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News Release Information

20-967-ATL
Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Contacts

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

Consumer Price Index, South Region – April 2020

Prices in the South down 0.8 percent over the month and 0.2 percent over the year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for the South declined 0.8 percent in April, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. The energy index fell 7.9 percent, while the index for all items less food and energy declined 0.5 percent. In contrast, the food index increased 1.4 percent in April.  (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 edged down 0.2 percent for the 12 months ending April. The 12-month decline in the all items index was attributed to an 18.5-percent drop in the energy index. The index for all items less food and energy increased 1.0 percent over the past year, while the food index advanced 2.9 percent. (See chart 1 and table 1.)

Food

The food index increased 1.4 percent in April, led by a 2.4-percent jump in the food at home index. The food away from home index also rose in April, up 0.2 percent.   

The food index advanced 2.9 percent for the 12 months ending April, reflecting increases in the food at home (3.4 percent) and food away from home (2.3 percent) indexes.  

Energy

The energy index declined 7.9 percent in April, led by a 16.9-percent drop in the gasoline index. The electricity and the utility (piped) gas service indexes increased in April, up 0.2 percent and 0.7 percent, respectively.     

The energy index fell 18.5 percent for the 12 months ending April, led by a 34.3-percent fall in the gasoline index. Over the past year, the electricity index edged down 0.3 percent, while the utility (piped) gas service index declined 1.7 percent.  

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy declined 0.5 percent in April. Several indexes declined over the month, most notably apparel (-4.7 percent) and motor vehicle insurance (-6.0 percent).  

The index for all items less food and energy increased 1.0 percent over the past 12 months. The shelter index rose 2.6 percent over the 12-month span, and the medical care index rose 3.4 percent. In contrast, the apparel index declined 7.4 percent over the past year.

Geographic divisions

Additional price indexes are now available for the three divisions of the South. The all items CPI-U for the West South Central division fell 1.1 percent in April. The all items index for the East South Central and the South Atlantic divisions also declined in April, down 0.8 percent and 0.6 percent, respectively.

Over the year, the all items index declined 0.8 percent in the West South Central division and 0.6 percent in the East South Central division. The all items index rose 0.2 percent in the South Atlantic division over the last 12 months.

Table A. South region CPI-U 1-month and 12-month percent changes, all items index, not seasonally adjusted
Month2017201820192020
1-month12-month1-month12-month1-month12-month1-month12-month

January

0.52.60.51.80.21.20.32.3

February

0.22.80.62.10.51.10.21.9

March

0.02.20.22.30.71.6-0.11.1

April

0.22.00.42.40.51.8-0.8-0.2

May

0.01.70.32.7-0.11.4

June

0.21.50.22.7-0.11.1

July

-0.21.60.02.90.31.4

August

0.41.9-0.12.4-0.11.4

September

0.72.40.01.70.01.3

October

-0.22.00.22.10.21.3

November

-0.12.1-0.31.90.01.6

December

-0.11.8-0.51.50.02.1

The Consumer Price Index for May 2020 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, June 10, 2020.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Impact on April 2020 Consumer Price Index Data

Data collection by personal visit for the Consumer Price Index (CPI) program has been suspended since March 16, 2020. When possible, data normally collected by personal visit were collected either online or by phone. Additionally, data collection in April was affected by the temporary closing or limited operations of certain types of establishments. These factors resulted in an increase in the number of prices considered temporarily unavailable and imputed. While the CPI program attempted to collect as much data as possible, many indexes are based on smaller amounts of collected prices than usual, and a small number of indexes that are normally published were not published this month. Additional information is available at www.bls.gov/bls/effects-of-covid-19-pandemic-on-bls-price-indexes.htm#CPI.


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-
Feb.
2020
Mar.
2020
Apr.
2020
Apr.
2019
Feb.
2020
Mar.
2020

Expenditure category

All Items

248.412248.136246.254-0.2-0.9-0.8

All items (December 1977=100)

402.958402.511399.459---

Food and beverages

257.795258.934262.2882.81.71.3

Food

259.024260.215263.8672.91.91.4

Food at home

241.229242.822248.5493.43.02.4

Cereal and bakery products

281.414281.210289.8883.23.03.1

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

247.291249.783258.9356.74.73.7

Dairy and related products

223.818224.933229.2123.62.41.9

Fruits and vegetables

283.229283.544289.588-1.42.22.1

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials

170.485172.012175.7743.53.12.2

Other food at home

213.100215.280217.8653.52.21.2

Food away from home

288.107288.735289.4402.30.50.2

Alcoholic beverages

240.292240.710240.0591.7-0.1-0.3

Housing

247.815247.958247.7882.10.0-0.1

Shelter

287.476287.956287.7762.60.1-0.1

Rent of primary residence

301.558302.806303.1733.50.50.1

Owners' equiv. rent of residences(1)

