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Friday, March 16, 2012

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Consumer Price Index, South Region – February 2012

Prices in the South up 0.6 percent over the month and 3.3 percent over the year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for the South increased 0.6 percent in February, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Sheila Watkins, the Bureau’s regional commissioner, noted that energy prices advanced 3.2 percent over the month. The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.3 percent in February, led by advances in the medical care and shelter indexes, as well as a seasonal increase in apparel prices. Food prices were unchanged over the month. (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 advanced 3.3 percent. The index for all items less food and energy rose 2.3 percent over the year. (See chart 1.)

Chart 1. 12-month percent change in CPI for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), South region, February 2009 - February 2012

Food

Food prices were unchanged in February as higher prices for food away from home (0.3 percent) were offset by lower prices for food at home (-0.1 percent).

Since February 2011, the index for food advanced 4.1 percent as prices for both food at home and food away from home increased, up 5.0 and 3.0 percent, respectively.

Energy

The energy index rose 3.2 percent in February as motor fuel prices advanced 6.0 percent and electricity prices inched up 0.1 percent. A 5.1-percent drop in prices for utility (piped) gas service helped moderate the overall increase in the energy index.

Over the year, energy prices advanced 9.2 percent, led by a 15.1-percent jump in motor fuel prices. Electricity prices rose 2.5 percent since February 2011, while prices for utility (piped) gas service declined 6.4 percent.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.3 percent in February. Among the components of the index recording increases were medical care (0.7 percent), shelter (0.2 percent), and apparel (1.4 percent).

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy advanced 2.3 percent, led by price increases for shelter (2.1 percent), medical care (3.7 percent), and education and communication (2.5 percent).

The March 2012 Consumer Price Index for the South region is scheduled to be released on Friday, April 13, 2012 at 8:30 a.m. (ET).

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

2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
1-month 12-month 1-month 12-month 1-month 12-month 1-month 12-month 1-month 12-month 1-month 12-month

January

0.1 1.8 0.5 4.9 0.4 -0.1 0.3 2.8 0.5 1.7 0.5 3.2

February

0.5 2.2 0.3 4.6 0.5 0.1 0.0 2.3 0.5 2.2 0.6 3.3

March

1.0 2.6 0.8 4.4 0.3 -0.3 0.6 2.5 1.2 2.8 - -

April

0.9 2.5 0.7 4.2 0.3 -0.7 0.1 2.4 0.7 3.4 - -

May

0.6 2.7 0.9 4.6 0.3 -1.3 0.0 2.0 0.5 4.0 - -

June

0.4 2.7 1.1 5.3 1.0 -1.4 -0.1 0.9 -0.2 3.8 - -

July

-0.1 2.3 0.5 5.8 -0.3 -2.1 -0.1 1.0 0.2 4.1 - -

August

-0.3 2.0 -0.4 5.6 0.1 -1.6 0.2 1.1 0.4 4.3 - -

September

0.3 3.0 0.1 5.4 0.0 -1.8 0.2 1.4 0.0 4.1 - -

October

0.2 3.8 -1.2 3.9 0.2 -0.4 0.1 1.3 -0.2 3.7 - -

November

0.6 4.7 -2.2 1.0 0.2 2.0 0.0 1.1 0.0 3.8 - -

December

0.0 4.4 -1.0 0.0 -0.1 2.9 0.2 1.4 -0.2 3.3 - -

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 26,000 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-
Dec.
2011
Jan.
2012
Feb.
2012
Feb.
2011
Dec.
2011
Jan.
2012

Expenditure category

 
 

All Items

219.469 220.497 221.802 3.3 1.1 0.6

All items (December 1977=100)

356.010 357.677 359.793      

Food and beverages

229.534 230.898 231.038 4.0 0.7 0.1

Food

230.684 231.949 232.026 4.1 0.6 0.0

Food at home

228.276 229.991 229.662 5.0 0.6 -0.1

Food away from home

236.791 237.368 238.077 3.0 0.5 0.3

Alcoholic beverages

212.727 215.565 216.650 2.2 1.8 0.5

Housing

204.895 205.535 205.748 1.9 0.4 0.1

Shelter

227.735 228.570 228.953 2.1 0.5 0.2

Rent of primary residence (1)

