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12-1711-PHI

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

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Consumer Price Index, Northeast Region – July 2012

Regional Prices Down 0.1 Percent Over the Month; Up 1.1 Percent Over the Year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) in the Northeast region inched down 0.1 percent in July, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Sheila Watkins, the Bureau’s regional commissioner, noted that an over-the-month decline of 0.9 percent in the energy index was largely responsible for the overall decrease, moderated by a 0.1-percent increase in the food index. The all items less food and energy index was unchanged 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 1.1 percent. (See chart 1 and table A.) The all items less food and energy component advanced 1.8 percent. The food component also rose, up 2.3 percent, while energy prices fell 6.1 percent since July 2011. (See table 1.)

Chart 1. 12-month percent change in CPI for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), Northeast region, July 2009 to July 2012 (not seasonally adjusted)


Food

The food index inched up 0.1 percent in July after remaining unchanged in June. The recent increase reflected higher prices for food away from home, up 0.2 percent; prices for food at home were unchanged over the month.

Over the year, the food index advanced 2.3 percent. Prices were higher for both the food at home (2.0 percent) and food away from home (2.7 percent) components since last July.

Energy

The energy index, which includes prices for household and transportation fuels, fell for the third straight month, down 0.9 percent since June and 6.7 percent since April. The recent one-month decline was due largely to lower prices for electricity (-1.6 percent) and gasoline (-0.8 percent). Utility (piped) gas service prices also decreased over the month, inching down 0.1 percent.

The energy index fell 6.1 percent over the year—the largest decline since October 2009—as its three largest components all recorded decreases. The decline was led by lower gasoline prices, down 5.1 percent. Utility (piped) gas service prices dropped 11.8 percent, their 21st consecutive over-the-year decrease, and electricity prices fell 4.9 percent, their 9th.

All items less food and energy

Over the month, the all items less food and energy index was unchanged. Price decreases for several components, led by a 1.5-percent seasonal decline in apparel prices, were offset by various price increases including that for shelter, particularly owners’ equivalent rent of residences (0.2 percent each).

The index for all items less food and energy rose 1.8 percent over the year. The 12-month advance was led by higher shelter prices (1.8 percent), mainly those for owners’ equivalent rent of residences (2.1 percent). Widespread price increases among other components, including medical care (3.9 percent) and apparel (3.3 percent), also contributed to the rise in the all items less food and energy index since July 2011.

The August 2012 Consumer Price Index for the Northeast region is scheduled to be released on September 14, 2012, 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 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
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

0.3 2.3 0.4 3.9 0.2 0.5 0.4 3.0 0.4 1.6 0.4 2.9

February

0.4 2.4 0.4 4.0 0.6 0.7 0.0 2.5 0.5 2.0 0.4 2.8

March

0.8 2.6 0.8 3.9 0.2 0.2 0.3 2.6 0.8 2.5 0.5 2.5

April

0.5 2.2 0.5 3.9 0.2 -0.1 0.2 2.5 0.5 2.8 0.3 2.3

May

0.5 2.3 0.9 4.3 0.1 -0.8 0.2 2.6 0.5 3.2 -0.1 1.7

June

0.4 2.3 1.1 5.0 0.8 -1.2 -0.1 1.7 0.1 3.4 -0.2 1.5

July

0.2 2.0 0.8 5.7 0.1 -1.9 0.0 1.6 0.2 3.6 -0.1 1.1

August

-0.2 1.6 -0.3 5.5 0.3 -1.2 0.1 1.4 0.3 3.8    

September

-0.1 2.4 -0.4 5.2 0.1 -0.7 -0.1 1.2 0.1 4.0    

October

0.2 3.1 -0.9 4.0 0.0 0.2 0.3 1.5 -0.1 3.6    

November

0.6 4.0 -1.6 1.7 0.2 2.0 0.2 1.5 -0.1 3.2    

December

0.0 3.8 -0.9 0.7 -0.1 2.8 0.0 1.6 -0.3 2.9    

 

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 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.

