For release: Friday, April 15, 2011 PLS-4777

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Consumer Price Index, South Region – March 2011 (PDF)

Prices in the South up 1.2 percent over the month and 2.8 percent over the year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for the South rose 1.2 percent in March—the largest over-the-month increase since September 2005, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Sheila Watkins, the Bureau’s regional commissioner, noted that prices advanced for energy, food, and all items less food and energy. Within the all items less food and energy group, apparel and shelter were among those indexes that recorded increases. (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 CPI-U advanced 2.8 percent. The index for all items less food and energy rose 1.2 percent over the year. (See chart 1.)

Chart 1. 12-month percent change in CPI for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), South region, March 2008-March 2011

Food

Food prices rose 0.7 percent in March following a 0.5-percent increase in the previous month. Within the food index, prices for food at home increased 1.0 percent and prices for food away from home rose 0.4 percent over the month.

Over the year, the index for food advanced 2.8 percent as prices for food at home and food away from home increased 3.5 and 1.8 percent, respectively.

Energy

The energy index increased 7.7 percent in March, mainly due to a 13.0-percent advance in motor fuel prices.  Prices for electricity were little changed, inching up 0.1 percent, while utility (piped) gas service prices declined 1.3 percent since February.

Over the year, the energy index advanced 15.7 percent, primarily reflecting higher prices for motor fuel (28.3 percent). Electricity prices rose 0.6 percent during the period, while prices for utility (piped) gas service declined 9.6 percent.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy advanced 0.4 percent in March. Among the components of the index, apparel prices recorded a seasonal increase of 2.3 percent, while shelter costs rose 0.2 percent. Recreation prices also advanced, up 0.6 percent since February.

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy increased 1.2 percent due largely to higher prices for shelter, up 1.2 percent. Prices for apparel and recreation decreased over the year, down 1.6 and 0.5 percent, respectively. 

The Consumer Price Index for April 2011 is scheduled to be released on Friday, May 13, 2011 at 8:30 a.m. (ET).

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

2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
1-month 12-month 1-month 12-month 1-month 12-month 1-month 12-month 1-month 12-month 1-month 12-month

January

0.7 4.3 0.1 1.8 0.5 4.9 0.4 -0.1 0.3 2.8 0.5 1.7

February

0.2 3.8 0.5 2.2 0.3 4.6 0.5 0.1 0.0 2.3 0.5 2.2

March

0.5 3.7 1.0 2.6 0.8 4.4 0.3 -0.3 0.6 2.5 1.2 2.8

April

1.0 4.0 0.9 2.5 0.7 4.2 0.3 -0.7 0.1 2.4 - -

May

0.4 4.4 0.6 2.7 0.9 4.6 0.3 -1.3 0.0 2.0 - -

June

0.4 4.5 0.4 2.7 1.1 5.3 1.0 -1.4 -0.1 0.9 - -

July

0.4 4.5 -0.1 2.3 0.5 5.8 -0.3 -2.1 -0.1 1.0 - -

August

0.1 4.1 -0.3 2.0 -0.4 5.6 0.1 -1.6 0.2 1.1 - -

September

-0.7 2.0 0.3 3.0 0.1 5.4 0.0 -1.8 0.2 1.4 - -

October

-0.6 1.1 0.2 3.8 -1.2 3.9 0.2 -0.4 0.1 1.3 - -

November

-0.2 1.9 0.6 4.7 -2.2 1.0 0.2 2.0 0.0 1.1 - -

December

0.3 2.5 0.0 4.4 -1.0 0.0 -0.1 2.9 0.2 1.4 - -

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 87 percent of the total population and (2) a CPI for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) which covers 32 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 4,000 housing units and approximately 25,000 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 the 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 and the BLS Handbook of Methods, Chapter 17, The Consumer Price Index, available 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; TDD message referral phone number: (800) 877-8339.

For personal assistance or further information on Consumer Price Indexes, as well as other Bureau products, contact the Mid-Atlantic Information Office at (215) 597-3282 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. ET.

