Wednesday, April 11, 2018
The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for the South edged up 0.2 percent in March, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. The index for all items less food and energy increased 0.4 percent over the pricing period. The energy index decreased 1.0 percent in March, while the food index inched down 0.1 percent. (Data in this report are not seasonally adjusted. Accordingly, month-to-month changes may reflect the impact of seasonal influences.)
The all items CPI-U was up 2.3 percent for the 12 months ending March. The index for all items less food and energy increased 2.1 percent over the past year, while the energy index advanced 6.2 percent and the food index rose 1.0 percent. (See chart 1.)
The food index inched down 0.1 percent in March. The index for food at home edged down 0.2 percent, led by a 2.3 percent decrease in the fruits and vegetables index. The index for food away from home was unchanged over the month.
Over the last 12 months, the food index rose 1.0 percent, reflecting increases in the indexes for food away from home (2.1 percent) and food at home (0.2 percent).
The energy index decreased 1.0 percent in March, led by a 1.1-percent decrease in the motor fuel index. The indexes for electricity and utility (piped) gas service were also down, declining 0.9 and 1.0 percent, respectively.
From March 2017—March 2018, the energy index advanced 6.2 percent, fueled by a 11.1-percent increase in the motor fuel index. The electricity index rose 1.1 percent and the index for utility (piped) gas service increased 3.1 percent over the last year.
In March 2018, the all items less food and energy index increased 0.4 percent, reflecting increases in the indexes for apparel (4.5 percent), shelter (0.4 percent), and medical care (0.2 percent). The index for education and communication edged down 0.3 percent over the month.
Since March 2017, the index for all items less food and energy advanced 2.1 percent. The shelter index contributed to the increase, up 3.3 percent over the year.
The Consumer Price Index for April 2018 is scheduled to be released on Thursday, May 10, 2018.
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 93 percent of the total population and (2) a CPI for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) which covers 29 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 75 urban areas across the country from about 5,000 housing units and approximately 22,000 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/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.
|Item and Group||Indexes||Percent change from-|
All items (December 1977=100)
Food and beverages
Food at home
Cereal and bakery products
Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs
Dairy and related products
Fruits and vegetables
Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials
Other food at home
Food away from home
Rent of primary residence(1)
Fuels and utilities
Utility (piped) gas service(1)
Household furnishings and operations
New and used motor vehicles(3)
Used cars and trucks
Gasoline (all types)
Motor vehicle insurance(6)
Medical care commodities
Medical care services
Education and communication(3)
Tuition, other school fees, and child care(6)
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: Wednesday, April 11, 2018