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
May
2012
Jun.
2012
Jul.
2012
Jul.
2011
May
2012
Jun.
2012

All items

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245.709 245.201 244.984 1.1 -0.3 -0.1

All items (December 1977 = 100)

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386.917 386.116 385.775      
 

Food and beverages

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240.018 240.039 240.190 2.3 0.1 0.1

Food

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239.892 239.798 239.952 2.3 0.0 0.1

Food at home

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239.676 239.056 238.950 2.0 -0.3 0.0

Food away from home

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243.228 243.906 244.446 2.7 0.5 0.2

Alcoholic beverages

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240.264 241.963 242.071 2.3 0.8 0.0
 

Housing

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250.640 251.619 251.688 0.7 0.4 0.0

Shelter

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301.935 303.136 303.620 1.8 0.6 0.2

Rent of primary residence (1)

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299.623 300.242 300.890 2.5 0.4 0.2

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

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313.152 313.774 314.409 2.1 0.4 0.2

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

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313.059 313.681 314.307 2.1 0.4 0.2

Fuels and utilities

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214.273 215.185 213.541 -5.3 -0.3 -0.8

Household energy

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194.001 194.873 192.831 -7.0 -0.6 -1.0

Energy services (1)

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179.646 185.112 182.967 -7.3 1.8 -1.2

Electricity (1)

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183.893 190.619 187.590 -4.9 2.0 -1.6

Utility (piped) gas service (1)

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159.995 162.510 162.334 -11.8 1.5 -0.1

Household furnishings and operations

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128.027 128.380 128.357 0.7 0.3 0.0
 

Apparel

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130.990 126.999 125.107 3.3 -4.5 -1.5
 

Transportation

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218.237 214.475 213.659 -0.8 -2.1 -0.4

Private transportation

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211.394 207.362 206.743 -1.0 -2.2 -0.3

New and used motor vehicles (3)

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99.566 99.939 99.843 -0.7 0.3 -0.1

New vehicles

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142.829 142.576 142.371 0.4 -0.3 -0.1

New cars and trucks (3) (4)

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98.990 98.817 98.674 0.4 -0.3 -0.1

New cars (4)

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138.692 138.334 138.215 -0.2 -0.3 -0.1

Used cars and trucks

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162.940 164.734 165.205 1.8 1.4 0.3

Motor fuel

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316.518 296.226 293.789 -5.1 -7.2 -0.8

Gasoline (all types)

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315.391 295.081 292.702 -5.1 -7.2 -0.8

Gasoline, unleaded regular (4)

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317.531 296.395 293.771 -5.4 -7.5 -0.9

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade (4) (5)

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319.824 300.810 298.828 -4.5 -6.6 -0.7

Gasoline, unleaded premium (4)

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302.204 285.020 283.613 -4.2 -6.2 -0.5
 

Medical care

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437.270 437.098 438.180 3.9 0.2 0.2

Medical care commodities

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366.928 366.859 370.806 4.8 1.1 1.1

Medical care services

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454.767 454.557 454.432 3.6 -0.1 0.0

Professional services

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342.258 342.037 341.375 1.3 -0.3 -0.2
 

Recreation (3)

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119.673 119.880 119.766 1.3 0.1 -0.1
 

Education and communication (3)

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134.814 134.973 134.788 1.2 0.0 -0.1
 

Other goods and services

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426.180 427.178 427.746 2.8 0.4 0.1
 

Commodity and service group

 

Commodities

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195.754 193.235 192.791 0.6 -1.5 -0.2

Commodities less food and beverages

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168.724 165.193 164.507 -0.4 -2.5 -0.4

Nondurables less food and beverages

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219.265 212.243 211.091 -0.7 -3.7 -0.5

Durables

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112.177 112.191 111.988 0.1 -0.2 -0.2

Services

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294.827 296.218 296.215 1.4 0.5 0.0
 

Special aggregate indexes

 

All items less shelter

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227.022 225.877 225.399 0.8 -0.7 -0.2

All items less medical care

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237.232 236.713 236.448 0.9 -0.3 -0.1

Commodities less food

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171.601 168.196 167.528 -0.3 -2.4 -0.4

Nondurables

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230.952 227.168 226.616 0.8 -1.9 -0.2

Nondurables less food

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220.494 213.930 212.844 -0.5 -3.5 -0.5

Services less rent of shelter (2)

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297.616 299.263 298.715 1.1 0.4 -0.2

Services less medical care services

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283.691 285.156 285.159 1.3 0.5 0.0

Energy

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245.110 237.253 235.042 -6.1 -4.1 -0.9

All items less energy

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248.130 248.396 248.389 1.9 0.1 0.0

All items less food and energy

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251.183 251.518 251.481 1.8 0.1 0.0

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.