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News Release Information

20-1741-ATL
Friday, September 11, 2020

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

Consumer Price Index, South Region – August 2020

Prices in the South up 0.4 percent over the month and 1.1 percent over the year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for the South rose 0.4 percent in August, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.6 percent from July to August, while the energy index declined 0.5 percent. The food index was unchanged over the month. (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 rose 1.1 percent for the 12 months ending August 2020. The index for all items less food and energy increased 1.6 percent over the past year, while the food index advanced 3.9 percent. In contrast, the energy index declined 9.4 percent over the past 12 months. (See chart 1 and table 1.)

Food

The food index was unchanged in August. The food away from home index edged up 0.2 percent over the month, while the food at home index inched down 0.1 percent.

The food index advanced 3.9 percent for the 12 months ending in August, reflecting increases in the food at home (4.9 percent) and food away from home (2.6 percent) indexes.

Energy

The energy index declined 0.5 percent in August, reflecting decreases in the gasoline (-0.7 percent), utility (piped) gas service (-2.3 percent), and electricity (-0.1 percent) indexes.

The energy index declined 9.4 percent for the 12 months ending in August, led by a 17.4-percent drop in the gasoline index. The electricity and the utility (piped) gas service indexes also declined over the past year, down 1.2 percent and 2.4 percent, respectively.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.6 percent in August. Several indexes increased over the month, most notably used cars and trucks (5.9 percent) and shelter (0.3 percent).

The index for all items less food and energy rose 1.6 percent for the 12 months ending in August. The shelter index increased 2.4 percent over the 12-month span, and the medical care index rose 3.6 percent—reflecting a 4.9 percent increase for medical care services. Apparel was among the indexes to decline over the year, down 7.4 percent.

Geographic divisions

Additional price indexes are now available for the three divisions of the South. The all items CPI-U for the South Atlantic division rose 0.5 percent in August. The all items index for the East South Central and West South Central divisions also increased in August, up 0.3 percent and 0.2 percent, respectively.

The all items index advanced 1.5 percent in the South Atlantic division for the 12 months ending in August. Over the past year, the all items index rose 1.0 percent in the East South Central division and 0.4 percent in the West South Central division.

Table A. South region CPI-U 1-month and 12-month percent changes, all items index, not seasonally adjusted
Month20162017201820192020
1-month12-month1-month12-month1-month12-month1-month12-month1-month12-month

January

0.01.20.52.60.51.80.21.20.32.3

February

0.10.70.22.80.62.10.51.10.21.9

March

0.60.70.02.20.22.30.71.6-0.11.1

April

0.40.90.22.00.42.40.51.8-0.8-0.2

May

0.40.90.01.70.32.7-0.11.4-0.2-0.4

June

0.40.80.21.50.22.7-0.11.10.60.3

July

-0.20.7-0.21.60.02.90.31.40.60.6

August

0.11.00.41.9-0.12.4-0.11.40.41.1

September

0.21.40.72.40.01.70.01.3

October

0.11.5-0.22.00.22.10.21.3

November

-0.11.6-0.12.1-0.31.90.01.6

December

0.12.0-0.11.8-0.51.50.02.1

The Consumer Price Index for September 2020 is scheduled to be released on Tuesday, October 13, 2020.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Impact on August 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 August 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/covid19/effects-of-covid-19-pandemic-on-consumer-price-index.htm.


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-
Jun.
2020
Jul.
2020
Aug.
2020
Aug.
2019
Jun.
2020
Jul.
2020

Expenditure category

All Items

247.223248.619249.6391.11.00.4

All items (December 1977=100)

401.030403.295404.949---

Food and beverages

265.795264.373264.4583.7-0.50.0

Food

267.440266.084266.1363.9-0.50.0

Food at home

253.705250.534250.2814.9-1.3-0.1

Cereal and bakery products

291.619292.139291.1893.5-0.1-0.3

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

274.815265.055260.4347.2-5.2-1.7

Dairy and related products

228.151226.335231.6155.21.52.3

Fruits and vegetables

289.884288.508287.1301.2-1.0-0.5

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials

178.786177.456178.3855.8-0.20.5

Other food at home

221.096219.653220.9555.5-0.10.6

Food away from home

290.776292.021292.5152.60.60.2

Alcoholic beverages

242.664240.369240.8861.0-0.70.2

Housing

248.845249.635250.2732.00.60.3

Shelter

288.558289.271290.0722.40.50.3

Rent of primary residence

304.267305.309305.9663.10.60.2

Owners' equiv. rent of residences(1)

