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News Release Information

21-660-ATL
Tuesday, April 13, 2021

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

Consumer Price Index, South Region – March 2021

Prices in the South up 0.8 percent over the month and 2.9 percent over the year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for the South rose 0.8 percent in March, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. The energy index increased 6.9 percent over the month, while the index for all items less food and energy rose 0.4 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 advanced 2.9 percent for the 12 months ending March 2021. The index for all items less food and energy increased 1.9 percent over the past year, while the energy index jumped 14.3 percent, and the food index rose 3.3 percent. (See chart 1 and table 1.)

Food

The food index was unchanged in March. The food at home index edged up 0.2 percent in March, while the food away from home index declined 0.4 percent.  

The food index rose 3.3 percent for the 12 months ending in March, reflecting increases in the food at home (3.7 percent) and food away from home (2.8 percent) indexes.  

Energy

The energy index increased 6.9 percent in March, led by a 13.1-percent increase in the gasoline index. The electricity index rose 0.6 percent in March, while the utility (piped) gas service index rose 2.1 percent.

The energy index jumped 14.3 percent for the 12 months ending in March, reflecting a 26.9-percent sharp increase in the gasoline index. The electricity and utility (piped) gas service indexes also increased over the year, up 1.9 percent and 11.2 percent, respectively.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.4 percent in March. Several indexes increased over the month, most notably, new and used motor vehicles (1.5 percent) and shelter (0.3 percent).

The index for all items less food and energy increased 1.9 percent for the 12 months ending in March, led by a 2.1-percent increase in the shelter index. The new and used motor vehicles index increased 4.9 percent over the past year—reflecting an 8.8-percent increase in the used cars and trucks index. The medical care index also increased over the past year, up 2.7 percent.

Geographic divisions

Additional price indexes are now available for the three divisions of the South. Over the month, the all items CPI-U advanced 1.1 percent in the East South Central division. The all items index also increased in the West South Central and South Atlantic divisions in March, up 0.8 percent and 0.7 percent, respectively

Over the year, the all items index advanced 4.0 percent in the East South Central division. The all items index rose 2.9 percent in the South Atlantic division and 2.4 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
Month20172018201920202021
1-month12-month1-month12-month1-month12-month1-month12-month1-month12-month

January

0.52.60.51.80.21.20.32.30.51.6

February

0.22.80.62.10.51.10.21.90.52.0

March

0.02.20.22.30.71.6-0.11.10.82.9

April

0.22.00.42.40.51.8-0.8-0.2

May

0.01.70.32.7-0.11.4-0.2-0.4

June

0.21.50.22.7-0.11.10.60.3

July

-0.21.60.02.90.31.40.60.6

August

0.41.9-0.12.4-0.11.40.41.1

September

0.72.40.01.70.01.30.21.3

October

-0.22.00.22.10.21.30.11.3

November

-0.12.1-0.31.90.01.6-0.11.2

December

-0.11.8-0.51.50.02.10.21.4

The Consumer Price Index for April 2021 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, May 12, 2021 at 8:30 a.m. (ET).

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Impact on March 2021 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 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 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 measures 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 U.S. population and (2) a CPI for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) which covers approximately 29 percent of the total U.S. 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 6,000 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; for most of the CPI-U the reference base is 1982-84 equals 100. An increase of 7 percent from the reference base, for example, is shown as 107.000.  Alternatively, that relationship can also be expressed as the price of a base period market basket of goods and services rising from $100 to $107. For further details see the CPI home page on the Internet at www.bls.gov/cpi and the CPI section of the BLS Handbook of Methods available on the internet at www.bls.gov/opub/hom/cpi/.

