News Release Information
Friday, January 11, 2019
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.)
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.
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.
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.
The Consumer Price Index for January 2019 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, February 13, 2019.
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
Owners' equiv. rent of residences(1)
Owners' equiv. rent of primary residence(1)
Fuels and utilities
Utility (piped) gas service
Household furnishings and operations
New and used motor vehicles(2)
Used cars and trucks
Gasoline (all types)
Motor vehicle insurance(5)
Medical care commodities
Medical care services
Education and communication(2)
Tuition, other school fees, and child care(5)
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(1)
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(1)
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, January 11, 2019