291.061292.061292.7252.60.60.2

Owners' equiv. rent of primary residence(1)

291.065292.066292.7292.60.60.2

Fuels and utilities

240.051240.888240.691-0.30.3-0.1

Household energy

191.329192.190191.407-1.30.0-0.4

Energy services

191.845192.625191.812-1.40.0-0.4

Electricity

190.648191.208190.939-1.20.2-0.1

Utility (piped) gas service

183.975186.156181.795-2.4-1.2-2.3

Household furnishings and operations

126.023126.993127.5672.11.20.5

Apparel

123.677122.242123.292-7.4-0.30.9

Transportation

193.989199.550201.553-4.03.91.0

Private transportation

194.101200.137202.515-3.14.31.2

New and used motor vehicles(2)

100.595102.133104.4241.53.82.2

New vehicles

152.551152.806152.499-0.40.0-0.2

New cars and trucks(2)(3)

103.866104.036103.824-0.40.0-0.2

New cars(3)

152.070152.137151.954-0.8-0.1-0.1

Used cars and trucks

138.443142.878151.2674.29.35.9

Motor fuel

168.104178.531177.321-17.45.5-0.7

Gasoline (all types)

166.921177.501176.306-17.45.6-0.7

Unleaded regular(3)

161.303171.837170.595-18.05.8-0.7

Unleaded midgrade(3)(4)

194.187204.942204.100-14.45.1-0.4

Unleaded premium(3)

196.945206.574205.964-13.34.6-0.3

Motor vehicle insurance(5)

848.411924.471929.647-2.39.60.6

Medical care

489.332491.186492.3673.60.60.2

Medical care commodities

351.561351.776350.592-1.9-0.3-0.3

Medical care services

535.983538.389540.3674.90.80.4

Professional services

372.352374.077374.3392.10.50.1

Recreation(2)

121.338120.971121.8891.30.50.8

Education and communication(2)

133.907134.999135.9362.21.50.7

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

1,361.0981,363.9011,371.8462.10.80.6

Other goods and services

439.636442.820443.4822.80.90.1

Commodity and service group

All Items

247.223248.619249.6391.11.00.4

Commodities

181.866182.854183.915-0.31.10.6

Commodities less food and beverages

144.096145.904147.270-2.72.20.9

Nondurables less food and beverages

182.176184.897185.024-6.51.60.1

Nondurables less food, beverages, and apparel

218.370223.410223.040-6.32.1-0.2

Durables

106.699107.789109.7161.32.81.8

Services

313.226315.038315.9952.00.90.3

Rent of shelter(1)

296.546297.272298.1112.40.50.3

Transportation services

335.516347.221347.612-3.53.60.1

Other services

351.047352.837354.8602.61.10.6

Special aggregate indexes

All items less medical care

234.090235.457236.4640.81.00.4

All items less food

243.872245.686246.8520.61.20.5

All items less shelter

232.191233.855234.9620.51.20.5

Commodities less food

146.975148.689150.039-2.62.10.9

Nondurables

221.810222.551222.658-1.00.40.0

Nondurables less food

185.416187.833187.983-6.01.40.1

Nondurables less food and apparel

219.457223.811223.523-5.61.9-0.1

Services less rent of shelter(1)

344.078347.300348.4341.51.30.3

Services less medical care services

293.366295.117295.9871.60.90.3

Energy

176.191181.487180.522-9.42.5-0.5

All items less energy

255.764256.779258.0031.90.90.5

All items less food and energy

254.164255.588257.0151.61.10.6

Commodities less food and energy commodities

144.501145.197146.8460.01.61.1

Energy commodities

171.552182.064180.870-17.15.4-0.7

Services less energy services

326.079328.000329.1402.20.90.3

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: Friday, September 11, 2020