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Friday, February 17, 2012

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Consumer Price Index, South Region – January 2012

Prices in the South up 0.5 percent over the month and 3.2 percent over the year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for the South advanced 0.5 percent in January, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Sheila Watkins, the Bureau’s regional commissioner, noted that energy prices increased 2.5 percent over the month. The index for food rose 0.5 percent and the index for all items less food and energy edged up 0.2 percent in January. Within the all items less food and energy group, widespread price advances led by shelter and recreation were partially offset by a seasonal decline in apparel prices. (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 3.2 percent. The index for all items less food and energy rose 2.4 percent over the year. (See chart 1.)

Chart 1. 12-month percent change in CPI for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), South region, January 2009 - January 2012

Food

Food prices advanced 0.5 percent in January, reflecting higher prices for both food at home (0.8 percent) and food away from home (0.2 percent).

Since January 2011, the index for food increased 4.6 percent as prices for both food at home and food away from home increased, up 5.7 and 3.1 percent, respectively.

Energy

The energy index rose 2.5 percent in January following four consecutive decreases totaling 8.9 percent. The recent advance reflected a 4.6-percent increase in motor fuel prices. Moderating the advance in the overall energy index were lower prices for utility (piped) gas service and electricity, down 1.1 and 0.1 percent, respectively.

Over the year, energy prices advanced 7.2 percent, led by a 10.6-percent jump in motor fuel prices. Prices for electricity rose 2.9 percent since January 2011, while utility (piped) gas service prices declined 0.9 percent.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy edged up 0.2 percent in January. Among the components of the index recording increases were shelter (0.4 percent), recreation (0.5 percent), and education and communication (0.3 percent). Following normal seasonal patterns, the apparel index decreased 2.3 percent.

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy advanced 2.4 percent, led by price increases for shelter (2.2 percent), medical care (3.4 percent), and education and communication (2.4 percent).

The February 2012 Consumer Price Index for the South region is scheduled to be released on Friday, March 16, 2012 at 8:30 a.m. (ET).

Table A. South region CPI-U 1-month and 12-month percent changes, all items index, not seasonally adjusted
Month 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
1-month 12-month 1-month 12-month 1-month 12-month 1-month 12-month 1-month 12-month 1-month 12-month

January

0.1 1.8 0.5 4.9 0.4 -0.1 0.3 2.8 0.5 1.7 0.5 3.2

February

0.5 2.2 0.3 4.6 0.5 0.1 0.0 2.3 0.5 2.2 - -

March

1.0 2.6 0.8 4.4 0.3 -0.3 0.6 2.5 1.2 2.8 - -

April

0.9 2.5 0.7 4.2 0.3 -0.7 0.1 2.4 0.7 3.4 - -

May

0.6 2.7 0.9 4.6 0.3 -1.3 0.0 2.0 0.5 4.0 - -

June

0.4 2.7 1.1 5.3 1.0 -1.4 -0.1 0.9 -0.2 3.8 - -

July

-0.1 2.3 0.5 5.8 -0.3 -2.1 -0.1 1.0 0.2 4.1 - -

August

-0.3 2.0 -0.4 5.6 0.1 -1.6 0.2 1.1 0.4 4.3 - -

September

0.3 3.0 0.1 5.4 0.0 -1.8 0.2 1.4 0.0 4.1 - -

October

0.2 3.8 -1.2 3.9 0.2 -0.4 0.1 1.3 -0.2 3.7 - -

November

0.6 4.7 -2.2 1.0 0.2 2.0 0.0 1.1 0.0 3.8 - -

December

0.0 4.4 -1.0 0.0 -0.1 2.9 0.2 1.4 -0.2 3.3 - -

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 26,000 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-
Nov.
2011
Dec.
2011
Jan.
2012
Jan.
2011
Nov.
2011
Dec.
2011

Expenditure category

All Items

219.961 219.469 220.497 3.2 0.2 0.5

All items (December 1977=100)

356.807 356.010 357.677

Food and beverages

229.243 229.534 230.898 4.4 0.7 0.6

Food

230.365 230.684 231.949 4.6 0.7 0.5

Food at home

227.816 228.276 229.991 5.7 1.0 0.8

Food away from home

236.665 236.791 237.368 3.1 0.3 0.2

Alcoholic beverages

212.806 212.727 215.565 1.9 1.3 1.3

Housing

204.579 204.895 205.535 2.1 0.5 0.3

Shelter

227.341 227.735 228.570 2.2 0.5 0.4

Rent of primary residence (1)

