Economic News Release

Consumer Price Index News Release

 Transmission of material in this release is embargoed until
 8:30 a.m. (EDT) Thursday, May 16, 2013   USDL-13-0929
 Technical information: (202) 691-7000
 Media Contact:         (202) 691-5902
                   Consumer Price Index - April 2013

 The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) decreased
 0.4 percent in April on a seasonally adjusted basis, the U.S. Bureau
 of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the last 12 months, the all
 items index increased 1.1 percent before seasonal adjustment.
 As was the case in March, a sharp decrease in the gasoline index was
 the primary cause of the decline in the seasonally adjusted all items
 index. The fuel oil index also declined while the electricity and
 natural gas indexes increased; the net result was a 4.3 percent
 decrease in the energy index. The food index, unchanged in March,
 rose 0.2 percent in April.
 The index for all items less food and energy increased 0.1 percent in
 April, the same increase as in March. The indexes for shelter, used
 cars and trucks, new vehicles, and tobacco all increased in April.
 These increases were partially offset by declines in the indexes for
 apparel, airline fares, and recreation.
 The all items index increased 1.1 percent over the last 12 months,
 the smallest 12-month increase since November 2010. The index for all
 items less food and energy increased 1.7 percent over the span; this
 was its smallest 12-month increase since June 2011. The food index
 rose 1.5 percent while the energy index declined 4.3 percent.

 Table A. Percent changes in CPI for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U): U.S. city
                                  Seasonally adjusted changes from             
                                          preceding month                      
                              Oct.  Nov.  Dec.  Jan.  Feb.  Mar.  Apr.   ended 
                              2012  2012  2012  2013  2013  2013  2013   Apr.  
 All items..................    .2   -.2    .0    .0    .7   -.2   -.4      1.1
  Food......................    .2    .2    .2    .0    .1    .0    .2      1.5
   Food at home.............    .3    .3    .2    .0    .1   -.1    .1      1.0
   Food away from home (1)..    .1    .1    .1    .1    .1    .2    .3      2.3
  Energy....................    .1  -3.4   -.8  -1.7   5.4  -2.6  -4.3     -4.3
   Energy commodities.......    .1  -5.7  -1.5  -3.0   8.6  -4.1  -7.9     -8.1
    Gasoline (all types)....   -.1  -6.0  -1.9  -3.0   9.1  -4.4  -8.1     -8.3
    Fuel oil (1)............   1.1   -.2    .0   -.2   3.1  -2.1  -4.4     -5.6
   Energy services..........    .2    .6    .3    .4    .5   -.2   1.4      2.6
    Electricity.............    .3    .4    .2   1.1    .3   -.6    .5      1.1
    Utility (piped) gas                                                        
       service..............   -.2   1.5    .7  -1.7   1.2   1.0   4.4      7.6
  All items less food and                                                      
     energy.................    .2    .1    .1    .3    .2    .1    .1      1.7
   Commodities less food and                                                   
      energy commodities....    .0   -.1   -.1    .2    .0   -.1    .0      -.1
    New vehicles............    .1    .3    .2    .1   -.3    .1    .3      1.2
    Used cars and trucks....   -.7   -.4   -.3    .2    .8   1.2    .6      -.6
    Apparel.................    .6   -.5    .1    .8   -.1  -1.0   -.3       .3
    Medical care commodities    .1   -.3   -.3    .1   -.4    .1    .1       .7
   Services less energy                                                        
      services..............    .2    .2    .2    .3    .2    .2    .1      2.3
    Shelter.................    .2    .2    .1    .2    .2    .2    .2      2.2
    Transportation services     .6    .2    .4    .5    .1    .2   -.2      2.5
    Medical care services...    .1    .3    .3    .2    .3    .3   -.1      3.4

   1 Not seasonally adjusted.

 Consumer Price Index Data for April 2013
 The food index increased 0.2 percent in April after being unchanged
 in March. The index for food at home turned up in April, increasing
 0.1 percent after declining 0.1 percent the prior month. Four of the
 six major grocery store food group indexes increased in April. The
 largest increase was for the cereals and bakery products index, which
 rose 0.6 percent. The indexes for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs, and
 for other food at home both increased 0.4 percent, while the
 nonalcoholic beverages index rose 0.3 percent. In contrast, the index
 for fruits and vegetables fell 1.4 percent in April as the indexes
 for fresh fruits and fresh vegetables both declined for the second
 straight month. The index for dairy and related products was
 unchanged in April after declining in February and March. Over the
 last 12 months, the food at home index has risen 1.0 percent with all
 the major component groups increasing over that span except
 nonalcoholic beverages, which fell 0.2 percent. The index for food
 away from home increased 0.3 percent in April; this was its largest
 increase since August and it has risen 2.3 percent over the past


