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CPI all items rises 0.2 percent in January, with modest increases in food and energy


                  Consumer Price Index - January 2012

 The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased
 0.2 percent in January on a seasonally adjusted basis, the U.S.
 Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the last 12 months,
 the all items index increased 2.9 percent before seasonal adjustment.
 The indexes for food, energy, and all items less food and energy all
 rose in January, each increasing 0.2 percent. Within the food group,
 the index for food away from home increased while the index for food
 at home was unchanged; within the energy group the gasoline index
 increased while the index for household energy declined.
 Within all items less food and energy, the apparel index rose
 sharply, and the indexes for shelter, recreation, medical care, and
 tobacco increased as well. The indexes for used cars and trucks and
 for airline fares both declined, while the new vehicles index was
 The all items index has risen 2.9 percent over the last 12 months, a
 slight decrease from last month's 3.0 percent figure. The index for
 energy has risen 6.1 percent over the last year and the food index
 4.4 percent; both figures are slight declines from last month. The
 index for all items less food and energy has risen 2.3 percent, its
 largest 12-month increase since September 2008.

 Table A. Percent changes in CPI for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U): U.S. city
                                  Seasonally adjusted changes from             
                                          preceding month                      
                              July  Aug.  Sep.  Oct.  Nov.  Dec.  Jan.   ended 
                              2011  2011  2011  2011  2011  2011  2012   Jan.  
 All items..................    .3    .3    .3    .0    .1    .0    .2      2.9
  Food......................    .4    .5    .4    .2    .1    .2    .2      4.4
   Food at home.............    .6    .6    .6    .2    .0    .2    .0      5.3
   Food away from home (1)..    .2    .4    .2    .2    .3    .2    .4      3.1
  Energy....................    .9    .8   1.5  -1.8   -.5  -1.3    .2      6.1
   Energy commodities.......   1.3   1.1   1.9  -2.6   -.6  -2.0    .9     10.0
    Gasoline (all types)....   1.5   1.2   2.0  -2.8   -.9  -2.1    .9      9.7
    Fuel oil (1)............  -1.7   -.4   -.7   -.5   2.7  -1.0   1.4     12.1
   Energy services..........    .1    .3    .8   -.4   -.4   -.2   -.8       .5
    Electricity.............    .5    .1    .6    .2    .2   -.1    .0      2.4
    Utility (piped) gas                                                        
       service..............  -1.2   1.0   1.5  -2.6  -2.6   -.6  -2.9     -5.5
  All items less food and                                                      
     energy.................    .2    .2    .1    .2    .2    .1    .2      2.3
   Commodities less food and                                                   
      energy commodities....    .2    .3   -.2    .0    .1   -.1    .2      2.2
    New vehicles............    .0    .0   -.1   -.2   -.2   -.2    .0      3.2
    Used cars and trucks....    .8    .7   -.5   -.4   -.4   -.7  -1.0      3.2
    Apparel.................   1.0    .9   -.7    .4    .5   -.1    .9      4.7
    Medical care commodities                                                   
       (1)..................    .0    .1    .2    .3    .2    .2    .6      3.2
   Services less energy                                                        
      services..............    .2    .2    .2    .2    .2    .2    .2      2.3
    Shelter.................    .2    .2    .1    .2    .2    .2    .2      2.0
    Transportation services     .0    .2    .4    .2    .0    .1    .0      2.1
    Medical care services...    .3    .3    .2    .5    .4    .4    .2      3.7

