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Friday, April 13, 2012

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Consumer Price Index, South Region – March 2012

Prices in the South up 0.7 percent over the month and 2.8 percent over the year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for the South increased 0.7 percent in March, 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 and the index for all items less food and energy rose 0.4 percent. Within the all items less food and energy group, apparel and shelter were among those indexes that recorded increases. Food prices remained 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 2.8 percent. The index for all items less food and energy rose 2.4 percent over the year. (See chart 1.)

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

Food

Food prices remained unchanged in March. Prices for food away from home inched up 0.1 percent over the month while prices for food at home were unchanged.

Since March 2011, the index for food advanced 3.4 percent as prices for both food at home and food away from home increased, up 4.0 and 2.7 percent, respectively.

Energy

The energy index rose 3.2 percent in March as motor fuel prices advanced 6.0 percent. Price declines for electricity (-1.0 percent) and utility (piped) gas service (-2.6 percent) helped moderate the overall increase in the energy index.

Over the year, energy prices advanced 4.6 percent as motor fuel prices increased 8.0 percent and prices for electricity rose 1.3 percent. A 7.7-percent drop in prices for utility (piped) gas service helped moderate the overall increase in the energy index.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.4 percent in March. Among the components of the index recording increases were apparel (3.4 percent), shelter (0.3 percent), and recreation (0.6 percent).

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy advanced 2.4 percent, led by price increases for shelter (2.2 percent), medical care (3.8 percent), and education and communication (2.4 percent).

The April 2012 Consumer Price Index for the South region is scheduled to be released on  Tuesday, May 15, 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 0.7 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 88 percent of the total population and (2) a CPI for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) which covers 29 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-
Jan.
2012
Feb.
2012
Mar.
2012
Mar.
2011
Jan.
2012
Feb.
2012

Expenditure category

 
 

All Items

220.497 221.802 223.314 2.8 1.3 0.7

All items (December 1977=100)

357.677 359.793 362.247      

Food and beverages

230.898 231.038 231.128 3.3 0.1 0.0

Food

231.949 232.026 232.120 3.4 0.1 0.0

Food at home

229.991 229.662 229.613 4.0 -0.2 0.0

Food away from home

237.368 238.077 238.396 2.7 0.4 0.1

Alcoholic beverages

215.565 216.650 216.677 2.3 0.5 0.0

Housing

205.535 205.748 205.902 1.9 0.2 0.1

Shelter

228.570 228.953 229.559 2.2 0.4 0.3

Rent of primary residence (1)

230.498 230.952 231.251 2.9 0.3 0.1

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

232.332 232.389 232.812 2.0 0.2 0.2

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

232.321 232.377 232.801 2.0 0.2 0.2

Fuels and utilities

217.376 216.461 214.833 1.1 -1.2 -0.8

Household energy

182.732 181.665 179.653 0.2 -1.7 -1.1

Gas (piped) and electricity (1)

182.105 180.963 178.814 0.1 -1.8 -1.2

Electricity (1)

179.305 179.440 177.701 1.3 -0.9 -1.0

Utility (piped) gas service (1)

185.245 175.870 171.226 -7.7 -7.6 -2.6

Household furnishings and operations

126.453 126.916 126.737 0.6 0.2 -0.1

Apparel

130.075 131.898 136.320 4.2 4.8 3.4

Transportation

210.995 216.121 221.532 4.9 5.0 2.5

Private transportation

209.470 214.719 220.123 5.1 5.1 2.5

New and used motor vehicles (3)

100.240 100.846 101.240 2.5 1.0 0.4

New vehicles

148.135 149.871 149.849 2.5 1.2 0.0

New cars and trucks (3) (4)

100.807 101.958 101.939 2.5 1.1 0.0

New cars (3)

152.332 153.837 153.510 2.8 0.8 -0.2

Used cars and trucks

145.827 145.694 147.255 3.4 1.0 1.1

Motor fuel

291.767 309.196 327.880 8.0 12.4 6.0

Gasoline (all types)

290.123 307.842 326.609 8.0 12.6 6.1

Unleaded regular (4)

289.286 307.333 326.407 8.1 12.8 6.2

Unleaded midgrade (4) (5)

301.894 319.583 338.268 7.8 12.0 5.8

Unleaded premium (4)

286.084 302.167 319.469 7.7 11.7 5.7

Medical Care

387.581 390.451 391.985 3.8 1.1 0.4

Medical care commodities

309.483 312.951 314.571 3.5 1.6 0.5

Medical care services

413.991 416.533 417.996 4.0 1.0 0.4

Professional services

337.672 337.571 338.519 1.4 0.3 0.3

Recreation (3)

114.057 114.094 114.799 0.8 0.7 0.6

Education and communication (3)

129.634 129.902 129.844 2.4 0.2 0.0

Other goods and services

383.469 382.425 383.842 1.8 0.1 0.4
 

Commodity and Service Group

 
 

All Items

220.497 221.802 223.314 2.8 1.3 0.7

Commodities

186.219 188.600 191.202 3.6 2.7 1.4

Commodities less food & beverages

163.370 166.620 170.199 3.7 4.2 2.1

Nondurables less food & beverages

214.679 220.622 227.992 5.2 6.2 3.3

Nondurables less food, beverages, and apparel

266.327 274.686 283.854 5.5 6.6 3.3

Durables

115.366 116.046 116.001 0.8 0.6 0.0

Services

255.733 256.031 256.526 2.3 0.3 0.2

Rent of shelter (2)

234.856 235.247 235.848 2.2 0.4 0.3

Transportation services

282.108 282.662 284.125 2.7 0.7 0.5

Other services

308.851 308.828 309.631 2.2 0.3 0.3
 

Special aggregate indexes:

 
 

All items less medical care

211.006 212.230 213.726 2.7 1.3 0.7

All items less food

218.508 220.002 221.735 2.7 1.5 0.8

All items less shelter

218.747 220.447 222.351 3.1 1.6 0.9

Commodities less food

165.135 168.339 171.838 3.6 4.1 2.1

Nondurables

222.948 226.246 230.296 4.4 3.3 1.8

Nondurables less food

214.539 220.233 227.227 5.1 5.9 3.2

Nondurables less food and apparel

260.769 268.519 276.928 5.3 6.2 3.1

Services less rent of shelter (2)

290.011 290.199 290.574 2.5 0.2 0.1

Services less medical care services

241.278 241.437 241.865 2.1 0.2 0.2

Energy

228.581 235.949 243.392 4.6 6.5 3.2

All items less energy

220.221 220.810 221.623 2.6 0.6 0.4

All items less food and energy

218.533 219.214 220.157 2.4 0.7 0.4

Commodities less food and energy commodities

148.173 149.175 150.320 2.1 1.4 0.8

Energy commodities

296.002 313.344 331.969 8.0 12.2 5.9

Services less energy services

263.320 263.787 264.592 2.5 0.5 0.3

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.

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.
- Data not available.
NOTE: Index applies to a month as a whole, not to any specific date. Data not seasonally adjusted.

 

Last Modified Date: April 13, 2012