 The energy index declined significantly for the second straight
 month, falling 4.3 percent in April after a 2.6 percent decline in
 March. The gasoline index, down 4.4 percent in March, fell 8.1
 percent in April. (Before seasonal adjustment, gasoline prices
 decreased 3.7 percent in April.) The index for fuel oil also
 continued to decline, falling 4.4 percent after decreasing 2.1
 percent the prior month. However, the index for natural gas increased
 sharply in April; its 4.4 percent increase was its largest since July
 2008. The electricity index also rose, increasing 0.5 percent. Over
 the past 12 months, the index for gasoline has declined 8.3 percent
 and the fuel oil index has fallen 5.6 percent. In contrast to these
 declines, the index for natural gas has risen 7.6 percent and the
 electricity index has increased 1.1 percent.
 All items less food and energy
 The index for all items less food and energy increased 0.1 percent in
 April, the same increase as in March. The shelter index increased 0.2
 percent for the fourth month in a row. The indexes for rent and for
 owners' equivalent rent both advanced 0.2 percent. The index for used
 cars and trucks increased for the fourth month in a row, rising 0.6
 percent in April. The index for new vehicles rose as well, advancing
 0.3 percent. The tobacco index turned up, rising 0.6 percent in April
 after declining in February and March. The medical care index was
 unchanged in April, the first time it failed to rise since July 2010.
 The index for medical care commodities rose 0.1 percent, while the
 medical care services index fell 0.1 percent with the hospital
 services index declining 0.7 percent. Among the indexes declining in
 April was the apparel index, which fell 0.3 percent, its third
 consecutive decrease. The index for airline fares also fell,
 declining 0.7 percent, and the recreation index decreased 0.1
 percent. The index for household furnishings and operations also fell
 0.1 percent, its fourth decline in the last five months.
 The index for all items less food and energy increased 1.7 percent
 for the 12 months ending April. This is slightly below the 1.9
 percent average annual increase for the past ten years. The shelter
 index rose 2.2 percent over the past year, with the rent index
 increasing 2.7 percent and owners' equivalent rent rising 2.1

 Not seasonally adjusted CPI measures
 The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased
 1.1 percent over the last 12 months to an index level of 232.531
 (1982-84=100). For the month, the index decreased 0.1 percent prior
 to seasonal adjustment.
 The Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers
 (CPI-W) increased 0.9 percent over the last 12 months to an index
 level of 228.949  (1982-84=100). For the month, the index decreased
 0.2 percent prior to seasonal adjustment.
 The Chained Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (C-CPI-U)
 increased 1.1 percent over the last 12 months. For the month, the
 index decreased 0.1 percent on a not seasonally adjusted basis.
 Please note that the indexes for the post-2011 period are subject to
 The Consumer Price Index for May 2013 is scheduled to be released on
 Tuesday, June 18, 2013, at 8:30 a.m. (EDT).

 Discontinuation of Department Store Inventory Indexes
 The Bureau of Labor Statistics will discontinue publication of its
 Department Store Inventory indexes after the release of the December
 2013 CPI in mid-January 2014, and these values will no longer be
 uploaded to the Labstat database. For further information please
 contact Sharon Gibson at 202-691-6968 or
 Publication Changes for Average Price Series
 The Bureau of Labor Statistics will discontinue publication of three
 average price series after the release of the June 2013 CPI in mid-
 July 2013. They are:

  -         utility (piped) gas, 40 therms;
  -         utility (piped) gas, 100 therms; and
  -         electricity, 500 kilowatt hours.

