food prices were unchanged. Over the same period, the core inflation rate rose 1.7 percent.

Among the major categories, the transportation index increased 1.4 percent in January, dominated by a 4.3-percent rise in motor fuel costs. Over the year, transportation costs advanced 16.2 percent, as motor fuel prices jumped 51.7 percent and costs for new and used motor vehicles rose 6.0 percent.

The food and beverages index increased 0.4 percent in January as prices rose for all three components. Prices for food at home advanced 0.7 percent, those for food away from home edged up 0.2 percent, and those for alcoholic beverages inched up 0.1 percent. Over the year, the food and beverages index was up 0.1 percent as higher prices for food away from home (1.6 percent) and alcoholic beverages (0.9 percent) were nearly offset by a 1.4-percent decline in costs for food at home.

Medical care costs rose 0.8 percent over the month as costs for both medical care services and medical care commodities increased, up 0.8 and 0.7 percent, respectively. Over the last 12 months, the medical care index advanced 3.6 percent as prices increased for both medical care services (3.8 percent) and medical care commodities (3.0 percent).

Prices for education and communication edged up 0.2 percent since December and rose 2.6 percent over the last 12 months.

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 and jumped 10.1 percent over the last 12 months. Recreation prices edged up 0.2 percent since December but declined 0.5 percent over the year.

Following normal season patterns, the apparel index decreased 2.0 percent in January. Over the year, apparel costs increased 0.4 percent.

The index for housing declined for the seventh consecutive month, down 1.6 percent since June and 0.1 percent since December. Costs for fuels and utilities fell 0.6 percent over the month as a 2.4-percent decrease in electricity prices was partially offset by a 5.1-percent rise in utility (piped) gas service costs. Household furnishings and operations prices inched down 0.1 percent over the month. The shelter index, which includes rent of primary residence, lodging away from home, owners’ equivalent rent of residences, and tenants’ and household insurance, was unchanged in January. Since January 2009, the housing index declined 1.0 percent as costs for all three components decreased. Costs for fuels and utilities dropped 5.1 percent over the year dominated by lower costs for electricity and utility (piped) gas service, down 7.6 and 9.3 percent, respectively. Over the last 12 months, the shelter index declined 0.3 percent and the index for household furnishings and operations edged down 0.2 percent.

Population size groups

Over the month, consumer prices in the South increased 0.4 percent in the largest metropolitan areas, those with 1.5 million or more residents (Size Class A). Prices edged up 0.2 percent in the mid-size areas, those with populations between 50,000 and 1.5 million (Size Class B/C), and increased 0.3 percent in the smallest areas, those with populations of less than 50,000 (Size Class D). Over the past 12 months, consumer prices in the South increased 2.3 percent in the largest areas (Size Class A). Prices rose 3.0 percent in the mid-sized areas (Size Class B/C) and advanced 3.9 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 2007-08 period. The updated expenditure weights for these indexes replace the 2005-2006 weights that were introduced effective with the January 2008 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
Jan.
2010
Jan.
2009
Dec.
2009
Jan.
2010
Jan.
2009
Dec.
2009

All items

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210.056 2.8 0.3
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207.405 3.7 0.3

All items (Dec. 1977 = 100)

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340.740    
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335.916    
 

Food and beverages

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217.257 0.1 0.4
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216.017 0.0 0.5

Food

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217.863 0.0 0.5
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216.565 0.0 0.5

Food at home

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212.515 -1.4 0.7
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210.772 -1.4 0.7

Food away from home

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227.915 1.6 0.2
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227.262 1.8 0.2

Alcoholic beverages

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207.783 0.9 0.1
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207.458 1.5 0.2
 

Housing

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200.349 -1.0 -0.1
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199.871 -0.8 -0.1

Shelter

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221.820 -0.3 0.0
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221.295 0.0 0.0

Rent of primary residence (1)

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223.671 0.4 0.0
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222.272 0.3 0.0

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

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225.804 0.2 -0.1
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210.093 0.1 -0.1

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

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225.806 0.2 -0.1
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210.096 0.1 -0.1

Fuels and utilities

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210.164 -5.1 -0.6
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209.991 -5.0 -0.7

Household energy

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178.913 -7.5 -1.1
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177.102 -7.3 -1.2

Gas (piped) and electricity (1)

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179.133 -7.9 -1.4
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178.213 -7.6 -1.4

Electricity (1)

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172.592 -7.6 -2.4
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170.628 -7.4 -2.3

Utility (piped) gas service (1)

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208.536 -9.3 5.1
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212.942 -8.7 5.4

Household furnishings and operations

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128.237 -0.2 -0.1
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123.130 -0.1 -0.1
 

Apparel

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127.464 0.4 -2.0
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127.318 -0.2 -2.1
 

Transportation

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187.963 16.2 1.4
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185.903 18.1 1.6

Private transportation

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186.285 16.8 1.5
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184.381 18.6 1.7

New and used motor vehicles (4)

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96.826 6.0 0.4
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95.179 7.9 0.5

New vehicles

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143.146 4.4 0.0
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142.875 4.6 0.0

New cars and trucks (4) (5)

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97.364 4.4 0.0
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New cars (5)

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146.798 3.3 -0.1
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Used cars and trucks

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138.606 12.9 1.3
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139.351 12.9 1.3

Motor fuel

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231.455 51.7 4.3
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231.386 51.7 4.3

Gasoline (all types)

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230.860 53.7 4.3
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230.893 53.8 4.4

Gasoline, unleaded regular (5)

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229.563 55.4 4.5
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229.566 55.4 4.5

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade (5) (6)

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241.286 51.1 4.1
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241.310 51.1 4.2

Gasoline, unleaded premium (5)

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229.937 48.5 4.0
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229.679 48.6 4.0
 

Medical care

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364.291 3.6 0.8
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367.923 3.8 0.8

Medical care commodities

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297.090 3.0 0.7
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290.280 3.1 0.7

Medical care services

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386.290 3.8 0.8
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391.643 4.0 0.8

Professional services

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322.881 3.5 1.3
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324.587 3.6 1.3
 

Recreation (4)

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114.145 -0.5 0.2
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110.658 -0.5 0.3
 

Education and communication (4)

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125.012 2.6 0.2
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119.922 2.1 0.2
 

Other goods and services

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371.525 10.1 0.4
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395.044 13.7 0.4
 

Commodities

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175.051 6.5 0.7
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176.591 8.2 0.8

Services

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245.906 0.4 0.0
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244.755 0.4 0.0
 

All items less shelter

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206.661 4.3 0.4
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203.825 5.3 0.5

All items less medical care

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201.211 2.8 0.2
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199.539 3.7 0.3

Energy

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198.293 17.5 1.8
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198.871 19.0 1.9

All items less energy

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212.026 1.5 0.1
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208.532 1.9 0.1

All items less food and energy

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211.383 1.7 0.0
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207.056 2.3 0.0
 

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

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211.762 2.3 0.4
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209.619 3.0 0.4

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

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133.517 3.0 0.2
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132.508 3.9 0.3

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

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213.873 3.9 0.3
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213.984 4.7 0.4

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) This index series underwent a change in composition in January 2010. The expenditure class now includes weight from secondary residences and has been be re-titled "Owners' equivalent rent of residences." The item stratum "Owners' equivalent rent of primary residence" excludes secondary residences.
(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: June 8, 2010