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Issued October 28, 1953
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
Bureau of Labor Statistics
Washington 25, D. C.

EXECUTIVE 3-2*4-20
Moffatt - Ext. 532

CONSUMER PRICE INDEX
SEPTEMBER 1953

Consumer Price Index Up Slightly Between
August and September 1953Food Down; All Other Groups Up

:
:
:
:
:
:
:

This report presents the Consumer Price Index for
September 1953 for the average of U.S. cities and
for individual cities. The measure of price change
from January 1953 forward is based on the revised
index structure. Information about the index revision is given in the February 1953 Monthly Labor
Review or is available upon request.

A decline in retail food prices between August and September 1953 v a s not sufficient to offset higher prices for all other classes of consumer goods and services, and
the Consumer Price Index Increased by 0.2 percent, the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau
of Labor Statistics reported today. Food declined 0.3 percent; Apparel was up 1.0 percent;
Housing was up 0.3 percent; Medical Care costs rose 0.7 percent; Personal Care and Reading
and Recreation, 0.2 percent; and Transportation and Other Goods and Services averaged 0.1
percent higher than in August.
The U. S. All Items index for September 1953 was 115.2 (19^7-^9 « 100). It
was 1.0 percent higher than a year ago and 13.2 percent above the pre-Korea level of June
1950. Converted to a base of 1935-39 * 100, the September index was 192.6.
Retail prices have moved up gradually since February 1953 for a total rise of
1.6 percent. This has been due chiefly to increased charges for services. Commodity
prices on the average have changed very little since the end of 1952, whereas service
rates are up about 3 percent and rents more than ^ percent. These Increases in services
and rents continue the steady upward trend since pre-World War II, but even with these
recent advances, prices of services and rents have not increased as mucn over their prewar levels as have commodity prices.
FOOD

Retail food prices averaged lower in 35 of the U6 cities, causing the U.S.
Food index to decline 0.3 percent from August to September. The index for
September was II3.8 (19^7-^9 • 100), l.k percent below September 1952, but 13.2 percent
above the level of June 1950. The continued fall in the Fruits and Vegetables index
(5.4 percent) along with a moderate decline of 0.5 percent in the Meats, Poultry and Fish
index offset the advances made in other food subgroups during the month.
The largest decreases were in the smaller cities; food prices for the average
of the five largest metropolitan centers increased. This difference in movement was due
to a combination of factors, including bread price increases in some of the largest
cities, as well as increases for beef and pork which were counter to the general trend
elsewhere. Rising restaurant meal prices in these cities were a further contributing
factor.




2

Price decreases averaged about 12 percent for fresh vegetables and 6 percent
for fresh fruits. These were led "by sharp reductions in the prices of tomatoes, lettuce,
sweetpotatoes, apples, and grapes, reflecting more plentiful supplies of these items on
the market.
Decreases averaging one percent or less occurred in the prices of beef and
veal, pork, other meats, and poultry. Lamb prices were down about 5 percent. Prices of
fish were slightly higher.
Except for cities surveyed in New England, egg prices continued their seasonal
rise with an increase of about k\ percent over the month. This contributed heavily to the
2.0 percent advance in the index of Other Foods at Home. Higher prices for coffee and
lard were also important in the movement of this subgroup.
The Cereals and Bakery Products index rose 0.7 percent as a result of higher
bread prices in some cities. Prices of fresh milk went up in several places, chiefly
accounting for the increase of 0.5 percent in the Dairy Products index. Restaurant meals
averaged 0.6 percent higher.
HOUSING

Housing costs rose 0.3 percent between August and September, as Rent and Housefurnishings advanced 0.7 percent. Solid Fuels and Fuel Oil prices were 0.6
percent higher than in August, and Household Operation costs rose 0.2 percent during the
month. Gas and electricity rates were unchanged on the average.
The Rent index in September was 6.5 percent higher than a year earlier and
15.9 percent above June 1950> reflecting continuing effects of rent decontrol.
The rise of 0.7 percent in prices of Housefurnishings was caused chiefly by
increases in prices of sheets, following reductions for August sales, and higher prices
for living room furniture and electric toasters in some cities. Lower prices were reported for washing machines.
In the Solid Fuels and Fuel Oil subgroup prices for bituminous coal, anthracite, and fuel oil all were higher. The increase in Household Operation costs was mainly
due t o rising prices for laundry service, laundry soap and detergents.