   1 Not seasonally adjusted.

 Consumer Price Index Data for January 2012
 The food index rose 0.2 percent in January, the same increase as in
 December. The food at home index was unchanged, as the major grocery
 store food groups were mixed. The index for dairy and related
 products increased 0.9 percent, and the indexes for meats, poultry,
 fish, and eggs and for other food at home increased as well. In
 contrast, the index for fruits and vegetables fell 1.3 percent, its
 fourth consecutive decline, and the indexes for cereals and bakery
 products and nonalcoholic beverages also decreased. Over the last 12
 months, the food at home index has risen 5.3 percent. The dairy and
 related products index rose 9.0 percent over that span, the largest
 increase among the major grocery store food groups, while the fruits
 and vegetables index fell 0.1 percent, the only decline among the
 groups. The index for food away from home rose 0.4 percent in
 January, its largest increase since August, and has increased 3.1
 percent over the last 12 months.
 The energy index rose slightly in January, increasing 0.2 percent
 after declining in each of the three previous months. The gasoline
 index rose 0.9 percent after declining the three previous months.
 (Before seasonal adjustment, gasoline prices increased 3.6 percent in
 January.) In contrast, the household energy index declined 0.6
 percent. The fuel oil index rose 1.4 percent but the natural gas
 index declined 2.9 percent, its fourth consecutive decrease. The
 index for electricity was unchanged in January. Over the last 12
 months, the gasoline index has risen 9.7 percent while the household
 energy index has increased 1.2 percent. The indexes for fuel oil and
 electricity have risen over the last year, but the index for natural
 gas has declined.
 All items less food and energy
 The index for all items less food and energy increased 0.2 percent in
 January. The shelter index increased 0.2 percent, with the indexes
 for rent, owners' equivalent rent, and lodging away from home all
 rising 0.2 percent. The apparel index, which declined in December,
 rose sharply in January, increasing 0.9 percent. The recreation index
 rose 0.6 percent as the indexes for admissions and toys both rose
 notably. The medical care index increased 0.3 percent, with medical
 care commodities rising 0.6 percent. The index for tobacco rose 0.5
 percent and the indexes for household furnishings and operations and
 for personal care increased slightly. In contrast to these increases,
 the index for used cars and trucks declined for the fifth month in a
 row, falling 1.0 percent, and the index for airline fares fell 0.9
 percent. The new vehicles index was unchanged in January after
 declining in each of the prior four months.
 The index for all items less food and energy has risen 2.3 percent
 over the last 12 months. The shelter index has risen 2.0 percent over
 that span, the first time its 12-month change has been that high
 since November 2008. The apparel index has increased 4.7 percent and
 the medical care index has risen 3.6 percent. The indexes for both
 new vehicles and used cars and trucks have each risen 3.2 percent.
 Not seasonally adjusted CPI measures
 The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased
 2.9 percent over the last 12 months to an index level of 226.665
 (1982-84=100). For the month, the index increased 0.4 percent prior
 to seasonal adjustment.
 The Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers
 (CPI-W) increased 3.1 percent over the last 12 months to an index
 level of 223.216  (1982-84=100). For the month, the index increased
 0.5 percent prior to seasonal adjustment.
 The Chained Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (C-CPI-U)
 increased 2.7 percent over the last 12 months. For the month, the
 index increased 0.4 percent on a not seasonally adjusted basis.
 Please note that the indexes for the post-2010 period are subject to
 The Consumer Price Index for February 2012 is scheduled to be
 released on Friday, March 16, 2012, at 8:30 a.m. (EDT).
 C-CPI-U Index Revisions
 As scheduled, effective with this release of data for January 2012,
 the Chained Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (C-CPI-U)
 has undergone its annual revision. Because the current expenditure
 data required for the calculation of the C-CPI-U are available only
 with a time lag, the index is issued first in preliminary form, using
 the latest available expenditure data at the time of publication, and
 is subject to two subsequent revisions. Therefore, C-CPI-U indexes
 for the 12 months of 2010 are issued in final form - employing
 monthly expenditure weights from 2010. Values for the 12 months of
 2011 are revised and issued as interim, using expenditure weights from 
 the 2009-2010 period. Calculation of the initial value of the January 
 2012 C-CPI-U index, and all subsequent months in 2012, will also be 
 based upon 2009-2010 expenditure weights.
 For more information on the C-CPI-U, contact Rob Cage by telephone at
 (202) 691-6959 or by electronic mail at Cage.Rob@bls.gov.
 Redesigning the Consumer Price Index (CPI) Press Release Tables
 The format of the tables contained in the CPI News Release will
 change beginning with the CPI News Release for March, 2012, which
 will be issued on Friday, April 13, 2012.  News Release tables are
 currently available as part of the News Release pdf and html files,
 and independently in html format.  The new tables will also be