289.347289.894290.1622.80.30.1

Owners' equiv. rent of primary residence(1)

289.360289.908290.1702.80.30.1

Fuels and utilities

237.961236.851237.1480.2-0.30.1

Household energy

189.566188.293188.474-0.7-0.60.1

Energy services

189.692188.514188.954-0.4-0.40.2

Electricity

188.118187.199187.501-0.3-0.30.2

Utility (piped) gas service

184.500181.705183.022-1.7-0.80.7

Household furnishings and operations

125.751125.542125.1610.8-0.5-0.3

Apparel

132.851132.705126.434-7.4-4.8-4.7

Transportation

206.599203.615193.489-9.7-6.3-5.0

Private transportation

205.275202.913193.478-9.3-5.7-4.6

New and used motor vehicles(2)

101.455101.944101.247-1.4-0.2-0.7

New vehicles

154.110153.177153.004-1.2-0.7-0.1

New cars and trucks(2)(3)

104.926104.288104.174-1.2-0.7-0.1

New cars(3)

153.511152.313151.950-1.9-1.0-0.2

Used cars and trucks

138.769142.127140.915-0.61.5-0.9

Motor fuel

200.417185.851154.746-34.0-22.8-16.7

Gasoline (all types)

199.037184.533153.280-34.3-23.0-16.9

Unleaded regular(3)

193.413178.781147.614-35.2-23.7-17.4

Unleaded midgrade(3)(4)

224.535211.202182.507-29.0-18.7-13.6

Unleaded premium(3)

225.289213.666185.317-27.0-17.7-13.3

Motor vehicle insurance(5)

965.423969.290911.447-4.0-5.6-6.0

Medical care

482.705483.983486.7033.40.80.6

Medical care commodities

353.282352.718354.069-1.10.20.4

Medical care services

526.543528.441531.6244.61.00.6

Professional services

367.522367.843369.1100.80.40.3

Recreation(2)

122.065122.344121.9030.0-0.1-0.4

Education and communication(2)

133.869133.811133.9831.10.10.1

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

1,358.6351,360.6221,361.2372.30.20.0

Other goods and services

437.594439.029437.9902.20.1-0.2

Commodity and service group

All Items

248.412248.136246.254-0.2-0.9-0.8

Commodities

183.639182.934180.342-3.5-1.8-1.4

Commodities less food and beverages

149.291147.956143.347-7.2-4.0-3.1

Nondurables less food and beverages

194.299190.260179.485-12.4-7.6-5.7

Nondurables less food, beverages, and apparel

232.392226.145212.663-13.9-8.5-6.0

Durables

107.364107.723107.143-1.4-0.2-0.5

Services

313.766313.956312.8721.9-0.3-0.3

Rent of shelter(1)

295.355295.918295.7192.60.1-0.1

Transportation services

364.876361.956344.099-4.5-5.7-4.9

Other services

350.852351.316351.5161.50.20.1

Special aggregate indexes

All items less medical care

235.658235.307233.208-0.6-1.0-0.9

All items less food

246.523246.024243.301-0.7-1.3-1.1

All items less shelter

234.255233.688231.148-1.5-1.3-1.1

Commodities less food

152.003150.706146.178-6.9-3.8-3.0

Nondurables

224.314222.752218.734-4.4-2.5-1.8

Nondurables less food

196.652192.887182.736-11.5-7.1-5.3

Nondurables less food and apparel

231.932226.317214.057-12.6-7.7-5.4

Services less rent of shelter(1)

346.791346.522344.3011.1-0.7-0.6

Services less medical care services

294.677294.733293.3261.5-0.5-0.5

Energy

190.334182.901168.510-18.5-11.5-7.9

All items less energy

255.665256.103255.4611.3-0.1-0.3

All items less food and energy

255.494255.803254.4221.0-0.4-0.5

Commodities less food and energy commodities

146.333146.588145.162-1.6-0.8-1.0

Energy commodities

204.179189.511158.194-33.6-22.5-16.5

Services less energy services

326.898327.229325.9862.0-0.3-0.4

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: Tuesday, May 12, 2020