News Release Information
Friday, April 10, 2020
Consumer Price Index for Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater – March 2020
Area prices up 2.1 percent over the year
The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater rose 0.2 percent from January to March, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Janet S. Rankin noted that the index for all items less food and energy edged up 0.2 percent since January. The food index rose 0.8 percent over the bi-monthly period, while the energy index fell 2.1 percent. (Data in this report are not seasonally adjusted. Accordingly, bi-monthly changes may reflect the impact of seasonal influences.)
The all items CPI-U increased 2.1 percent from March 2019 to March 2020. The index for all items less food and energy increased 2.4 percent over the past 12 months, while the food index advanced 3.2 percent. The energy index declined 3.6 percent over the past year. (See table 1.)
The food index rose 0.8 percent from January to March, led by a 1.2-percent increase in the food at home index. The food away from home index edged up 0.3 percent over the bi-monthly period.
The food index advanced 3.2 percent for the 12 months ending March, reflecting increases in the food away from home (4.4 percent) and food at home (2.2 percent) indexes.
The energy index fell 2.1 percent from January to March, reflecting a 6.2-percent decline in the gasoline index. The electricity index increased 2.1 percent since January, while the utility (piped) gas service index inched up 0.1 percent over the bi-monthly period.
The energy index declined 3.6 percent for the 12 months ending March, due in part to an 8.6-percent drop in the gasoline index. The electricity and the utility (piped) gas service indexes increased over the past year, up 1.4 percent and 3.0 percent, respectively.
All items less food and energy
The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.2 percent from January to March. Several indexes increased since January, most notably, shelter (1.0 percent). In contrast, education and communication (-2.0 percent), medical care (-1.0 percent), and household furnishings and operations (-1.4 percent) were among the indexes to decline over the bi-monthly period.
Since March 2019, the index for all items less food and energy advanced 2.4 percent, led by increases in the shelter and medical care indexes, up 4.0 and 3.6 percent, respectively. In contrast, the apparel index fell 13.5 percent over the past year.
The Consumer Price Index for April 2020 is scheduled to be released on Tuesday, May 12, 2020.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Impact on March 2020 Consumer Price Index Data
The Consumer Price Index (CPI) program suspended data collection by personal visit on March 16, 2020. When possible, data normally collected by personal visit were collected either online or by phone. Additionally, data collection in March 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 being 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. Specific information about the impact of COVID-19 on March 2020 CPI data collection is available at www.bls.gov/cpi/additional-resources/covid19-statement-march-2020.htm
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 Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL Core Based Statistical Area includes Hernando, Hillsborough, Pasco, and Pinellas Counties.
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-|
Food and beverages
Food at home
Cereals 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
Owners' equiv. rent of primary residence
Fuels and utilities
Utility (piped) gas service
Household furnishings and operations
New and used motor vehicles(1)
Used cars and trucks
Gasoline (all types)
Motor vehicle insurance
Education and communication(1)
Tuition, other school fees, and child care
Other goods and services
Commodity and service group
Commodities less food & beverages
Nondurables less food & beverages
Special aggregate indexes
All items less medical care
All items less shelter
Commodities less food
Nondurables less food
Services less rent of shelter
Services less medical care services
All items less energy
All items less food and energy
- Data not available.
Last Modified Date: Friday, April 10, 2020