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News Release Information

20-1952-ATL
Tuesday, October 13, 2020

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

Consumer Price Index, South Region – September 2020

Prices in the South up 0.2 percent over the month and 1.3 percent over the year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for the South rose 0.2 percent in September, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. The index for all item less food and energy edged up 0.2 percent from August to September, while the energy index increased 1.4 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 rose 1.3 percent for the 12 months ending September 2020. The index for all items less food and energy increased 1.8 percent over the past year, while the food index advanced 3.7 percent. In contrast, the energy index declined 7.7 percent over the past 12 months. (See chart 1 and table 1.)

Food

The food index was unchanged in September. The food at home index declined 0.4 percent over the month, while the food away from home index rose 0.5 percent.    

The food index advanced 3.7 percent for the 12 months ending in September, reflecting increases in the food at home (4.3 percent) and food away from home (3.0 percent) indexes.  

Energy

The energy index rose 1.4 percent in September, reflecting increases in the gasoline (1.8 percent), electricity (0.8 percent), and the utility (piped) gas service (3.6 percent) indexes.

The energy index declined 7.7 percent for the 12 months ending in September, led by a 15.0-percent drop in the gasoline index. The electricity index also declined over the past year, down 0.9 percent, while the utility (piped) gas service index rose 3.8 percent.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy edged up 0.2 percent in September. Several indexes increased over the month, most notably used cars and trucks, and apparel, up 2.0 percent each. In contrast, motor vehicle insurance declined 3.1 percent in September.

The index for all items less food and energy rose 1.8 percent for the 12 months ending in September. The shelter index increased 2.2 percent over the 12-month span, and the medical care index rose 3.5 percent—reflecting a 4.5 percent increase in the medical care services index. Over the past year, the used cars and trucks index advanced 10.3 percent. Apparel was among the indexes to decline over the year, down 6.3 percent.

Geographic divisions

Additional price indexes are now available for the three divisions of the South. Over the month, the all items CPI-U rose 0.3 percent in the West South Central division and 0.2 percent in the South Atlantic division. The all items index in the East South Central division was unchanged in September.  

The all items index advanced 1.8 percent in the South Atlantic division for the 12 months ending in September. Over the past year, the all items index rose 1.2 percent in the East South Central division and 0.6 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
Month 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
1-month 12-month 1-month 12-month 1-month 12-month 1-month 12-month 1-month 12-month

January

0.0 1.2 0.5 2.6 0.5 1.8 0.2 1.2 0.3 2.3

February

0.1 0.7 0.2 2.8 0.6 2.1 0.5 1.1 0.2 1.9

March

0.6 0.7 0.0 2.2 0.2 2.3 0.7 1.6 -0.1 1.1

April

0.4 0.9 0.2 2.0 0.4 2.4 0.5 1.8 -0.8 -0.2

May

0.4 0.9 0.0 1.7 0.3 2.7 -0.1 1.4 -0.2 -0.4

June

0.4 0.8 0.2 1.5 0.2 2.7 -0.1 1.1 0.6 0.3

July

-0.2 0.7 -0.2 1.6 0.0 2.9 0.3 1.4 0.6 0.6

August

0.1 1.0 0.4 1.9 -0.1 2.4 -0.1 1.4 0.4 1.1

September

0.2 1.4 0.7 2.4 0.0 1.7 0.0 1.3 0.2 1.3

October

0.1 1.5 -0.2 2.0 0.2 2.1 0.2 1.3

November

-0.1 1.6 -0.1 2.1 -0.3 1.9 0.0 1.6

December

0.1 2.0 -0.1 1.8 -0.5 1.5 0.0 2.1

The Consumer Price Index for October 2020 is scheduled to be released on Thursday, November 12, 2020.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Impact on September 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 September 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

Indexes Percent change from-
Jul.
2020
Aug.
2020
Sep.
2020
Sep.
2019
Jul.
2020
Aug.
2020

Expenditure category

All Items

248.619 249.639 250.193 1.3 0.6 0.2

All items (December 1977=100)

403.295 404.949 405.847 - - -

Food and beverages

264.373 264.458 264.368 3.6 0.0 0.0

Food

266.084 266.136 266.052 3.7 0.0 0.0

Food at home

250.534 250.281 249.182 4.3 -0.5 -0.4

Cereal and bakery products

292.139 291.189 290.255 3.1 -0.6 -0.3

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

265.055 260.434 258.581 6.4 -2.4 -0.7

Dairy and related products

226.335 231.615 231.513 3.9 2.3 0.0

Fruits and vegetables

288.508 287.130 287.116 1.8 -0.5 0.0

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials

177.456 178.385 177.118 4.9 -0.2 -0.7

Other food at home

219.653 220.955 219.764 4.6 0.1 -0.5

Food away from home

292.021 292.515 293.894 3.0 0.6 0.5

Alcoholic beverages

240.369 240.886 240.727 1.2 0.1 -0.1

Housing

249.635 250.273 250.701 2.0 0.4 0.2

Shelter

289.271 290.072 290.417 2.2 0.4 0.1

Rent of primary residence

305.309 305.966 306.246 2.9 0.3 0.1

Owners' equiv. rent of residences(1)