APPAREL

The ri$e of 1.0 percent in apparel prices resulted chiefly from higher prices
for fall and winter clothing items priced in September for the first time
since the end of the previous winter season. Among these were women1 s and girls1 wool
coats, women's wool and rayon suits, and boys * wool suits. Prices also were higher for
men's year-round suits, while lower prices were reported for men's work trousers. Most
of the rise in apparel prices was for women's and girls' apparel, but prices were also
slightly higher for footwear and clothing for other family members. On the average,
apparel prices were 0.5 percent lower than a year ago.
OTHER
GROUPS

The rise of 0.7 percent in costs of Medical Care was due chiefly to higher
rates for group hospitalization plans and dentists' fees in some cities.

Higher charges for beauty shop services were mainly responsible for the rise
of 0.2 percent for Personal Care. Reading and Recreation costs averaged 0.2 percent higher
than in August as higher motion picture theatre admissions more than offset price reductions for a number of commodities — toys, sporting goods, and television sets.
Higher prices for gasoline and motor oil in cities surveyed for the first time
since the general increases of early summer were the chief factor in the Transportation
rise of 0.1 percent. Auto repair services also were higher in some cities. Prices of used
cars, however, continued to decline throughout the country, and were responsible for declines in transportation indexes for four of the five large cities priced in August and
September. Other Goods and Services rose 0.1 percent during the month.




TABLE I.

CONSUMER PRICE INDEX 1/ — U.S. AVERAGE ALL ITEMS AND COMMODITY GROUPS
Indexes arid Percent Changes for Selected Dates
September
1 9 S 3

ORCUF

This Month

August
1 9 5 3

July
1953

September
1952

June
1950

Last Month

2 Months Ago

Last Year

Pre-Korea

INDEXES (1947-49
ALL ITEMS
FOOD

2/

Food at home
Cereals and bakery products
Meats, poultry and fish
Dairy products
Fruits and vegetables
Other foods at home
HOUSING 3

/

Rent
Gas and electricity
Solid fuels and fuel oil
Housefurnishings
Household operation
APPAREL

4/

114.7

114.1

101.8

59.4

113.8

114.1

113.8

115.4

100.5

47.1

113.5
120.3
113.5
109.6
106.6
116.7

114.1
119.5
114.1
109.1
112.7
114.4

113.8
119 ..1
112.0
108.3
118.2
112.3

115.4
117.4
119.2
112.5
111.5
113.7

100.5
102.7
106. X
92.3
102.5
94.1

47.1
57.2
41.6
49.8
46.3

113.4

113.0

117.8

114.8

104.9

126.0
106.9
124.6
108.1
116.0

125.1
106.9
123.9
107.4
115.8

123.8
106.4
123.7
108.1
115.7

118.3
105.0
119.6
108.1
112.1

108.7
102.7
107.6
97.4
99.6

86.6
104.9
56.4
53.4

104.3

104.4

105.3

96.5

52.5

130.6

129.7

127.7

109.9

121.8

121.5

118.8

105.4

112.1

99.2

107.3

102.5

H5.9

103.7

130.7

MEDICAL CARS

122.6

OTHER GOODS AND SERVICES

5/'

:

100)

115.0

TRANSPORTATION

READING AND RECREATION

X

Year
1939
PreWorld War II

115.2

105.3

j

1

112.9

112.7

112.6

I

107.8

107.6

107.4

i

118.5

113.4

118.3

PERSONAL CARE

3

'

