Mid-Atlantic Information Office

For release: Thursday March 18, 2010 PLS - 4645
Technical Information: (215) 597-3282 • BLSInfoPhiladelphia@bls.govwww.bls.gov/ro3
Media Contact: (215) 861-5600 • BLSMediaPhiladelphia@bls.gov

South Region Consumer Price Index – February 2010 (PDF)

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for the South1 was unchanged in February at a level of 210.020 (1982-84=100), the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Sheila Watkins, the Bureau’s regional commissioner, noted that decreases in housing and transportation were offset by increases in five of the eight major categories, particularly apparel and medical care. The other goods and services index was unchanged over the month. The energy index declined 2.0 percent over the month, while food costs inched up 0.1 percent. The core inflation rate, as measured by the all items less food and energy index, edged up 0.2 percent over the month. (See chart 1 and table 1.)

Chart 1. 1-month and 12-month percent changes ended February 2010 for the major categories of the CPI-U for the South region, not seasonally adjusted

1-month and 12-month percent changes ended February 2010 for the major categories of the CPI-U for the South region, not seasonally adjusted

Chart Data

Over the last 12 months, prices in the South increased 2.3 percent, due largely to higher prices for transportation (particularly motor fuel), other goods and services, and medical care. Energy costs in the region rose 11.9 percent, while food prices inched up 0.1 percent. Over the same period, the core inflation rate rose 1.6 percent.

Among the major categories, the housing index declined for the eighth consecutive month, down 1.8 percent since June and 0.2 percent since January. Prices for fuels and utilities fell 1.1 percent over the month reflecting a 1.9-percent decline in electricity prices. Prices for utility (piped) gas service were little changed, inching up 0.1 percent. The shelter index, which includes rent of primary residence, lodging away from home, owners’ equivalent rent of residences, and tenants’ and household insurance, inched down 0.1 percent in February. Household furnishings and operations prices were unchanged over the month. Since February 2009, the overall housing index declined 1.3 percent—the largest 12-month decline in this index since its inception in December 1977—due to decreases in all three components. Prices for fuels and utilities fell 5.7 percent over the year due in large part to a 9.5-percent drop in electricity costs. Prices for utility (piped) gas service also decreased, down 5.5 percent since February 2009. During the same period, the shelter index declined 0.5 percent and the index for household furnishings and operations fell 0.9 percent.

The transportation index decreased 0.4 percent in February, led by a 2.3-percent decline in motor fuel costs. Partially offsetting the decline in motor fuel prices were higher prices for new and used motor vehicles, up 0.5 percent since January. Over the year, transportation costs advanced 13.3 percent, as motor fuel prices jumped 37.7 percent and costs for new and used motor vehicles rose 5.8 percent.

The other goods and services index (which includes tobacco and smoking products, personal care products and services, and miscellaneous personal goods) was unchanged over the month, but advanced 9.9 percent over the last 12 months.

The remaining five indexes all increased over the month. Following normal seasonal patterns, the apparel index increased 2.2 percent in February. Over the year, apparel costs inched up 0.1 percent.

Medical care costs rose 0.7 percent over the month due to identical advances (0.7 percent) in prices for both medical care services and medical care commodities. Over the last 12 months, the medical care index advanced 3.6 percent as prices increased for both medical care services (3.8 percent) and medical care commodities (2.9 percent).

The food and beverages index was little changed in February, inching up 0.1 percent. Prices for food away from home also inched up 0.1 percent and those for alcoholic beverages rose 0.3 percent. The index for food at home was unchanged since January. Over the year, the food and beverages index edged up 0.2 percent as higher prices for food away from home (1.6 percent) and alcoholic beverages (0.8 percent) were nearly offset by a 1.1-percent decline in costs for food at home.

Prices for both the recreation index and the education and communication index inched up 0.1 percent over the month. Since February 2009, the recreation index declined 0.8 percent, while the education and communication index rose 2.7 percent.

Population size groups

Over the month, consumer prices in the South inched down 0.1 percent in the largest metropolitan areas, those with 1.5 million or more residents (Size Class A). Prices were unchanged in the mid-size areas, those with populations between 50,000 and 1.5 million (Size Class B/C), and inched up 0.1 percent in the smallest areas, those with populations of less than 50,000 (Size Class D). Over the past 12 months, consumer prices in the South increased 1.7 percent in the largest areas (Size Class A). Prices rose 2.5 percent in the mid-sized areas (Size Class B/C) and advanced 3.5 percent in the smallest areas (Size Class D).

