Mid-Atlantic Information Office

For release: Wednesday, May 19, 2010 PLS - 4664
Technical Information: (215) 597-3282 • BLSInfoPhiladelphia@bls.govwww.bls.gov/ro3
Media Contact: (215) 861-5600 • BLSMediaPhiladelphia@bls.gov

South Region Consumer Price Index – April 2010 (PDF)

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for the South1 inched up 0.1 percent in April to a level of 211.528 (1982-84=100), the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Sheila Watkins, the Bureau’s regional commissioner, noted that increases in prices for transportation, medical care, and other goods and services were largely offset by decreases in apparel and recreation prices. The energy index increased 1.5 percent over the month, while food prices were unchanged. The all items less food and energy index was unchanged over the month. (See chart 1 and table 1.)

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

1-month and 12-month percent changes ended April 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 2.4 percent, due largely to higher prices for transportation, particularly motor fuel. Since April 2009, energy prices in the region advanced 16.7 percent, while food prices increased 0.8 percent. Over the same period, the all items less food and energy index rose 1.0 percent.

Among the major categories, the transportation index increased 0.9 percent in April, dominated by a 2.6-percent advance in motor fuel prices. The index for new and used motor vehicles inched down 0.1 percent since March. Over the year, transportation prices advanced 14.3 percent as motor fuel prices jumped 38.5 percent and those for new and used motor vehicles rose 5.5 percent.

Medical care prices rose 0.3 percent over the month, reflecting a 0.4-percent increase in prices for medical care services. Prices for medical care commodities were unchanged over the month. Over the last 12 months, the medical care index advanced 4.0 percent as prices rose for both medical care services (4.5 percent) and medical care commodities (2.7 percent).

The other goods and services index (which includes tobacco and smoking products, personal care products and services, and miscellaneous personal goods) edged up 0.2 percent over the month. Since April 2009, this index advanced 3.2 percent.

The housing index was unchanged over the month. The shelter component, which includes rent of primary residence, lodging away from home, owners’ equivalent rent of residences, and tenants’ and household insurance, was also unchanged since March. Prices for fuels and utilities inched up 0.1 percent in April as a 0.8-percent advance in prices for electricity was largely offset by a 3.6-percent decrease in utility (piped) gas service prices. Household furnishings and operations prices fell 0.3 percent over the month. Since April 2009, the housing index declined 0.9 percent. Declines in prices for shelter (-0.8 percent), household furnishings and operations (-2.0 percent), and fuels and utilities (-0.8 percent) all contributed to the 12-month decrease in the housing index.

Prices for education and communication were unchanged since March. The education and communication index rose 2.8 percent over the last 12 months.

The food and beverages index was unchanged in April as a 0.2-percent increase in prices for food away home was offset by a 0.1-percent decrease in prices for food at home. Prices for alcoholic beverages were unchanged since March. Over the year, the food and beverages index advanced 0.8 percent as prices increased for food away from home (1.1 percent), food at home (0.6 percent), and alcoholic beverages (0.5 percent).

The remaining two indexes decreased over the month. The apparel index decreased 0.9 percent in April to a level 2.9 percent below a year ago. Recreation prices fell 0.3 percent in April. Over the year, the recreation index declined 1.3 percent—the sixth consecutive 12-month decrease.

Population size groups

Over the month, consumer prices in the South edged up 0.2 percent in both the largest metropolitan areas, those with 1.5 million or more residents (Size Class A) and the mid-size areas, those with populations between 50,000 and 1.5 million (Size Class B/C). Prices inched down 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 2.0 percent in the largest areas (Size Class A). Prices rose 2.5 percent in the mid-sized areas (Size Class B/C) and advanced 3.3 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 2005-06 weights that were introduced effective with the February 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 February 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 February 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
Apr.
2010
Apr.
2009
Mar.
2010
Apr.
2010
Apr.
2009
Mar.
2010

All items

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211.528 2.4 0.1
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209.017 3.2 0.2

