For release: Friday, April 15, 2011 PLS-4776

Technical information: (215) 597-3282 • BLSInfoPhiladelphia@bls.govwww.bls.gov/ro3
Media contact: (215) 861-5600 • BLSMediaPhiladelphia@bls.gov

Consumer Price Index, northeast region – March 2011 (PDF)

Regional Prices 0.8 Percent Higher Over the Month; 2.5 Percent Higher Over the Year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) in the Northeast region rose 0.8 percent in March, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Sheila Watkins, the Bureau’s regional commissioner, noted that the recent increase was mostly due to a 5.6-percent jump in the energy index, particularly the gasoline index. The indexes for both all items less food and energy (0.4 percent) and food (0.3 percent) also advanced over the month. (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 increased 2.5 percent. (See chart 1 and table A.) The energy index rose 14.4 percent over the year. Prices were also higher for both all items less food and energy (1.2 percent) and food (2.9 percent) since March 2010. (See table 1.)

Chart 1. 12-month percent change in CPI for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U,Northeast Region, March 2008 to March 2011 (not seasonally adjusted)

Food

The food index rose 0.3 percent in March. The food at home index advanced 0.5 percent and the food away from home index inched up 0.1 percent over the month.

Over the year, the food index rose 2.9 percent—the largest 12-month increase since May 2009—as the food at home and food away from home components increased 3.6 and 1.9 percent, respectively.

Energy

Due largely to higher gasoline prices, the energy index, which includes prices for household and transportation fuels, rose 5.6 percent in March—the largest one-month increase since June 2009. Gasoline prices advanced for the sixth straight month, up 32.6 percent since September 2010 and 9.8 percent since February. Electricity prices increased 1.0 percent over the month, while utility (piped) gas service prices declined 0.7 percent.

The energy index advanced 14.4 percent since March 2010, largely reflecting a 27.1-percent jump in gasoline prices. Moderating the rise in the energy index were over-the-year declines in prices for utility (piped) gas service and electricity, down 4.0 and 1.6 percent, respectively.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.4 percent since February. A 3.1-percent seasonal increase in apparel prices led the advance. Higher shelter prices (0.2 percent) also contributed to the rise in the all items less food and energy index. Partially offsetting these one-month increases were lower prices for recreation, down 0.1 percent.

Over the last 12 months, the index for all items less food and energy rose 1.2 percent. Higher prices for shelter (0.8 percent) and medical care (3.2 percent) led the overall increase. Moderating these advances were declines in prices for recreation and household furnishings and operations (-0.9 percent each).

The April 2011 Consumer Price Index for the Northeast region is scheduled to be released on May 13, 2011, at 8:30 a.m. (ET).
Table A. Northeast region CPI-U 1-month and 12-month percent changes, all items index (not seasonally adjusted)
Month 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
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

1.0 4.1 0.3 2.3 0.4 3.9 0.2 0.5 0.4 3.0 0.4 1.6

February

0.3 3.9 0.4 2.4 0.4 4.0 0.6 0.7 0.0 2.5 0.5 2.0

March

0.6 3.3 0.8 2.6 0.8 3.9 0.2 0.2 0.3 2.6 0.8 2.5

April

0.9 3.8 0.5 2.2 0.5 3.9 0.2 -0.1 0.2 2.5    

May

0.5 4.6 0.5 2.3 0.9 4.3 0.1 -0.8 0.2 2.6    

June

0.5 5.1 0.4 2.3 1.1 5.0 0.8 -1.2 -0.1 1.7    

July

0.4 4.6 0.2 2.0 0.8 5.7 0.1 -1.9 0.0 1.6    

August

0.3 4.5 -0.2 1.6 -0.3 5.5 0.3 -1.2 0.1 1.4    

September

-0.8 2.6 -0.1 2.4 -0.4 5.2 0.1 -0.7 -0.1 1.2    

October

-0.5 1.7 0.2 3.1 -0.9 4.0 0.0 0.2 0.3 1.5    

November

-0.2 2.3 0.6 4.0 -1.6 1.7 0.2 2.0 0.2 1.5    

December

0.2 3.0 0.0 3.8 -0.9 0.7 -0.1 2.8 0.0 1.6    

 

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 87 percent of the total population and (2) a CPI for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) which covers 32 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 25,000 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; TDD message referral phone number:  1-800-877-8339.