 available in XLS format.  In addition, the BLS will begin issuing
 monthly companion XLS files, which will contain additional index
 level and CPI-W information.
 These tables were made available for public comment during October
 2011.  In response to the public comments, the BLS will issue XLS
 files each month, as companions to the News Release.  There will be
 CPI-U and CPI-W files, and in addition to the data contained in the
 News Release tables, the Excel files will contain index values.
 Samples of the companion XLS files will be available with the
 February CPI News Release in March 2012. Samples of the new CPI press
 release tables are available now at http://www.bls.gov/cpi/mock-
 In August 2009, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) restructured the
 text of the CPI press release to focus on the price movements of
 three broad expenditure categories, namely Food, Energy, and All
 items less food and energy. Table A within the CPI press release text
 was also updated in August 2009 to reflect this new structure.
 Before August 2009, the text of the CPI press release had focused on
 eight CPI `major groups' (Food and beverages; Housing; Apparel;
 Transportation; Medical care; Recreation; Education and
 communication; and Other goods and services).
 While the text of the CPI press release was restructured in 2009,
 seven additional CPI press release tables continued to be published
 using the eight major groups. BLS has redesigned these press release
 tables, to reflect the focus on Food, Energy, and All items less food
 and energy. Within these three broad categories, CPI item series will
 be further divided into commodities and services. The CPI News
 Release will contain these updated tables beginning with the March
 2012 News Release, to be issued on Friday, April 13, 2012.
 Beyond the redesign in the structure of the CPI press release tables,
 several other improvements to these tables have been made.
 The new Table 1 gives a summary of the index series which typically
 contribute to changes in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban
 Consumers (CPI-U).
 The new Table 2 will show the full publication stub using the new
 structure for the CPI-U, including 11 new items series that were
 created to augment the redesign in the publication structure. Table 3
 will show aggregate item series (e.g., Transportation) that do not
 fall under the Food, Energy, and All items less food and energy
 Table 4 will show the All items indexes at the local, regional, and
 city-size class levels.
 Table 5 will show the Chained Consumer Price Index for All Urban
 Consumers (C-CPI-U), and presents a history of annual percentage
 changes in the C-CPI-U compared to the CPI-U.
 Table 6 will focus on 1-month seasonally adjusted changes in the CPI-
 U, while table 7 will focus on 12-month not seasonally adjusted
 changes. Tables 6 and 7 will present three additional pieces of data
 to help users better interpret index changes. First, these tables
 will show the `effect' each item has on the price change for All
 items. For example, if the effect of food is 0.4, and the index for
 All items increased 1.2 percent, it can be said that increases in
 food prices accounted for 0.4 / 1.2, or 33.3 percent, of the increase
 in overall prices for that period. Said another way, had food prices
 been unchanged, the All items index only would have increased 0.8
 percent (or 1.2 percent for All items, minus the 0.4 effect for
 Food).  Effects can be negative as well. For example, if the effect
 of food was a negative 0.1, and the All items index rose 0.5 percent,
 the All items index actually would have been 0.1 percent higher (or
 0.6 percent) had food prices been unchanged.
 Second, standard errors for percent changes will be shown on tables 6
 and 7.  Confidence intervals for statistics can be created using
 standard errors; e.g., roughly 95 percent confidence intervals can be
 constructed using two standard errors. For example, if an item
 increased 3.7 percent, and its standard error was 0.6 percent, the 95
 percent confidence interval for that price change can be said to be
 3.7 percent plus or minus two standard errors, or 3.7 percent plus or
 minus 1.2 percent.
 Finally, each item series in tables 6 and 7 will show the last time
 that item had a price change as large (or as small) as the percent
 change published that period. For example, if bananas rose 3.7
 percent, and that was its largest increase since November 2007, that
 would be noted in the new tables.
 In addition, most of the existing tables show the `relative
 importance', or weight, of each item category as of the previous
 December. The relative importance columns in the new tables will be
 improved in that they will be updated monthly to reflect the change
 in relative prices over time.
 Finally, there will no longer be any press release tables that focus
 on the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical
 Workers (CPI-W). That said, the CPI-W All items index level and
 percent changes will still be noted in the text of the press release,
 and a companion XLS file with CPI-W information will be available.
 Facilities for Sensory Impaired
 Information from this release will be made available to sensory
 impaired individuals upon request.  Voice phone:  202-691-5200,
 Federal Relay Services:  1-800-877-8339.
 Expenditure Weight Update
 Effective with this release, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has
 updated the consumption expenditure weights in the Consumer Price
 Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) and Consumer Price Index for
 Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) to the 2009-10
 period. The updated expenditure weights for these indexes replace the
 2007-2008 weights that were introduced effective with the January
 2010 CPI release. As originally announced by BLS in December 1998,
 CPI expenditure weights will continue to be updated at two-year
 Brief Explanation of the CPI
 The Consumer Price Index (CPI) is a measure of the average change in
 prices over time of goods and services purchased by households.  The
 Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes CPIs for two population groups:
 (1) the CPI for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W),
 which covers households of wage earners and clerical workers that
 comprise approximately 29 percent of the total population and (2) the
 CPI for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) and the Chained CPI for All Urban
 Consumers (C-CPI-U), which cover approximately 88 percent of the
 total population and include in addition to wage earners and clerical
 worker households, 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 CPIs are based on prices of food, clothing, shelter, and fuels,
 transportation fares, charges for doctors' and dentists' services,
 drugs, and other goods and services that people buy for day-to-day
 living.  Prices are collected each month 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 items are included in the index.  Prices of fuels and a few
 other items are obtained every month in all 87 locations.  Prices of
 most other commodities and services are collected every month in the
 three largest geographic areas and every other month in other areas.
 Prices of most goods and services are obtained by personal visits or
 telephone calls of the Bureau's trained representatives.
 In calculating the index, price changes for the various items in each
 location are averaged together with weights, which represent their
 importance in the spending of the appropriate population group.
 Local data are then combined to obtain a U.S. city average.  For the
 CPI-U and CPI-W separate indexes are also published by size of city,
 by region of the country, for cross-classifications of regions and
 population-size classes, and for 27 local areas.  Area indexes do not
 measure differences in the level of prices among cities; they only
 measure the average change in prices for each area since the base
 period.  For the C-CPI-U data are issued only at the national level.
 It is important to note that the CPI-U and CPI-W are considered final
 when released, but the C-CPI-U is issued in preliminary form and
 subject to two annual revisions.
 The index measures price change from a designed reference date.  For
 the CPI-U and the CPI-W the reference base is 1982-84 equals 100.
 The reference base for the C-CPI-U is December 1999 equals 100.  An
 increase of 16.5 percent from the reference base, for example, is
 shown as 116.500.  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 visit the CPI home page on the Internet at
 http://www.bls.gov/cpi/ or contact our CPI Information and Analysis
 Section on (202) 691-7000.
 Note on Sampling Error in the Consumer Price Index
 The CPI is a statistical estimate that is subject to sampling error
 because it is based upon a sample of retail prices and not the
 complete universe of all prices.  BLS calculates and publishes
 estimates of the 1-month, 2-month, 6-month and 12-month percent
 change standard errors annually, for the CPI-U.  These standard error
 estimates can be used to construct confidence intervals for
 hypothesis testing.  For example, the estimated standard error of the
 1 month percent change is 0.03 percent for the U.S. All Items
 Consumer Price Index.  This means that if we repeatedly sample from
 the universe of all retail prices using the same methodology, and
 estimate a percentage change for each sample, then 95% of these
 estimates would be within 0.06 percent of the 1 month percentage
 change based on all retail prices.  For example, for a 1-month change
 of 0.2 percent in the All Items CPI for All Urban Consumers, we are
 95 percent confident that the actual percent change based on all
 retail prices would fall between 0.14 and 0.26 percent.  For the
 latest data, including information on how to use the estimates of
 standard error, see "Variance Estimates for Price Changes in the
 Consumer Price Index, January-December 2010".  These data are
 available on the CPI home page (http://www.bls.gov/cpi), or by using
 the following link http://www.bls.gov/cpi/cpivar2010.pdf
 Calculating Index Changes
 Movements of the indexes from one month to another are usually
 expressed as percent changes rather than changes in index points,
 because index point changes are affected by the level of the index in
 relation to its base period while percent changes are not.  The
 example below illustrates the computation of index point and percent
 Percent changes for 3-month and 6-month periods are expressed as
 annual rates and are computed according to the standard formula for
 compound growth rates.  These data indicate what the percent change
 would be if the current rate were maintained for a 12-month period.
 Index Point Change
 Less previous index
 Equals index point change
 Percent Change
 Index point difference
 Divided by the previous index
 Results multiplied by one hundred
 Equals percent change