y
y

y

y
y
y
y
y

PERCENT CHANGE TO SEPTEMBER 1953 FfiOM:
August
1953
0.2

Year
1939

13.2

93.9

0

- 1..4

13.2

141.6

0.3
1.0
1.3
1.2
3-9

- 1,.6
2,.5
- 4..8
- 2..6
- 4,.4
2,,6

12.9
17.1
7.0
18.7
4.0
24.0

141.0
110.3
172.8
120.1
130.2
141.1

0.3

0.5

3-,1

12.9

55.6

0.7

0.2

1.3
0.5
0.7
0
0.3

6..5
1..8
4.,2
0
3..5

15.9
4.1
15.8
11.0
16.5

45.5
1.9
120.9
102.4
69.6

1.0

0.9

- 0.• 5

9-1

100.6

TRANSPORTATION

0.1

0.3

2.• 3

18.9

39.7

MEDICAL CARS

0.7

0.9

3-,2

16.3

68.9

PERSONAL CARE

0.2

0.3

0.• 7

13.8

89.4

1/

READING AND RECREATION

0.2

0.4

0. 5

5.2

71.1

1/

67.8

1/

FOOD

HOUSING

3/

Rent
Gas and. electricity
Solid fuels and fuel oil
Housefurnishings
HousehoId operation
APPAREL

4/

|
!
1

- 0.5
0.7
- 0.5
0.5
- 5.4

2.0

0

0.6
0.7

0.1

-

- 9.3

:

u
1/

V

1/
1/

5/
0.2
I
14.3
1
1
See General Explanation at end of tables.
Includes "Food away from home".
Includes "Other shelter"; estimates for rent, home purchase, and other home owner costs are reflected monthly in total
housing and all items.
Indexes for subgroups of apparel not yet available.
Includes tobacco, alcoholic beverages, and "miscellaneous services" (such as legal services, banking fees, burial
services, etc.).
Not available.
Approximate.

OTHER GOODS AND SERVICES
1/
2/
3/

0.4

- 0.3

2/

Food at home
Cereals and bakery products
Meats, poultry and fish
Dairy products
Fruits and vegetables
Other foods at home

6/
7/

June
1950

1,.0

ALL ITEMS

4/
5/

September
1952

July
1953




2.2

4

TABLE 2.

CONSUMER PRICE INDEX 1/ — ALL ITEMS INDEXES FOR SEIECTED DATES
U.S. Average and 20 Large Cities

( i 9

k

7 - 4 9

10

0)

(1935-39 - 100)

City
August
1953

September
1953

U.S. AVERAGE

July
1953

September
1952

June
1950

September
1953

101.8

192.6

115.2

115.0

114.7

114.1

116.6
116.9
116.2

116.3
116.9

115.7
116.9

114.7

113.2
115.2

112.7
114.9

.

y

CITIES PRICED MONTHLY:
Chicago
Detroit
Los Angeles
New York
Philadelphia

115.8

115.0

114.7

CITIES PRICED IN JAN., APR.,
JULY, OCT.
4/
Boston
Kansas City
Minneapolis
Pittsburgh
Portland, Ore.

113.1
115.3
115.6
113.8
115.5

April
1950

July

101.2

182.1
185.6

September
1952

117.0 6 /
115.0
113.2

117.6
115.0
115.3
117.1
116.9

Atlanta
Baltimore
Cincinnati
St. Louis
San Francisco

115.5
114.5

August
1952

CITIES PRICED IN FEB., MAY,
AUG., NOV.
4/
Cleveland
Houston
Scranton
Seattle
Washington, D. C.

4/
5/
Z/

July
1952
113.7
115.3
114.9 5/
113.0
114.7

CITIES PRICED IN MAR., JUNE,
SEPT., DEC.
4/

1/
2/
3/

112.4
114.7

115.0

115.8
112.1

114.0
115.8
114.0
114,6
114.1

115.1

116.8
113.2

116.8

11k.2

198.6

102.8
102.8
101.3
100.9
101.6

197.3
194.2
187.3
191.7

1953

101.4
102.1 5/
99.9

191.4
193.5

101.5

200.0

June
1950

September
1953

101.3
101.6
101.2
101.1

199.4
197.7
194.2
195.4
199.8

100.9

May
1950

August
1953

100.4
103.5
100.2
102.0
101.6

196.1
197.7

188.1
199.6
187.5

See General Explanation at end of tables.
These are the same indexes shown in columns 1, 2 or 3, converted to a base of 1935-39 * 100.
The U.S. Average is based on prices collected in 46 cities. In addition to the 20 cities listed individually, 26 cities
are included in the national average. Indexes are not calculated for these 26 cities.
Foods, fuels, rents and a few other items priced monthly; other commodities and services priced quarterly.
June 1952 and June 1950; formerly priced March, June, September, December.
August 1952 and May 1950; formerly priced February, May, August, November.