229.801 230.528 230.498 2.7 0.3 0.0

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

231.249 231.719 232.332 2.1 0.5 0.3

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

231.235 231.706 232.321 2.1 0.5 0.3

Fuels and utilities

216.830 217.309 217.376 2.9 0.3 0.0

Household energy

182.761 182.982 182.732 2.6 0.0 -0.1

Energy services (1)

182.189 182.481 182.105 2.4 0.0 -0.2

Electricity (1)

179.049 179.406 179.305 2.9 0.1 -0.1

Utility (piped) gas service (1)

187.576 187.383 185.245 -0.9 -1.2 -1.1

Household furnishings and operations

126.131 126.058 126.453 0.6 0.3 0.3

Apparel

136.744 133.133 130.075 3.6 -4.9 -2.3

Transportation

210.402 207.778 210.995 5.9 0.3 1.5

Private transportation

208.729 206.023 209.470 6.1 0.4 1.7

New and used motor vehicles (3)

100.351 100.204 100.240 3.1 -0.1 0.0

New vehicles

147.112 147.416 148.135 3.4 0.7 0.5

New cars and trucks (3) (4)

100.139 100.313 100.807 3.4 0.7 0.5

New cars (4)

151.876 152.077 152.332 4.2 0.3 0.2

Used cars and trucks

147.733 146.805 145.827 3.3 -1.3 -0.7

Motor fuel

289.582 279.011 291.767 10.6 0.8 4.6

Gasoline (all types)

287.917 277.012 290.123 10.4 0.8 4.7

Unleaded regular (4)

286.906 275.740 289.286 10.5 0.8 4.9

Unleaded midgrade (4) (5)

300.111 289.460 301.894 10.2 0.6 4.3

Unleaded premium (4)

284.333 274.451 286.084 10.0 0.6 4.2

Medical care

386.472 386.706 387.581 3.4 0.3 0.2

Medical care commodities

308.507 308.476 309.483 2.4 0.3 0.3

Medical care services

412.843 413.193 413.991 3.7 0.3 0.2

Professional services

337.430 337.525 337.672 2.1 0.1 0.0

Recreation (3)

113.320 113.510 114.057 1.1 0.7 0.5

Education and communication (3)

129.152 129.225 129.634 2.4 0.4 0.3

Other goods and services

383.115 383.655 383.469 1.8 0.1 0.0

Commodity and service group

All Items

219.961 219.469 220.497 3.2 0.2 0.5

Commodities

186.215 184.780 186.219 4.2 0.0 0.8

Commodities less food and beverages

164.052 161.934 163.370 4.0 -0.4 0.9

Nondurables less food and beverages

216.156 211.950 214.679 5.5 -0.7 1.3

Nondurables less food, beverages, and apparel

264.955 260.328 266.327 6.0 0.5 2.3

Durables

115.336 115.164 115.366 1.5 0.0 0.2

Services

254.658 255.084 255.733 2.6 0.4 0.3

Rent of shelter (2)

233.635 234.003 234.856 2.2 0.5 0.4

Transportation services

282.604 282.938 282.108 3.3 -0.2 -0.3

Other services

307.157 307.662 308.851 2.7 0.6 0.4

Special aggregate indexes

All items less medical care

210.497 209.983 211.006 3.2 0.2 0.5

All items less food

218.137 217.518 218.508 3.0 0.2 0.5

All items less shelter

218.502 217.631 218.747 3.7 0.1 0.5

Commodities less food

165.724 163.660 165.135 3.9 -0.4 0.9

Nondurables

222.969 220.837 222.948 5.0 0.0 1.0

Nondurables less food

215.775 211.807 214.539 5.3 -0.6 1.3

Nondurables less food and apparel

259.265 255.050 260.769 5.7 0.6 2.2

Services less rent of shelter (2)

289.087 289.603 290.011 3.0 0.3 0.1

Services less medical care services

240.230 240.651 241.278 2.5 0.4 0.3

Energy

227.826 222.909 228.581 7.2 0.3 2.5

All items less energy

219.732 219.742 220.221 2.8 0.2 0.2

All items less food and energy

218.239 218.193 218.533 2.4 0.1 0.2

Commodities less food and energy commodities

149.254 148.488 148.173 1.9 -0.7 -0.2

Energy commodities

293.771 283.213 296.002 10.6 0.8 4.5

Services less energy services

262.113 262.554 263.320 2.6 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: February 17, 2011

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