292.061 292.725 293.143 2.5 0.4 0.1

Owners' equiv. rent of primary residence(1)

292.066 292.729 293.141 2.5 0.4 0.1

Fuels and utilities

240.888 240.691 242.841 0.5 0.8 0.9

Household energy

192.190 191.407 193.607 -0.4 0.7 1.1

Energy services

192.625 191.812 194.100 -0.3 0.8 1.2

Electricity

191.208 190.939 192.547 -0.9 0.7 0.8

Utility (piped) gas service

186.156 181.795 188.411 3.8 1.2 3.6

Household furnishings and operations

126.993 127.567 127.310 2.1 0.2 -0.2

Apparel

122.242 123.292 125.739 -6.3 2.9 2.0

Transportation

199.550 201.553 202.301 -2.7 1.4 0.4

Private transportation

200.137 202.515 203.361 -1.7 1.6 0.4

New and used motor vehicles(2)

102.133 104.424 105.359 4.0 3.2 0.9

New vehicles

152.806 152.499 152.647 0.0 -0.1 0.1

New cars and trucks(2)(3)

104.036 103.824 103.927 0.0 -0.1 0.1

New cars(3)

152.137 151.954 152.146 -0.2 0.0 0.1

Used cars and trucks

142.878 151.267 154.324 10.3 8.0 2.0

Motor fuel

178.531 177.321 180.363 -15.0 1.0 1.7

Gasoline (all types)

177.501 176.306 179.410 -15.0 1.1 1.8

Unleaded regular(3)

171.837 170.595 173.733 -15.4 1.1 1.8

Unleaded midgrade(3)(4)

204.942 204.100 207.647 -12.2 1.3 1.7

Unleaded premium(3)

206.574 205.964 208.219 -11.6 0.8 1.1

Motor vehicle insurance(5)

924.471 929.647 901.172 -5.3 -2.5 -3.1

Medical care

491.186 492.367 492.009 3.5 0.2 -0.1

Medical care commodities

351.776 350.592 350.093 -1.1 -0.5 -0.1

Medical care services

538.389 540.367 540.055 4.5 0.3 -0.1

Professional services

374.077 374.339 374.947 2.2 0.2 0.2

Recreation(2)

120.971 121.889 122.694 1.6 1.4 0.7

Education and communication(2)

134.999 135.936 135.932 2.3 0.7 0.0

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

1,363.901 1,371.846 1,372.016 1.7 0.6 0.0

Other goods and services

442.820 443.482 445.382 3.2 0.6 0.4

Commodity and service group

All Items

248.619 249.639 250.193 1.3 0.6 0.2

Commodities

182.854 183.915 184.581 0.4 0.9 0.4

Commodities less food and beverages

145.904 147.270 148.177 -1.5 1.6 0.6

Nondurables less food and beverages

184.897 185.024 186.660 -5.4 1.0 0.9

Nondurables less food, beverages, and apparel

223.410 223.040 224.279 -5.1 0.4 0.6

Durables

107.789 109.716 110.107 2.7 2.2 0.4

Services

315.038 315.995 316.419 1.9 0.4 0.1

Rent of shelter(1)

297.272 298.111 298.468 2.3 0.4 0.1

Transportation services

347.221 347.612 343.429 -4.7 -1.1 -1.2

Other services

352.837 354.860 356.738 3.0 1.1 0.5

Special aggregate indexes

All items less medical care

235.457 236.464 237.060 1.1 0.7 0.3

All items less food

245.686 246.852 247.502 1.0 0.7 0.3

All items less shelter

233.855 234.962 235.597 0.9 0.7 0.3

Commodities less food

148.689 150.039 150.923 -1.4 1.5 0.6

Nondurables

222.551 222.658 223.468 -0.6 0.4 0.4

Nondurables less food

187.833 187.983 189.510 -4.9 0.9 0.8

Nondurables less food and apparel

223.811 223.523 224.629 -4.6 0.4 0.5

Services less rent of shelter(1)

347.300 348.434 348.956 1.5 0.5 0.1

Services less medical care services

295.117 295.987 296.465 1.6 0.5 0.2

Energy

181.487 180.522 183.065 -7.7 0.9 1.4

All items less energy

256.779 258.003 258.361 2.1 0.6 0.1

All items less food and energy

255.588 257.015 257.450 1.8 0.7 0.2

Commodities less food and energy commodities

145.197 146.846 147.487 1.0 1.6 0.4

Energy commodities

182.064 180.870 183.862 -14.8 1.0 1.7

Services less energy services

328.000 329.140 329.373 2.1 0.4 0.1

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, October 13, 2020