TABLE 3.

City

U.S. AVERAGE
Chicago
Detroit
Los Angeles
New York
Philadelphia

CONSUMER PRICE INDEX 1/ -- PERCENT CHANGES FROM AUGUST 1953 TO SEPTEMBER
U.S. Average and Five Cities Priced Monthly
All Items and Commodity Groups

All
Items

Food

Housing

S/

3/

0.2

- 0.3

0.3

0.3
0

0.2
0
0.4
0.4
- 0.7

0.4
0.2
0.2
0.2

0.3
0.4
0.3

0.3

Apparel

y
1.1
- 0.1
1.3
1.6
2.7

Medical
Care

Personal
Care

Reading
&
Recreation

1.0

See footnotes on table 1 and General Explanation at end of tables.




Transportation

1953

-

Other
Goods &
Services
5/

0.1

0.7

0.2

0.2

0.1

0.4
0.3
0.5
0.1
0.4

0
- 0.1
0.2
0
0.1

0.1
0.2
0.2
0.1

- 0.4
0
1.2
0.2
2.2

0.1
0
0.6
0.1
0.2

0.5

5

TABLE 4. CONSUMER PRICE INDEX 1/ — ALL ITEMS AND COMMODITY GROUPS
September 1953 Indexes and Percent Changes, June 1953 to September 1953
U.S. Average and 10 Cities Priced in September

City

All
Items

Total
Food

Total

2/

2/

Rent

Housing
! Solid
Fuels
Gas &
Elec&
triFuel
city
Oil

TransHouse- | HouseApparel portahold
furtion
nish- Operaings
tion
it/

Medical
Care

Pt
sonal
Care

Other
Reading & Goods &
Recre- Services
ation
:

5/

September 1953 Indexes (1947-49 s 100)
U.S. AVERAGE

115.2

Atlanta
Baltimore
Chicago
Cincinnati
Detroit
Los Angeles
New York
Philadelphia
St. Louis
San Francisco

117.6
115.0

116.6
115.3
116.9
116.2
113.2
115.2
117.1
116.9

114.7
114.7
112.5
116.9
116.7
113.8
112.6
115.7
115.7
114.1

118.4

126.0

106.9

124.6

108.1

116.0

105.3

130.7

122.6

112.9

1 0 7 . 8 j 118.5

124.0
113.6
123.6
116.5
120.4
124.0
115.1
113.3
118.6
118.3

129.1
121.7
135.5

108.8
97.4
99.9
113.2
109.3
109.5
108.8
101.8
99.4
130.1

115.9
124.5
122.9
125.2
118.7

113.8
103.2
109.8
103.9
110.6
110.7
107.7
110.4
109.4
109.7

127.7
109.2
120.2
121.
106.4
107.7
118.8
113.4
II7.2
109.0

111.1
103.5
108.4
104.9
IO3.2
104.2
105.9
106.5
106.0
105.1

129.1
140.1
133.8
131.6
127.2
127.6
134.0

115.0
108.1
114.3
109.7
119.5
117.8
106.9
116.9
110.0
112.9

111.2
113.0
110.9
99.7
109.6
103.3
106.4

•135.3
137.0
143.6

117.2
132.6
121.2
123.0
121.4
120.4
121.6
120.4
133.0
122.6

1..0

1..2

0.3

128.8
123.0
130.7

Percent Change —
U.S. AVERAGE
Atlanta
Baltimore
Chicago
Cincinnati
Detroit
Los Angeles
New York
Philadelphia
St. Louis
San Francisco

0.1

0.9

0.4
0.2
0.1
- 0.1 i
0.1
1.1
0
0.7
0
0.3
0.7
1.3
1.1
0.5
- 0.1
0.5
0.6
1.1
0.7

1.1
0.3
2.7
1.3
1.2
0.4
0.6
0.6
2.5
1.1

0.6

2.2

0.5

6/ 0.9
1.2
9.7

0.2
0.1
- 0.1
0.1
0.9
0
0.8
0
- 0.7
0

I5 /

!
j!
i
!i
!
1
!
|
1 1 1 . 3 ;|
9 9 . 8 •'
104.7

117.6
119.0
113.0
123.6
114.4
119.1
122.2
116.7
115.3

June 1953 to September 1953

;

