Southwest Information Office

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14-598-DAL

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

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Further information:

Consumer Price Index, South Region – March 2014

Prices in the South up 0.6 percent over the month and 1.5 percent over the year


The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for the South rose 0.6 percent in March, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Stanley W. Suchman noted that the index for all items less food and energy increased 0.4 percent over the month, primarily due to higher prices for shelter and apparel. The energy index advanced 2.5 percent and the food index edged up 0.3 percent in March. (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 all items CPI-U rose 1.5 percent. The index for all items less food and energy advanced 1.8 percent over the year. (See chart 1.)

Chart 1. 12-month percent change in CPI for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), South region, March 2011–March 2014


Food

The food index edged up 0.3 percent in March. Prices for both food at home and food away from home increased 0.3 percent over the month.

Since March 2013, the index for food advanced 1.9 percent. Prices for food at home and food away from home increased 1.8 and 2.1 percent, respectively.

Energy

The energy index rose 2.5 percent over the month, led by a 3.8-percent increase in prices for motor fuel. Prices for both electricity and utility (piped) gas service also advanced in March, up 0.6 and 3.7 percent, respectively.

Over the year, energy prices decreased 0.8 percent, primarily due to a 6.1-percent decline in motor fuel prices. Price increases for electricity (6.5 percent) and utility (piped) gas service (12.1 percent) moderated the decrease.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy increased 0.4 percent in March. Prices for shelter increased 0.5 percent over the month and apparel recorded a seasonal price increase (2.8 percent).

Since March 2013, the index for all items less food and energy advanced 1.8 percent, led by a 3.0-percent increase in shelter prices. Prices for medical care services, among others, also increased, up 2.1 percent over the year.


Table A. South region CPI-U 1-month and 12-month percent changes, all items index, not seasonally adjusted
Month

2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
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

0.4 -0.1 0.3 2.8 0.5 1.7 0.5 3.2 0.4 1.6 0.3 1.7

February

0.5 0.1 0.0 2.3 0.5 2.2 0.6 3.3 0.9 1.8 0.4 1.2

March

0.3 -0.3 0.6 2.5 1.2 2.8 0.7 2.8 0.3 1.5 0.6 1.5

April

0.3 -0.7 0.1 2.4 0.7 3.4 0.4 2.5 -0.2 0.9 - -

May

0.3 -1.3 0.0 2.0 0.5 4.0 -0.4 1.6 0.0 1.3 - -

June

1.0 -1.4 -0.1 0.9 -0.2 3.8 -0.2 1.7 0.4 1.9 - -

July

-0.3 -2.1 -0.1 1.0 0.2 4.1 -0.2 1.4 0.2 2.2 - -

August

0.1 -1.6 0.2 1.1 0.4 4.3 0.6 1.6 0.1 1.7 - -

September

0.0 -1.8 0.2 1.4 0.0 4.1 0.5 2.1 0.0 1.3 - -

October

0.2 -0.4 0.1 1.3 -0.2 3.7 -0.2 2.1 -0.2 1.3 - -

November

0.2 2.0 0.0 1.1 0.0 3.8 -0.5 1.6 -0.3 1.5 - -

December

-0.1 2.9 0.2 1.4 -0.2 3.3 -0.1 1.7 0.1 1.8 - -
_______________________
The April 2014 Consumer Price Index for the South region is scheduled to be released on Thursday, May 15, 2014 at 7:30 a.m. (CT).





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 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/pdf/homch17.pdf.

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; Federal Relay Service: 1-800-877-8339.



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

Indexes
Percent change from-
Jan.
2014
Feb.
2014
Mar.
2014
Mar.
2013
Jan.
2014
Feb.
2014

Expenditure category

All Items

227.673 228.664 230.095 1.5 1.1 0.6

All items (December 1977=100)

369.317 370.924 373.246

Food and beverages

238.064 238.658 239.262 1.9 0.5 0.3

Food

239.105 239.782 240.411 1.9 0.5 0.3

Food at home

234.691 235.789 236.390 1.8 0.7 0.3

Food away from home

248.479 248.541 249.220 2.1 0.3 0.3

Alcoholic beverages

222.867 222.320 222.572 1.4 -0.1 0.1

Housing

213.297 214.432 215.521 2.9 1.0 0.5

Shelter

239.490 240.535 241.857 3.0 1.0 0.5

Rent of primary residence (1)