 Regions Defined

 The states in the four regions shown in Tables 3 and 6 are listed

 The Northeast--Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New
 York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont.
 The Midwest--Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota,
 Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.
 The South--Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky,
 Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South
 Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, and the District
 of Columbia.
 The West--Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho,
 Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.

 A Note on Seasonally Adjusted and Unadjusted Data
 Because price data are used for different purposes by different
 groups, the Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes seasonally adjusted
 as well as unadjusted changes each month.
 For analyzing general price trends in the economy, seasonally
 adjusted changes are usually preferred since they eliminate the
 effect of changes that normally occur at the same time and in about
 the same magnitude every year--such as price movements resulting from
 changing climatic conditions, production cycles, model changeovers,
 holidays, and sales.
 The unadjusted data are of primary interest to consumers concerned
 about the prices they actually pay.  Unadjusted data also are used
 extensively for escalation purposes.  Many collective bargaining
 contract agreements and pension plans, for example, tie compensation
 changes to the Consumer Price Index before adjustment for seasonal
 Seasonal factors used in computing the seasonally adjusted indexes
 are derived by the X-12-ARIMA Seasonal Adjustment Method.  Seasonally
 adjusted indexes and seasonal factors are computed annually.  Each
 year, the last 5 years of seasonally adjusted data are revised.  Data
 from January 2007 through December 2011 were replaced in January
 2012.  Exceptions to the usual revision schedule were: the updated
 seasonal data at the end of 1977 replaced data from 1967 through
 1977; and, in January 2002, dependently seasonally adjusted series
 were revised for January 1987-December 2001 as a result of a change
 in the aggregation weights for dependently adjusted series. For
 further information, please see "Aggregation of Dependently Adjusted
 Seasonally Adjusted Series," in the October 2001 issue of the CPI
 Detailed Report.
 Effective with the publication of data from January 2006 through
 December 2010 in January 2011, the Video and audio series and the
 Information technology, hardware and services series were changed
 from independently adjusted to dependently adjusted.  This resulted
 in an increase in the number of seasonal components used in deriving
 seasonal movement of the All items and 54 other lower level
 aggregations, from 73 for the publication of January 1998 through
 December 2005 data to 82 for the publication of seasonally adjusted
 data for January 2006 and later.  Each year the seasonal status of
 every series is reevaluated based upon certain statistical criteria.
 If any of the 82 components change their seasonal adjustment status
 from seasonally adjusted to not seasonally adjusted, not seasonally
 adjusted data will be used in the aggregation of the dependent series
 for the last 5 years, but the seasonally adjusted indexes before that
 period will not be changed.  Note: 38 of the 82 components are not
 seasonally adjusted for 2012.
 Seasonally adjusted data, including the all items index levels, are
 subject to revision for up to five years after their original
 release.  For this reason, BLS advises against the use of these data
 in escalation agreements.
 Effective with the calculation of the seasonal factors for 1990, the
 Bureau of Labor Statistics has used an enhanced seasonal adjustment
 procedure called Intervention Analysis Seasonal Adjustment for some
 CPI series.  Intervention Analysis Seasonal Adjustment allows for
 better estimates of seasonally adjusted data.  Extreme values and/or
 sharp movements which might distort the seasonal pattern are
 estimated and removed from the data prior to calculation of seasonal
 factors.  Beginning with the calculation of seasonal factors for
 1996, X-12-ARIMA software was used for Intervention Analysis Seasonal
 For the seasonal factors introduced in January 2012, BLS adjusted 31
 series using Intervention Analysis Seasonal Adjustment, including
 selected food and beverage items, motor fuels, electricity and
 vehicles.  For example, this procedure was used for the Motor fuel
 series to offset the effects of events such as damage to oil
 refineries from Hurricane Katrina.
 For a complete list of Intervention Analysis Seasonal Adjustment
 series and explanations, please refer to the article "Intervention
 Analysis Seasonal Adjustment", located on our website at
 For additional information on seasonal adjustment in the CPI, please
 write to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Division of Consumer Prices
 and Price Indexes, Washington, DC 20212 or contact David Levin at
 (202) 691-6968, or by e-mail at Levin.David@bls.gov.  If you have
 general questions about the CPI, please call our information staff at
 (202) 691-7000.
 Revised seasonally adjusted changes
 Over-the-month percent changes in the U.S. City Average Consumer
 Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for All Items and for All
 Items less food and energy, seasonally adjusted, using former and
 recalculated seasonal factors for 2011.

                               All Items

    2011           Former      Recalculated     Difference
 January              .4             .3             -.1
 February             .5             .4             -.1
 March                .5             .5              .0
 April                .4             .4              .0
 May                  .2             .3              .1
 June                -.2             .1              .3
 July                 .5             .3             -.2
 August               .4             .3             -.1
 September            .3             .3              .0
 October             -.1             .0              .1
 November             .0             .1              .1
 December             .0             .0              .0

                 All Items less food and energy

    2011           Former      Recalculated     Difference
 January              .2             .2              .0
 February             .2             .2              .0
 March                .1             .2              .1
 April                .2             .2              .0
 May                  .3             .3              .0
 June                 .3             .2             -.1
 July                 .2             .2              .0
 August               .2             .2              .0
 September            .1             .1              .0
 October              .1             .2              .1
 November             .2             .2              .0
 December             .1             .1              .0

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