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12-100-PHI

Thursday, January 19, 2012

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Consumer Price Index, South Region – December 2011

Prices in the South down 0.2 percent over the month; up 3.3 percent over the year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for the South edged down 0.2 percent in December, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Sheila Watkins, the Bureau's regional commissioner, noted that energy prices declined 2.2 percent over the month, while the index for food inched up 0.1 percent. The index for all items less food and energy was unchanged in December. Within the all items less food and energy group, price declines led by apparel and used cars and trucks were offset by price increases for various other components, particularly shelter. (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 3.3 percent. The index for all items less food and energy rose 2.4 percent over the year. (See chart 1.)

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

Food

Food prices inched up 0.1 percent in December, reflecting higher prices for both food at home (0.2 percent) and food away from home (0.1 percent).

Since December 2010, the index for food advanced 5.0 percent as prices for food at home and food away from home increased 6.5 and 3.1 percent, respectively.

Energy

The energy index declined 2.2 percent in December, led by a 3.7-percent decrease in motor fuel prices. Prices for utility (piped) gas service inched down 0.1 percent, while electricity prices edged up 0.2 percent.

Over the year, energy prices advanced 7.5 percent, dominated by a 10.3-percent jump in motor fuel prices. During the same period, prices for electricity and utility (piped) gas service rose 3.8 and 0.4 percent, respectively.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy was unchanged in December. During this period, the apparel component registered a seasonal decrease of 2.6 percent and the used cars and trucks component declined 0.6 percent. Among the components of the index recording increases were shelter and recreation, up 0.2 percent each.

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy advanced 2.4 percent, led by price increases for shelter (2.0 percent), medical care (3.5 percent), and apparel (4.7 percent). The increase in the apparel index was the largest 12-month advance since November 1991.

The Consumer Price Index for January 2012 is scheduled to be released on Friday, February 17, 2012 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 -0.2 3.7

November

-0.2 1.9 0.6 4.7 -2.2 1.0 0.2 2.0 0.0 1.1 0.0 3.8

December

0.3 2.5 0.0 4.4 -1.0 0.0 -0.1 2.9 0.2 1.4 -0.2 3.3

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-
Oct.
2011
Nov.
2011
Dec.
2011
Dec.
2010
Oct.
2011
Nov.
2011

Expenditure category

 
 

All Items

219.969 219.961 219.469 3.3 -0.2 -0.2

All items (December 1977=100)

356.820 356.807 356.010      

Food and beverages

229.311 229.243 229.534 4.8 0.1 0.1

Food

230.382 230.365 230.684 5.0 0.1 0.1

Food at home

228.378 227.816 228.276 6.5 0.0 0.2

Food away from home

235.923 236.665 236.791 3.1 0.4 0.1

Alcoholic beverages

213.554 212.806 212.727 1.0 -0.4 0.0

Housing

204.716 204.579 204.895 2.1 0.1 0.2

Shelter

227.027 227.341 227.735 2.0 0.3 0.2

Rent of primary residence (1)

229.174 229.801 230.528 3.1 0.6 0.3

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

230.742 231.249 231.719 1.9 0.4 0.2

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

230.727 231.235 231.706 1.9 0.4 0.2

Fuels and utilities

219.539 216.830 217.309 3.7 -1.0 0.2

Household energy

185.827 182.761 182.982 3.6 -1.5 0.1

Energy services (1)

185.417 182.189 182.481 3.4 -1.6 0.2

Electricity (1)

182.489 179.049 179.406 3.8 -1.7 0.2

Utility (piped) gas service (1)

189.035 187.576 187.383 0.4 -0.9 -0.1

Household furnishings and operations

126.191 126.131 126.058 0.7 -0.1 -0.1

Apparel

135.906 136.744 133.133 4.7 -2.0 -2.6

Transportation

211.041 210.402 207.778 5.9 -1.5 -1.2

Private transportation

209.368 208.729 206.023 6.0 -1.6 -1.3

New and used motor vehicles (3)

100.857 100.351 100.204 3.1 -0.6 -0.1

New vehicles

147.228 147.112 147.416 3.2 0.1 0.2

New cars and trucks (3) (4)

100.224 100.139 100.313 3.1 0.1 0.2

New cars (4)

152.093 151.876 152.077 4.3 0.0 0.1

Used cars and trucks

149.668 147.733 146.805 4.1 -1.9 -0.6

Motor fuel

292.481 289.582 279.011 10.3 -4.6 -3.7

Gasoline (all types)

291.179 287.917 277.012 9.9 -4.9 -3.8

Unleaded regular (4)

290.203 286.906 275.740 9.8 -5.0 -3.9

Unleaded midgrade (4) (5)

303.731 300.111 289.460 10.1 -4.7 -3.5

Unleaded premium (4)

286.969 284.333 274.451 10.0 -4.4 -3.5

Medical care

383.731 386.472 386.706 3.5 0.8 0.1

Medical care commodities

307.737 308.507 308.476 2.5 0.2 0.0

Medical care services

409.272 412.843 413.193 3.8 1.0 0.1

Professional services

337.107 337.430 337.525 2.3 0.1 0.0

Recreation (3)

113.622 113.320 113.510 0.5 -0.1 0.2

Education and communication (3)

128.847 129.152 129.225 2.3 0.3 0.1

Other goods and services

381.696 383.115 383.655 2.1 0.5 0.1
 

Commodity and service group

 
 

All Items

219.969 219.961 219.469 3.3 -0.2 -0.2

Commodities

186.510 186.215 184.780 4.3 -0.9 -0.8

Commodities less food and beverages

164.434 164.052 161.934 4.1 -1.5 -1.3

Nondurables less food and beverages

216.479 216.156 211.950 5.6 -2.1 -1.9

Nondurables less food, beverages, and apparel

265.929 264.955 260.328 5.9 -2.1 -1.7

Durables

115.773 115.336 115.164 1.5 -0.5 -0.1

Services

254.386 254.658 255.084 2.6 0.3 0.2

Rent of shelter (2)

233.319 233.635 234.003 2.0 0.3 0.2

Transportation services

280.889 282.604 282.938 3.9 0.7 0.1

Other services

306.889 307.157 307.662 2.5 0.3 0.2
 

Special aggregate indexes

 
 

All items less medical care

210.616 210.497 209.983 3.3 -0.3 -0.2

All items less food

218.144 218.137 217.518 3.0 -0.3 -0.3

All items less shelter

218.647 218.502 217.631 3.8 -0.5 -0.4

Commodities less food

166.117 165.724 163.660 3.9 -1.5 -1.2

Nondurables

223.175 222.969 220.837 5.2 -1.0 -1.0

Nondurables less food

216.122 215.775 211.807 5.3 -2.0 -1.8

Nondurables less food and apparel

260.215 259.265 255.050 5.5 -2.0 -1.6

Services less rent of shelter (2)

288.866 289.087 289.603 3.2 0.3 0.2

Services less medical care services

240.148 240.230 240.651 2.5 0.2 0.2

Energy

230.716 227.826 222.909 7.5 -3.4 -2.2

All items less energy

219.413 219.732 219.742 2.8 0.1 0.0

All items less food and energy

217.859 218.239 218.193 2.4 0.2 0.0

Commodities less food and energy commodities

149.273 149.254 148.488 2.2 -0.5 -0.5

Energy commodities

296.583 293.771 283.213 10.3 -4.5 -3.6

Services less energy services

261.468 262.113 262.554 2.5 0.4 0.2

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: January 19, 2012