Technical Note

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has updated the consumption expenditure weights in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) and Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) to the 2007-08 period. The updated expenditure weights for these indexes replace the 2005-2006 weights that were introduced effective with the January 2008 CPI release. As originally announced by BLS in December 1998, CPI expenditure weights will continue to be updated at two year intervals.

The CPI program completed its conversion to Computer Assisted Data Collection (CADC). Due to the efficiencies gained from conversion to CADC, BLS has extended data collection to cover the entire month, beginning with data for January 2004. CPI data collection is scheduled in terms of business days—weekdays excluding holidays. Formerly, data collection covered three pricing periods, each comprising six business days in most months and five days in November and December. Consequently, the last day of scheduled data collection was usually the 18th business day of the month. This allowed time during the end of the month for the mailing of paper schedules back to the Washington Office and the data entry of the information in these schedules. Starting in January 2004, the three pricing periods now have variable lengths, between six and eight business days long. The third pricing period normally will end on the last business day of the month.

Local area CPI indexes are by-products of the national CPI program. Because each local index is a small subset of the national index, it has a smaller sample size and is, therefore, subject to substantially more sampling and measurement error than the national index, although their long-term trends are quite similar. The Bureau of Labor Statistics strongly urges users to consider adopting the national average CPI for use in escalator clauses.

We encourage users interested in learning more about changes to the CPI to contact the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Information on the Consumer Price Index and other surveys are available on our Web site at www.bls.gov. Current and historical BLS data are also posted on our Web site at www.bls.gov/ro3/. If you have additional questions, you can contact the Mid-Atlantic information office directly by dialing (215) 597-3282. Information from the Consumer Price Index program is available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: 202-691-5200, Federal Relay Services: 1-800-877-8339.


1 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.
Table 1. Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers and Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers, South Region, (1982-84=100 unless otherwise noted) (not seasonally adjusted)
Item and group All Urban Consumers (CPI-U)
Urban Wage Earners and
Clerical Workers (CPI-W)
Historical
data
Index Percent change from
Historical
data
Index Percent change from
Feb.
2010
Feb.
2009
Jan.
2010
Feb.
2010
Feb.
2009
Jan.
2010

All items

Jump to page with historical data
210.020 2.3 0.0
Jump to page with historical data
207.325 3.1 0.0

All items (Dec. 1977 = 100)

Jump to page with historical data
340.682
Jump to page with historical data
335.786

Food and beverages

Jump to page with historical data
217.419 0.2 0.1
Jump to page with historical data
216.240 0.2 0.1

Food

Jump to page with historical data
217.990 0.1 0.1
Jump to page with historical data
216.750 0.1 0.1

Food at home

Jump to page with historical data
212.589 -1.1 0.0
Jump to page with historical data
210.954 -1.1 0.1

Food away from home

Jump to page with historical data
228.116 1.6 0.1
Jump to page with historical data
227.454 1.7 0.1

Alcoholic beverages

Jump to page with historical data
208.416 0.8 0.3
Jump to page with historical data
208.232 1.3 0.4

Housing

Jump to page with historical data
199.947 -1.3 -0.2
Jump to page with historical data
199.423 -1.1 -0.2

Shelter

Jump to page with historical data
221.681 -0.5 -0.1
Jump to page with historical data
221.101 -0.2 -0.1

Rent of primary residence (1)

Jump to page with historical data
223.417 0.3 -0.1
Jump to page with historical data
221.989 0.1 -0.1

Owners' equivalent rent of primary residence (1) (2) (3)

Jump to page with historical data
225.459 0.0 -0.2
Jump to page with historical data
209.782 -0.1 -0.1

Owners' equivalent rent of primary residence (1) (2) (3)

Jump to page with historical data
225.462 0.0 -0.2
Jump to page with historical data
209.785 -0.1 -0.1

Fuels and utilities

Jump to page with historical data
207.761 -5.7 -1.1
Jump to page with historical data
207.866 -5.7 -1.0

Household energy

Jump to page with historical data
176.121 -8.5 -1.6
Jump to page with historical data
174.618 -8.4 -1.4

Gas (piped) and electricity (1)

Jump to page with historical data
176.309 -8.9 -1.6
Jump to page with historical data
175.694 -8.8 -1.4

Electricity (1)

Jump to page with historical data
169.357 -9.5 -1.9
Jump to page with historical data
167.888 -9.0 -1.6

Utility (piped) gas service (1)

Jump to page with historical data
208.843 -5.5 0.1
Jump to page with historical data
212.741 -6.6 -0.1

Household furnishings and operations

Jump to page with historical data
128.212 -0.9 0.0
Jump to page with historical data
123.123 -0.9 0.0

