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15-1233-PHI
Thursday, June 18, 2015

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Consumer Price Index, Northeast Region – May 2015

Area prices up 0.4 percent over the month; down 0.3 percent over the year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) in the Northeast increased 0.4 percent in May, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Sheila Watkins, the Bureau’s regional commissioner, noted that this was largely due to a 2.7-percent rise in the energy index. The all items less food and energy index and the food index also increased over the month, each edging up 0.2 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 Northeast all items CPI-U edged down 0.3 percent. (See chart 1 and table A.) The energy index fell 17.8 percent over the year, while the all items less food and energy index was 1.4 percent higher. Food prices also increased from May 2014, up 1.7 percent. (See table 1.)

 Chart 1. Over-the-year percent change in CPI-U, Northeast region, May 2012-May 2015

Food

The food index edged up 0.2 percent in May, as food away from home prices increased 0.4 percent. Prices for food at home were unchanged since April.

From May 2014 to May 2015, the food index increased 1.7 percent. Food away from home prices rose 2.7 percent over the year and prices for food at home increased 1.1 percent.

Energy

The energy index, which includes prices for household and transportation fuels, increased 2.7 percent since April, due to a 10.0-percent rise in gasoline prices. The increase was moderated by decreases in both electricity and utility (piped) gas prices, down 3.6 and 1.6 percent, respectively.

The energy index fell 17.8 percent since May 2014.  The decrease was mostly due to a 26.9-percent drop in gasoline prices. Prices for utility (piped) gas service also dropped over the year, down 16.2 percent. The electricity index increased, up 0.2 percent over the year.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy edged up 0.2 percent in May. Shelter prices rose 0.3 percent, led by a 0.2-percent rise in the owners’ equivalent rent of residences component. Prices were also higher for medical care (0.2 percent) and other goods and services (0.3 percent), among others. Moderating the overall increase in the all items less food and energy index were lower prices for household furnishings and operations and apparel, each down 0.5 percent.

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy increased 1.4 percent, led by higher prices for shelter (2.0 percent), particularly owners’ equivalent rent of residences (2.0 percent). Prices were also higher for several other categories including medical care (3.1 percent), while prices for household furnishings and operations decreased (-0.8 percent).

 

Table A. Northeast region CPI-U 1-month and 12-month percent changes, all items index, not seasonally adjusted
Month 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
1-month 12-month 1-month 12-month 1-month 12-month 1-month 12-month 1-month 12-month

January

0.4 1.6 0.4 2.9 0.3 1.8 0.6 1.5 -0.2 -0.4

February

0.5 2.0 0.4 2.8 0.6 2.0 0.1 1.0 0.2 -0.2

March

0.8 2.5 0.5 2.5 0.0 1.5 0.5 1.5 0.3 -0.4

April

0.5 2.8 0.3 2.3 -0.1 1.1 0.0 1.6 0.1 -0.3

May

0.5 3.2 -0.1 1.7 0.0 1.2 0.4 2.0 0.4 -0.3

June

0.1 3.4 -0.2 1.5 0.1 1.5 0.0 1.9    

July

0.2 3.6 -0.1 1.1 0.2 1.8 0.1 1.8    

August

0.3 3.8 0.5 1.3 0.2 1.5 -0.3 1.3    

September

0.1 4.0 0.5 1.7 0.1 1.1 0.0 1.2    

October

-0.1 3.6 0.1 1.9 -0.4 0.7 -0.2 1.4    

November

-0.1 3.2 -0.2 1.8 0.1 1.0 -0.4 0.9    

December

-0.3 2.9 -0.3 1.8 0.0 1.3 -0.5 0.4    

The Consumer Price Index for June 2015 is scheduled to be released Friday, July 17, 2015, at 8:30 a.m. (ET).


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 89 percent of the total population and (2) a CPI for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) which covers approximately 28 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 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/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 Northeast region is comprised of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

Information in this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: (202) 691-5200; Federal Relay Service: (800) 877-8339.