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.
2021
Feb.
2021
Mar.
2021
Mar.
2020
Jan.
2021
Feb.
2021

Expenditure category

All Items

252.067253.386255.3192.91.30.8

All items (December 1977=100)

408.888411.027414.162---

Food and beverages

266.178267.034267.1883.20.40.1

Food

268.038268.872268.7963.30.30.0

Food at home

249.764251.276251.9023.70.90.2

Cereal and bakery products

290.597293.685292.4104.00.6-0.4

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

258.919260.973262.1995.01.30.5

Dairy and related products

231.092229.703229.1551.9-0.8-0.2

Fruits and vegetables

293.002296.994299.8525.82.31.0

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials

176.653176.053177.0552.90.20.6

Other food at home

218.937220.335220.2072.30.6-0.1

Food away from home

297.930297.797296.7092.8-0.4-0.4

Alcoholic beverages

240.168241.320244.5421.61.81.3

Housing

252.143252.607253.4922.20.50.4

Shelter

292.522293.177294.1352.10.60.3

Rent of primary residence

308.875308.989309.3712.20.20.1

Owners' equiv. rent of residences(1)

295.773296.515297.0832.50.40.2

Owners' equiv. rent of primary residence(1)

295.774296.514297.0832.50.40.2

Fuels and utilities

242.209243.008244.5453.21.00.6

Household energy

191.945192.635194.2313.21.20.8

Energy services

192.128192.647194.2673.11.10.8

Electricity

189.034189.473190.6861.90.90.6

Utility (piped) gas service

196.832197.847202.03011.22.62.1

Household furnishings and operations

127.819127.518127.8021.80.00.2

Apparel

124.118126.931127.426-4.02.70.4

Transportation

206.520209.818217.1086.65.13.5

Private transportation

207.214210.802218.6207.75.53.7

New and used motor vehicles(2)

105.194105.425106.9644.91.71.5

New vehicles

155.094155.593156.2652.00.80.4

New cars and trucks(2)(3)

105.596105.937106.3922.00.80.4

New cars(3)

153.652153.991154.7151.60.70.5

Used cars and trucks

150.478150.892154.6498.82.82.5

Motor fuel

194.099208.138235.36726.621.313.1

Gasoline (all types)

193.021207.043234.24026.921.413.1

Unleaded regular(3)

187.486201.594228.67127.922.013.4

Unleaded midgrade(3)(4)

220.045233.679259.69623.018.011.1

Unleaded premium(3)

218.975230.617256.15419.917.011.1

Motor vehicle insurance(5)

929.296936.937941.732-2.81.30.5

Medical care

493.592496.035497.1422.70.70.2

Medical care commodities

348.707349.056349.702-0.90.30.2

Medical care services

542.638545.787547.0503.50.80.2

Professional services

379.388382.348383.2084.21.00.2

Recreation(2)

123.295123.795124.0321.40.60.2

Education and communication(2)

136.575136.293135.8621.5-0.5-0.3

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

1,376.8801,378.1091,362.7430.2-1.0-1.1

Other goods and services

447.634450.650452.2233.01.00.3

Commodity and service group

All Items

252.067253.386255.3192.91.30.8

Commodities

186.048187.809190.5904.22.41.5

Commodities less food and beverages

149.460151.469155.0724.83.82.4

Nondurables less food and beverages

189.849194.771202.1076.26.53.8

Nondurables less food, beverages, and apparel

230.151236.338247.5609.57.64.7

Durables

110.160110.284111.3603.41.11.0

Services

318.698319.519320.5052.10.60.3

Rent of shelter(1)

300.597301.368302.3622.20.60.3

Transportation services

351.566351.827353.713-2.30.60.5

Other services

358.365359.111359.3752.30.30.1

Special aggregate indexes

All items less medical care

238.940240.196242.1612.91.30.8

All items less food

249.358250.749252.9852.81.50.9

All items less shelter

237.389238.967241.2803.21.61.0

Commodities less food

152.166154.160157.7664.73.72.3

Nondurables

225.994228.969232.8674.53.01.7

Nondurables less food

192.468197.156204.2325.96.13.6

Nondurables less food and apparel

229.893235.596246.0428.77.04.4

Services less rent of shelter(1)

351.495352.404353.4132.00.50.3

Services less medical care services

298.701299.334300.2921.90.50.3

Energy

188.611195.501208.99614.310.86.9

All items less energy

259.880260.649261.4382.10.60.3

All items less food and energy

258.890259.650260.5891.90.70.4

Commodities less food and energy commodities

147.250147.830148.7041.41.00.6

Energy commodities

197.867212.077239.26326.320.912.8

Services less energy services

332.092332.945333.8672.00.50.3

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: Tuesday, April 13, 2021