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Friday, April 17, 2015

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Consumer Price Index, South Region – March 2015

Prices in the South up 0.6 percent in March; down 0.3 percent over the year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for the South increased 0.6 percent in March, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. The all items less food and energy index advanced 0.5 percent in March, as price increases were noted primarily for apparel and shelter. The energy index rose 2.8 percent, while the food index edged down 0.2 percent over the month. (Data in this report are not seasonally adjusted. Accordingly, month-to-month changes may reflect the impact of seasonal influences.)

Over the last 12 months, the all items CPI-U declined 0.3 percent. The index for all items less food and energy advanced 1.7 percent over the year as a result of a broad-based increase in several indexes. (See chart 1.)

 Chart 1. Over-the-year percent change in CPI-U, South Region, March 2012-March 2015

Food

The food index edged down 0.2 percent in March, as prices for food at home declined 0.5 percent. Prices for food away from home were up 0.2 percent over the month.

Since March 2014, the food index advanced 2.5 percent, reflecting price increases for both food away from home and food at home, up 3.2 and 1.9 percent, respectively.

Energy

The energy index rose 2.8 percent over the month, led by a 7.2-percent price increase for motor fuel. Prices for electricity and utility (piped) gas service declined in March, down 0.9 and 2.9 percent, respectively.

Over the year, energy prices fell 19.1 percent, reflecting a 31.3-percent drop in motor fuel prices. Utility (piped) gas service prices declined 13.1 percent since March 2014 and electricity prices edged down 0.3 percent.

All items less food and energy

The all items less food and energy index increased 0.5 percent in March, led by a seasonal increase in prices for apparel (4.9 percent) and a 0.4 percent rise in the shelter index.

Since March 2014, the all items less food and energy index advanced 1.7 percent, led by price increases in several categories, most notabley shelter (2.9 percent), medical care (1.9 percent), and other goods and services (1.6 percent).


Table A. South region CPI-U 1-month and 12-month percent changes, all items index, not seasonally adjusted
Month 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
1-month 12-month 1-month 12-month 1-month 12-month 1-month 12-month 1-month 12-month

January

0.5 1.7 0.5 3.2 0.4 1.6 0.3 1.7 -0.7 -0.4

February

0.5 2.2 0.6 3.3 0.9 1.8 0.4 1.2 0.5 -0.3

March

1.2 2.8 0.7 2.8 0.3 1.5 0.6 1.5 0.6 -0.3

April

0.7 3.4 0.4 2.5 -0.2 0.9 0.5 2.3    

May

0.5 4.0 -0.4 1.6 0.0 1.3 0.2 2.4    

June

-0.2 3.8 -0.2 1.7 0.4 1.9 0.2 2.3    

July

0.2 4.1 -0.2 1.4 0.2 2.2 -0.1 2.0    

August

0.4 4.3 0.6 1.6 0.1 1.7 -0.2 1.7    

September

0.0 4.1 0.5 2.1 0.0 1.3 0.1 1.7    

October

-0.2 3.7 -0.2 2.1 -0.2 1.3 -0.3 1.6    

November

0.0 3.8 -0.5 1.6 -0.3 1.5 -0.6 1.3    

December

-0.2 3.3 -0.1 1.7 0.1 1.8 -0.6 0.6    

The Consumer Price Index for April 2015 is scheduled to be released on Friday, May 22, 2015 at 8:30 a.m. (ET).


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 89 percent of the total population and (2) a CPI for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) which covers 28 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 87 urban areas across the country from about 6,000 housing units and approximately 24,000 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/homch17_a.htm.

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.
2015
Feb.
2015
Mar.
2015
Mar.
2014
Jan.
2015
Feb.
2015

Expenditure category

 
 

All Items

226.855 227.944 229.337 -0.3 1.1 0.6

All items (December 1977=100)

367.990 369.757 372.017 - - -

Food and beverages

244.810 245.444 245.020 2.4 0.1 -0.2

Food

246.280 246.924 246.392 2.5 0.0 -0.2

Food at home

241.728 242.165 240.999 1.9 -0.3 -0.5

Food away from home

255.943 256.901 257.298 3.2 0.5 0.2

Alcoholic beverages

223.687 224.177 225.250 1.2 0.7 0.5

Housing

218.993 219.385 219.868 2.0 0.4 0.2

Shelter

247.197 247.887 248.935 2.9 0.7 0.4

Rent of primary residence (1)

253.373 254.203 255.041 3.8 0.7 0.3

Owners' equiv. rent of residences (1) (2)

249.880 250.331 251.109 2.8 0.5 0.3

Owners' equiv. rent of primary residence (1) (2)

