Mid-Atlantic Information Office

For release: Wednesday, November 17, 2010 PLS - 4727
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Consumer Price Index, South Region – October 2010 (PDF)

Prices in the South up 0.1 Percent Over the Month and 1.3 Percent Over the Year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for the South was little changed, up 0.1 percent in October, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Sheila Watkins, the Bureau’s regional commissioner, noted that prices edged up for both energy and all items less food and energy, while food prices were unchanged. Within the all items less food and energy group, apparel and medical care were among those indexes that recorded increases. (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 rose 1.3 percent. The index for all items less food and energy advanced 0.8 percent over the year. (See chart 1.)

Chart 1. 12-month percent change in CPI for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), South region, October 2007-October 2010

12-month percent change in CPI for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), South region, October 2007-October 2010

Food

Food prices were unchanged in October following a 0.6-percent increase in September. Within the food index, prices for food at home inched up 0.1 percent while those for food away from home inched down 0.1 percent.

Over the year, the index for food advanced 1.5 percent as prices for food at home and food away from home increased 1.7 percent and 1.2 percent, respectively.

Energy

The energy index edged up 0.2 percent in October following a 1.0-percent decrease in September. Within the energy index, prices increased 4.2 percent for motor fuel and 0.2 percent for utility (piped) gas service since September. Prices for electricity, which normally rise in June as summer rate schedules are introduced, then decline in October, fell 5.2 percent over the month.

Over the year, the energy index rose 5.2 percent as higher prices for motor fuel (11.1 percent) were partially offset by lower prices for electricity (-1.9 percent) and utility (piped) gas service (-0.5 percent).

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy inched up 0.1 percent in October. Among the components of the index, apparel prices recorded a seasonal advance of 1.0 percent and costs for medical care edged up 0.2 percent over the month.

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy increased 0.8 percent. Higher prices for medical care (3.9 percent) and new and used motor vehicles (2.6 percent) contributed to the increase.

The Consumer Price Index for November 2010 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, December 15, 2010 at 8:30 a.m. (ET).

Technical Note

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 87 percent of the total population and (2) a CPI for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) which covers 32 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 25,000 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 and the BLS Handbook of Methods, Chapter 17, The Consumer Price Index, available 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.

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

Information in this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: (202) 691-5200; TDD message referral phone number: (800) 877-8339.

For personal assistance or further information on Consumer Price Indexes, as well as other Bureau products, contact the Mid-Atlantic Information Office at (215) 597-3282 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. ET.

Table 1. Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U): Indexes and percent changes for selected periods
South (1982-84=100 unless otherwise noted)
Item and Group

Indexes
Percent change from-
Aug.
2010
Sep.
2010
Oct.
2010
Oct.
2009
Aug.
2010
Sep.
2010

Expenditure category

All Items

211.308 211.775 212.026 1.3 0.3 0.1

All items (December 1977=100)

342.771 343.529 343.935

Food and beverages

217.776 218.960 218.990 1.5 0.6 0.0

Food

218.246 219.468 219.485 1.5 0.6 0.0

Food at home

212.765 213.994 214.166 1.7 0.7 0.1

Food away from home

228.487 229.714 229.516 1.2 0.5 -0.1

Alcoholic beverages

210.114 210.789 210.990 1.5 0.4 0.1

Housing

201.567 201.546 200.846 -0.3 -0.4 -0.3

Shelter

222.398 222.633 222.920 0.0 0.2 0.1

Rent of primary residence (1)

222.334 222.914 222.905 -0.5 0.3 0.0

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

226.324 226.630 227.023 0.3 0.3 0.2

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

226.327 226.627 227.020 0.3 0.3 0.2

Fuels and utilities

220.029 218.749 211.579 -0.2 -3.8 -3.3

Household energy

189.099 187.608 179.398 -1.3 -5.1 -4.4

Gas (piped) and electricity (1) (3)

190.042 188.413 179.894 -1.6 -5.3 -4.5

Electricity (1)

186.155 185.848 176.176 -1.9 -5.4 -5.2

Utility (piped) gas service (1)