2,,3
3-.3
2..0
2,.6
5,.7
1..5

I

\

p

!0<

!1

.1

0.5 |1

0..7

.7
1..0
0 11 - 0,.7
- 0..2
0., 1
1.- cy
1.3 1
,1
4.? 1
- 0. c
- 0.2
- 0.,3
- 0..2
- 0.• 3 ::
0.1
I,
,0
0. '-">
- 0..6
2,.3
0. "
0.
^ )
X ,, 3
0,
0
-1'

t
.4
j
!\
4!, 1
2..2
!|
!
1
1/ through 5 / , see footnotes on table 1 and General Sxplanation at end of tables.
5 / Change from March 1953 to September 1953-

- 0,. 1
0..9

1.

.2
c..2
0..6
c. 1
1.• 3
0.. 1
1.

J_

- 1.
C.
i
1.
I
1:
!
1.
!
.i !
0, 4 !!
0. 0 1!
' ' 1
0., 1 '
- c., 1 !
T
>3 j•

0.2

, 51 0 . 2
,0 ! 0.1
, P 0.8
Q
0.3
0.2

0.6
0.2
0

0.3

0
0.1
5.3
C.9
0.6
- 1.1
- 0.4
-

-

0
0.1
0.1
0.2
0.1
0.4

0.7
0.3 i:
- 0.8 ;
0.2
:
- 0.3
0.5
-0.1
- 0.4

TABLE 5. CONSUMER PRICE INDEX 1/ — FOOD AND ITS SUBGROUPS
September 1953 Indexes and Percent Changes, August 1953 to September 1953
U.S. Average and 20 Large Cities
( I 9 V M 9 , 100)

Dairy
Products
Percent
Index Change

Fruits &
Vegetables
Percent
Index Change

Other
Foods at Home
Percent
Index Change

0.5

109.6

0.5

106.6

-

5.4

116.7

2.0

_ 2.1

110.1
112.1
110.6
110.2
111.9

0
0.1
2.5
0.4
0.2

115.8
107.7
104.0
105.5
109.6

-

2.4
2.5
6.7
5.0
4.6

109.2
115.5
109.9
122.5
122.6

2.4
2.8
- 0.7
2.3
1.3

0.8
0
0.9
2.3
0.2

102.7
114.3
112.2
103.8
103.2

-

6.6
6.3
2.5
5.6
1.2

118.7
118.3
114.2
113.1
116.8

1.7
1.9
0.6
2.1
1.6

0
1.2
0
2.7
0

111.0
103.0
111.3
108.7
102.7

5.5
3.2
5.5
5.0
4.7

123.0
116.4
116.7
126.3
119.5

3.0
2.2
2.1
3.6
1.7

0
112.8
0.2
107.3
2.3 : 102.1
0.1
105.5
104.5
0.3

123.8
116.0
115.6 !
115.4 .
113.8 :

1.5
3.1
1.0
1.3
1.5

Total Food
Percent
Index Change

Meats, Poultry
Cereals 8c
Total
& Fish
Bakery Products
Food at Home
Percent
Percent
Percent
Index Change
Index Change
Index Change

U.S. AVERAGE

113.8

- 0.3

113.5

Atlanta
Baltimore
Boston
Chicago
Cincinnati

114.7
114.7
111.9
112.5
116.9

- 0.4
0.2
- 0.6
0.2
- 0.2

114.7
114.3
111.5
112.0
117.0

Cleveland
Detroit
Houston
Kansas City
Los Angeles

111.3
116.7
112.2
111.5
113.8

- 0.8
0
- 0.5
- 0.4
0.4

111.2
116.3
112.0
111.0
112.9

Minneapolis
New York
Philadelphia
Pittsburgh
Portland, Ore.

112.8
112.6
115.7
115.7
113.8

- 0.4
0.4
- 0.7
0.3
- 0.6

112.6
112.6
115.5
115.7
114.0

St. Louis
San Francisco
Scranton
Seattle
Washington,D.C.