Apparel

Jump to page with historical data
130.205 0.1 2.2
Jump to page with historical data
130.287 -0.2 2.3

Transportation

Jump to page with historical data
187.130 13.3 -0.4
Jump to page with historical data
184.940 15.2 -0.5

Private transportation

Jump to page with historical data
185.565 13.7 -0.4
Jump to page with historical data
183.479 15.5 -0.5

New and used motor vehicles (4)

Jump to page with historical data
97.344 5.8 0.5
Jump to page with historical data
95.594 8.2 0.4

New vehicles

Jump to page with historical data
143.841 3.4 0.5
Jump to page with historical data
143.360 3.4 0.3

New cars and trucks (4) (5)

Jump to page with historical data
97.844 3.4 0.5
Jump to page with historical data

New cars (5)

Jump to page with historical data
147.345 2.8 0.4
Jump to page with historical data

Used cars and trucks

Jump to page with historical data
139.534 15.5 0.7
Jump to page with historical data
140.277 15.5 0.7

Motor fuel

Jump to page with historical data
226.054 37.7 -2.3
Jump to page with historical data
225.878 37.6 -2.4

Gasoline (all types)

Jump to page with historical data
225.389 38.6 -2.4
Jump to page with historical data
225.309 38.5 -2.4

Gasoline, unleaded regular (5)

Jump to page with historical data
223.903 39.5 -2.5
Jump to page with historical data
223.788 39.5 -2.5

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade (5) (6)

Jump to page with historical data
236.201 37.4 -2.1
Jump to page with historical data
236.122 37.4 -2.1

Gasoline, unleaded premium (5)

Jump to page with historical data
224.957 35.0 -2.2
Jump to page with historical data
224.618 35.0 -2.2

Medical care

Jump to page with historical data
366.685 3.6 0.7
Jump to page with historical data
370.587 3.8 0.7

Medical care commodities

Jump to page with historical data
299.083 2.9 0.7
Jump to page with historical data
292.332 3.0 0.7

Medical care services

Jump to page with historical data
388.810 3.8 0.7
Jump to page with historical data
394.502 4.1 0.7

Professional services

Jump to page with historical data
324.082 3.3 0.4
Jump to page with historical data
325.889 3.3 0.4

Recreation (4)

Jump to page with historical data
114.228 -0.8 0.1
Jump to page with historical data
110.769 -0.7 0.1

Education and communication (4)

Jump to page with historical data
125.091 2.7 0.1
Jump to page with historical data
120.097 2.2 0.1

Other goods and services

Jump to page with historical data
371.466 9.9 0.0
Jump to page with historical data
394.963 13.4 0.0

Commodities

Jump to page with historical data
175.091 5.3 0.0
Jump to page with historical data
176.501 6.9 -0.1

Services

Jump to page with historical data
245.795 0.2 0.0
Jump to page with historical data
244.684 0.3 0.0

All items less shelter

Jump to page with historical data
206.668 3.6 0.0
Jump to page with historical data
203.788 4.5 0.0

All items less medical care

Jump to page with historical data
201.077 2.2 -0.1
Jump to page with historical data
199.376 3.0 -0.1

Energy

Jump to page with historical data
194.348 11.9 -2.0
Jump to page with historical data
194.953 13.0 -2.0

All items less energy

Jump to page with historical data
212.433 1.4 0.2
Jump to page with historical data
208.991 1.9 0.2

All items less food and energy

Jump to page with historical data
211.842 1.6 0.2
Jump to page with historical data
207.571 2.3 0.2

South size A (more than 1,500,000)

Jump to page with historical data
211.503 1.7 -0.1
Jump to page with historical data
209.288 2.3 -0.2

South size B/C (50,000 to 1,500,000) (7)

Jump to page with historical data
133.575 2.5 0.0
Jump to page with historical data
132.528 3.3 0.0

South size D (nonmetropolitan, less than 50,000)

Jump to page with historical data
214.007 3.5 0.1
Jump to page with historical data
214.172 4.3 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) Indexes for CPI-U on December 1982=100 base; CPI-W on a December 1984=100 base.
(3) This index series underwent a change in composition in January 2010. The expenditure class now includes weight from secondary residences and has been be re-titled "Owners' equivalent rent of residences." The item stratum "Owners' equivalent rent of primary residence" excludes secondary residences.
(4) Indexes on a December 1997=100 base.
(5) Special index based on a substantially smaller sample.
(6) Indexes on a December 1993=100 base.
(7) Indexes on a December 1996=100 base.

South region includes the District of Columbia and the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia.

Last Modified Date: March 19, 2010

Recommend this page using: