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14-1746-ATL

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

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Consumer Price Index, Atlanta – August 2014

Area prices down 0.1 percent over the two months; up 2.2 percent over the year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for Atlanta inched down 0.1 percent over the two months, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Janet S. Rankin noted that energy prices decreased, while prices increased for both the all items less food and energy, and food indexes. Within the all items less food and energy group, price increases were noted for several indexes, including shelter, apparel, education and communication, and medical care. (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 2.2 percent, reflecting price increases for shelter and medical care. The index for all items less food and energy rose 2.6 percent over the year. (See chart 1.)

Chart 1. 12-month percent change in CPI for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), Atlanta, August 2011 - August 2014

Food

Food prices increased 0.6 percent during the July-August pricing period, reflecting a 1.0-percent price increase for food at home. Prices for food away from home were little changed over the two months, up 0.1 percent.

Over the year, the food index rose 2.9 percent, reflecting price increases for both food at home (3.4 percent) and food away from home (1.9 percent).

Energy

The energy index decreased 3.9 percent over the two-month pricing period, largely due to a 6.5-percent decline in prices for motor fuel. Prices for utility (piped) gas service decreased 4.6 percent over the two months, while electricity prices rose 0.3 percent.

Over the year, the energy index increased 0.3 percent reflecting price increases for both electricity (3.7 percent) and utility (piped) gas service (4.9 percent). A 3.4-percent decrease in motor fuel prices moderated the overall change in the energy index.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy advanced 0.4 percent during the July-August pricing period. Shelter increased 0.5 percent and apparel registered a seasonal increase (4.5 percent). Price increases were also noted for education and communication (0.9 percent) and medical care (0.6 percent).

From August 2013 to August 2014, the index for all items less food and energy advanced 2.6 percent, reflecting higher prices for shelter (4.1 percent) and medical care (4.0 percent).

Table A. Atlanta metropolitan area CPI-U 2-month and 12-month percent changes, all items index, not seasonally adjusted
Month

2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month

February

1.1 -2.4 1.1 1.7 1.6 1.5 1.0 2.4 1.9 2.1 1.3 1.8

April

0.0 -3.5 0.7 2.4 1.7 2.5 1.1 1.8 0.1 1.1 0.8 2.5

June

2.2 -4.0 0.3 0.6 0.9 3.1 0.6 1.5 1.0 1.4 1.5 3.0

August

-0.1 -3.8 -0.1 0.6 0.6 3.8 0.6 1.5 0.7 1.5 -0.1 2.2

October

-1.1 -2.6 -0.8 0.9 -1.5 3.1 -1.2 1.8 -1.0 1.6 - -

December

-0.3 1.8 -0.2 1.0 -0.3 3.0 -0.9 1.2 -0.2 2.4 - -
____________

The October 2014 Consumer Price Index for Atlanta is scheduled to be released on Thursday, November 20, 2014 at 8:30 a.m. (ET).


Technical Note

The Consumer Price Index for Atlanta is published bi-monthly. 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 88 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 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 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.

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
Atlanta, GA (1982-84=100 unless otherwise noted)
Item and Group

Indexes
Percent change from-
Jun.
2014
Jul.
2014
Aug.
2014
Aug.
2013
Jun.
2014
Jul.
2014

Expenditure category

 
 

All Items

223.862   223.657 2.2 -0.1  

All items (1967=100)

675.098   674.482      

Food and beverages

243.838   245.281 2.8 0.6  

Food

254.279   255.885 2.9 0.6  

Food at home

248.856 247.379 251.301 3.4 1.0 1.6

Food away from home

263.364   263.527 1.9 0.1  

Alcoholic beverages

150.590   150.604 1.5 0.0  

Housing

215.087   215.424 3.3 0.2  

Shelter

223.795 223.806 224.999 4.1 0.5 0.5

Rent of primary residence (1)

223.294 223.731 224.852 4.2 0.7 0.5

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

219.483 219.527 221.216 4.1 0.8 0.8

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

219.483 219.527 221.216 4.1 0.8 0.8

Fuels and utilities

325.362   323.064 4.8 -0.7  

Household energy

292.489 290.994 289.869 5.1 -0.9 -0.4

Energy Services (1)

291.349 289.838 288.702 5.0 -0.9 -0.4

Electricity (1)

269.191 268.902 269.992 3.7 0.3 0.4

Utility (piped) gas service (1)

282.388 277.376 269.409 4.9 -4.6 -2.9

Household furnishings and operations

128.309   126.523 -3.5 -1.4  

Apparel

132.553   138.550 -2.3 4.5  

Transportation

218.618   212.826 0.0 -2.6  

Private transportation

218.429   213.127 0.3 -2.4  

Motor fuel

320.411 316.213 299.571 -3.4 -6.5 -5.3

Gasoline (all types)

318.221 314.054 297.442 -3.6 -6.5 -5.3

Unleaded regular (3)

315.327 310.947 294.372 -3.8 -6.6 -5.3

Unleaded midgrade (3) (4)

383.258 378.757 358.431 -3.4 -6.5 -5.4

Unleaded premium (3)

318.213 314.741 298.968 -2.9 -6.0 -5.0

Medical Care

395.157   397.590 4.0 0.6  

Recreation (5)

86.608   85.927 -0.8 -0.8  

Education and communication (5)

133.595   134.824 2.4 0.9  

Other goods and services

340.802   341.075 3.1 0.1  
 

Commodity and service group

 
 

All Items

223.862   223.657 2.2 -0.1  

Commodities

187.142   185.665 0.2 -0.8  

Commodities less food & beverages

159.264   156.827 -1.3 -1.5  

Nondurables less food & beverages

204.776   200.563 -1.5 -2.1  

Durables

113.950   113.167 0.2 -0.7  

Services

260.561   261.356 3.4 0.3  
 

Special aggregate indexes

 
 

All items less medical care

214.380   214.070 2.1 -0.1  

All items less shelter

229.545   228.625 1.4 -0.4  

Commodities less food

158.608   156.261 -1.2 -1.5  

Nondurables

222.639   220.806 0.5 -0.8  

Nondurables less food

199.525   195.635 -1.3 -1.9  

Services less rent of shelter (2)

320.625   320.812 2.7 0.1  

Services less medical care services

245.138   245.738 3.4 0.2  

Energy

279.201 276.574 268.275 0.3 -3.9 -3.0

All items less energy

217.673   218.617 2.6 0.4  

All items less food and energy

212.329   213.184 2.6 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) Special index based on a substantially smaller sample.
(4) Indexes on a December 1993=100 base.
(5) Indexes on a December 1997=100 base.

- Data not available.
NOTE: Index applies to a month as a whole, not to any specific date. Data not seasonally adjusted.