249.872 250.323 251.099 2.8 0.5 0.3

Fuels and utilities

230.105 229.614 227.759 -0.9 -1.0 -0.8

Household energy

189.693 188.775 186.675 -2.5 -1.6 -1.1

Energy services (1)

189.744 188.804 186.706 -2.1 -1.6 -1.1

Electricity (1)

187.707 187.678 186.078 -0.3 -0.9 -0.9

Utility (piped) gas service (1)

187.295 180.506 175.343 -13.1 -6.4 -2.9

Household furnishings and operations

122.116 122.089 122.225 -0.6 0.1 0.1

Apparel

129.018 130.884 137.271 -1.1 6.4 4.9

Transportation

190.415 193.490 197.631 -9.6 3.8 2.1

Private transportation

188.164 191.291 195.573 -9.9 3.9 2.2

New and used motor vehicles (3)

101.987 102.428 103.287 0.1 1.3 0.8

New vehicles

152.980 153.333 153.378 0.5 0.3 0.0

New cars and trucks (3) (4)

104.137 104.378 104.409 0.5 0.3 0.0

New cars (4)

153.920 154.467 154.853 -0.1 0.6 0.2

Used cars and trucks

141.051 143.214 146.965 -0.6 4.2 2.6

Motor fuel

183.151 192.244 206.124 -31.3 12.5 7.2

Gasoline (all types)

181.308 190.667 204.709 -31.4 12.9 7.4

Unleaded regular (4)

177.411 187.033 201.386 -32.0 13.5 7.7

Unleaded midgrade (4) (5)

198.410 206.808 219.436 -29.7 10.6 6.1

Unleaded premium (4)

195.944 203.351 215.445 -28.1 10.0 5.9

Medical care

417.671 420.167 421.612 1.9 0.9 0.3

Medical care commodities

333.341 336.832 337.267 3.2 1.2 0.1

Medical care services

446.245 448.262 450.117 1.5 0.9 0.4

Professional services

354.700 352.968 354.899 1.2 0.1 0.5

Recreation (3)

115.948 116.318 116.300 0.0 0.3 0.0

Education and communication (3)

134.728 134.623 134.890 0.8 0.1 0.2

Other goods and services

403.790 404.270 404.454 1.6 0.2 0.0
 

Commodity and service group

 
 

All Items

226.855 227.944 229.337 -0.3 1.1 0.6

Commodities

179.157 180.661 182.729 -4.0 2.0 1.1

Commodities less food and beverages

148.064 149.876 152.884 -7.7 3.3 2.0

Nondurables less food and beverages

186.119 189.474 195.422 -11.8 5.0 3.1

Nondurables less food, beverages, and apparel

221.753 226.010 231.814 -14.9 4.5 2.6

Durables

111.328 111.794 112.253 -1.2 0.8 0.4

Services

275.051 275.750 276.505 2.2 0.5 0.3

Rent of shelter (2)

253.579 254.295 255.387 2.9 0.7 0.4

Transportation services

305.810 307.498 308.514 2.6 0.9 0.3

Other services

327.885 328.526 329.586 1.6 0.5 0.3
 

Special aggregate indexes

 
 

All items less medical care

216.281 217.299 218.675 -0.5 1.1 0.6

All items less food

223.642 224.799 226.485 -0.8 1.3 0.8

All items less shelter

220.056 221.318 222.864 -1.8 1.3 0.7

Commodities less food

150.406 152.187 155.151 -7.4 3.2 1.9

Nondurables

214.021 216.122 219.127 -4.9 2.4 1.4

Nondurables less food

188.013 191.206 196.879 -11.1 4.7 3.0

Nondurables less food and apparel

220.812 224.730 230.106 -13.7 4.2 2.4

Services less rent of shelter (2)

310.670 311.368 311.717 1.4 0.3 0.1

Services less medical care services

259.450 260.056 260.730 2.3 0.5 0.3

Energy

182.897 186.545 191.746 -19.1 4.8 2.8

All items less energy

232.499 233.304 234.275 1.8 0.8 0.4

All items less food and energy

230.483 231.318 232.551 1.7 0.9 0.5

Commodities less food and energy commodities

147.055 147.798 149.226 -0.4 1.5 1.0

Energy commodities

187.113 196.186 209.976 -31.1 12.2 7.0

Services less energy services

283.940 284.824 285.900 2.5 0.7 0.4

Footnotes
(1) This index series was calculated using a Laspeyres estimator. All other item stratum index series were calculated using a geometric means estimator.
(2) Index is on a December 1982=100 base.
(3) Indexes on a December 1997=100 base.
(4) Special index based on a substantially smaller sample.
(5) Indexes on a December 1993=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.
NOTE: Index applies to a month as a whole, not to any specific date. Data not seasonally adjusted.
 

 

Last Modified Date: Friday, April 17, 2015