 The Bureau will, however, continue to publish average prices for
 utility (piped) gas on a per therm basis, and will continue to
 publish electricity prices on a per kilowatt hour basis. As such,
 users will be able to convert these data to any consumption amount.
  CPI Detailed Report table P1. Average residential prices for utility
 (piped) gas, electricity, and fuel oil, U.S. city average and
 selected areas will no longer be published.  Data for fuel oil #2,
 per gallon (3.785 liters) will continue to be available in the CPI
 Average Price Data public database.
 Facilities for Sensory Impaired
 Information from this release will be made available to sensory
 impaired individuals upon request.  Voice phone:  202-691-5200,
 Federal Relay Services:  1-800-877-8339.
 Brief Explanation of the CPI
 The Consumer Price Index (CPI) is a measure of the average change in
 prices over time of goods and services purchased by households.  The
 Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes CPIs for two population groups:
 (1) the CPI for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W),
 which covers households of wage earners and clerical workers that
 comprise approximately 29 percent of the total population and (2) the
 CPI for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) and the Chained CPI for All Urban
 Consumers (C-CPI-U), which cover approximately 88 percent of the
 total population and include in addition to wage earners and clerical
 worker households, 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 CPIs are based on prices of food, clothing, shelter, and fuels,
 transportation fares, charges for doctors' and dentists' services,
 drugs, and other goods and services that people buy for day-to-day
 living.  Prices are collected each month 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 items are included in the index.  Prices of fuels and a few
 other items are obtained every month in all 87 locations.  Prices of
 most other commodities and services are collected every month in the
 three largest geographic areas and every other month in other areas.
 Prices of most goods and services are obtained by personal visits or
 telephone calls of the Bureau's trained representatives.
 In calculating the index, price changes for the various items in each
 location are averaged together with weights, which represent their
 importance in the spending of the appropriate population group.
 Local data are then combined to obtain a U.S. city average.  For the
 CPI-U and CPI-W separate indexes are also published by size of city,
 by region of the country, for cross-classifications of regions and
 population-size classes, and for 27 local areas.  Area indexes do not
 measure differences in the level of prices among cities; they only
 measure the average change in prices for each area since the base
 period.  For the C-CPI-U data are issued only at the national level.
 It is important to note that the CPI-U and CPI-W are considered final
 when released, but the C-CPI-U is issued in preliminary form and
 subject to two annual revisions.
 The index measures price change from a designed reference date.  For
 the CPI-U and the CPI-W the reference base is 1982-84 equals 100.
 The reference base for the C-CPI-U is December 1999 equals 100.  An
 increase of 16.5 percent from the reference base, for example, is
 shown as 116.500.  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 visit the CPI home page on the Internet at or contact our CPI Information and Analysis
 Section on (202) 691-7000.

 Note on Sampling Error in the Consumer Price Index
 The CPI is a statistical estimate that is subject to sampling error
 because it is based upon a sample of retail prices and not the
 complete universe of all prices. BLS calculates and publishes
 estimates of the 1-month, 2-month, 6-month and 12-month percent
 change standard errors annually, for the CPI-U.  These standard error
 estimates can be used to construct confidence intervals for
 hypothesis testing. For example, the estimated standard error of the
 1 month percent change is 0.04 percent for the U.S. All Items
 Consumer Price Index.  This means that if we repeatedly sample from
 the universe of all retail prices using the same methodology, and
 estimate a percentage change for each sample, then 95% of these
 estimates would be within 0.08 percent of the 1 month percentage
 change based on all retail prices.  For example, for a 1-month change
 of 0.2 percent in the All Items CPI for All Urban Consumers, we are
 95 percent confident that the actual percent change based on all
 retail prices would fall between 0.12 and 0.28 percent. For the
 latest data, including information on how to use the estimates of
 standard error, see "Variance Estimates for Price Changes in the
 Consumer Price Index, January-December 2012".  These data are
 available on the CPI home page (, or by using
 the following link:

 Calculating Index Changes
 Movements of the indexes from one month to another are usually
 expressed as percent changes rather than changes in index points,
 because index point changes are affected by the level of the index in
 relation to its base period while percent changes are not.  The
 example below illustrates the computation of index point and percent
 Percent changes for 3-month and 6-month periods are expressed as
 annual rates and are computed according to the standard formula for
 compound growth rates.  These data indicate what the percent change
 would be if the current rate were maintained for a 12-month period.

