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PLS-4833

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

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Consumer Price Index, South Region – September 2011

Prices in the South unchanged over the month; up 4.1 percent over the year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for the South was unchanged in September, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Sheila Watkins, the Bureau's regional commissioner, noted that energy prices declined 1.7 percent, while food prices rose 0.3 percent. The index for all items less food and energy inched up 0.1 percent in September, led by a seasonal advance in apparel prices. (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 4.1 percent. The index for all items less food and energy rose 1.9 percent over the year. (See chart 1.)

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

Food

Food prices increased 0.3 percent in September, reflecting higher prices for both food at home (0.4 percent) and food away from home (0.3 percent).

Over the year, the index for food advanced 4.6 percent as prices for food at home and food away from home increased 6.2 and 2.5 percent, respectively.

Energy

The energy index declined 1.7 percent in September, led by a 2.6-percent decrease in motor fuel prices. Prices for utility (piped) gas service decreased 1.3 percent while electricity prices were unchanged over the month.

Over the year, the energy index advanced 20.1 percent, dominated by a 34.3-percent jump in motor fuel prices. Prices for electricity and utility (piped) gas service rose 3.1 and 2.7 percent, respectively.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy inched up 0.1 percent in September. Among the components of the index, apparel registered a smaller-than-usual seasonal increase of 1.6 percent. Also recording increases were the indexes for other goods and services (0.7 percent), education and communication (0.3 percent), and medical care (0.2 percent). Moderating the increase in the all items less food and energy index were lower prices for new and used motor vehicles, down 0.5 percent over the month.

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy advanced 1.9 percent, reflecting higher prices for shelter (1.7 percent), among others.

The Consumer Price Index for October 2011 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, November 16, 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 0.7 3.4

May

0.4 4.4 0.6 2.7 0.9 4.6 0.3 -1.3 0.0 2.0 0.5 4.0

June

0.4 4.5 0.4 2.7 1.1 5.3 1.0 -1.4 -0.1 0.9 -0.2 3.8

July

0.4 4.5 -0.1 2.3 0.5 5.8 -0.3 -2.1 -0.1 1.0 0.2 4.1

August

0.1 4.1 -0.3 2.0 -0.4 5.6 0.1 -1.6 0.2 1.1 0.4 4.3

September

-0.7 2.0 0.3 3.0 0.1 5.4 0.0 -1.8 0.2 1.4 0.0 4.1

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 26,000 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-
Jul.
2011
Aug.
2011
Sep.
2011
Sep.
2010
Jul.
2011
Aug.
2011

Expenditure category

 
 

All Items

219.682 220.471 220.371 4.1 0.3 0.0

All items (December 1977=100)

356.354 357.635 357.472      

Food and beverages

226.676 227.732 228.473 4.3 0.8 0.3

Food

227.604 228.736 229.526 4.6 0.8 0.3

Food at home

224.906 226.299 227.191 6.2 1.0 0.4

Food away from home

234.080 234.861 235.519 2.5 0.6 0.3

Alcoholic beverages

212.843 212.882 212.954 1.0 0.1 0.0

Housing

204.676 205.091 205.067 1.7 0.2 0.0

Shelter

225.836 226.288 226.320 1.7 0.2 0.0

Rent of primary residence (1)

226.059 227.710 228.177 2.4 0.9 0.2

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

229.391 230.028 230.017 1.5 0.3 0.0

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

229.380 230.015 230.001 1.5 0.3 0.0

Fuels and utilities

226.591 227.333 227.082 3.8 0.2 -0.1

Household energy

194.170 194.652 194.264 3.5 0.0 -0.2

Energy services (1)

193.995 194.552 194.147 3.0 0.1 -0.2

Electricity (1)

191.729 191.683 191.604 3.1 -0.1 0.0

Utility (piped) gas service (1)

192.209 196.921 194.283 2.7 1.1 -1.3

Household furnishings and operations

125.548 125.619 125.545 -0.2 0.0 -0.1

Apparel

128.469 131.544 133.593 2.0 4.0 1.6

Transportation

216.108 216.585 214.303 13.4 -0.8 -1.1

Private transportation

214.409 214.959 212.706 13.7 -0.8 -1.0

New and used motor vehicles (3)

101.636 101.868 101.336 3.8 -0.3 -0.5

New vehicles

147.671 147.285 147.301 3.9 -0.3 0.0

New cars and trucks (3) (4)

100.509 100.259 100.269 4.0 -0.2 0.0

New cars (4)

152.491 152.289 152.434 5.2 0.0 0.1

Used cars and trucks

151.621 153.261 151.329 4.8 -0.2 -1.3

Motor fuel

312.802 312.665 304.408 34.3 -2.7 -2.6

Gasoline (all types)

311.861 311.764 303.366 34.3 -2.7 -2.7

Unleaded regular (4)

311.461 311.105 302.543 34.9 -2.9 -2.8

Unleaded midgrade (4) (5)

323.700 324.458 315.962 33.6 -2.4 -2.6

Unleaded premium (4)

305.530 305.895 298.404 32.1 -2.3 -2.4

Medical care

380.264 381.259 381.856 2.5 0.4 0.2

Medical care commodities

305.104 305.643 306.607 2.3 0.5 0.3

Medical care services

405.506 406.686 407.102 2.6 0.4 0.1

Professional services

335.655 336.351 336.500 2.3 0.3 0.0

Recreation (3)

113.897 113.681 113.630 0.3 -0.2 0.0

Education and communication (3)

126.857 128.215 128.626 1.2 1.4 0.3

Other goods and services

377.020 377.966 380.752 1.3 1.0 0.7
 

Commodity and service group

 
 

All Items

219.682 220.471 220.371 4.1 0.3 0.0

Commodities

186.829 187.552 187.163 6.8 0.2 -0.2

Commodities less food and beverages

165.973 166.541 165.692 8.3 -0.2 -0.5

Nondurables less food and beverages

218.730 219.893 218.730 12.4 0.0 -0.5

Nondurables less food, beverages, and apparel

273.601 273.730 270.760 15.7 -1.0 -1.1

Durables

116.647 116.660 116.104 1.7 -0.5 -0.5

Services

253.504 254.365 254.546 2.2 0.4 0.1

Rent of shelter (2)

232.118 232.575 232.604 1.6 0.2 0.0

Transportation services

278.889 280.250 280.696 4.3 0.6 0.2

Other services

303.418 305.394 306.266 1.8 0.9 0.3
 

Special aggregate indexes

 
 

All items less medical care

210.460 211.231 211.104 4.2 0.3 -0.1

All items less food

218.251 218.986 218.745 4.0 0.2 -0.1

All items less shelter

218.741 219.680 219.523 5.1 0.4 -0.1

Commodities less food

167.596 168.150 167.325 8.0 -0.2 -0.5

Nondurables

223.166 224.283 224.000 8.4 0.4 -0.1

Nondurables less food

218.203 219.301 218.209 11.7 0.0 -0.5

Nondurables less food and apparel

267.130 267.250 264.556 14.5 -1.0 -1.0

Services less rent of shelter (2)

288.388 289.808 290.196 2.7 0.6 0.1

Services less medical care services

239.447 240.272 240.436 2.1 0.4 0.1

Energy

244.493 244.665 240.549 20.1 -1.6 -1.7

All items less energy

217.528 218.390 218.746 2.4 0.6 0.2

All items less food and energy

216.131 216.946 217.224 1.9 0.5 0.1

Commodities less food and energy commodities

147.820 148.505 148.829 1.5 0.7 0.2

Energy commodities

316.783 316.588 308.395 34.0 -2.6 -2.6

Services less energy services

259.577 260.470 260.713 2.1 0.4 0.1

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: October 20, 2011