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News Release Information

19-646-ATL
Wednesday, April 10, 2019

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

Consumer Price Index, South Region – March 2019

Prices in the South up 0.7 percent over the month and 1.6 percent over the year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for the South rose 0.7 percent in March, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. The energy index contributed to the increase, up 5.9 percent over the month. The all items less food and energy index edged up 0.2 percent and the food index increased 0.3 percent in March. (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 1.6 percent over the year. Since March 2018, the all items less food and energy index advanced 1.7 percent and the food index rose 2.3 percent. The energy index was unchanged over the last 12 months. (See chart 1 and table 1.)

Food

The food index edged up 0.3 percent in March, reflecting over-the-month increases in the food at home index (0.4 percent) and the food away from home index (0.2 percent).

The food index advanced 2.3 percent since March 2018, led by a 3.0-percent increase in the food away from home index. Over the year, the food at home index rose 1.8 percent.

Energy

The energy index increased 5.9 percent in March, reflecting a 12.1-percent increase in the gasoline index. In contrast, the utility (piped) gas service index declined in March (-0.4 percent), while the electricity index was unchanged over the month.

The energy index was unchanged from March 2018—March 2019. The electricity index increased 1.2 percent over the year. In contrast, the gasoline index decreased 0.4 percent since March 2018, while the utility (piped) gas service index was down 3.2 percent.   

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy edged up 0.2 percent in March. The shelter index contributed to the overall increase, up 0.3 percent over the month. 

Since March 2018, the index for all items less food and energy advanced 1.7 percent, reflecting increases for the shelter index (3.0 percent) and the recreation index (3.1 percent).  

Geographic divisions

Additional price indexes are now available for the three divisions of the South. The all items index in the South Atlantic division rose 0.8 percent in March. Over the month, the all items CPI-U advanced 0.6 percent in the East South Central and the West South Central divisions.

Over the year, the all items index advanced 2.0 percent in the South Atlantic division. The all items index rose 1.4 percent in the West South Central division and 1.0 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
Month20152016201720182019
1-month12-month1-month12-month1-month12-month1-month12-month1-month12-month

January

-0.7-0.40.01.20.52.60.51.80.21.2

February

0.5-0.30.10.70.22.80.62.10.51.1

March

0.6-0.30.60.70.02.20.22.30.71.6

April

0.3-0.60.40.90.22.00.42.4

May

0.4-0.40.40.90.01.70.32.7

June

0.5-0.10.40.80.21.50.22.7

July

-0.1-0.1-0.20.7-0.21.60.02.9

August

-0.2-0.20.11.00.41.9-0.12.4

September

-0.2-0.40.21.40.72.40.01.7

October

0.0-0.10.11.5-0.22.00.22.1

November

-0.20.3-0.11.6-0.12.1-0.31.9

December

-0.40.50.12.0-0.11.8-0.51.5

The Consumer Price Index for April 2019 is scheduled to be released on Friday, May 10, 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-
Jan.
2019
Feb.
2019
Mar.
2019
Mar.
2018
Jan.
2019
Feb.
2019

Expenditure category

All Items

242.547243.856245.5541.61.20.7

All items (December 1977=100)

393.445395.568398.323---

Food and beverages

253.486254.283254.9882.30.60.3

Food

254.780255.522256.3262.30.60.3

Food at home

239.698239.870240.9471.80.50.4

Cereal and bakery products

280.408280.243281.4052.00.40.4

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

240.931242.780242.755-0.40.80.0

Dairy and related products

220.259219.595220.7431.10.20.5

Fruits and vegetables

292.367291.564293.7845.50.50.8

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials

170.030169.935171.7843.21.01.1

Other food at home

210.132210.053210.7010.70.30.3

Food away from home

280.009281.561281.9963.00.70.2

Alcoholic beverages

235.026236.622235.8851.50.4-0.3

Housing

240.934241.652242.2902.60.60.3

Shelter

277.768278.981279.9403.00.80.3

Rent of primary residence

290.478291.130291.8993.30.50.3

Owners' equiv. rent of residences(1)

