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News Release Information

19-83-ATL
Friday, January 11, 2019

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

Consumer Price Index, South Region – December 2018

Prices in the South down 0.5 percent over the month; up 1.5 percent over the year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for the South declined 0.5 percent in December, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. The energy index (-6.0 percent) and the all items less food and energy index (-0.1 percent) contributed to the decrease. The food index rose 0.4 percent in December. (Data in this report are not seasonally adjusted. Accordingly, month-to-month changes reflect the impact of seasonal influences.)

The all items CPI-U for the South increased 1.5 percent for the 12 months ending December, compared to a 1.9-percent increase for the period ending November. Since December 2017, the all items less food and energy index advanced 2.0 percent and the food index rose 1.5 percent. The energy index declined 2.8 percent over the last 12 months; this was its first 12-month decline since the period ending September 2016. (See chart 1 and table 1.)

Food

The food index rose 0.4 percent in December, reflecting over-the-month increases in the food away from home index (0.6 percent) and the food at home index (0.3 percent).

The food index increased 1.5 percent since December 2017, led by a 2.5-percent increase in the food away from home index. Over the year, the food at home index rose 0.6 percent.

Energy

The energy index declined 6.0 percent in December, fueled by a 12.5-percent decrease in the gasoline index. The electricity and the utility (piped) gas service indexes rose in December, up 1.1 and 3.1 percent respectively.

From December 2017—December 2018, the energy index fell 2.8 percent, after rising 2.2 percent for the 12 month period ending November. The gasoline index declined 6.7 percent for the 12 months ending December, and the utility (piped) gas service index declined 1.6 percent. The electricity index rose 1.5 percent over the last 12 months.  

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy inched down 0.1 percent in December, as several indexes had decreases; most notably, a seasonal decline in the apparel index (-3.8 percent).

Since December 2017, the index for all items less food and energy advanced 2.0 percent. The shelter index contributed to the increase, up 2.7 percent.

Geographic divisions

Additional price indexes are now available for the three divisions of the South. Over the month, the all items CPI-U declined 0.9 percent in the East South Central division. The all items index also declined in the West South Central division (-0.7 percent) and in the South Atlantic division (-0.4 percent).

Over the year, the all items index advanced 2.0 percent in the South Atlantic division. The all items index rose 1.0 percent in the West South Central division and 0.9 percent in the East South Central division.

Table A. South region CPI-U 1-month and 12-month percent changes, all items index, not seasonally adjusted
Month20142015201620172018
1-month12-month1-month12-month1-month12-month1-month12-month1-month12-month

January

0.31.7-0.7-0.40.01.20.52.60.51.8

February

0.41.20.5-0.30.10.70.22.80.62.1

March

0.61.50.6-0.30.60.70.02.20.22.3

April

0.52.30.3-0.60.40.90.22.00.42.4

May

0.22.40.4-0.40.40.90.01.70.32.7

June

0.22.30.5-0.10.40.80.21.50.22.7

July

-0.12.0-0.1-0.1-0.20.7-0.21.60.02.9

August

-0.21.7-0.2-0.20.11.00.41.9-0.12.4

September

0.11.7-0.2-0.40.21.40.72.40.01.7

October

-0.31.60.0-0.10.11.5-0.22.00.22.1

November

-0.61.3-0.20.3-0.11.6-0.12.1-0.31.9

December

-0.60.6-0.40.50.12.0-0.11.8-0.51.5

The Consumer Price Index for January 2019 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, February 13, 2019.


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 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.

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

IndexesPercent change from-
Oct.
2018
Nov.
2018
Dec.
2018
Dec.
2017
Oct.
2018
Nov.
2018

Expenditure category

All Items

244.163243.484242.1501.5-0.8-0.5

All items (December 1977=100)

396.066394.964392.801---

Food and beverages

251.239251.631252.6131.50.50.4

Food

252.466252.744253.8751.50.60.4

Food at home

238.189238.032238.8330.60.30.3

Cereal and bakery products

277.865278.637281.7532.01.41.1

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

242.710242.231241.889-0.7-0.3-0.1

Dairy and related products

218.877220.979221.5570.51.20.3

Fruits and vegetables

285.141285.236287.4691.50.80.8

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials

167.430165.199166.6871.4-0.40.9

Other food at home

210.175210.312209.9110.2-0.1-0.2

Food away from home

276.530277.422279.0352.50.90.6

Alcoholic beverages

233.744235.796234.6081.60.4-0.5

Housing

238.989239.757240.3662.60.60.3

Shelter

275.920276.653276.9932.70.40.1

Rent of primary residence

288.276289.481289.8853.10.60.1

Owners' equiv. rent of residences(1)

