Mid-Atlantic Information Office

For release: Thursday, March 17, 2011 PLS - 4767
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Consumer Price Index, South Region – February 2011 (PDF)

Prices in the South up 0.5 percent over the month and 2.2 percent over the year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for the South increased 0.5 percent in February, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Sheila Watkins, the Bureau’s regional commissioner, noted that prices advanced for energy, food, and all items less food and energy. Within the all items less food and energy group, shelter, apparel, and new vehicles 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 advanced 2.2 percent. The index for all items less food and energy rose 1.1 percent over the year. (See chart 1.)

Chart 1. 12-month percent change in CPI for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), South region, February 2008-February 2011

Chart 1. 12-month percent change in CPI for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), South region, February 2008-February 2011

Food

Food prices rose 0.5 percent in February following a 0.9-percent increase in the previous month. Within the food index, prices for food at home increased 0.6 percent while prices for food away from home rose 0.4 percent over the month.

Over the year, the index for food advanced 2.2 percent as prices for food at home and food away from home increased 2.9 and 1.3 percent, respectively.

Energy

The energy index increased 1.3 percent in February, as prices for motor fuel advanced 1.8 percent. Prices also rose for electricity (0.5 percent) and utility (piped) gas service (0.6 percent) over the month.

Over the year, the energy index advanced 11.2 percent as higher prices for motor fuel (18.8 percent) and electricity (3.4 percent) were partially offset by lower prices for utility (piped) gas service (-10.0 percent).

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.4 percent in February, led by a 0.3-percent increase in shelter prices. A seasonal advance in apparel prices, which rose 1.9 percent over the month, also contributed to the overall increase, as did a 1.5-percent rise in prices for new vehicles.

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy increased 1.1 percent due largely to higher prices for shelter, also up 1.1 percent. Prices for apparel and recreation decreased over the year, down 1.8 and 0.9 percent, respectively.

The Consumer Price Index for March 2011 is scheduled to be released on Friday, April 15, 2011 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-
Dec.
2010
Jan.
2011
Feb.
2011
Feb.
2010
Dec.
2010
Jan.
2011

Expenditure category

All Items

212.488 213.589 214.735 2.2 1.1 0.5

All items (December 1977=100)

344.685 346.472 348.330

Food and beverages

219.105 221.085 222.160 2.2 1.4 0.5

Food

219.636 221.699 222.813 2.2 1.4 0.5

Food at home

214.345 217.507 218.731 2.9 2.0 0.6

Food away from home

229.629 230.187 231.160 1.3 0.7 0.4

Alcoholic beverages

210.617 211.476 212.023 1.7 0.7 0.3

Housing

200.660 201.215 201.858 1.0 0.6 0.3

Shelter

223.182 223.544 224.174 1.1 0.4 0.3

Rent of primary residence (1)

223.642 224.378 224.615 0.5 0.4 0.1

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

227.475 227.628 228.091 1.2 0.3 0.2

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

227.473 227.622 228.085 1.2 0.3 0.2

Fuels and utilities

209.495 211.265 212.278 2.2 1.3 0.5

Household energy

176.646 178.154 179.191 1.7 1.4 0.6

Energy services (1)

176.564 177.894 178.785 1.4 1.3 0.5

Electricity (1)

172.828 174.288 175.143 3.4 1.3 0.5

Utility (piped) gas service (1)

186.625 186.925 187.983 -10.0 0.7 0.6

Household furnishings and operations

125.223 125.708 126.194 -1.6 0.8 0.4

Apparel

127.102 125.582 127.908 -1.8 0.6 1.9

Transportation

196.214 199.298 201.493 7.7 2.7 1.1

Private transportation

194.318 197.504 199.601 7.6 2.7 1.1

New and used motor vehicles (3)

97.150 97.240 98.162 0.8 1.0 0.9

New vehicles

142.874 143.266 145.380 1.1 1.8 1.5

New cars and trucks (3) (4)

97.253 97.520 98.950 1.1 1.7 1.5

New cars (4)

145.859 146.132 148.521 0.8 1.8 1.6

Used cars and trucks

141.052 141.156 141.436 1.4 0.3 0.2

Motor fuel

252.909 263.741 268.611 18.8 6.2 1.8

Gasoline (all types)

252.057 262.833 267.358 18.6 6.1 1.7

Unleaded regular (4)

251.032 261.846 266.448 19.0 6.1 1.8

Unleaded midgrade (4) (5)

262.877 273.869 278.431 17.9 5.9 1.7

Unleaded premium (4)

249.531 260.008 264.082 17.4 5.8 1.6

Medical care

373.749 374.853 376.516 2.7 0.7 0.4

Medical care commodities

301.004 302.224 303.035 1.3 0.7 0.3

Medical care services

398.047 399.072 401.083 3.2 0.8 0.5

Professional services

329.806 330.844 332.641 2.6 0.9 0.5

Recreation (3)

112.959 112.800 113.227 -0.9 0.2 0.4

Education and communication (3)

126.322 126.553 126.787 1.4 0.4 0.2

Other goods and services

375.857 376.805 377.371 1.6 0.4 0.2

Commodity and service group

All Items

212.488 213.589 214.735 2.2 1.1 0.5

Commodities

177.134 178.789 180.237 2.9 1.8 0.8

Commodities less food and beverages

155.620 157.101 158.671 3.4 2.0 1.0

Nondurables less food and beverages

200.698 203.516 205.812 5.7 2.5 1.1

Nondurables less food, beverages, and apparel

245.933 251.217 253.548 8.1 3.1 0.9

Durables

113.456 113.690 114.582 -0.3 1.0 0.8

Services

248.697 249.268 250.127 1.8 0.6 0.3

Rent of shelter (2)

229.381 229.739 230.387 1.1 0.4 0.3

Transportation services

272.400 273.172 274.416 4.5 0.7 0.5

Other services

300.256 300.598 301.750 1.5 0.5 0.4

Special aggregate indexes

All items less medical care

203.330 204.417 205.528 2.2 1.1 0.5

All items less food

211.185 212.134 213.284 2.3 1.0 0.5

All items less shelter

209.565 210.989 212.362 2.8 1.3 0.7

Commodities less food

157.453 158.919 160.463 3.3 1.9 1.0

Nondurables

209.928 212.366 214.104 4.0 2.0 0.8

Nondurables less food

201.082 203.786 205.982 5.5 2.4 1.1

Nondurables less food and apparel

241.777 246.657 248.823 7.6 2.9 0.9

Services less rent of shelter (2)

280.704 281.571 282.733 2.5 0.7 0.4

Services less medical care services

234.895 235.427 236.203 1.6 0.6 0.3

Energy

207.375 213.268 216.095 11.2 4.2 1.3

All items less energy

213.710 214.271 215.229 1.3 0.7 0.4

All items less food and energy

213.055 213.345 214.278 1.1 0.6 0.4

Commodities less food and energy commodities

145.357 145.350 146.380 -0.5 0.7 0.7

Energy commodities

256.685 267.663 272.675 18.7 6.2 1.9

Services less energy services

256.123 256.612 257.467 1.8 0.5 0.3

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) Indexes on a December 1997=100 base.
(4) Special index based on a substantially smaller sample.
(5) Indexes on a December 1993=100 base.

- Data not available.
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.
NOTE: Index applies to a month as a whole, not to any specific date. Data not seasonally adjusted.

Last Modified Date: March 18, 2011

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