News Release Information
Thursday, September 12, 2019
Consumer Price Index, St. Louis area – August 2019
Area prices inched down 0.1 percent over the past two months, up 1.1 percent from a year ago
Prices in the St. Louis area, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), inched down 0.1 percent for the two months ending in August 2019, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations Stanley W. Suchman noted that the decrease was influenced by lower prices for food (-2.4 percent) and energy (-0.4 percent). The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.4 percent over the period. (Data in this report are not seasonally adjusted. Accordingly, bi-monthly changes may reflect seasonal influences.)
Over the last 12 months, the CPI-U for the St. Louis area increased 1.1 percent. The index for all items less food and energy advanced 1.8 percent over the year. Food prices were unchanged. Energy prices decreased 3.2 percent, largely the result of lower prices for gasoline. (See table 1.)
Food prices decreased 2.4 percent for the two months ending in August. (See table 1.) Prices for food at home were virtually unchanged (-0.1 percent) and prices for food away from home decreased 4.9 percent for the period.
Over the year, food prices were unchanged. Prices for food at home decreased 2.2 percent from August 2018 to August 2019, but prices for food away from home advanced 2.6 percent.
The energy index decreased 0.4 percent for the two months ending in August, with all three major components of the index contributing to the decline. Prices for gasoline were down 0.4 percent. Costs for electricity and utility (piped) gas service declined 0.4 and 0.3 percent, respectively.
Energy prices decreased 3.2 percent over the year, largely due to lower prices for gasoline (-5.8 percent). Prices paid for electricity advanced 0.6 percent, while prices for utility (piped) gas service decreased 1.8 percent over the 12-month period.
All items less food and energy
The index for all items less food and energy advanced 0.4 percent in the latest two-month period. Higher prices for household furnishings and operations (2.9 percent) had the largest upward impact on the index. The index for other goods and services (-1.1 percent) was among those that registered lower prices.
Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy advanced 1.8 percent. Higher prices for shelter (2.8 percent) and medical care (3.2 percent) led the increase. Partly offsetting the increases were price declines in categories such as apparel (-8.7 percent) and household furnishings and operations (-1.0 percent).
The St. Louis metropolitan area Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) stood at 232.882 in August 2019. A typical market basket of goods and services that cost $100.00 in the 1982-84 base period cost $232.88 in August 2019.
The Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) for the St. Louis metropolitan area for August 2019 was 230.932. The CPI-W was unchanged over the two months and rose 0.7 percent over the year.
The October 2019 Consumer Price Index for the St. Louis area is scheduled to be released on November 13, 2019.
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 93 percent of the total population and (2) a CPI for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) which covers approximately 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 75 urban areas across the country from about 6,000 housing units and approximately 22,000 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 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 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/pdf/homch17.pdf.
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 St. Louis, MO-IL, area covered in this release includes Bond, Calhoun, Clinton, Jersey, Macoupin, Madison, Monroe, and St. Clair counties in Illinois; and Franklin, Jefferson, Lincoln, St. Charles, St. Louis, and Warren counties and St. Louis City in Missouri.
Information in this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: (202) 691-5200; Federal Relay Service: (800) 877-8339.
|Item and Group||Indexes||Percent change from -|
All items (1967 = 100)
Food and beverages
Food at home
Cereals and bakery products
Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs
Dairy and related products
Fruits and vegetables
Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials(1)
Other food at home
Food away from home
Rent of primary residence
Owners' equivalent rent of residences(2)
Owners' equivalent rent of primary residence(2)
Fuels and utilities
Utility (piped) gas service
Household furnishings and operations
New and used motor vehicles(3)
Used cars and trucks(1)
Gasoline (all types)
Gasoline, unleaded regular(4)
Gasoline, unleaded premium(4)
Motor vehicle insurance(1)
Education and communication(3)
Tuition, other school fees, and childcare(1)
Other goods and services
Commodity and service group
Commodities less food and beverages
Nondurables less food and beverages
Special aggregate indexes
All items less shelter
All items less medical care
Commodities less food
Nondurables less food
Services less rent of shelter(2)
Services less medical care services
All items less energy
All items less food and energy
- Data not available.
Last Modified Date: Thursday, September 12, 2019