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News Release Information

16-783-ATL
Thursday, April 14, 2016

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

Consumer Price Index, South Region – March 2016

Prices up 0.6 percent over the month and 0.7 percent over the year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for the South rose 0.6 percent in March, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. The all items less food and energy index rose 0.4 percent and the energy index increased 4.3 percent over the month. The food index edged down 0.2 percent in March. (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 rose 0.7 percent. The all items less food and energy index advanced 2.1 percent over the year reflecting price increases for shelter, medical care, education and communication, and recreation. (See chart 1.)

Food

The food index edged down 0.2 percent in March. Prices for food at home declined 0.4 percent over the month, while those for food away from home inched up 0.1 percent.

Since March 2015, the food index advanced 0.5 percent, reflecting higher prices for food away from home, up 2.2 percent. The food at home index declined 0.7 percent over the year.

Energy

The energy index advanced 4.3 percent in March, led by a 11.6-percent increase in motor fuel prices. The electricity and utility (piped) gas service indexes both declined over the month, down 0.7 and 0.1 percent, respectively.

Over the year, energy prices decreased 12.1 percent, reflecting a 20.5-percent drop in motor fuel prices. Prices for electricity (-3.6 percent) and utility (piped) gas service (-6.3 percent) also declined over the year.

All items less food and energy

The all items less food and energy index rose 0.4 percent in March reflecting increases in several indexes, including a 3.4-percent seasonal increase in the apparel index. Other categories with monthly advances included shelter (0.3 percent) and recreation (1.0 percent).

Since March 2015, the all items less food and energy index advanced 2.1 percent, as several indexes increased, most notably shelter (2.7 percent). Medical care, led by an increase in medical care services (3.5 percent), rose 3.6 percent over the year. The education and communication, and recreation indexes increased 1.7 and 1.6 percent, respectively.

Table A. South region CPI-U 1-month and 12-month percent changes, all items index, not seasonally adjusted
Month 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
1-month 12-month 1-month 12-month 1-month 12-month 1-month 12-month 1-month 12-month

January

0.5 3.2 0.4 1.6 0.3 1.7 -0.7 -0.4 0.0 1.2

February

0.6 3.3 0.9 1.8 0.4 1.2 0.5 -0.3 0.1 0.7

March

0.7 2.8 0.3 1.5 0.6 1.5 0.6 -0.3 0.6 0.7

April

0.4 2.5 -0.2 0.9 0.5 2.3 0.3 -0.6    

May

-0.4 1.6 0.0 1.3 0.2 2.4 0.4 -0.4    

June

-0.2 1.7 0.4 1.9 0.2 2.3 0.5 -0.1    

July

-0.2 1.4 0.2 2.2 -0.1 2.0 -0.1 -0.1    

August

0.6 1.6 0.1 1.7 -0.2 1.7 -0.2 -0.2    

September

0.5 2.1 0.0 1.3 0.1 1.7 -0.2 -0.4    

October

-0.2 2.1 -0.2 1.3 -0.3 1.6 0.0 -0.1    

November

-0.5 1.6 -0.3 1.5 -0.6 1.3 -0.2 0.3    

December

-0.1 1.7 0.1 1.8 -0.6 0.6 -0.4 0.5    

The Consumer Price Index for April 2016 is scheduled to be released on Tuesday, May 17, 2016.


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 https://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 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.
2016
Feb.
2016
Mar.
2016
Mar.
2015
Jan.
2016
Feb.
2016

Expenditure category

 
 

All Items

229.469229.646230.9770.70.70.6

All items (December 1977=100)

372.230372.517374.676---

Food and beverages

246.208246.728246.2840.50.0-0.2

Food

247.542248.101247.6590.50.0-0.2

Food at home

239.421240.210239.226-0.7-0.1-0.4

Food away from home

262.498262.719263.0802.20.20.1

Alcoholic beverages

227.087227.009226.5320.6-0.2-0.2

Housing

223.068223.206223.4381.60.20.1

Shelter

254.654254.928255.5852.70.40.3

Rent of primary residence (1)

262.351262.581263.3743.30.40.3

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

256.983257.037257.3402.50.10.1

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

256.973257.028257.3302.50.10.1

Fuels and utilities

223.934223.084222.014-2.5-0.9-0.5

Household energy

180.941180.066178.979-4.1-1.1-0.6

Energy services (1)

181.291180.436179.357-3.9-1.1-0.6

Electricity (1)

181.197180.587179.393-3.6-1.0-0.7

Utility (piped) gas service (1)

166.878164.448164.225-6.3-1.6-0.1

Household furnishings and operations

121.496121.849121.449-0.60.0-0.3

Apparel

127.750132.186136.650-0.57.03.4

Transportation

188.529186.352190.858-3.41.22.4

Private transportation

186.199183.783188.487-3.61.22.6

New and used motor vehicles (3)

102.782103.611104.1690.91.30.5

New vehicles

153.743154.845154.7940.90.70.0

New cars and trucks (3) (4)

104.659105.455105.4231.00.70.0

New cars (4)

154.322155.362155.2280.20.6-0.1

Used cars and trucks

143.234144.670146.816-0.12.51.5

Motor fuel

160.040146.874163.840-20.52.411.6

Gasoline (all types)

159.143145.991163.061-20.32.511.7

Unleaded regular (4)

154.454141.180158.432-21.32.612.2

Unleaded midgrade (4) (5)

178.593166.183183.692-16.32.910.5

Unleaded premium (4)

180.635169.145183.411-14.91.58.4

Medical care

432.458435.890436.7553.61.00.2

Medical care commodities

345.566349.499349.9683.81.30.1

Medical care services

461.806464.990466.0033.50.90.2

Professional services

358.699358.899360.2261.50.40.4

Recreation (3)

116.211116.974118.1391.61.71.0

Education and communication (3)

137.146137.103137.1691.70.00.0

Other goods and services

411.232410.899411.5051.70.10.1
 

Commodity and service group

 
 

All Items

229.469229.646230.9770.70.70.6

Commodities

177.079176.861178.844-2.11.01.1

Commodities less food and beverages

144.653144.146147.046-3.81.72.0

Nondurables less food and beverages

179.681177.682183.961-5.92.43.5

Nondurables less food, beverages, and apparel

212.273206.749214.168-7.60.93.6

Durables

110.366110.975111.241-0.90.80.2

Services

282.219282.779283.4932.50.50.3

Rent of shelter (2)

261.308261.600262.2722.70.40.3

Transportation services

319.075319.862321.4154.20.70.5

Other services

336.477337.634339.4493.00.90.5
 

Special aggregate indexes

 
 

All items less medical care

218.332218.356219.6990.50.60.6

All items less food

226.460226.578228.1810.70.80.7

All items less shelter

220.685220.823222.442-0.20.80.7

Commodities less food

147.158146.660149.489-3.61.61.9

Nondurables

211.267210.472213.535-2.61.11.5

Nondurables less food

182.112180.216186.133-5.52.23.3

Nondurables less food and apparel

212.443207.383214.132-6.90.83.3

Services less rent of shelter (2)

317.339318.256319.0452.40.50.2

Services less medical care services

265.952266.328267.0112.40.40.3

Energy

167.911161.619168.538-12.10.44.3

All items less energy

237.084237.975238.6951.90.70.3

All items less food and energy

235.655236.605237.5292.10.80.4

Commodities less food and energy commodities

146.663147.921148.832-0.31.50.6

Energy commodities

163.543150.400167.238-20.42.311.2

Services less energy services

292.863293.582294.4983.00.60.3

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, April 14, 2016