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News Release Information

20-435-ATL
Wednesday, March 11, 2020

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

Consumer Price Index, South Region – February 2020

Prices in the South up 0.2 percent over the month and 1.9 percent over the year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for the South increased 0.2 percent in February, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Since January, the all items less food and energy index rose 0.4 percent and the food index edged up 0.2 percent. In contrast, the energy index declined 2.9 percent 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 increased 1.9 percent since February 2019. The all items less food and energy index rose 1.9 percent over the past year. The food and the energy indexes also increased over the year, up 1.4 percent and 1.8 percent, respectively. (See chart 1 and table 1.)

Food

The food index rose 0.2 percent in February, reflecting over-the-month increases in the food at home and the food away from home indexes, up 0.2 percent each.

The food index rose 1.4 percent for the 12 months ending February, led by a 2.3-percent increase in the food away from home index. The food at home index rose 0.6 percent over the last 12 months.  

Energy

The energy index fell 2.9 percent in February, led by a 5.5-percent drop in the gasoline index. The utility (piped) gas service index also declined in February, down 2.5 percent, while the electricity index was unchanged.    

The energy index rose 1.8 percent over the past 12 months, reflecting a 4.1-percent increase in the gasoline index. Since February 2019, the electricity and the utility (piped) gas service indexes declined, down 0.4 percent and 2.1 percent, respectively.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.4 percent in February. Several indexes increased over the month, most notably apparel (3.5 percent), shelter (0.3 percent), and new and used motor vehicles (0.4 percent).  

Since February 2019, the index for all items less food and energy advanced 1.9 percent, reflecting increases in the shelter (3.0 percent) and the medical care services (4.1 percent) indexes.

Geographic divisions

Additional price indexes are now available for the three divisions of the South. Over the month, the all items CPI-U increased in the South Atlantic and West South Central divisions, up 0.2 percent and 0.1 percent, respectively. The all items index in the East South Central division was unchanged in February.  

Over the year, the all items index advanced 2.2 percent in the South Atlantic division. The all items index rose 1.6 percent in the West South Central division and 1.0 percent in the East 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
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

February

0.2 2.8 0.6 2.1 0.5 1.1 0.2 1.9

March

0.0 2.2 0.2 2.3 0.7 1.6

April

0.2 2.0 0.4 2.4 0.5 1.8

May

0.0 1.7 0.3 2.7 -0.1 1.4

June

0.2 1.5 0.2 2.7 -0.1 1.1

July

-0.2 1.6 0.0 2.9 0.3 1.4

August

0.4 1.9 -0.1 2.4 -0.1 1.4

September

0.7 2.4 0.0 1.7 0.0 1.3

October

-0.2 2.0 0.2 2.1 0.2 1.3

November

-0.1 2.1 -0.3 1.9 0.0 1.6

December

-0.1 1.8 -0.5 1.5 0.0 2.1

The Consumer Price Index for March 2020 is scheduled to be released on Friday, April 10, 2020.


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-
Dec.
2019
Jan.
2020
Feb.
2020
Feb.
2019
Dec.
2019
Jan.
2020

Expenditure category

All Items

247.289 248.005 248.412 1.9 0.5 0.2

All items (December 1977=100)

401.138 402.298 402.958 - - -

Food and beverages

256.354 257.296 257.795 1.4 0.6 0.2

Food

257.576 258.570 259.024 1.4 0.6 0.2

Food at home

239.527 240.809 241.229 0.6 0.7 0.2

Cereal and bakery products

280.214 280.071 281.414 0.4 0.4 0.5

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

248.173 247.533 247.291 1.9 -0.4 -0.1

Dairy and related products

222.108 222.527 223.818 1.9 0.8 0.6

Fruits and vegetables

281.310 286.252 283.229 -2.9 0.7 -1.1

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials

167.472 170.384 170.485 0.3 1.8 0.1

Other food at home

210.370 210.989 213.100 1.5 1.3 1.0

Food away from home

287.006 287.598 288.107 2.3 0.4 0.2

Alcoholic beverages

238.943 239.176 240.292 1.6 0.6 0.5

Housing

246.438 247.349 247.815 2.6 0.6 0.2

Shelter

285.654 286.674 287.476 3.0 0.6 0.3

Rent of primary residence

299.871 300.887 301.558 3.6 0.6 0.2

Owners' equiv. rent of residences(1)

288.027 288.886 289.347 3.1 0.5 0.2

Owners' equiv. rent of primary residence(1)

