Friday, April 17, 2015
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.)
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.
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.
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).
The Consumer Price Index for April 2015 is scheduled to be released on Friday, May 22, 2015 at 8:30 a.m. (ET).
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.
|Item and Group||Indexes||Percent change from-|
All items (December 1977=100)
Food and beverages
Food at home
Food away from home
Rent of primary residence (1)
Fuels and utilities
Energy services (1)
Utility (piped) gas service (1)
Household furnishings and operations
New and used motor vehicles (3)
New cars (4)
Used cars and trucks
Gasoline (all types)
Unleaded regular (4)
Unleaded premium (4)
Medical care commodities
Medical care services
Education and communication (3)
Other goods and services
Commodity and service group
Commodities less food and beverages
Nondurables less food and beverages
Nondurables less food, beverages, and apparel
Rent of shelter (2)
Special aggregate indexes
All items less medical care
All items less food
All items less shelter
Commodities less food
Nondurables less food
Nondurables less food and apparel
Services less rent of shelter (2)
Services less medical care services
All items less energy
All items less food and energy
Commodities less food and energy commodities
Services less energy services
- Data not available.
Last Modified Date: Friday, April 17, 2015