News Release Information
Tuesday, May 12, 2020
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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: Tuesday, May 12, 2020