230.528 230.498 230.952 2.8 0.2 0.2

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

231.719 232.332 232.389 1.9 0.3 0.0

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

231.706 232.321 232.377 1.9 0.3 0.0

Fuels and utilities

217.309 217.376 216.461 2.0 -0.4 -0.4

Household energy

182.982 182.732 181.665 1.4 -0.7 -0.6

Energy services (1)

182.481 182.105 180.963 1.2 -0.8 -0.6

Electricity (1)

179.406 179.305 179.440 2.5 0.0 0.1

Utility (piped) gas service (1)

187.383 185.245 175.870 -6.4 -6.1 -5.1

Household furnishings and operations

126.058 126.453 126.916 0.6 0.7 0.4

Apparel

133.133 130.075 131.898 3.1 -0.9 1.4

Transportation

207.778 210.995 216.121 7.3 4.0 2.4

Private transportation

206.023 209.470 214.719 7.6 4.2 2.5

New and used motor vehicles (3)

100.204 100.240 100.846 2.7 0.6 0.6

New vehicles

147.416 148.135 149.871 3.1 1.7 1.2

New cars and trucks (3) (4)

100.313 100.807 101.958 3.0 1.6 1.1

New cars (4)

152.077 152.332 153.837 3.6 1.2 1.0

Used cars and trucks

146.805 145.827 145.694 3.0 -0.8 -0.1

Motor fuel

279.011 291.767 309.196 15.1 10.8 6.0

Gasoline (all types)

277.012 290.123 307.842 15.1 11.1 6.1

Unleaded regular (4)

275.740 289.286 307.333 15.3 11.5 6.2

Unleaded midgrade (4) (5)

289.460 301.894 319.583 14.8 10.4 5.9

Unleaded premium (4)

274.451 286.084 302.167 14.4 10.1 5.6

Medical care

386.706 387.581 390.451 3.7 1.0 0.7

Medical care commodities

308.476 309.483 312.951 3.3 1.5 1.1

Medical care services

413.193 413.991 416.533 3.9 0.8 0.6

Professional services

337.525 337.672 337.571 1.5 0.0 0.0

Recreation (3)

113.510 114.057 114.094 0.8 0.5 0.0

Education and communication (3)

129.225 129.634 129.902 2.5 0.5 0.2

Other goods and services

383.655 383.469 382.425 1.3 -0.3 -0.3
 

Commodity and service group

 
 

All Items

219.469 220.497 221.802 3.3 1.1 0.6

Commodities

184.780 186.219 188.600 4.6 2.1 1.3

Commodities less food and beverages

161.934 163.370 166.620 5.0 2.9 2.0

Nondurables less food and beverages

211.950 214.679 220.622 7.2 4.1 2.8

Nondurables less food, beverages, and apparel

260.328 266.327 274.686 8.3 5.5 3.1

Durables

115.164 115.366 116.046 1.3 0.8 0.6

Services

255.084 255.733 256.031 2.4 0.4 0.1

Rent of shelter (2)

234.003 234.856 235.247 2.1 0.5 0.2

Transportation services

282.938 282.108 282.662 3.0 -0.1 0.2

Other services

307.662 308.851 308.828 2.3 0.4 0.0
 

Special aggregate indexes

 
 

All items less medical care

209.983 211.006 212.230 3.3 1.1 0.6

All items less food

217.518 218.508 220.002 3.1 1.1 0.7

All items less shelter

217.631 218.747 220.447 3.8 1.3 0.8

Commodities less food

163.660 165.135 168.339 4.9 2.9 1.9

Nondurables

220.837 222.948 226.246 5.7 2.4 1.5

Nondurables less food

211.807 214.539 220.233 6.9 4.0 2.7

Nondurables less food and apparel

255.050 260.769 268.519 7.9 5.3 3.0

Services less rent of shelter (2)

289.603 290.011 290.199 2.6 0.2 0.1

Services less medical care services

240.651 241.278 241.437 2.2 0.3 0.1

Energy

222.909 228.581 235.949 9.2 5.8 3.2

All items less energy

219.742 220.221 220.810 2.6 0.5 0.3

All items less food and energy

218.193 218.533 219.214 2.3 0.5 0.3

Commodities less food and energy commodities

148.488 148.173 149.175 1.9 0.5 0.7

Energy commodities

283.213 296.002 313.344 14.9 10.6 5.9

Services less energy services

262.554 263.320 263.787 2.5 0.5 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: March 16, 2012