Mid-Atlantic Information Office

For release: Thursday, June 17, 2010 PLS - 4673
Technical Information: (215) 597-3282 • BLSInfoPhiladelphia@bls.govwww.bls.gov/ro3
Media Contact: (215) 861-5600 • BLSMediaPhiladelphia@bls.gov

South Region Consumer Price Index – May 2010 (PDF)

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for the South1 was unchanged in May at a level of 211.423 (1982-84=100), the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Sheila Watkins, the Bureau’s regional commissioner, noted that while prices decreased for most major categories, including apparel, housing, recreation, and medical care, these declines were offset by price increases led by transportation. The energy index increased 0.3 percent over the month, while food prices were unchanged. The all items less food and energy index inched down 0.1 percent in May. (See chart 1 and table 1.)

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

1-month and 12-month percent changes ended May 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 2.0 percent, due largely to higher prices for transportation, particularly motor fuel. Since May 2009, energy prices in the region advanced 12.9 percent, while food prices increased 0.9 percent. Over the same period, the all items less food and energy index rose 0.9 percent.

Among the major categories, the apparel index followed normal seasonal patterns, decreasing 1.6 percent in May. Over the year, apparel prices declined 2.8 percent.

The housing index inched down 0.1 percent over the month. The household furnishings and operations component edged down 0.3 percent since April. Prices for fuels and utilities inched down 0.1 percent in May as a 1.5-percent decline in prices for utility (piped) gas service was largely offset by a 0.3-percent increase in electricity prices. The shelter component, which includes rent of primary residence, lodging away from home, owners’ equivalent rent of residences, and tenants’ and household insurance, was unchanged over the month. Since May 2009, the housing index declined 1.0 percent—the tenth consecutive 12-month decrease. Declines in prices for shelter (-0.8 percent), household furnishings and operations (-2.4 percent), and fuels and utilities (-0.5 percent) all contributed to the recent 12-month decrease in the housing index.

The recreation index edged down 0.2 percent in May. Over the year, recreation prices declined 1.4 percent—the largest 12-month decrease since the inception of this index in December 1997.

Medical care prices inched down 0.1 percent over the month. Prices for medical care services were 0.1 percent lower since April and those for medical care commodities, 0.1 percent higher. Since May 2009, the medical care index advanced 3.9 percent as prices rose for both medical care services (4.3 percent) and medical care commodities (2.8 percent).

The education and communication index inched down 0.1 percent since April. Since last May, prices for education and communication rose 2.6 percent.

The food and beverages index was unchanged in May as increases in prices for food away from home (0.2 percent) and alcoholic beverages (0.3 percent) were offset by a 0.1-percent decrease in prices for food at home. Over the year, the food and beverages index advanced 0.9 percent as prices increased for food away from home (1.2 percent), food at home (0.6 percent), and alcoholic beverages (1.3 percent).

The remaining two indexes increased over the month. The transportation index increased 0.3 percent in May, dominated by a 0.6-percent rise in motor fuel prices. Over the year, transportation prices advanced 11.9 percent as motor fuel prices jumped 28.4 percent and those for new and used motor vehicles rose 5.2 percent.

The other goods and services index (which includes tobacco and smoking products, personal care products and services, and miscellaneous personal goods) inched up 0.1 percent over the month. Since May 2009, this index advanced 3.5 percent.

Population size groups

Over the month, consumer prices in the South were unchanged in the largest metropolitan areas, those with 1.5 million or more residents (Size Class A). In the mid-size areas, those with populations between 50,000 and 1.5 million (Size Class B/C), and the smallest areas, those with populations of less than 50,000 (Size Class D), prices decreased 0.1 and 0.2 percent, respectively. Over the past 12 months, consumer prices in the South increased 1.8 percent in the largest areas (Size Class A). Prices rose 2.1 percent in the mid-sized areas (Size Class B/C) and advanced 2.3 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.

