For release: Friday, January 14, 2011 PLS - 4748
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Consumer Price Index, South Region – December 2010 (PDF)

Prices in the South up 0.2 Percent Over the Month and 1.4 Percent Over the Year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for the South increased 0.2 percent in December, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Sheila Watkins, the Bureau’s regional commissioner, noted that prices for energy rose, while prices for all items less food and energy inched down over the month. Within the all items less food and energy group, the indexes for apparel and education and communication recorded decreases. Food prices were unchanged since November. (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 1.4 percent. The index for all items less food and energy advanced 0.8 percent over the year. (See chart 1.)

Chart 1. 12-month percent change in CPI for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), South region, December 2007-December 2010

12-month percent change in CPI for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), South region, December 2007-December 2010

Food

Food prices were unchanged in December following a 0.1-percent increase in November. Within the food index, prices for food at home inched up 0.1 percent, while those for food away from home were unchanged.

Over the year, the index for food advanced 1.3 percent as prices for food at home and food away from home increased 1.5 and 1.0 percent, respectively.

Energy

The energy index increased 3.5 percent in December following a 0.2-percent decrease in November. Within the energy index, prices increased 5.6 percent for motor fuel. During the month, prices also rose for electricity and for utility (piped) gas service, up 0.5 and 0.9 percent, respectively.

Over the year, the energy index rose 6.5 percent as higher prices for motor fuel (14.0 percent) were partially offset by lower prices for electricity (-2.3 percent) and utility (piped) gas service (-5.9 percent).

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy inched down 0.1 percent in December. Among the components of the index, apparel prices recorded a seasonal decline of 3.3 percent, while shelter prices inched up 0.1 percent over the month.  

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy increased 0.8 percent. Higher prices for medical care (3.4 percent), education and communication (1.3 percent), and other goods and services (1.5 percent) contributed to the increase.

The Consumer Price Index for January 2011 is scheduled to be released on Thursday, February 17, 2011 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 87 percent of the total population and (2) a CPI for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) which covers 32 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 25,000 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 the 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 and the BLS Handbook of Methods, Chapter 17, The Consumer Price Index, available 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 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; TDD message referral phone number: (800) 877-8339.

For personal assistance or further information on Consumer Price Indexes, as well as other Bureau products, contact the Mid-Atlantic Information Office at (215) 597-3282 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. ET.

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.
2010
Nov.
2010
Dec.
2010
Dec.
2009
Oct.
2010
Nov.
2010

Expenditure category

 
 

All Items

212.026 211.996 212.488 1.4 0.2 0.2

All items (December 1977=100)

343.935 343.887 344.685      

Food and beverages

218.990 219.060 219.105 1.3 0.1 0.0

Food

219.485 219.607 219.636 1.3 0.1 0.0

Food at home

214.166 214.216 214.345 1.5 0.1 0.1

Food away from home

229.516 229.740 229.629 1.0 0.0 0.0

Alcoholic beverages

210.990 210.353 210.617 1.4 -0.2 0.1

Housing

200.846 200.420 200.660 0.1 -0.1 0.1

Shelter

222.920 223.024 223.182 0.6 0.1 0.1

Rent of primary residence (1)

222.905 223.260 223.642 0.0 0.3 0.2

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

227.023 227.279 227.475 0.7 0.2 0.1

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

227.020 227.275 227.473 0.7 0.2 0.1

Fuels and utilities

211.579 208.366 209.495 -0.9 -1.0 0.5

Household energy

179.398 175.444 176.646 -2.4 -1.5 0.7

Gas (piped) and electricity (1) (3)

179.894 175.562 176.564 -2.8 -1.9 0.6

Electricity (1)

176.176 171.933 172.828 -2.3 -1.9 0.5

Utility (piped) gas service (1)