199.934 189.223 189.523 -0.5 -5.2 0.2

Household furnishings and operations

125.886 125.767 125.799 -2.4 -0.1 0.0

Apparel

126.424 131.030 132.390 -2.1 4.7 1.0

Transportation

189.920 189.022 191.629 5.8 0.9 1.4

Private transportation

187.979 187.139 189.761 5.9 0.9 1.4

New and used motor vehicles (4)

97.953 97.598 97.265 2.6 -0.7 -0.3

New vehicles

141.552 141.711 142.144 0.8 0.4 0.3

New cars and trucks (4) (5)

96.321 96.440 96.732 0.8 0.4 0.3

New cars (5)

144.629 144.945 145.554 0.6 0.6 0.4

Used cars and trucks

146.183 144.392 142.443 8.1 -2.6 -1.3

Motor fuel

229.424 226.738 236.158 11.1 2.9 4.2

Gasoline (all types)

228.570 225.822 235.269 11.0 2.9 4.2

Unleaded regular (5)

226.988 224.326 234.017 11.2 3.1 4.3

Unleaded midgrade (5) (6)

239.602 236.444 245.795 10.4 2.6 4.0

Unleaded premium (5)

228.663 225.831 234.161 10.4 2.4 3.7

Medical Care

368.139 372.421 373.117 3.9 1.4 0.2

Medical care commodities

298.778 299.703 299.808 1.5 0.3 0.0

Medical care services

391.029 396.737 397.686 4.8 1.7 0.2

Professional services

328.155 329.008 328.894 3.3 0.2 0.0

Recreation (4)

113.513 113.256 112.961 -1.8 -0.5 -0.3

Education and communication (4)

126.476 127.105 127.017 1.8 0.4 -0.1

Other goods and services

376.423 376.018 375.173 1.5 -0.3 -0.2

Commodity and service group

All Items

211.308 211.775 212.026 1.3 0.3 0.1

Commodities

174.649 175.234 176.197 1.9 0.9 0.5

Commodities less food & beverages

152.712 153.034 154.362 2.1 1.1 0.9

Nondurables less food & beverages

193.639 194.580 197.597 3.0 2.0 1.6

Nondurables less food, beverages, and apparel

235.180 234.110 238.112 4.7 1.2 1.7

Durables

114.417 114.161 113.916 0.6 -0.4 -0.2

Services

248.784 249.140 248.696 0.9 0.0 -0.2

Rent of shelter (2)

228.597 228.838 229.119 -0.1 0.2 0.1

Transportation services

269.025 269.052 270.813 3.9 0.7 0.7

Other services

300.439 300.838 300.590 1.2 0.1 -0.1

Special aggregate indexes

All items less medical care

202.343 202.651 202.880 1.1 0.3 0.1

All items less food

210.040 210.387 210.674 1.3 0.3 0.1

All items less shelter

208.208 208.777 209.014 1.9 0.4 0.1

Commodities less food

154.607 154.940 156.239 2.1 1.1 0.8

Nondurables

205.504 206.562 208.202 2.3 1.3 0.8

Nondurables less food

194.400 195.325 198.180 2.9 1.9 1.5

Nondurables less food and apparel

231.955 231.041 234.697 4.5 1.2 1.6

Services less rent of shelter (2)

281.952 282.470 281.051 2.1 -0.3 -0.5

Services less medical care services

235.378 235.426 234.914 0.6 -0.2 -0.2

Energy

202.353 200.340 200.768 5.2 -0.8 0.2

All items less energy

212.963 213.713 213.944 0.9 0.5 0.1

All items less food and energy

212.422 213.088 213.359 0.8 0.4 0.1

Commodities less food and energy commodities

145.789 146.590 146.635 0.0 0.6 0.0

Energy commodities

232.738 230.162 239.565 11.2 2.9 4.1

Services less energy services

254.781 255.348 255.767 1.1 0.4 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) Index is on a December 1982=100 base.
(3) In January, 2011, this series will be re-titled Energy services.
(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.

Regions defined as the four Census regions. 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.
- Data not available.
NOTE: Index applies to a month as a whole, not to any specific date. Data not seasonally adjusted.

Last Modified Date: November 17, 2010

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