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.
2011
Feb.
2011
Mar.
2011
Mar.
2010
Jan.
2011
Feb.
2011

Expenditure category

 
 

All Items

213.589 214.735 217.214 2.8 1.7 1.2

All items (December 1977=100)

346.472 348.330 352.351      

Food and beverages

221.085 222.160 223.642 2.7 1.2 0.7

Food

221.699 222.813 224.414 2.8 1.2 0.7

Food at home

217.507 218.731 220.852 3.5 1.5 1.0

Food away from home

230.187 231.160 232.055 1.8 0.8 0.4

Alcoholic beverages

211.476 212.023 211.903 2.1 0.2 -0.1

Housing

201.215 201.858 202.135 0.8 0.5 0.1

Shelter

223.544 224.174 224.591 1.2 0.5 0.2

Rent of primary residence (1)

224.378 224.615 224.786 0.6 0.2 0.1

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

227.628 228.091 228.341 1.3 0.3 0.1

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

227.622 228.085 228.333 1.3 0.3 0.1

Fuels and utilities

211.265 212.278 212.508 0.5 0.6 0.1

Household energy

178.154 179.191 179.296 -0.4 0.6 0.1

Energy services (1)

177.894 178.785 178.689 -0.8 0.4 -0.1

Electricity (1)

174.288 175.143 175.388 0.6 0.6 0.1

Utility (piped) gas service (1)

186.925 187.983 185.514 -9.6 -0.8 -1.3

Household furnishings and operations

125.708 126.194 125.987 -1.5 0.2 -0.2

Apparel

125.582 127.908 130.803 -1.6 4.2 2.3

Transportation

199.298 201.493 211.178 11.0 6.0 4.8

Private transportation

197.504 199.601 209.388 11.0 6.0 4.9

New and used motor vehicles (3)

97.240 98.162 98.770 1.5 1.6 0.6

New vehicles

143.266 145.380 146.154 1.8 2.0 0.5

New cars and trucks (3) (4)

97.520 98.950 99.477 1.9 2.0 0.5

New cars (4)

146.132 148.521 149.309 1.7 2.2 0.5

Used cars and trucks

141.156 141.436 142.454 1.8 0.9 0.7

Motor fuel

263.741 268.611 303.500 28.3 15.1 13.0

Gasoline (all types)

262.833 267.358 302.323 28.0 15.0 13.1

Unleaded regular (4)

261.846 266.448 301.878 28.5 15.3 13.3

Unleaded midgrade (4) (5)

273.869 278.431 313.704 27.3 14.5 12.7

Unleaded premium (4)

260.008 264.082 296.560 26.5 14.1 12.3

Medical care

374.853 376.516 377.518 2.3 0.7 0.3

Medical care commodities

302.224 303.035 304.012 1.3 0.6 0.3

Medical care services

399.072 401.083 402.073 2.7 0.8 0.2

Professional services

330.844 332.641 334.002 3.0 1.0 0.4

Recreation (3)

112.800 113.227 113.942 -0.5 1.0 0.6

Education and communication (3)

126.553 126.787 126.783 1.2 0.2 0.0

Other goods and services

376.805 377.371 376.969 1.3 0.0 -0.1
 

Commodity and service group

 
 

All Items

213.589 214.735 217.214 2.8 1.7 1.2

Commodities

178.789 180.237 184.635 4.6 3.3 2.4

Commodities less food and beverages

157.101 158.671 164.178 5.7 4.5 3.5

Nondurables less food and beverages

203.516 205.812 216.717 9.1 6.5 5.3

Nondurables less food, beverages, and apparel

251.217 253.548 269.134 12.4 7.1 6.1

Durables

113.690 114.582 115.057 0.2 1.2 0.4

Services

249.268 250.127 250.749 1.6 0.6 0.2

Rent of shelter (2)

229.739 230.387 230.824 1.2 0.5 0.2

Transportation services

273.172 274.416 276.570 4.5 1.2 0.8

Other services

300.598 301.750 302.893 1.6 0.8 0.4
 

Special aggregate indexes

 
 

All items less medical care

204.417 205.528 208.034 2.9 1.8 1.2

All items less food

212.134 213.284 215.899 2.8 1.8 1.2

All items less shelter

210.989 212.362 215.735 3.6 2.2 1.6

Commodities less food

158.919 160.463 165.822 5.6 4.3 3.3

Nondurables

212.366 214.104 220.672 6.0 3.9 3.1

Nondurables less food

203.786 205.982 216.253 8.7 6.1 5.0

Nondurables less food and apparel

246.657 248.823 262.987 11.6 6.6 5.7

Services less rent of shelter (2)

281.571 282.733 283.619 2.1 0.7 0.3

Services less medical care services

235.427 236.203 236.791 1.5 0.6 0.2

Energy

213.268 216.095 232.733 15.7 9.1 7.7

All items less energy

214.271 215.229 216.108 1.5 0.9 0.4

All items less food and energy

213.345 214.278 215.028 1.2 0.8 0.4

Commodities less food and energy commodities

145.350 146.380 147.192 -0.2 1.3 0.6

Energy commodities

267.663 272.675 307.515 28.0 14.9 12.8

Services less energy services

256.612 257.467 258.165 1.8 0.6 0.3

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: April 15, 2011