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, Northeast Region, (1982-84=100 unless otherwise noted) (not seasonally adjusted)
Expenditure category Indexes Percent change from
Historical
data
Jan.
2011
Feb.
2011
Mar.
2011
Mar.
2010
Jan.
2011
Feb.
2011

All items

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235.969 237.110 239.074 2.5 1.3 0.8

All items (December 1977 = 100)

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371.580 373.375 376.469      
 

Food and beverages

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229.463 230.484 231.199 2.8 0.8 0.3

Food

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228.939 230.025 230.765 2.9 0.8 0.3

Food at home

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227.203 228.583 229.710 3.6 1.1 0.5

Food away from home

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234.185 234.883 235.103 1.9 0.4 0.1

Alcoholic beverages

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235.249 235.369 235.737 1.9 0.2 0.2
 

Housing

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244.953 245.371 246.351 1.0 0.6 0.4

Shelter

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292.671 292.916 293.555 0.8 0.3 0.2

Rent of primary residence (1)

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289.910 290.256 291.306 2.1 0.5 0.4

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

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304.827 304.944 305.263 0.5 0.1 0.1

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

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304.785 304.888 305.219 0.5 0.1 0.1

Fuels and utilities

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220.371 222.591 225.415 4.0 2.3 1.3

Household energy

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202.645 204.811 207.895 3.6 2.6 1.5

Energy services (1) (3)

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196.171 196.073 196.991 -2.3 0.4 0.5

Electricity (1)

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188.517 187.846 189.694 -1.6 0.6 1.0

Utility (piped) gas service (1)

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201.632 202.959 201.513 -4.0 -0.1 -0.7

Household furnishings and operations

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125.024 124.760 125.652 -0.9 0.5 0.7
 

Apparel

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119.195 122.118 125.943 1.0 5.7 3.1
 

Transportation

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200.573 202.701 208.702 9.2 4.1 3.0

Private transportation

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194.172 195.925 202.007 9.1 4.0 3.1

New and used motor vehicles (4)

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96.192 96.705 97.084 0.4 0.9 0.4

New vehicles

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137.765 138.824 139.188 0.9 1.0 0.3

New cars and trucks (4) (5)

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95.440 96.189 96.443 0.9 1.1 0.3

New cars (5)

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133.844 134.785 135.297 0.1 1.1 0.4

Used cars and trucks

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149.066 149.443 150.644 3.2 1.1 0.8

Motor fuel

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262.671 266.622 292.825 27.3 11.5 9.8

Gasoline (all types)

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261.786 265.477 291.604 27.1 11.4 9.8

Gasoline, unleaded regular (4)

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263.444 267.264 293.969 27.6 11.6 10.0

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade (5) (6)

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265.530 268.958 294.700 26.3 11.0 9.6

Gasoline, unleaded premium (5)

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251.622 254.914 278.384 25.2 10.6 9.2
 

Medical care

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416.249 418.653 419.884 3.2 0.9 0.3

Medical care commodities

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348.337 351.861 354.037 4.8 1.6 0.6

Medical care services

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433.288 435.180 436.001 2.6 0.6 0.2

Professional services

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334.649 335.176 334.852 1.8 0.1 -0.1
 

Recreation (4)

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115.853 116.995 116.829 -0.9 0.8 -0.1
 

Education and communication (4)

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133.571 133.216 133.255 0.0 -0.2 0.0
 

Other goods and services

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411.706 412.611 413.452 2.3 0.4 0.2
 

Commodity and service group

 

Commodities

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183.864 185.445 188.829 4.9 2.7 1.8

Commodities less food and beverages

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156.724 158.472 162.838 6.1 3.9 2.8

Nondurables less food and beverages

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199.401 202.616 210.651 9.9 5.6 4.0

Durables

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108.360 108.595 109.175 -0.4 0.8 0.5

Services

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287.061 287.790 288.413 1.1 0.5 0.2
 

Special aggregate indexes

 

All items less shelter

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217.013 218.500 220.981 3.4 1.8 1.1

All items less medical care

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227.964 229.052 231.028 2.5 1.3 0.9

Commodities less food

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159.732 161.444 165.720 6.0 3.7 2.6

Nondurables

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215.251 217.491 222.247 6.4 3.3 2.2

Nondurables less food

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201.411 204.462 212.088 9.4 5.3 3.7

Services less rent of shelter (2)

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291.271 292.580 293.204 1.5 0.7 0.2

Services less medical care services

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276.719 277.381 277.988 1.0 0.5 0.2

Energy

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227.822 230.741 243.593 14.4 6.9 5.6

All items less energy

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239.095 240.062 240.918 1.4 0.8 0.4

All items less food and energy

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242.443 243.395 244.277 1.2 0.8 0.4

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) This index series was formerly titled Gas (piped) and electricity.
(4) Indexes on a December 1997=100 base.
(5) Special index based on a substantially smaller sample.
(6) Indexes on a December 1993=100 base.

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

 

Last Modified Date: April 15, 2011