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12-1259-PHI

Thursday, June 14, 2012

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Consumer Price Index, South Region – May 2012

Prices in the South down 0.4 percent over the month; up 1.6 percent over the year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for the South decreased 0.4 percent in May, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Sheila Watkins, the Bureau’s regional commissioner, noted that energy prices declined 3.8 percent over the month and food prices edged down 0.2 percent. The index for all items less food and energy inched up 0.1 percent. (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 1.6 percent. The index for all items less food and energy rose 2.3 percent over the year. (See chart 1.)

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

Food

Food prices edged down 0.2 percent in May as a 0.4-percent decrease in prices for food at home was partially offset by a 0.2-percent increase in prices for food away from home.

Since May 2011, the index for food advanced 2.6 percent, reflecting higher prices for both food at home (2.6 percent) and food away from home (2.7 percent).

Energy

The energy index fell 3.8 percent in May, primarily due to a 6.5-percent decline in motor fuel prices. Utility (piped) gas service decreased 4.7 percent over the month, while electricity prices increased 1.2 percent.

Over the year, energy prices decreased 4.5 percent as price declines were recorded for motor fuel (-5.9 percent) and utility (piped) gas service (-13.5 percent). Electricity prices increased 0.8 percent since May 2011.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy inched up 0.1 percent in May. Among the components of the index recording increases were used cars and trucks (1.6 percent) and shelter (0.1 percent).

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy advanced 2.3 percent, led by price increases for shelter (2.3 percent), medical care (3.4 percent), and education and communication (2.9 percent).

The June 2012 Consumer Price Index for the South region is scheduled to be released on Tuesday, July 17, 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 -0.4 1.6

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-
Mar.
2012
Apr.
2012
May
2012
May
2011
Mar.
2012
Apr.
2012

Expenditure category

All Items

223.314 224.275 223.356 1.6 0.0 -0.4

All items (December 1977=100)

362.247 363.806 362.315

Food and beverages

231.128 231.858 231.494 2.6 0.2 -0.2

Food

232.120 232.868 232.489 2.6 0.2 -0.2

Food at home

229.613 230.556 229.683 2.6 0.0 -0.4

Food away from home

238.396 238.849 239.236 2.7 0.4 0.2

Alcoholic beverages

216.677 217.143 216.998 2.2 0.1 -0.1

Housing

205.902 206.344 206.556 1.9 0.3 0.1

Shelter

229.559 229.971 230.142 2.3 0.3 0.1

Rent of primary residence (1)

231.251 231.577 231.801 2.8 0.2 0.1

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

232.812 233.301 233.465 2.1 0.3 0.1

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

232.801 233.289 233.451 2.1 0.3 0.1

Fuels and utilities

214.833 216.285 216.979 0.3 1.0 0.3

Household energy

179.653 180.496 181.194 -1.2 0.9 0.4

Energy services (1)

178.814 179.740 180.548 -1.2 1.0 0.4

Electricity (1)

177.701 178.624 180.788 0.8 1.7 1.2

Utility (piped) gas service (1)

171.226 172.100 163.989 -13.5 -4.2 -4.7

Household furnishings and operations

126.737 126.539 126.555 0.8 -0.1 0.0

Apparel

136.320 137.318 136.626 3.1 0.2 -0.5

Transportation

221.532 224.411 219.297 -0.6 -1.0 -2.3

Private transportation

220.123 222.915 217.498 -0.8 -1.2 -2.4

New and used motor vehicles (3)

101.240 101.644 102.068 1.7 0.8 0.4

New vehicles

149.849 149.553 149.542 1.1 -0.2 0.0

New cars and trucks (3) (4)

101.939 101.742 101.734 1.1 -0.2 0.0

New cars (4)

153.510 153.356 153.538 1.1 0.0 0.1

Used cars and trucks

147.255 149.572 151.903 4.0 3.2 1.6

Motor fuel

327.880 336.942 315.190 -5.9 -3.9 -6.5

Gasoline (all types)

326.609 335.932 313.869 -6.2 -3.9 -6.6

Unleaded regular (4)

326.407 335.828 313.200 -6.4 -4.0 -6.7

Unleaded midgrade (4) (5)

338.268 347.962 326.372 -5.9 -3.5 -6.2

Unleaded premium (4)

319.469 327.968 308.201 -5.6 -3.5 -6.0

Medical care

391.985 392.696 392.786 3.4 0.2 0.0

Medical care commodities

314.571 315.456 313.349 2.4 -0.4 -0.7

Medical care services

417.996 418.614 419.679 3.8 0.4 0.3

Professional services

338.519 339.012 340.027 1.6 0.4 0.3

Recreation (3)

114.799 114.791 114.946 0.6 0.1 0.1

Education and communication (3)

129.844 129.905 130.154 2.9 0.2 0.2

Other goods and services

383.842 385.596 384.653 2.0 0.2 -0.2

Commodity and service group

All Items

223.314 224.275 223.356 1.6 0.0 -0.4

Commodities

191.202 192.462 190.123 0.6 -0.6 -1.2

Commodities less food and beverages

170.199 171.647 168.548 -0.5 -1.0 -1.8

Nondurables less food and beverages

227.992 230.810 224.088 -1.1 -1.7 -2.9

Nondurables less food, beverages, and apparel

283.854 287.743 277.529 -2.2 -2.2 -3.5

Durables

116.001 116.140 116.508 0.6 0.4 0.3

Services

256.526 257.215 257.634 2.3 0.4 0.2

Rent of shelter (2)

235.848 236.279 236.450 2.3 0.3 0.1

Transportation services

284.125 285.284 286.018 2.7 0.7 0.3

Other services

309.631 310.523 311.180 2.6 0.5 0.2

Special aggregate indexes

All items less medical care

213.726 214.687 213.735 1.5 0.0 -0.4

All items less food

221.735 222.728 221.726 1.4 0.0 -0.4

All items less shelter

222.351 223.549 222.167 1.3 -0.1 -0.6

Commodities less food

171.838 173.265 170.232 -0.4 -0.9 -1.8

Nondurables

230.296 232.165 228.341 0.6 -0.8 -1.6

Nondurables less food

227.227 229.924 223.539 -0.9 -1.6 -2.8

Nondurables less food and apparel

276.928 280.531 271.152 -1.8 -2.1 -3.3

Services less rent of shelter (2)

290.574 291.612 292.360 2.4 0.6 0.3

Services less medical care services

241.865 242.545 242.917 2.2 0.4 0.2

Energy

243.392 247.957 238.429 -4.5 -2.0 -3.8

All items less energy

221.623 222.159 222.259 2.4 0.3 0.0

All items less food and energy

220.157 220.656 220.842 2.3 0.3 0.1

Commodities less food and energy commodities

150.320 150.572 150.474 1.6 0.1 -0.1

Energy commodities

331.969 340.895 319.214 -5.8 -3.8 -6.4

Services less energy services

264.592 265.250 265.621 2.6 0.4 0.1

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.