 Index Point Change
 CPI                                             202.416
 Less previous index                             201.800
 Equals index point change                          .616
 Percent Change
 Index point difference                             .616
 Divided by the previous index                   201.800
 Equals                                            0.003
 Results multiplied by one hundred                 0.003x100
 Equals percent change                             0.3

 A Note on Seasonally Adjusted and Unadjusted Data
 Because price data are used for different purposes by different
 groups, the Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes seasonally adjusted
 as well as unadjusted changes each month.
 For analyzing general price trends in the economy, seasonally
 adjusted changes are usually preferred since they eliminate the
 effect of changes that normally occur at the same time and in about
 the same magnitude every year--such as price movements resulting from
 changing climatic conditions, production cycles, model changeovers,
 holidays, and sales.
 The unadjusted data are of primary interest to consumers concerned
 about the prices they actually pay.  Unadjusted data also are used
 extensively for escalation purposes.  Many collective bargaining
 contract agreements and pension plans, for example, tie compensation
 changes to the Consumer Price Index before adjustment for seasonal
 Seasonal factors used in computing the seasonally adjusted indexes
 are derived by the X-12-ARIMA Seasonal Adjustment Method.  Seasonally
 adjusted indexes and seasonal factors are computed annually.  Each
 year, the last 5 years of seasonally adjusted data are revised.  Data
 from January 2008 through December 2012 were replaced in January
 2013.  Exceptions to the usual revision schedule were: the updated
 seasonal data at the end of 1977 replaced data from 1967 through
 1977; and, in January 2002, dependently seasonally adjusted series
 were revised for January 1987-December 2001 as a result of a change
 in the aggregation weights for dependently adjusted series. For
 further information, please see "Aggregation of Dependently Adjusted
 Seasonally Adjusted Series," in the October 2001 issue of the CPI
 Detailed Report.
 Effective with the publication of data from January 2006 through
 December 2010 in January 2011, the Video and audio series and the
 Information technology, hardware and services series were changed
 from independently adjusted to dependently adjusted.  This resulted
 in an increase in the number of seasonal components used in deriving
 seasonal movement of the All items and 54 other lower level
 aggregations, from 73 for the publication of January 1998 through
 December 2005 data to 82 for the publication of seasonally adjusted
 data for January 2006 and later.  Each year the seasonal status of
 every series is reevaluated based upon certain statistical criteria.
 If any of the 82 components change their seasonal adjustment status
 from seasonally adjusted to not seasonally adjusted, not seasonally
 adjusted data will be used in the aggregation of the dependent series
 for the last 5 years, but the seasonally adjusted indexes before that
 period will not be changed.  Note: 37 of the 82 components are not
 seasonally adjusted for 2013.
 Seasonally adjusted data, including the all items index levels, are
 subject to revision for up to five years after their original
 release.  For this reason, BLS advises against the use of these data
 in escalation agreements.
  Effective with the calculation of the seasonal factors for 1990, the
 Bureau of Labor Statistics has used an enhanced seasonal adjustment
 procedure called Intervention Analysis Seasonal Adjustment for some
 CPI series.  Intervention Analysis Seasonal Adjustment allows for
 better estimates of seasonally adjusted data.  Extreme values and/or
 sharp movements which might distort the seasonal pattern are
 estimated and removed from the data prior to calculation of seasonal
 factors.  Beginning with the calculation of seasonal factors for
 1996, X-12-ARIMA software was used for Intervention Analysis Seasonal
 For the seasonal factors introduced in January 2013, BLS adjusted 31
 series using Intervention Analysis Seasonal Adjustment, including
 selected food and beverage items, motor fuels, electricity and
 vehicles.  For example, this procedure was used for the Motor fuel
 series to offset the effects of events such as damage to oil
 refineries from Hurricane Katrina.
 For a complete list of Intervention Analysis Seasonal Adjustment
 series and explanations, please refer to the article "Intervention
 Analysis Seasonal Adjustment", located on our website at
 For additional information on seasonal adjustment in the CPI, please
 write to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Division of Consumer Prices
 and Price Indexes, Washington, DC 20212 or contact Chris Graci at
 (202) 691-5826, or by e-mail at or contact
 Carlyle Jackson at (202) 691-6984, or by e-mail at .  If you have general questions about the
 CPI, please call our information staff at (202) 691-7000.