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
May
2010
May
2009
Apr.
2010
May
2010
May
2009
Apr.
2010

All items

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211.423 2.0 0.0
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208.920 2.7 0.0

All items (Dec. 1977 = 100)

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342.958
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338.369

Food and beverages

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217.825 0.9 0.0
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216.605 1.0 0.0

Food

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218.450 0.9 0.0
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217.126 0.9 0.0

Food at home

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212.969 0.6 -0.1
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211.239 0.6 -0.1

Food away from home

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228.693 1.2 0.2
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227.970 1.2 0.1

Alcoholic beverages

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208.097 1.3 0.3
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208.435 2.1 0.3

Housing

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200.409 -1.0 -0.1
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199.945 -0.7 -0.1

Shelter

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221.967 -0.8 0.0
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221.296 -0.5 0.0

Rent of primary residence (1)

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223.340 -0.2 0.0
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221.958 -0.3 0.0

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

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225.578 -0.5 0.0
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209.864 -0.5 -0.1

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

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225.582 -0.5 0.0
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209.868 -0.5 -0.1

Fuels and utilities

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211.479 -0.5 -0.1
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211.872 -0.5 -0.1

Household energy

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180.056 -2.0 -0.1
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178.780 -2.1 0.0

Gas (piped) and electricity (1)

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180.530 -2.6 0.0
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180.128 -2.4 0.1

Electricity (1)

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176.148 -3.5 0.3
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174.406 -3.2 0.3

Utility (piped) gas service (1)

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194.738 3.0 -1.5
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198.613 3.6 -1.3

Household furnishings and operations

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127.074 -2.4 -0.3
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121.841 -2.4 -0.4

Apparel

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129.571 -2.8 -1.6
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128.876 -3.5 -1.6

Transportation

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192.614 11.9 0.3
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190.975 13.6 0.3

Private transportation

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190.764 12.0 0.2
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189.377 13.8 0.3

New and used motor vehicles (4)

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97.194 5.2 0.0
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95.705 7.7 0.1

New vehicles

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142.558 2.1 -0.4
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142.138 1.8 -0.4

New cars and trucks (4) (5)

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96.995 2.1 -0.4
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New cars (5)

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145.873 1.9 -0.4
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Used cars and trucks

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141.341 16.4 0.7
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142.104 16.4 0.7

Motor fuel

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244.238 28.4 0.6
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244.165 28.3 0.6

Gasoline (all types)

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243.458 27.9 0.5
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243.492 27.9 0.5

Gasoline, unleaded regular (5)

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242.380 28.6 0.5
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242.387 28.6 0.5

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade (5) (6)

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253.804 26.6 0.4
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253.818 26.5 0.4

Gasoline, unleaded premium (5)

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241.636 26.2 0.6
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241.334 26.1 0.5

Medical care

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369.682 3.9 -0.1
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373.968 4.2 -0.1

Medical care commodities

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300.264 2.8 0.1
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293.870 3.0 0.1

Medical care services

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392.562 4.3 -0.1
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398.633 4.6 -0.1

Professional services

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326.226 3.6 0.0
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328.146 3.8 0.0

Recreation (4)

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113.957 -1.4 -0.2
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110.261 -1.7 -0.4

Education and communication (4)

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125.198 2.6 -0.1
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120.152 2.1 -0.1

Other goods and services

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373.017 3.5 0.1
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397.053 4.4 0.2

Commodities

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176.586 4.0 -0.1
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178.465 5.2 -0.1

Services

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247.120 0.6 0.0
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245.920 0.7 0.0

All items less shelter

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208.556 3.3 -0.1
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205.943 4.1 -0.1

All items less medical care

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202.399 1.9 0.0
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200.893 2.6 0.0

Energy

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204.934 12.9 0.3
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206.038 13.6 0.4

All items less energy

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212.799 0.9 -0.1
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209.251 1.3 -0.1

All items less food and energy

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212.191 0.9 -0.1
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207.807 1.4 -0.1

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

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213.101 1.8 0.0
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211.065 2.3 0.0

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

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134.500 2.1 -0.1
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133.621 2.9 -0.1

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

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214.336 2.3 -0.2
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214.679 2.7 -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) 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 18, 2010

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