Table 1. Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U): Indexes and percent changes for selected periods, Northeast Region, (1982-84=100 unless otherwise noted) (not seasonally adjusted)
Expenditure category Indexes Percent change from
 
Historical
data
Mar.
2015
Apr.
2015
May
2015
May
2014
Mar.
2015
Apr.
2015

All items

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251.451 251.760 252.770 -0.3 0.5 0.4

All items (December 1977 = 100)

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395.958 396.445 398.035      
 

Food and beverages

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250.658 250.844 251.356 1.7 0.3 0.2

Food

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250.711 251.004 251.457 1.7 0.3 0.2

Food at home

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248.385 248.741 248.838 1.1 0.2 0.0

Food away from home

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257.287 257.490 258.477 2.7 0.5 0.4

Alcoholic beverages

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248.785 247.604 248.871 1.0 0.0 0.5
 

Housing

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264.040 264.249 263.998 0.7 0.0 -0.1

Shelter

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321.995 322.783 323.612 2.0 0.5 0.3

Rent of primary residence (1)

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322.538 322.634 323.764 2.5 0.4 0.4

Owners' equivalent rent of residences (1) (2)

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333.117 334.155 334.672 2.0 0.5 0.2

Owners' equivalent rent of primary residence (1) (2)

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332.929 333.963 334.468 2.0 0.5 0.2

Fuels and utilities

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220.864 218.143 213.340 -6.6 -3.4 -2.2

Household energy

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198.476 195.470 190.234 -8.1 -4.2 -2.7

Energy services (1)

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193.794 193.183 187.136 -4.4 -3.4 -3.1

Electricity (1)

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203.688 205.243 197.806 0.2 -2.9 -3.6

Utility (piped) gas service (1)

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159.589 153.948 151.500 -16.2 -5.1 -1.6

Household furnishings and operations

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124.224 124.634 123.998 -0.8 -0.2 -0.5
 

Apparel

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133.810 132.034 131.321 0.5 -1.9 -0.5
 

Transportation

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198.706 199.572 205.061 -7.8 3.2 2.8

Private transportation

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190.545 191.261 195.963 -8.4 2.8 2.5

New and used motor vehicles (3)

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98.195 98.601 98.504 -0.4 0.3 -0.1

New vehicles

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145.298 145.555 145.380 0.4 0.1 -0.1

New cars and trucks (3) (4)

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100.671 100.850 100.743 0.4 0.1 -0.1

New cars (4)

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138.321 138.111 137.704 -0.5 -0.4 -0.3

Used cars and trucks

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154.140 156.913 157.983 -0.6 2.5 0.7

Motor fuel

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206.834 207.583 228.019 -26.9 10.2 9.8

Gasoline (all types)

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205.554 206.474 227.031 -26.9 10.4 10.0

Gasoline, unleaded regular (4)

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204.223 205.052 226.196 -27.5 10.8 10.3

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade (4) (5)

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215.109 216.578 235.448 -25.5 9.5 8.7

Gasoline, unleaded premium (4)

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208.923 210.162 227.283 -24.5 8.8 8.1
 

Medical care

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466.218 468.386 469.261 3.1 0.7 0.2

Medical care commodities

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378.847 378.248 377.639 2.8 -0.3 -0.2

Medical care services

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490.284 493.380 494.757 3.2 0.9 0.3

Professional services

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361.833 361.375 362.359 2.7 0.1 0.3
 

Recreation (3)

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120.624 121.013 121.212 0.8 0.5 0.2
 

Education and communication (3)

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137.729 137.871 137.969 0.3 0.2 0.1
 

Other goods and services

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445.092 445.107 446.595 1.6 0.3 0.3
 

Commodity and service group

 

Commodities

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188.161 188.007 189.705 -3.5 0.8 0.9

Commodities less food and beverages

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153.552 153.257 155.395 -6.7 1.2 1.4

Nondurables less food and beverages

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193.647 192.195 196.733 -9.9 1.6 2.4

Durables

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107.300 108.036 107.924 -1.3 0.6 -0.1

Services

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312.989 313.724 314.128 1.5 0.4 0.1
 

Special aggregate indexes

 

All items less shelter

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227.463 227.595 228.684 -1.5 0.5 0.5

All items less medical care

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242.013 242.245 243.258 -0.6 0.5 0.4

Commodities less food

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157.049 156.726 158.846 -6.4 1.1 1.4

Nondurables

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222.240 221.553 224.220 -4.1 0.9 1.2

Nondurables less food

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196.843 195.409 199.746 -9.1 1.5 2.2

Services less rent of shelter (2)

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314.278 314.968 314.906 0.9 0.2 0.0

Services less medical care services

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300.717 301.306 301.649 1.3 0.3 0.1

Energy

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202.160 200.716 206.175 -17.8 2.0 2.7

All items less energy

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258.996 259.490 260.049 1.5 0.4 0.2

All items less food and energy

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262.145 262.678 263.260 1.4 0.4 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) Indexes 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.

Note: Index applies to a month as a whole, not to any specific date.

 

Last Modified Date: Thursday, June 18, 2015