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News Release Information

21-660-ATL
Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Contacts

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
Month 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
1-month 12-month 1-month 12-month 1-month 12-month 1-month 12-month 1-month 12-month

January

0.5 2.6 0.5 1.8 0.2 1.2 0.3 2.3 0.5 1.6

February

0.2 2.8 0.6 2.1 0.5 1.1 0.2 1.9 0.5 2.0

March

0.0 2.2 0.2 2.3 0.7 1.6 -0.1 1.1 0.8 2.9

April

0.2 2.0 0.4 2.4 0.5 1.8 -0.8 -0.2

May

0.0 1.7 0.3 2.7 -0.1 1.4 -0.2 -0.4

June

0.2 1.5 0.2 2.7 -0.1 1.1 0.6 0.3

July

-0.2 1.6 0.0 2.9 0.3 1.4 0.6 0.6

August

0.4 1.9 -0.1 2.4 -0.1 1.4 0.4 1.1

September

0.7 2.4 0.0 1.7 0.0 1.3 0.2 1.3

October

-0.2 2.0 0.2 2.1 0.2 1.3 0.1 1.3

November

-0.1 2.1 -0.3 1.9 0.0 1.6 -0.1 1.2

December

-0.1 1.8 -0.5 1.5 0.0 2.1 0.2 1.4

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

Indexes Percent change from-
Jan.
2021
Feb.
2021
Mar.
2021
Mar.
2020
Jan.
2021
Feb.
2021

Expenditure category

All Items

252.067 253.386 255.319 2.9 1.3 0.8

All items (December 1977=100)

408.888 411.027 414.162 - - -

Food and beverages

266.178 267.034 267.188 3.2 0.4 0.1

Food

268.038 268.872 268.796 3.3 0.3 0.0

Food at home

249.764 251.276 251.902 3.7 0.9 0.2

Cereal and bakery products

290.597 293.685 292.410 4.0 0.6 -0.4

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

258.919 260.973 262.199 5.0 1.3 0.5

Dairy and related products

231.092 229.703 229.155 1.9 -0.8 -0.2

Fruits and vegetables

293.002 296.994 299.852 5.8 2.3 1.0

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials

176.653 176.053 177.055 2.9 0.2 0.6

Other food at home

218.937 220.335 220.207 2.3 0.6 -0.1

Food away from home

297.930 297.797 296.709 2.8 -0.4 -0.4

Alcoholic beverages

240.168 241.320 244.542 1.6 1.8 1.3

Housing

252.143 252.607 253.492 2.2 0.5 0.4

Shelter

292.522 293.177 294.135 2.1 0.6 0.3

Rent of primary residence

308.875 308.989 309.371 2.2 0.2 0.1

Owners' equiv. rent of residences(1)

295.773 296.515 297.083 2.5 0.4 0.2

Owners' equiv. rent of primary residence(1)

295.774 296.514 297.083 2.5 0.4 0.2

Fuels and utilities

242.209 243.008 244.545 3.2 1.0 0.6

Household energy

191.945 192.635 194.231 3.2 1.2 0.8

Energy services

192.128 192.647 194.267 3.1 1.1 0.8

Electricity

189.034 189.473 190.686 1.9 0.9 0.6

Utility (piped) gas service

196.832 197.847 202.030 11.2 2.6 2.1

Household furnishings and operations

127.819 127.518 127.802 1.8 0.0 0.2

Apparel

124.118 126.931 127.426 -4.0 2.7 0.4

Transportation

206.520 209.818 217.108 6.6 5.1 3.5

Private transportation

207.214 210.802 218.620 7.7 5.5 3.7

New and used motor vehicles(2)

105.194 105.425 106.964 4.9 1.7 1.5

New vehicles

155.094 155.593 156.265 2.0 0.8 0.4

New cars and trucks(2)(3)

105.596 105.937 106.392 2.0 0.8 0.4

New cars(3)

153.652 153.991 154.715 1.6 0.7 0.5

Used cars and trucks

150.478 150.892 154.649 8.8 2.8 2.5

Motor fuel

194.099 208.138 235.367 26.6 21.3 13.1

Gasoline (all types)

193.021 207.043 234.240 26.9 21.4 13.1

Unleaded regular(3)

187.486 201.594 228.671 27.9 22.0 13.4

Unleaded midgrade(3)(4)

220.045 233.679 259.696 23.0 18.0 11.1

Unleaded premium(3)

218.975 230.617 256.154 19.9 17.0 11.1

Motor vehicle insurance(5)

929.296 936.937 941.732 -2.8 1.3 0.5

Medical care

493.592 496.035 497.142 2.7 0.7 0.2

Medical care commodities

348.707 349.056 349.702 -0.9 0.3 0.2

Medical care services

542.638 545.787 547.050 3.5 0.8 0.2

Professional services

379.388 382.348 383.208 4.2 1.0 0.2

Recreation(2)

123.295 123.795 124.032 1.4 0.6 0.2

Education and communication(2)

136.575 136.293 135.862 1.5 -0.5 -0.3

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

1,376.880 1,378.109 1,362.743 0.2 -1.0 -1.1

Other goods and services

447.634 450.650 452.223 3.0 1.0 0.3

Commodity and service group

All Items

252.067 253.386 255.319 2.9 1.3 0.8

Commodities

186.048 187.809 190.590 4.2 2.4 1.5

Commodities less food and beverages

149.460 151.469 155.072 4.8 3.8 2.4

Nondurables less food and beverages

189.849 194.771 202.107 6.2 6.5 3.8

Nondurables less food, beverages, and apparel

230.151 236.338 247.560 9.5 7.6 4.7

Durables

110.160 110.284 111.360 3.4 1.1 1.0

Services

318.698 319.519 320.505 2.1 0.6 0.3

Rent of shelter(1)

300.597 301.368 302.362 2.2 0.6 0.3

Transportation services

351.566 351.827 353.713 -2.3 0.6 0.5

Other services

358.365 359.111 359.375 2.3 0.3 0.1

Special aggregate indexes

All items less medical care

238.940 240.196 242.161 2.9 1.3 0.8

All items less food

249.358 250.749 252.985 2.8 1.5 0.9

All items less shelter

237.389 238.967 241.280 3.2 1.6 1.0

Commodities less food

152.166 154.160 157.766 4.7 3.7 2.3

Nondurables

225.994 228.969 232.867 4.5 3.0 1.7

Nondurables less food

192.468 197.156 204.232 5.9 6.1 3.6

Nondurables less food and apparel

229.893 235.596 246.042 8.7 7.0 4.4

Services less rent of shelter(1)

351.495 352.404 353.413 2.0 0.5 0.3

Services less medical care services

298.701 299.334 300.292 1.9 0.5 0.3

Energy

188.611 195.501 208.996 14.3 10.8 6.9

All items less energy

259.880 260.649 261.438 2.1 0.6 0.3

All items less food and energy

258.890 259.650 260.589 1.9 0.7 0.4

Commodities less food and energy commodities

147.250 147.830 148.704 1.4 1.0 0.6

Energy commodities

197.867 212.077 239.263 26.3 20.9 12.8

Services less energy services

332.092 332.945 333.867 2.0 0.5 0.3

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