115.7
114.1
II3.2
112.6
112.6

- 1.3
0.6
- 0.4
- c.9
- 0.6 i1

115.2
114.0
112.8
112.5
112.3

gee footnotes

'able 1 and General Explanation at end of tables.

City




0.5

120.3

0.7

113.5

0.5
0
0.7
0.2
0.3

116.8
116.9
118.7
116.3
119.9

_ 0.6
0.3
0.9
1.9
0.2

118.9
115.7
111.3
108.5
118.4

_ 1.0

117.0
118.5
114.9
120.4
122.6

-

0.3
1.9
0.3
0
0.2

109.5
114.4
110.3
109.1
112.4

-

1.7
1.3
1.6
0.1
0.1

105.9
113.3
114.8
111.8
117.2

0.6

-

0.3
0.3
2.0
0.4

114.5
112.0
112.7
111.5 1
111.1

-

-

-

-

_
-

0.1
0.6
0.5
0.2

„ 0.4
-

-

-

0.4
0.9
0.3
0.8

121.7
124.8
120.8
119.8
117.6

1.8
0.2
0.5
1.1
0.7

115.6
127.8
116.6
122.4
115.0

-

-

-

-

0.9
0.2
0.7
0.9

_ 1.3
-

1.1
0.6
1.4
0.2

_

105.9
109.4
107.0
108.7
108.5

-

0.3
1.7
0.6

-

1.5

106.7
107.6
111.1
112.5
109.4

1.0
0.4
1.7
1.6
2.1 j

106.1
109.9
112.4
106.9
114.6

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

10.6
3.1
4.2
6.7
2.4

6

Q E m m L

EXPLANATION

The Consumer Price Index (revised January 1953) measures the average change in
prices of goods and services purchased by city wage-earner and clerical-worker families.
The goods and services included in the index "market basket" are those required to maintain the level of living characteristic of such families in 1952. The quantities and
qualities of the items in the "market basket" remain the same between consecutive pricing
periods, so that the index measures the effect of price change only on the cost of living
of these families.
The indexes are presented on a base of 19ii7-U^»100. The index numbers thus show
the average increase or decrease in prices from the 19U7-J49 average. (For convenience
of users, these indexes are also shown on the base 1935-39°100. Note that they are
calculated using the new samples, items and weights). The city indexes do not indicate
whether it costs more to live in one city than in another. Coirparisons of city indexes
show only whether prices have risen more or less in one city than another since the base
period.
The Bureau has been compiling the Consumer Price Index for nearly 1;0 years. At
four different times it has been necessary to bring the "market basket" of goods and services up to date and to modernize the samples and methods of calculation. The indexes in
this report are revised as of January 1953. The "market basket" is based on extensive
surveys of postwar expenditure patterns of city families, and reflects changes that have
occurred since prewar in the amounts, kinds and qualities of things people buy, as well as
new things that were not part of our pattern of living a few years ago.
About 300 items are priced to estimate the average change in prices of all items
in the "market basket." Among these items are all the inportant goods and services that
wage and clerical workers buy. Prices are collected at regular intervals, and the successive prices are compared to determine price changes. The items priced are described
by detailed specifications to insure that as far as possible, the same quality is priced
each time, and that differences in reported prices are measures of price change only.
Prices are obtained in a sample of U6 cities representative of all cities in the U.S.,
including the 12 largest urban areas with populations over 1 million, 9 other large cities,
9 medium-sized cities, and 16 small cities. In each city, prices are reported by stores
of various kinds and by service establishments and individuals (such as physicians and
dentists) from whom wage and clerical workers buy goods and services.
Foods, fuels, rents, and a few other items are priced monthly in all cities.
Prices of most other goods and services are obtained on a regular rotating pricing cycle—
monthly in the 5 largest cities, every 3 months in 25 large and mediunw sized cities, and
every h months in the 16 smallest cities. In any given month, goods and services other
than foods, fuels and rents are priced in 17 or 18 cities out of the U6. Price collection
extends over 3 or U weeks, centered on the 15th of the month. Prices for a few items
(e.g., auto insurance, railroad fares) are computed from published sources.
Food. Food prices are collected monthly from chain and representative independent
food stores in all U6 cities, during the first 3 days of the week which includes the l5th
of the month. Prices for restaurant meals are based on menus collected on the regular
pricing cycle for each city as described above.
Rent. Rents are obtained each month by mail from tenants of representative samples
of dwellings in each of the U6 cities, and once every 2 years by personal visit, when
local samples of dwellings are also reviewed. The rent index measures changes in rent
from one period to another for the same rented dwellings, with the same facilities,
furnishings and services.
Other Shelter. Materials and services for house maintenance and repair are priced
on the regular city pricing cycle. Prices of houses,* fire insurance rates, mortgage
interest and taxes, which change only occasionally, are obtained annually or biennially,
and changes estimated between pricing dates. Sales prices of houses are obtained from
records of mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration.