288.040 288.902 289.360 3.1 0.5 0.2

Fuels and utilities

237.938 238.495 237.961 0.2 0.0 -0.2

Household energy

190.134 190.264 189.566 -0.6 -0.3 -0.4

Energy services

190.225 190.381 189.692 -0.6 -0.3 -0.4

Electricity

188.048 188.198 188.118 -0.4 0.0 0.0

Utility (piped) gas service

188.995 189.182 184.500 -2.1 -2.4 -2.5

Household furnishings and operations

125.034 125.774 125.751 1.7 0.6 0.0

Apparel

129.315 128.299 132.851 -2.3 2.7 3.5

Transportation

207.452 207.755 206.599 1.4 -0.4 -0.6

Private transportation

206.548 207.100 205.275 1.3 -0.6 -0.9

New and used motor vehicles(2)

100.868 101.036 101.455 -0.5 0.6 0.4

New vehicles

152.124 153.955 154.110 0.2 1.3 0.1

New cars and trucks(2)(3)

103.564 104.814 104.926 0.2 1.3 0.1

New cars(3)

151.604 153.055 153.511 0.0 1.3 0.3

Used cars and trucks

138.559 137.395 138.769 -1.5 0.2 1.0

Motor fuel

210.672 211.955 200.417 4.0 -4.9 -5.4

Gasoline (all types)

209.311 210.572 199.037 4.1 -4.9 -5.5

Unleaded regular(3)

203.729 204.955 193.413 4.1 -5.1 -5.6

Unleaded midgrade(3)(4)

234.729 236.246 224.535 4.0 -4.3 -5.0

Unleaded premium(3)

233.899 235.303 225.289 4.2 -3.7 -4.3

Motor vehicle insurance(5)

961.078 962.096 965.423 0.8 0.5 0.3

Medical care

479.724 481.849 482.705 3.0 0.6 0.2

Medical care commodities

352.266 353.095 353.282 -1.4 0.3 0.1

Medical care services

522.899 525.462 526.543 4.1 0.7 0.2

Professional services

366.873 367.264 367.522 0.0 0.2 0.1

Recreation(2)

121.445 121.506 122.065 0.8 0.5 0.5

Education and communication(2)

133.445 133.885 133.869 1.2 0.3 0.0

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

1,355.934 1,358.483 1,358.635 2.6 0.2 0.0

Other goods and services

433.843 436.000 437.594 1.7 0.9 0.4

Commodity and service group

All Items

247.289 248.005 248.412 1.9 0.5 0.2

Commodities

183.096 183.681 183.639 0.7 0.3 0.0

Commodities less food and beverages

149.092 149.525 149.291 0.3 0.1 -0.2

Nondurables less food and beverages

194.993 195.344 194.299 1.1 -0.4 -0.5

Nondurables less food, beverages, and apparel

235.394 236.495 232.392 2.2 -1.3 -1.7

Durables

106.677 107.109 107.364 -0.7 0.6 0.2

Services

312.040 312.883 313.766 2.6 0.6 0.3

Rent of shelter(1)

293.445 294.537 295.355 3.1 0.7 0.3

Transportation services

362.239 360.144 364.876 1.7 0.7 1.3

Other services

349.533 350.520 350.852 1.5 0.4 0.1

Special aggregate indexes

All items less medical care

234.633 235.275 235.658 1.8 0.4 0.2

All items less food

245.451 246.123 246.523 1.9 0.4 0.2

All items less shelter

233.397 233.998 234.255 1.3 0.4 0.1

Commodities less food

151.776 152.205 152.003 0.3 0.1 -0.1

Nondurables

223.988 224.621 224.314 1.3 0.1 -0.1

Nondurables less food

197.223 197.567 196.652 1.2 -0.3 -0.5

Nondurables less food and apparel

234.527 235.545 231.932 2.1 -1.1 -1.5

Services less rent of shelter(1)

345.237 345.797 346.791 2.1 0.5 0.3

Services less medical care services

293.114 293.816 294.677 2.4 0.5 0.3

Energy

195.400 196.064 190.334 1.8 -2.6 -2.9

All items less energy

253.918 254.643 255.665 1.8 0.7 0.4

All items less food and energy

253.692 254.372 255.494 1.9 0.7 0.4

Commodities less food and energy commodities

144.884 145.218 146.333 -0.5 1.0 0.8

Energy commodities

214.464 215.720 204.179 3.8 -4.8 -5.3

Services less energy services

324.937 325.851 326.898 2.8 0.6 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: Wednesday, March 11, 2020