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News Release Information

Friday, January 16, 2015

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Consumer Price Index, Atlanta-December 2014

Area prices down 1.5 percent over the two months; up 0.9 percent over the year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for Atlanta declined 1.5 percent over the two months, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Janet S. Rankin noted that energy prices decreased 12.5 percent over the two-month pricing period. The all items less food and energy group edged down 0.2 percent reflecting a seasonal decline in apparel prices. The food index rose 0.4 percent over the November-December pricing period. (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 0.9 percent, as price increases for shelter, food, and medical care were largely offset by a decline in motor fuel prices. The index for all items less food and energy advanced 2.2 percent over the year. (See chart 1 and table 1.)


Food prices increased 0.4 percent during the November-December pricing period reflecting higher prices for food away from home (1.1 percent). Prices for food at home inched down 0.1 percent over the two month pricing period.

Over the year, the food index rose 3.5 percent, reflecting price increases for both food at home (3.9 percent) and food away from home (2.8 percent).


The energy index fell 12.5 percent over the two-month pricing period, led by a 20.7-percent drop in motor fuel prices. This was the largest two-month percent decrease in motor fuel prices since December 2008. Also contributing to the decrease was a 3.5-percent decline in electricity prices. Utility (piped) gas service prices rose 0.8 percent over the two months.

Over the year, the energy index decreased 11.1 percent, primarily due to a 20.8-percent decline in motor fuel prices. Prices for electricity and utility (piped) gas service increased 1.6 and 2.2 percent, respectively.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy edged down 0.2 percent during the November-December pricing period, led by a seasonal decrease in apparel prices (-6.0 percent). Prices for women’s apparel  recorded a decline over the two months.

From December 2013 to December 2014, the index for all items less food and energy advanced 2.2 percent, reflecting higher prices for several indexes including shelter (3.6 percent),  medical care (5.1 percent) and other goods and services (3.9 percent).

Table A. Atlanta metropolitan area CPI-U 2-month and 12-month percent changes, all items index, not seasonally adjusted













The Consumer Price Index for January 2015 is scheduled to be released on Thursday, February 26, 2015, 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 89 percent of the total population and (2) a CPI for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) which covers 28 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 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

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 Atlanta, Ga. metropolitan area covered in this release is comprised of Barrow, Bartow, Carroll, Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, Coweta, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry, Newton, Paulding, Pickens, Rockdale, Spalding, and Walton Counties in Georgia.

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
Atlanta, GA (1982-84=100 unless otherwise noted)
Item and Group

Percent change from-

Expenditure category


All Items

221.276 218.0580.9-1.5 

All items (1967=100)

667.301 657.597   

Food and beverages

246.927 247.6783.10.3 


257.702 258.6363.50.4 

Food at home


Food away from home

264.879 267.8952.81.1 

Alcoholic beverages

150.737 149.876-1.7-0.6 


212.061 211.5793.0-0.2 



Rent of primary residence (1)


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


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


Fuels and utilities

282.139 276.9353.1-1.8 

Household energy


Energy Services (1)


Electricity (1)


Utility (piped) gas service (1)


Household furnishings and operations

127.428 126.382-1.9-0.8 


137.721 129.478-2.5-6.0 


208.809 192.809-7.1-7.7 

Private transportation

208.579 192.316-7.0-7.8 

Motor fuel


Gasoline (all types)


Unleaded regular (3)


Unleaded midgrade (3) (4)


Unleaded premium (3)


Medical Care

398.831 402.7065.11.0 

Recreation (5)

84.274 84.864-0.30.7 

Education and communication (5)

133.896 133.5070.8-0.3 

Other goods and services

341.857 343.8563.90.6 

Commodity and service group


All Items

221.276 218.0580.9-1.5 


184.089 176.914-2.4-3.9 

Commodities less food & beverages

154.190 144.547-5.4-6.3 

Nondurables less food & beverages

195.815 176.800-7.8-9.7 


112.486 111.466-1.9-0.9 


258.257 258.0592.8-0.1 

Special aggregate indexes


All items less medical care

211.567 208.0950.6-1.6 

All items less shelter

224.404 219.317-0.4-2.3 

Commodities less food

153.726 144.408-5.3-6.1 


218.748 208.024-2.6-4.9 

Nondurables less food

191.261 173.643-7.4-9.2 

Services less rent of shelter (2)

310.996 310.0021.9-0.3 

Services less medical care services

242.541 242.2322.8-0.1 



All items less energy

219.125 218.7672.4-0.2 

All items less food and energy

213.521 212.9962.2-0.2 

(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) Special index based on a substantially smaller sample.
(4) Indexes on a December 1993=100 base.
(5) Indexes on a December 1997=100 base.

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


Last Modified Date: Friday, January 16, 2015