Fuels, including Gas and Electricity. Prices prevailing on the 15 th of the month
are collected monthly by mail from f*uel dealers and utility companies in 1^6 cities.
All Goods and Services other than Poods, Fuels and Rents, Prices are collected
in person, on the city cycle described above, from samples of representative department
stores, apparel and shoe stores, housefurnishings and appliance dealers, barber shops,
beauty shops, doctors, hospitals, moving picture theaters, etc. Prices for such items as
newspapers, street car and bus fare,?, and telephone service are collected by mail. Prices
of used cars are obtained from car dealers through a trade association.
Price changes for all items in each city are combined in accordance with their
importance in the "market basket" for that city to obtain an average price change for that
city. Price changes for the 1|6 cities are combined for the U.S. with the use of 1950 population data. Each city is given an importance or weight proportionate to the wage-earner
and clerical-worker population it represents in the index. The 12 largest cities, each
weighted by its own population, when combined have about two-fifths of the total weight in
the national index. Each of the 3 other city-size groups has about one-fifth of the total
weight; i.e., the 9 other large cities, the 9 medium-sized cities, and the 16 small cities.
City indexes are compiled for the 20 largest of the i|6 cities priced for the national average, The remaining 26 cities in which prices are collected are:
Anna, Illinois
Camden, Arkansas
Canton, Ohio
Charleston, ¥, Virginia
Evansville, Indiana
Garrett, Indiana
Glendale, Arizona
Grand ForJcs, N, Dakota
Grand Island, Nebraska

Huntington, W. Virginia
Laconia, New Hampshire
Lodi, California
Lynchburg, Virginia
Madill, Oklahoma
Madison, Wisconsin
Middlesboro, Kentucky
Middletown, Connecticut
Newark, Ohio

Pulaski, Virginia
Ravenna, Ohio
Rawlins, Wyoming
San Jose, California
Sandpoint, Idaho
Shawnee, Oklahoma
Shenandoah, Iowa
Youngstown, Ohio

The present index, as described above, has been linked (spliced) to the "interim
adjusted" Consumer Price Index for 3k cities, issued through December 1952, to form a
continuous series back to 1913 • 1/
For detailed descriptions of the Consumer Price Index, its uses and limitations,
see the following:
"The Consumer Price Index," A Short Description of the Index as Revised, 1953.
"The Revised Consumers1 Price Index—A Summary of Changes in the Index and
Suggestions for Transition from the 1 Interim Adjusted' and 'Old Series1
Indexes to the Revised Index."
Bureau of Labor Statistics Bulletin No. 1039: "Interim Adjustment of the
Consumers1 Price Index."
January 1951 Report: "Consumers1 Price Index and Retail Food Prices."
December 1952 Report: "Consumers' Price Index and Retail Food Prices."
Monthly Labor Review articles:
The Revised Consumer Price Index
Adjusted Consumers1 Price Index:
Interim Adjustment of Consumers1
Selection of Cities for Consumer
Revision of the Consumers' Price

(February 1953)•
Relative Importance of Items (June 1951).
Price Index (April 1951).
Expenditure Survey-1950 (April 1951).
Index (July 1950).

1/ See December 1952 report, "Consumers' Price Index and Retail Food Prices." Tables of
rebased "interim adjusted" indexes for the U. S. and for 20 cities are available vpon
request.




.

S.

DEPARTMENT

BUREAU OF LABOR

OF

LABOR

STATISTICS

WASHINGTON 2 5 ,

D.

C.

OFFICIAL BUSINESS
PERMIT NO. 1064




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