All items (Dec. 1977 = 100)

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343.128
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338.527

Food and beverages

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217.724 0.8 0.0
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216.573 0.8 0.1

Food

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218.380 0.8 0.0
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217.135 0.8 0.1

Food at home

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213.194 0.6 -0.1
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211.481 0.5 0.0

Food away from home

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228.213 1.1 0.2
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227.632 1.2 0.2

Alcoholic beverages

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207.573 0.5 0.0
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207.794 1.3 0.1

Housing

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200.554 -0.9 0.0
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200.088 -0.6 0.0

Shelter

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222.021 -0.8 0.0
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221.359 -0.5 0.0

Rent of primary residence (1)

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223.297 -0.1 -0.1
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221.923 -0.2 -0.1

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

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225.661 -0.4 0.1
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209.971 -0.4 0.1

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

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225.662 -0.4 0.1
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209.974 -0.4 0.1

Fuels and utilities

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211.773 -0.8 0.1
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211.980 -0.8 0.3

Household energy

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180.171 -2.6 0.1
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178.711 -2.5 0.3

Gas (piped) and electricity (1)

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180.489 -3.1 0.2
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179.937 -2.9 0.3

Electricity (1)

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175.665 -3.8 0.8
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173.894 -3.5 0.9

Utility (piped) gas service (1)

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197.783 1.1 -3.6
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201.189 1.4 -3.7

Household furnishings and operations

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127.484 -2.0 -0.3
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122.365 -1.9 -0.4

Apparel

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131.612 -2.9 -0.9
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130.922 -3.2 -0.9

Transportation

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192.032 14.3 0.9
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190.373 16.4 1.0

Private transportation

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190.363 14.6 0.9
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188.861 16.7 1.0

New and used motor vehicles (4)

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97.192 5.5 -0.1
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95.580 8.2 -0.1

New vehicles

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143.158 2.5 -0.3
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142.701 2.4 -0.3

New cars and trucks (4) (5)

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97.409 2.5 -0.2
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New cars (5)

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146.463 2.5 -0.3
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Used cars and trucks

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140.296 17.3 0.2
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141.048 17.3 0.2

Motor fuel

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242.819 38.5 2.6
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242.773 38.6 2.6

Gasoline (all types)

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242.219 38.7 2.6
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242.281 38.8 2.6

Gasoline, unleaded regular (5)

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241.092 39.7 2.6
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241.125 39.8 2.6

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade (5) (6)

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252.830 37.2 2.6
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252.874 37.3 2.6

Gasoline, unleaded premium (5)

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240.304 35.4 2.5
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240.049 35.4 2.5

Medical care

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370.000 4.0 0.3
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374.256 4.3 0.3

Medical care commodities

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299.998 2.7 0.0
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293.494 2.9 0.0

Medical care services

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393.138 4.5 0.4
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399.224 4.8 0.4

Professional services

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326.351 3.9 0.6
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328.229 4.0 0.6

Recreation (4)

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114.239 -1.3 -0.3
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110.734 -1.5 -0.3

Education and communication (4)

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125.272 2.8 0.0
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120.261 2.4 0.1

Other goods and services

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372.707 3.2 0.2
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396.334 4.1 0.2

Commodities

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176.820 4.8 0.2
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178.611 6.3 0.3

Services

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247.099 0.7 0.1
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245.967 0.8 0.1

All items less shelter

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208.683 3.8 0.2
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206.054 4.7 0.3

All items less medical care

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202.494 2.2 0.1
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200.983 3.1 0.2

Energy

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204.316 16.7 1.5
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205.311 17.7 1.7

All items less energy

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212.985 1.0 0.0
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209.464 1.4 0.0

All items less food and energy

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212.424 1.0 0.0
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208.061 1.6 0.0

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

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213.052 2.0 0.2
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211.068 2.6 0.2

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

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134.606 2.5 0.2
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133.695 3.4 0.2

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

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214.714 3.3 -0.1
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215.006 3.9 -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: June 1, 2010

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