279.750280.541281.1752.80.50.2

Owners' equiv. rent of primary residence(1)

279.748280.539281.1712.80.50.2

Fuels and utilities

238.277237.582237.4651.0-0.30.0

Household energy

191.386190.752190.5710.5-0.4-0.1

Energy services

191.646190.838190.6720.6-0.5-0.1

Electricity

189.212188.831188.7481.2-0.20.0

Utility (piped) gas service

192.081188.382187.655-3.2-2.3-0.4

Household furnishings and operations

123.601123.599123.6711.80.10.1

Apparel

131.748136.017135.636-3.23.0-0.3

Transportation

201.909203.762209.7920.43.93.0

Private transportation

201.044202.641208.7760.63.83.0

New and used motor vehicles(2)

102.294101.980102.5480.40.20.6

New vehicles

154.479153.813154.5120.70.00.5

New cars and trucks(2)(3)

105.169104.712105.1960.80.00.5

New cars(3)

154.309153.515154.4141.00.10.6

Used cars and trucks

140.439140.815141.9880.81.10.8

Motor fuel

185.406192.783215.717-0.416.311.9

Gasoline (all types)

183.666191.173214.333-0.416.712.1

Unleaded regular(3)

178.216185.794209.064-0.417.312.5

Unleaded midgrade(3)(4)

209.302215.812237.862-0.413.610.2

Unleaded premium(3)

210.159216.174235.636-0.612.19.0

Motor vehicle insurance(5)

956.571957.461954.8441.4-0.2-0.3

Medical care

465.889468.571468.5510.60.60.0

Medical care commodities

358.356358.403356.655-3.8-0.5-0.5

Medical care services

502.125505.723506.3081.70.80.1

Professional services

365.034367.656366.6320.10.4-0.3

Recreation(2)

120.317121.102121.8863.11.30.6

Education and communication(2)

132.185132.326132.2490.20.0-0.1

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

1,321.5631,324.3611,330.3742.70.70.5

Other goods and services

427.738430.303430.2841.50.60.0

Commodity and service group

All Items

242.547243.856245.5541.61.20.7

Commodities

180.980182.390184.9780.62.21.4

Commodities less food and beverages

147.336148.892152.007-0.33.22.1

Nondurables less food and beverages

188.328192.111198.968-1.25.63.6

Nondurables less food, beverages, and apparel

223.809227.466238.288-0.66.54.8

Durables

108.156108.174108.6600.70.50.4

Services

304.570305.752306.4792.30.60.2

Rent of shelter(1)

285.203286.465287.4693.00.80.4

Transportation services

357.177358.937359.6050.50.70.2

Other services

343.819345.510346.1102.00.70.2

Special aggregate indexes

All items less medical care

230.363231.598233.3731.71.30.8

All items less food

240.426241.818243.6461.51.30.8

All items less shelter

229.833231.182233.1641.01.40.9

Commodities less food

149.964151.528154.574-0.33.12.0

Nondurables

219.045221.468225.5200.63.01.8

Nondurables less food

190.701194.370200.833-1.05.33.3

Nondurables less food and apparel

223.593227.072236.947-0.46.04.3

Services less rent of shelter(1)

338.448339.573339.9881.60.50.1

Services less medical care services

286.733287.719288.4502.40.60.3

Energy

183.724187.002198.0680.07.85.9

All items less energy

249.946251.036251.6801.80.70.3

All items less food and energy

249.515250.666251.2831.70.70.2

Commodities less food and energy commodities

146.342147.092147.404-0.20.70.2

Energy commodities

189.095196.619219.502-0.516.111.6

Services less energy services

316.500317.900318.7232.40.70.3

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: Wednesday, April 10, 2019