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News Release Information

20-930-KAN
Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Contacts

Technical information:
Media contact:
  • (816) 285-7000

Consumer Price Index, St. Louis area – April 2020

Area prices were down 1.6 percent over the past two months, down 0.6 percent from a year ago

Prices in the St. Louis area, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), declined 1.6 percent for the two months ending in April 2020, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Acting Regional Commissioner Susan Mendez noted that the April decrease was most strongly influenced by lower prices for all items less food and energy, as well as lower costs for energy. (Data in this report are not seasonally adjusted. Accordingly, bi-monthly changes may reflect seasonal influences.)

Over the last 12 months, the CPI-U declined 0.6 percent. (See chart 1.) Energy prices fell 17.1 percent, largely the result of a decrease in the price of gasoline. Food prices rose 3.4 percent. The index for all items less food and energy increased 0.4 percent.(See table 1.)

Food

Food prices declined 1.0 percent for the two months ending in April. (See table 1.) Prices for food away from home declined 5.0 percent, and prices for food at home rose 2.1 percent for the same period.

Over the year, food prices increased 3.4 percent. The advance was entirely the result of an 8.8-percent increase in prices for food at home.

Energy

The energy index decreased 8.7 percent for the two months ending in April. The decrease was mainly due to lower prices for gasoline (-17.0 percent). Also contributing, prices for electricity decreased 1.0 percent, and prices for natural gas service decreased 1.2 percent for the same period.

Energy prices fell 17.1 percent over the year, largely due to lower prices for gasoline (-31.4 percent). Prices paid for natural gas service declined 2.4 percent, while prices for electricity increased 1.6 percent during the past year.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy decreased 1.1 percent in the latest two-month period. Lower prices for apparel (-15.0 percent) and motor vehicle insurance (-17.3 percent) were partially offset by higher prices for medical care (0.6 percent) and used cars and trucks (1.6 percent).

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy advanced 0.4 percent. Components contributing to the increase included owners’ equivalent rent of primary residences (2.2 percent), education and communication (4.7 percent) and medical care (2.5 percent). Partly offsetting these increases were price decreases in apparel (-14.2 percent) and motor vehicle insurance (-14.6 percent).

The June 2020 Consumer Price Index for the St. Louis area is scheduled to be released on Tuesday, July 14, 2020.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Impact on April 2020 Consumer Price Index Data

Data collection by personal visit for the Consumer Price Index (CPI) program has been suspended since March 16, 2020. When possible, data normally collected by personal visit were collected either online or by phone. Additionally, data collection in April was affected by the temporary closing or limited operations of certain types of establishments. These factors resulted in an increase in the number of prices considered temporarily unavailable and imputed. While the CPI program attempted to collect as much data as possible, many indexes are based on smaller amounts of collected prices than usual, and a small number of indexes that are normally published were not published this month. Additional information is available at www.bls.gov/bls/effects-of-covid-19-pandemic-on-bls-price-indexes.htm#CPI.


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 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.

Table 1. Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U): Indexes and percent changes for selected periods,
St. Louis, MO-IL (1982-84=100 unless otherwise noted)
Item and GroupIndexesPercent change from -
Feb.
2020
Mar.
2020
Apr.
2020
Apr.
2019
Feb.
2020
Mar.
2020

All items

233.374-229.592-0.6-1.6-

All items (1967 = 100)

693.160-681.925   

Food and beverages

265.988-264.4414.2-0.6-

Food

265.101-262.4733.4-1.0-

Food at home

242.327236.424247.4388.82.14.7

Cereals and bakery products

214.984-222.1209.23.3-

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

246.491-261.2497.46.0-

Dairy and related products

166.582-176.98914.66.2-

Fruits and vegetables

417.382-391.7079.9-6.2-

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials(1)

176.962-174.2941.8-1.5-

Other food at home

231.729-241.4249.34.2-

Food away from home

302.987-287.825--5.0-

Alcoholic beverages

246.624-256.31813.33.9-

Housing

226.719-225.6190.4-0.5-

Shelter

269.899269.282268.2930.0-0.6-0.4

Rent of primary residence

250.824250.200250.6692.7-0.10.2

Owners' equivalent rent of residences(2)

283.438283.905284.9742.20.50.4

Owners' equivalent rent of primary residence(2)

283.438283.905284.9742.20.50.4

Fuels and utilities

210.124-208.5301.4-0.8-

Household energy

177.987178.165176.0610.2-1.1-1.2

Energy services

179.656179.875177.7740.3-1.0-1.2

Electricity

178.600179.048176.8631.6-1.0-1.2

Utility (piped) gas service

149.206148.978147.405-2.4-1.2-1.1

Household furnishings and operations

120.798-121.3051.50.4-

Apparel

145.097-123.294-14.2-15.0-

Transportation

187.695-176.382-9.6-6.0-

Private transportation

188.592-179.177-8.7-5.0-

New and used motor vehicles(3)

90.738-91.069-2.20.4-

New vehicles(1)

205.358-205.7771.10.2-

Used cars and trucks(1)

294.795-299.633-0.81.6-

Motor fuel

207.964202.373172.780-31.1-16.9-14.6

Gasoline (all types)

204.174198.836169.365-31.4-17.0-14.8

Gasoline, unleaded regular(4)

195.654190.299161.538-31.9-17.4-15.1

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(4)(5)

247.706241.967212.506-27.5-14.2-12.2

Gasoline, unleaded premium(4)

218.096215.386187.281-26.9-14.1-13.0

Motor vehicle insurance(1)

597.363-493.801-14.6-17.3-

Medical care

468.442-471.0902.50.6-

Recreation(3)

120.146-120.7853.90.5-

Education and communication(3)

142.980-141.7134.7-0.9-

Tuition, other school fees, and childcare(1)

1,259.675-1,259.675-0.0-

Other goods and services

333.447-335.859-0.7-

Commodity and service group

Commodities

187.961-182.983-2.6-2.6-

Commodities less food and beverages

150.190-144.309-6.6-3.9-

Nondurables less food and beverages

204.869-189.765-12.0-7.4-

Durables

100.972-100.5730.0-0.4-

Services

280.129-277.3240.7-1.0-

Special aggregate indexes

All items less shelter

222.703-218.064-0.8-2.1-

All items less medical care

221.588-217.520-0.9-1.8-

Commodities less food

154.192-148.742-5.8-3.5-

Nondurables

235.624-227.032-3.6-3.6-

Nondurables less food

208.925-195.692-10.1-6.3-

Services less rent of shelter(2)

298.293-294.1591.4-1.4-

Services less medical care services

262.571-259.3740.3-1.2-

Energy

192.487190.107175.794-17.1-8.7-7.5

All items less energy

240.349-237.6580.8-1.1-

All items less food and energy

236.303-233.6090.4-1.1-

Footnotes
(1) Indexes on an March 1978=100 base.
(2) Indexes on a November 1982=100 base.
(3) Indexes on a December 1997=100 base.
(4) Special index based on a substantially smaller sample.
(5) Index on a December 1993=100.

- Data not available.

 

Last Modified Date: Tuesday, May 12, 2020