Table 1. Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U): U.S. city average, by expenditure category, April 2013
[1982-84=100, unless otherwise noted]
Expenditure category Relative
Unadjusted indexes Unadjusted percent change Seasonally adjusted percent change

All items

100.000 230.085 232.773 232.531 1.1 -0.1 0.7 -0.2 -0.4


14.173 233.234 236.332 236.841 1.5 0.2 0.1 0.0 0.2

Food at home

8.513 231.711 233.777 234.082 1.0 0.1 0.1 -0.1 0.1

Cereals and bakery products

1.220 268.014 269.504 271.388 1.3 0.7 -0.2 0.2 0.6

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

1.937 230.967 233.294 234.320 1.5 0.4 0.5 0.0 0.4

Dairy and related products(1)

0.887 216.918 218.123 218.141 0.6 0.0 -0.4 -0.6 0.0

Fruits and vegetables

1.281 281.648 291.284 287.545 2.1 -1.3 1.4 -0.4 -1.4

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials

0.933 169.191 168.736 168.812 -0.2 0.0 0.0 -0.2 0.3

Other food at home

2.254 204.864 205.264 206.177 0.6 0.4 -0.6 0.2 0.4

Food away from home(1)

5.660 236.695 241.409 242.236 2.3 0.3 0.1 0.2 0.3


10.081 255.736 249.565 244.757 -4.3 -1.9 5.4 -2.6 -4.3

Energy commodities

6.346 339.793 324.016 312.270 -8.1 -3.6 8.6 -4.1 -7.9

Fuel oil(1)

0.232 390.483 385.552 368.552 -5.6 -4.4 3.1 -2.1 -4.4

Motor fuel

6.013 336.673 320.739 309.048 -8.2 -3.6 9.0 -4.2 -8.1

Gasoline (all types)

5.819 335.742 319.523 307.814 -8.3 -3.7 9.1 -4.4 -8.1

Energy services(2)

3.735 185.834 188.856 190.669 2.6 1.0 0.5 -0.2 1.4


2.840 192.472 193.856 194.553 1.1 0.4 0.3 -0.6 0.5

Utility (piped) gas service(2)

0.895 163.692 171.248 176.159 7.6 2.9 1.2 1.0 4.4

All items less food and energy

75.746 229.303 233.052 233.236 1.7 0.1 0.2 0.1 0.1

Commodities less food and energy commodities

19.482 148.070 147.717 147.992 -0.1 0.2 0.0 -0.1 0.0


3.588 128.485 128.279 128.861 0.3 0.5 -0.1 -1.0 -0.3

New vehicles

3.163 144.522 145.989 146.188 1.2 0.1 -0.3 0.1 0.3

Used cars and trucks

1.863 151.087 148.753 150.160 -0.6 0.9 0.8 1.2 0.6

Medical care commodities

1.704 333.060 335.198 335.293 0.7 0.0 -0.4 0.1 0.1

Alcoholic beverages

0.946 230.092 234.015 234.282 1.8 0.1 0.4 0.2 0.2

Tobacco and smoking products(1)

0.795 847.032 863.888 869.057 2.6 0.6 -0.2 -0.2 0.6

Services less energy services

56.263 278.431 284.834 284.954 2.3 0.0 0.2 0.2 0.1


31.494 256.031 261.330 261.655 2.2 0.1 0.2 0.2 0.2

Rent of primary residence(2)

6.498 258.922 265.821 265.984 2.7 0.1 0.3 0.2 0.2

Owners' equivalent rent of residences(2)(3)

23.831 263.765 268.802 269.216 2.1 0.2 0.2 0.1 0.2

Medical care services

5.454 437.151 452.596 452.083 3.4 -0.1 0.3 0.3 -0.1

Physicians' services(2)

1.606 344.151 352.575 353.529 2.7 0.3 0.0 0.2 0.4

Hospital services(2)(4)

1.572 251.819 264.586 262.595 4.3 -0.8 0.8 0.4 -0.7

Transportation services

5.808 272.146 278.874 279.065 2.5 0.1 0.1 0.2 -0.2

Motor vehicle maintenance and repair(1)

1.140 256.544 260.156 260.341 1.5 0.1 0.2 0.0 0.1

Motor vehicle insurance

2.466 397.507 415.381 414.955 4.4 -0.1 0.2 0.1 0.0

Airline fare

0.785 312.845 315.303 318.815 1.9 1.1 -0.3 0.6 -0.7

(1) Not seasonally adjusted.
(2) This index series was calculated using a Laspeyres estimator. All other item stratum index series were calculated using a geometric means estimator.
(3) Indexes on a December 1982=100 base.
(4) Indexes on a December 1996=100 base.

NOTE: Index applies to a month as a whole, not to any specific date.