277.819278.984279.3422.70.50.1

Owners' equiv. rent of primary residence(1)

277.817278.980279.3372.70.50.1

Fuels and utilities

235.374237.051239.3261.81.71.0

Household energy

188.748189.242191.6051.01.51.2

Energy services

188.647189.142191.7661.11.71.4

Electricity

187.500187.395189.5281.51.11.1

Utility (piped) gas service

180.423185.026190.832-1.65.83.1

Household furnishings and operations

121.955122.283122.7392.50.60.4

Apparel

137.831134.732129.6440.7-5.9-3.8

Transportation

214.437209.816203.286-0.2-5.2-3.1

Private transportation

213.524208.661202.2760.0-5.3-3.1

New and used motor vehicles(2)

101.108101.541101.7250.80.60.2

New vehicles

152.485152.461152.8570.20.20.3

New cars and trucks(2)(3)

103.821103.811104.0810.20.30.3

New cars(3)

152.092152.319152.7080.80.40.3

Used cars and trucks

137.906139.751139.6651.71.3-0.1

Motor fuel

242.376220.347193.275-6.3-20.3-12.3

Gasoline (all types)

240.989218.687191.445-6.7-20.6-12.5

Unleaded regular(3)

235.688213.238185.923-7.0-21.1-12.8

Unleaded midgrade(3)(4)

263.006242.498217.180-5.1-17.4-10.4

Unleaded premium(3)

259.851241.205217.689-4.4-16.2-9.7

Motor vehicle insurance(5)

956.145957.014957.6766.00.20.1

Medical care

461.815464.243463.4281.50.3-0.2

Medical care commodities

360.565360.575355.052-4.0-1.5-1.5

Medical care services

495.862499.130499.9672.90.80.2

Professional services

363.710364.146364.1201.60.10.0

Recreation(2)

118.512119.058119.4522.30.80.3

Education and communication(2)

133.319132.510132.218-0.4-0.8-0.2

Tuition, other school fees, and child care(5)

1,327.0971,326.9331,326.9801.60.00.0

Other goods and services

428.279429.039427.2251.0-0.2-0.4

Commodity and service group

All Items

244.163243.484242.1501.5-0.8-0.5

Commodities

185.781183.621180.668-0.1-2.8-1.6

Commodities less food and beverages

154.344151.405147.233-1.0-4.6-2.8

Nondurables less food and beverages

207.688200.035189.494-2.4-8.8-5.3

Nondurables less food, beverages, and apparel

250.669240.410226.703-3.2-9.6-5.7

Durables

106.785107.068107.2680.50.50.2

Services

302.771303.679304.0882.60.40.1

Rent of shelter(1)

283.298284.049284.4052.70.40.1

Transportation services

360.639361.090359.0313.2-0.4-0.6

Other services

343.476343.575343.1081.3-0.1-0.1

Special aggregate indexes

All items less medical care

232.252231.423230.0691.5-0.9-0.6

All items less food

242.623241.803240.1051.5-1.0-0.7

All items less shelter

232.764231.548229.5781.0-1.4-0.9

Commodities less food

156.824153.980149.854-0.9-4.4-2.7

Nondurables

228.536224.556219.277-0.4-4.1-2.4

Nondurables less food

208.991201.841191.785-2.1-8.2-5.0

Nondurables less food and apparel

248.142238.887226.216-2.9-8.8-5.3

Services less rent of shelter(1)

336.714337.843338.3312.40.50.1

Services less medical care services

285.292286.011286.3832.50.40.1

Energy

210.142199.670187.659-2.8-10.7-6.0

All items less energy

248.760249.187249.0571.90.1-0.1

All items less food and energy

248.518248.971248.6282.00.0-0.1

Commodities less food and energy commodities

146.255146.050145.1020.1-0.8-0.6

Energy commodities

246.281224.294197.057-6.2-20.0-12.1

Services less energy services

314.836315.788315.9522.70.40.1

Footnotes
(1) Indexes on a December 1982=100 base.
(2) Indexes on a December 1997=100 base.
(3) Special index based on a substantially smaller sample.
(4) Indexes on a December 1993=100 base.
(5) Indexes on a December 1977=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.

 

Last Modified Date: Friday, January 11, 2019