243.787 244.517 245.735 3.2 0.8 0.5

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

242.529 243.234 244.178 2.7 0.7 0.4

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

242.520 243.229 244.176 2.7 0.7 0.4

Fuels and utilities

224.930 228.093 229.795 6.2 2.2 0.7

Household energy

186.559 189.928 191.535 7.4 2.7 0.8

Energy services (1)

185.698 188.762 190.748 7.3 2.7 1.1

Electricity (1)

183.064 185.496 186.642 6.5 2.0 0.6

Utility (piped) gas service (1)

187.460 194.378 201.662 12.1 7.6 3.7

Household furnishings and operations

122.955 123.037 122.918 -2.3 0.0 -0.1

Apparel

134.492 135.088 138.826 0.8 3.2 2.8

Transportation

214.497 215.429 218.688 -1.4 2.0 1.5

Private transportation

212.972 213.840 216.971 -1.5 1.9 1.5

New and used motor vehicles (3)

102.399 102.750 103.168 1.2 0.8 0.4

New vehicles

151.996 152.704 152.613 0.8 0.4 -0.1

New cars and trucks (3) (4)

103.442 103.932 103.868 0.8 0.4 -0.1

New cars (4)

154.525 155.052 155.000 0.1 0.3 0.0

Used cars and trucks

146.461 146.654 147.868 0.4 1.0 0.8

Motor fuel

286.794 289.049 300.000 -6.1 4.6 3.8

Gasoline (all types)

285.008 287.261 298.280 -6.2 4.7 3.8

Unleaded regular (4)

282.530 284.904 296.137 -6.5 4.8 3.9

Unleaded midgrade (4) (5)

299.437 301.284 312.177 -5.9 4.3 3.6

Unleaded premium (4)

287.845 289.706 299.546 -5.1 4.1 3.4

Medical Care

410.294 413.850 413.797 2.2 0.9 0.0

Medical care commodities

322.777 325.572 326.662 2.3 1.2 0.3

Medical care services

440.390 444.208 443.661 2.1 0.7 -0.1

Professional services

351.091 350.132 350.522 0.9 -0.2 0.1

Recreation (3)

115.549 115.936 116.324 0.9 0.7 0.3

Education and communication (3)

134.025 134.031 133.835 1.2 -0.1 -0.1

Other goods and services

396.262 396.868 397.969 1.4 0.4 0.3

Commodity and Service Group

All Items

227.673 228.664 230.095 1.5 1.1 0.6

Commodities

188.123 188.780 190.397 -0.5 1.2 0.9

Commodities less food & beverages

163.068 163.731 165.710 -1.9 1.6 1.2

Nondurables less food & beverages

216.204 217.287 221.517 -2.2 2.5 1.9

Nondurables less food, beverages, and apparel

266.314 267.693 272.277 -3.0 2.2 1.7

Durables

113.272 113.563 113.601 -1.3 0.3 0.0

Services

268.012 269.334 270.599 3.0 1.0 0.5

Rent of shelter (2)

245.822 246.875 248.151 2.9 0.9 0.5

Transportation services

298.043 298.646 300.571 2.5 0.8 0.6

Other services

322.629 323.487 324.333 2.2 0.5 0.3

Special aggregate indexes:

All items less medical care

217.442 218.312 219.791 1.5 1.1 0.7

All items less food

225.682 226.719 228.271 1.5 1.1 0.7

All items less shelter

224.408 225.384 226.870 0.9 1.1 0.7

Commodities less food

165.026 165.659 167.597 -1.8 1.6 1.2

Nondurables

227.081 227.940 230.498 -0.3 1.5 1.1

Nondurables less food

216.361 217.354 221.360 -2.0 2.3 1.8

Nondurables less food and apparel

261.321 262.530 266.725 -2.7 2.1 1.6

Services less rent of shelter (2)

304.330 306.035 307.324 3.1 1.0 0.4

Services less medical care services

252.474 253.620 254.970 3.1 1.0 0.5

Energy

228.328 231.123 236.942 -0.8 3.8 2.5

All items less energy

228.313 229.105 230.048 1.9 0.8 0.4

All items less food and energy

226.811 227.623 228.623 1.8 0.8 0.4

Commodities less food and energy commodities

148.817 149.161 149.874 -0.3 0.7 0.5

Energy commodities

291.435 294.109 304.640 -5.8 4.5 3.6

Services less energy services

276.581 277.702 278.881 2.6 0.8 0.4

(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.

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.