Department of Labor Logo United States Department of Labor
Dot gov

The .gov means it's official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you're on a federal government site.

Https

The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

News Release Information

15-698-ATL
Friday, April 17, 2015

Contacts

Technical information:
Media contact:
  • (404) 893-4220

Consumer Price Index, South Region – March 2015

Prices in the South up 0.6 percent in March; down 0.3 percent over the year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for the South increased 0.6 percent in March, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. The all items less food and energy index advanced 0.5 percent in March, as price increases were noted primarily for apparel and shelter. The energy index rose 2.8 percent, while the food index edged down 0.2 percent 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 all items CPI-U declined 0.3 percent. The index for all items less food and energy advanced 1.7 percent over the year as a result of a broad-based increase in several indexes. (See chart 1.)

Food

The food index edged down 0.2 percent in March, as prices for food at home declined 0.5 percent. Prices for food away from home were up 0.2 percent over the month.

Since March 2014, the food index advanced 2.5 percent, reflecting price increases for both food away from home and food at home, up 3.2 and 1.9 percent, respectively.

Energy

The energy index rose 2.8 percent over the month, led by a 7.2-percent price increase for motor fuel. Prices for electricity and utility (piped) gas service declined in March, down 0.9 and 2.9 percent, respectively.

Over the year, energy prices fell 19.1 percent, reflecting a 31.3-percent drop in motor fuel prices. Utility (piped) gas service prices declined 13.1 percent since March 2014 and electricity prices edged down 0.3 percent.

All items less food and energy

The all items less food and energy index increased 0.5 percent in March, led by a seasonal increase in prices for apparel (4.9 percent) and a 0.4 percent rise in the shelter index.

Since March 2014, the all items less food and energy index advanced 1.7 percent, led by price increases in several categories, most notabley shelter (2.9 percent), medical care (1.9 percent), and other goods and services (1.6 percent).


Table A. South region CPI-U 1-month and 12-month percent changes, all items index, not seasonally adjusted
Month20112012201320142015
1-month12-month1-month12-month1-month12-month1-month12-month1-month12-month

January

0.51.70.53.20.41.60.31.7-0.7-0.4

February

0.52.20.63.30.91.80.41.20.5-0.3

March

1.22.80.72.80.31.50.61.50.6-0.3

April

0.73.40.42.5-0.20.90.52.3  

May

0.54.0-0.41.60.01.30.22.4  

June

-0.23.8-0.21.70.41.90.22.3  

July

0.24.1-0.21.40.22.2-0.12.0  

August

0.44.30.61.60.11.7-0.21.7  

September

0.04.10.52.10.01.30.11.7  

October

-0.23.7-0.22.1-0.21.3-0.31.6  

November

0.03.8-0.51.6-0.31.5-0.61.3  

December

-0.23.3-0.11.70.11.8-0.60.6  

The Consumer Price Index for April 2015 is scheduled to be released on Friday, May 22, 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 6,000 housing units and approximately 24,000 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/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; Federal Relay Service: (800) 877-8339.

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.
2015
Feb.
2015
Mar.
2015
Mar.
2014
Jan.
2015
Feb.
2015

Expenditure category

 
 

All Items

226.855227.944229.337-0.31.10.6

All items (December 1977=100)

367.990369.757372.017---

Food and beverages

244.810245.444245.0202.40.1-0.2

Food

246.280246.924246.3922.50.0-0.2

Food at home

241.728242.165240.9991.9-0.3-0.5

Food away from home

255.943256.901257.2983.20.50.2

Alcoholic beverages

223.687224.177225.2501.20.70.5

Housing

218.993219.385219.8682.00.40.2

Shelter

247.197247.887248.9352.90.70.4

Rent of primary residence (1)

253.373254.203255.0413.80.70.3

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

249.880250.331251.1092.80.50.3

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

249.872250.323251.0992.80.50.3

Fuels and utilities

230.105229.614227.759-0.9-1.0-0.8

Household energy

189.693188.775186.675-2.5-1.6-1.1

Energy services (1)

189.744188.804186.706-2.1-1.6-1.1

Electricity (1)

187.707187.678186.078-0.3-0.9-0.9

Utility (piped) gas service (1)

187.295180.506175.343-13.1-6.4-2.9

Household furnishings and operations

122.116122.089122.225-0.60.10.1

Apparel

129.018130.884137.271-1.16.44.9

Transportation

190.415193.490197.631-9.63.82.1

Private transportation

188.164191.291195.573-9.93.92.2

New and used motor vehicles (3)

101.987102.428103.2870.11.30.8

New vehicles

152.980153.333153.3780.50.30.0

New cars and trucks (3) (4)

104.137104.378104.4090.50.30.0

New cars (4)

153.920154.467154.853-0.10.60.2

Used cars and trucks

141.051143.214146.965-0.64.22.6

Motor fuel

183.151192.244206.124-31.312.57.2

Gasoline (all types)

181.308190.667204.709-31.412.97.4

Unleaded regular (4)

177.411187.033201.386-32.013.57.7

Unleaded midgrade (4) (5)

198.410206.808219.436-29.710.66.1

Unleaded premium (4)

195.944203.351215.445-28.110.05.9

Medical care

417.671420.167421.6121.90.90.3

Medical care commodities

333.341336.832337.2673.21.20.1

Medical care services

446.245448.262450.1171.50.90.4

Professional services

354.700352.968354.8991.20.10.5

Recreation (3)

115.948116.318116.3000.00.30.0

Education and communication (3)

134.728134.623134.8900.80.10.2

Other goods and services

403.790404.270404.4541.60.20.0
 

Commodity and service group

 
 

All Items

226.855227.944229.337-0.31.10.6

Commodities

179.157180.661182.729-4.02.01.1

Commodities less food and beverages

148.064149.876152.884-7.73.32.0

Nondurables less food and beverages

186.119189.474195.422-11.85.03.1

Nondurables less food, beverages, and apparel

221.753226.010231.814-14.94.52.6

Durables

111.328111.794112.253-1.20.80.4

Services

275.051275.750276.5052.20.50.3

Rent of shelter (2)

253.579254.295255.3872.90.70.4

Transportation services

305.810307.498308.5142.60.90.3

Other services

327.885328.526329.5861.60.50.3
 

Special aggregate indexes

 
 

All items less medical care

216.281217.299218.675-0.51.10.6

All items less food

223.642224.799226.485-0.81.30.8

All items less shelter

220.056221.318222.864-1.81.30.7

Commodities less food

150.406152.187155.151-7.43.21.9

Nondurables

214.021216.122219.127-4.92.41.4

Nondurables less food

188.013191.206196.879-11.14.73.0

Nondurables less food and apparel

220.812224.730230.106-13.74.22.4

Services less rent of shelter (2)

310.670311.368311.7171.40.30.1

Services less medical care services

259.450260.056260.7302.30.50.3

Energy

182.897186.545191.746-19.14.82.8

All items less energy

232.499233.304234.2751.80.80.4

All items less food and energy

230.483231.318232.5511.70.90.5

Commodities less food and energy commodities

147.055147.798149.226-0.41.51.0

Energy commodities

187.113196.186209.976-31.112.27.0

Services less energy services

283.940284.824285.9002.50.70.4

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: Friday, April 17, 2015