189.523 184.970 186.625 -5.9 -1.5 0.9

Household furnishings and operations

125.799 125.276 125.223 -2.4 -0.5 0.0

Apparel

132.390 131.410 127.102 -2.3 -4.0 -3.3

Transportation

191.629 192.866 196.214 5.8 2.4 1.7

Private transportation

189.761 190.888 194.318 5.9 2.4 1.8

New and used motor vehicles (4)

97.265 97.084 97.150 0.7 -0.1 0.1

New vehicles

142.144 142.538 142.874 -0.2 0.5 0.2

New cars and trucks (4) (5)

96.732 97.000 97.253 -0.1 0.5 0.3

New cars (5)

145.554 145.636 145.859 -0.8 0.2 0.2

Used cars and trucks

142.443 140.820 141.052 3.1 -1.0 0.2

Motor fuel

236.158 239.497 252.909 14.0 7.1 5.6

Gasoline (all types)

235.269 238.547 252.057 13.9 7.1 5.7

Unleaded regular (5)

234.017 237.215 251.032 14.2 7.3 5.8

Unleaded midgrade (5) (6)

245.795 249.380 262.877 13.5 6.9 5.4

Unleaded premium (5)

234.161 237.549 249.531 12.8 6.6 5.0

Medical care

373.117 373.267 373.749 3.4 0.2 0.1

Medical care commodities

299.808 300.360 301.004 2.0 0.4 0.2

Medical care services

397.686 397.649 398.047 3.9 0.1 0.1

Professional services

328.894 329.510 329.806 3.4 0.3 0.1

Recreation (4)

112.961 112.802 112.959 -0.8 0.0 0.1

Education and communication (4)

127.017 126.781 126.322 1.3 -0.5 -0.4

Other goods and services

375.173 375.348 375.857 1.5 0.2 0.1
 

Commodity and service group

 
 

All Items

212.026 211.996 212.488 1.4 0.2 0.2

Commodities

176.197 176.280 177.134 1.9 0.5 0.5

Commodities less food and beverages

154.362 154.449 155.620 2.2 0.8 0.8

Nondurables less food and beverages

197.597 198.229 200.698 4.2 1.6 1.2

Nondurables less food, beverages, and apparel

238.112 239.652 245.933 6.2 3.3 2.6

Durables

113.916 113.494 113.456 -0.9 -0.4 0.0

Services

248.696 248.556 248.697 1.1 0.0 0.1

Rent of shelter (2)

229.119 229.216 229.381 0.6 0.1 0.1

Transportation services

270.813 273.106 272.400 3.7 0.6 -0.3

Other services

300.590 300.368 300.256 1.3 -0.1 0.0
 

Special aggregate indexes

 
 

All items less medical care

202.880 202.844 203.330 1.3 0.2 0.2

All items less food

210.674 210.621 211.185 1.5 0.2 0.3

All items less shelter

209.014 208.928 209.565 1.8 0.3 0.3

Commodities less food

156.239 156.305 157.453 2.2 0.8 0.7

Nondurables

208.202 208.576 209.928 2.8 0.8 0.6

Nondurables less food

198.180 198.740 201.082 4.0 1.5 1.2

Nondurables less food and apparel

234.697 236.043 241.777 5.8 3.0 2.4

Services less rent of shelter (2)

281.051 280.592 280.704 1.7 -0.1 0.0

Services less medical care services

234.914 234.771 234.895 0.9 0.0 0.1

Energy

200.768 200.406 207.375 6.5 3.3 3.5

All items less energy

213.944 213.952 213.710 0.9 -0.1 -0.1

All items less food and energy

213.359 213.346 213.055 0.8 -0.1 -0.1

Commodities less food and energy commodities

146.635 146.148 145.357 -0.7 -0.9 -0.5

Energy commodities

239.565 243.133 256.685 14.0 7.1 5.6

Services less energy services

255.767 256.074 256.123 1.4 0.1 0.0

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) In January, 2011, this series will be re-titled Energy services.
(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.

- 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: January 14, 2011