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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

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Consumer Price Index, South Region – April 2012

Prices in the South up 0.4 percent over the month and 2.5 percent over the year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for the South increased 0.4 percent in April, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Sheila Watkins, the Bureau’s regional commissioner, noted that energy prices advanced 1.9 percent over the month and the index for all items less food and energy edged up 0.2 percent. Within the all items less food and energy group, shelter and used cars and trucks were among those indexes that recorded increases. Food prices rose 0.3 percent over the month. (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 2.5 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, April 2009 - April 2012

Food

Food prices rose 0.3 percent in April. Prices for food at home increased 0.4 percent over the month and prices for food away from home edged up 0.2 percent.

Since April 2011, the index for food advanced 3.3 percent as prices for both food at home and food away from home increased, up 3.7 and 2.6 percent, respectively.

Energy

The energy index rose 1.9 percent in April, led by a 2.8-percent advance in motor fuel prices. Electricity and utility (piped) gas service each increased 0.5 percent over the month.

Over the year, energy prices advanced 1.8 percent as motor fuel prices increased 3.6 percent and prices for electricity rose 1.2 percent. A 7.8-percent drop in prices for utility (piped) gas service helped moderate the overall increase in the energy index.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy edged up 0.2 percent in April. Among the components of the index recording increases were shelter (0.2 percent), used cars and trucks (1.6 percent), and apparel (0.7 percent).

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy advanced 2.4 percent, led by price increases for shelter (2.3 percent), medical care (3.7 percent), and education and communication (2.6 percent).

The May 2012 Consumer Price Index for the South region is scheduled to be released on Thursday, June 14, 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 0.6 3.3

March

1.0 2.6 0.8 4.4 0.3 -0.3 0.6 2.5 1.2 2.8 0.7 2.8

April

0.9 2.5 0.7 4.2 0.3 -0.7 0.1 2.4 0.7 3.4 0.4 2.5

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 88 percent of the total population and (2) a CPI for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) which covers 29 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-
Feb.
2012
Mar.
2012
Apr.
2012
Apr.
2011
Feb.
2012
Mar.
2012

Expenditure category

All Items

221.802 223.314 224.275 2.5 1.1 0.4

All items (December 1977=100)

359.793 362.247 363.806

Food and beverages

231.038 231.128 231.858 3.2 0.4 0.3

Food

232.026 232.120 232.868 3.3 0.4 0.3

Food at home

229.662 229.613 230.556 3.7 0.4 0.4

Food away from home

238.077 238.396 238.849 2.6 0.3 0.2

Alcoholic beverages

216.650 216.677 217.143 2.4 0.2 0.2

Housing

205.748 205.902 206.344 2.0 0.3 0.2

Shelter

228.953 229.559 229.971 2.3 0.4 0.2

Rent of primary residence (1)

230.952 231.251 231.577 2.8 0.3 0.1

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

232.389 232.812 233.301 2.1 0.4 0.2

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

232.377 232.801 233.289 2.1 0.4 0.2

Fuels and utilities

216.461 214.833 216.285 1.3 -0.1 0.7

Household energy

181.665 179.653 180.496 0.0 -0.6 0.5

Energy services (1)

180.963 178.814 179.740 0.0 -0.7 0.5

Electricity (1)

179.440 177.701 178.624 1.2 -0.5 0.5

Utility (piped) gas service (1)

175.870 171.226 172.100 -7.8 -2.1 0.5

Household furnishings and operations

126.916 126.737 126.539 0.7 -0.3 -0.2

Apparel

131.898 136.320 137.318 4.0 4.1 0.7

Transportation

216.121 221.532 224.411 3.2 3.8 1.3

Private transportation

214.719 220.123 222.915 3.3 3.8 1.3

New and used motor vehicles (3)

100.846 101.240 101.644 2.3 0.8 0.4

New vehicles

149.871 149.849 149.553 2.0 -0.2 -0.2

New cars and trucks (3) (4)

101.958 101.939 101.742 2.0 -0.2 -0.2

New cars (4)

153.837 153.510 153.356 2.3 -0.3 -0.1

Used cars and trucks

145.694 147.255 149.572 3.9 2.7 1.6

Motor fuel

309.196 327.880 336.942 3.6 9.0 2.8

Gasoline (all types)

307.842 326.609 335.932 3.5 9.1 2.9

Unleaded regular (4)

307.333 326.407 335.828 3.5 9.3 2.9

Unleaded midgrade (4) (5)

319.583 338.268 347.962 3.6 8.9 2.9

Unleaded premium (4)

302.167 319.469 327.968 3.6 8.5 2.7

Medical care

390.451 391.985 392.696 3.7 0.6 0.2

Medical care commodities

312.951 314.571 315.456 3.1 0.8 0.3

Medical care services

416.533 417.996 418.614 3.8 0.5 0.1

Professional services

337.571 338.519 339.012 1.4 0.4 0.1

Recreation (3)

114.094 114.799 114.791 0.5 0.6 0.0

Education and communication (3)

129.902 129.844 129.905 2.6 0.0 0.0

Other goods and services

382.425 383.842 385.596 2.1 0.8 0.5

Commodity and service group

All Items

221.802 223.314 224.275 2.5 1.1 0.4

Commodities

188.600 191.202 192.462 2.7 2.0 0.7

Commodities less food and beverages

166.620 170.199 171.647 2.4 3.0 0.9

Nondurables less food and beverages

220.622 227.992 230.810 3.3 4.6 1.2

Nondurables less food, beverages, and apparel

274.686 283.854 287.743 3.1 4.8 1.4

Durables

116.046 116.001 116.140 0.8 0.1 0.1

Services

256.031 256.526 257.215 2.4 0.5 0.3

Rent of shelter (2)

235.247 235.848 236.279 2.3 0.4 0.2

Transportation services

282.662 284.125 285.284 2.5 0.9 0.4

Other services

308.828 309.631 310.523 2.4 0.5 0.3

Special aggregate indexes

All items less medical care

212.230 213.726 214.687 2.4 1.2 0.4

All items less food

220.002 221.735 222.728 2.4 1.2 0.4

All items less shelter

220.447 222.351 223.549 2.6 1.4 0.5

Commodities less food

168.339 171.838 173.265 2.4 2.9 0.8

Nondurables

226.246 230.296 232.165 3.3 2.6 0.8

Nondurables less food

220.233 227.227 229.924 3.3 4.4 1.2

Nondurables less food and apparel

268.519 276.928 280.531 3.1 4.5 1.3

Services less rent of shelter (2)

290.199 290.574 291.612 2.5 0.5 0.4

Services less medical care services

241.437 241.865 242.545 2.2 0.5 0.3

Energy

235.949 243.392 247.957 1.8 5.1 1.9

All items less energy

220.810 221.623 222.159 2.5 0.6 0.2

All items less food and energy

219.214 220.157 220.656 2.4 0.7 0.2

Commodities less food and energy commodities

149.175 150.320 150.572 2.0 0.9 0.2

Energy commodities

313.344 331.969 340.895 3.6 8.8 2.7

Services less energy services

263.787 264.592 265.250 2.6 0.6 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) 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: May 16, 2012

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