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News Release Information

15-1210-ATL
Thursday, June 18, 2015

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Technical information:
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  • (404) 893-4220

Consumer Price Index, South Region – May 2015

Prices up 0.4 percent over the month; down 0.4 percent over the year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for the South increased 0.4 percent in May, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. The rise of the overall index was led by a 4.3-percent increase in the energy index. The all items less food and energy index was unchanged and the food index inched up 0.1 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 0.4 percent, the fifth consecutive month of over-the-year declines for this index. The all items less food and energy index advanced 1.7 percent over the year as several categories within this group recorded increases. (See chart 1.)

Food

The food index inched up 0.1 percent in May, as prices for food away from home edged up 0.3 percent. Prices for food at home were unchanged over the month.

Since May 2014, the food index advanced 1.6 percent, reflecting price increases for both food away from home and food at home, up 3.1 and 0.5 percent, respectively.

Energy

The energy index rose 4.3 percent over the month, mainly due to an 8.5-percent advance in motor fuel prices. The electricity index also increased, up 0.8 percent, while prices for utility (piped) gas service declined 3.3 percent.

Over the year, energy prices fell 18.0 percent, reflecting a 28.3-percent drop in motor fuel prices. Utility (piped) gas service prices declined 14.3 percent since May 2014 and electricity prices decreased 1.4 percent.

All items less food and energy

The all items less food and energy index was unchanged in May, as small increases in shelter (0.1 percent) and medical care (0.3 percent) prices were offset by a few categories including a 2.1-percent seasonal decline in apparel prices.

Since May 2014, the all items less food and energy index advanced 1.7 percent, led by price increases in several categories, most notably shelter (2.9 percent) and medical care (2.2 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

0.73.40.42.5-0.20.90.52.30.3-0.6

May

0.54.0-0.41.60.01.30.22.40.4-0.4

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 June 2015 is scheduled to be released on Friday, July 17, 2015.


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-
Mar.
2015
Apr.
2015
May
2015
May
2014
Mar.
2015
Apr.
2015

Expenditure category

 
 

All Items

229.337229.957230.886-0.40.70.4

All items (December 1977=100)

372.017373.023374.529---

Food and beverages

245.020244.636244.8511.6-0.10.1

Food

246.392245.962246.1961.6-0.10.1

Food at home

240.999239.926239.8350.5-0.50.0

Food away from home

257.298257.813258.5293.10.50.3

Alcoholic beverages

225.250225.502225.4581.30.10.0

Housing

219.868220.275220.5281.90.30.1

Shelter

248.935249.515249.8022.90.30.1

Rent of primary residence (1)

255.041255.547255.7483.50.30.1

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

251.109251.632251.9902.80.40.1

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

251.099251.622251.9822.80.40.1

Fuels and utilities

227.759227.105227.574-1.7-0.10.2

Household energy

186.675185.968186.421-3.5-0.10.2

Energy services (1)

186.706186.013186.536-3.2-0.10.3

Electricity (1)

186.078185.509186.980-1.40.50.8

Utility (piped) gas service (1)

175.343173.902168.220-14.3-4.1-3.3

Household furnishings and operations

122.225122.784122.777-0.20.50.0

Apparel

137.271139.604136.621-0.6-0.5-2.1

Transportation

197.631199.151204.147-9.03.32.5

Private transportation

195.573197.101201.689-9.13.12.3

New and used motor vehicles (3)

103.287104.254104.3130.41.00.1

New vehicles

153.378154.314154.2610.60.60.0

New cars and trucks (3) (4)

104.409105.042105.0050.60.60.0

New cars (4)

154.853155.468155.354-0.20.3-0.1

Used cars and trucks

146.965149.632150.4000.22.30.5

Motor fuel

206.124208.485226.151-28.39.78.5

Gasoline (all types)

204.709207.214225.036-28.39.98.6

Unleaded regular (4)

201.386203.761221.807-28.810.18.9

Unleaded midgrade (4) (5)

219.436222.556239.714-27.19.27.7

Unleaded premium (4)

215.445218.536234.639-25.38.97.4

Medical care

421.612422.149423.5362.20.50.3

Medical care commodities

337.267338.125340.1433.50.90.6

Medical care services

450.117450.505451.5911.70.30.2

Professional services

354.899355.417355.7121.00.20.1

Recreation (3)

116.300116.731116.5540.00.2-0.2

Education and communication (3)

134.890135.079134.8750.60.0-0.2

Other goods and services

404.454403.625404.3321.50.00.2
 

Commodity and service group

 
 

All Items

229.337229.957230.886-0.40.70.4

Commodities

182.729183.405184.788-4.01.10.8

Commodities less food and beverages

152.884153.965155.777-7.11.91.2

Nondurables less food and beverages

195.422196.880200.889-11.02.82.0

Nondurables less food, beverages, and apparel

231.814232.803240.844-13.93.93.5

Durables

112.253112.983112.907-0.80.6-0.1

Services

276.505277.077277.5762.10.40.2

Rent of shelter (2)

255.387255.972256.2662.90.30.1

Transportation services

308.514309.595312.2661.91.20.9

Other services

329.586330.713330.6001.80.30.0
 

Special aggregate indexes

 
 

All items less medical care

218.675219.292220.191-0.60.70.4

All items less food

226.485227.264228.298-0.70.80.5

All items less shelter

222.864223.505224.706-1.80.80.5

Commodities less food

155.151156.212157.980-6.91.81.1

Nondurables

219.127219.734221.992-5.01.31.0

Nondurables less food

196.879198.270202.050-10.32.61.9

Nondurables less food and apparel

230.106231.027238.346-12.83.63.2

Services less rent of shelter (2)

311.717312.288313.0631.20.40.2

Services less medical care services

260.730261.302261.7552.10.40.2

Energy

191.746192.447200.710-18.04.74.3

All items less energy

234.275234.887234.9961.70.30.0

All items less food and energy

232.551233.346233.4331.70.40.0

Commodities less food and energy commodities

149.226150.118149.613-0.30.3-0.3

Energy commodities

209.976212.298229.848-28.19.58.3

Services less energy services

285.900286.614287.1092.50.40.2

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: Thursday, June 18, 2015