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12-2296-PHI

Thursday, November 15, 2012

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Consumer Price Index, Northeast Region – October 2012

Regional Prices Up 0.1 Percent Over the Month and 1.9 Percent Over the Year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) in the Northeast region inched up 0.1 percent in October, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Sheila Watkins, the Bureau’s regional commissioner, noted that one-month increases in the all items less food and energy index and the food index (0.2 percent each) were nearly offset by a decrease in the energy index (-0.9 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 CPI-U increased 1.9 percent, due mostly to an advance in the all items less food and energy index, up 1.7 percent. (See chart 1 and table A.) The energy and food indexes also rose since October 2011, up 3.5 and 1.5 percent, respectively. (See table 1.)

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


Food

The food index rose 0.2 percent in October as its two components, food at home and food away from home, recorded identical 0.2-percent increases.

Over the year, the food index advanced 1.5 percent. Prices for the food away from home and food at home components were up 2.3 and 1.1 percent, respectively.

Energy

The energy index, which includes prices for household and transportation fuels, decreased 0.9 percent over the month. The recent one-month decline was mostly due to a 3.7-percent seasonal decrease in electricity prices—the largest since October 2009. Electricity prices normally rise in June as summer rate schedules are introduced, then decline in October. Following two months of increases totaling 10.6 percent, gasoline prices fell 0.7 percent over the month. Moderating the overall decline in the energy index were higher utility (piped) gas service prices, up 2.0 percent since September.

Energy prices increased 3.5 percent since October 2011, due to a 10.5-percent jump in gasoline prices. Partially offsetting the rise in gasoline prices were the 24th consecutive over-the-year decrease in utility (piped) gas service prices and the 12th in electricity prices, down 8.6 and 3.9 percent, respectively.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy edged up 0.2 percent since September, due mostly to higher prices for shelter, particularly those for owners’ equivalent rent of residences (0.2 percent each). An increase in prices for medical care services (0.4 percent), among others, also contributed to the recent advance. Lower prices for used cars and trucks (-1.8 percent) and apparel (-0.4 percent) helped to moderate the one-month increase in the all items less food and energy index.

The index for all items less food and energy rose 1.7 percent over the year. The 12-month advance was led by higher shelter prices (2.1 percent), particularly those for owners’ equivalent rent of residences (2.0 percent). Widespread price increases among other components, including medical care (3.9 percent), also contributed to the rise in the all items less food and energy index since October 2011. In contrast, the index for new and used motor vehicles recorded its fourth straight over-the-year decline, down 1.3 percent since last October.

The November 2012 Consumer Price Index for the Northeast region is scheduled to be released on December 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 0.5 1.3

September

-0.1 2.4 -0.4 5.2 0.1 -0.7 -0.1 1.2 0.1 4.0 0.5 1.7

October

0.2 3.1 -0.9 4.0 0.0 0.2 0.3 1.5 -0.1 3.6 0.1 1.9

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; Federal Relay Service:  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
Aug.
2012
Sep.
2012
Oct.
2012
Oct.
2011
Aug.
2012
Sep.
2012

All items

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246.252 247.409 247.564 1.9 0.5 0.1

All items (December 1977 = 100)

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387.771 389.593 389.837      
 

Food and beverages

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240.463 240.621 241.130 1.6 0.3 0.2

Food

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240.308 240.456 240.928 1.5 0.3 0.2

Food at home

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239.199 239.214 239.749 1.1 0.2 0.2

Food away from home

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244.964 245.310 245.695 2.3 0.3 0.2

Alcoholic beverages

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241.123 241.443 242.479 1.8 0.6 0.4
 

Housing

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252.171 252.626 252.608 1.4 0.2 0.0

Shelter

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304.202 304.119 304.658 2.1 0.1 0.2

Rent of primary residence (1)

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301.813 302.463 303.026 2.4 0.4 0.2

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

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315.178 315.718 316.313 2.0 0.4 0.2

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

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315.074 315.612 316.212 2.0 0.4 0.2

Fuels and utilities

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214.408 217.829 215.552 -2.4 0.5 -1.0

Household energy

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193.613 197.244 194.751 -3.5 0.6 -1.3

Energy services (1)

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181.847 184.493 180.788 -5.5 -0.6 -2.0

Electricity (1)

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186.002 189.012 182.090 -3.9 -2.1 -3.7

Utility (piped) gas service (1)

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162.254 163.986 167.197 -8.6 3.0 2.0

Household furnishings and operations

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128.209 128.248 128.047 0.9 -0.1 -0.2
 

Apparel

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129.468 134.271 133.745 0.8 3.3 -0.4
 

Transportation

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216.851 219.435 219.488 3.4 1.2 0.0

Private transportation

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210.547 213.351 213.207 3.8 1.3 -0.1

New and used motor vehicles (3)

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99.509 98.806 98.615 -1.3 -0.9 -0.2

New vehicles

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142.275 141.999 142.700 0.6 0.3 0.5

New cars and trucks (3) (4)

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98.609 98.416 98.885 0.6 0.3 0.5

New cars (4)

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138.203 137.791 138.461 -0.2 0.2 0.5

Used cars and trucks

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164.055 160.495 157.541 -2.0 -4.0 -1.8

Motor fuel

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310.036 324.678 322.497 10.5 4.0 -0.7

Gasoline (all types)

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308.989 323.652 321.423 10.5 4.0 -0.7

Gasoline, unleaded regular (4)

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310.480 325.269 323.035 10.6 4.0 -0.7

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade (4) (5)

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314.505 329.733 327.265 10.4 4.1 -0.7

Gasoline, unleaded premium (4)

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298.182 311.765 309.842 10.4 3.9 -0.6
 

Medical care

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439.433 440.739 442.157 3.9 0.6 0.3

Medical care commodities

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373.346 373.556 373.478 4.7 0.0 0.0

Medical care services

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455.123 456.846 458.843 3.7 0.8 0.4

Professional services

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341.370 342.610 343.244 1.4 0.5 0.2
 

Recreation (3)

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119.586 119.649 119.593 0.8 0.0 0.0
 

Education and communication (3)

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135.460 136.129 136.374 1.3 0.7 0.2
 

Other goods and services

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428.773 428.374 430.038 2.4 0.3 0.4
 

Commodity and service group

 

Commodities

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194.931 196.800 196.680 2.2 0.9 -0.1

Commodities less food and beverages

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167.378 169.922 169.533 2.6 1.3 -0.2

Nondurables less food and beverages

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217.193 222.860 222.296 4.1 2.3 -0.3

Durables

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111.597 110.997 110.794 -0.3 -0.7 -0.2

Services

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296.666 297.158 297.574 1.7 0.3 0.1
 

Special aggregate indexes

 

All items less shelter

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226.930 228.556 228.571 1.8 0.7 0.0

All items less medical care

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237.710 238.856 238.962 1.7 0.5 0.0

Commodities less food

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170.310 172.806 172.453 2.6 1.3 -0.2

Nondurables

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230.041 233.177 233.110 2.9 1.3 0.0

Nondurables less food

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218.576 223.963 223.484 4.0 2.2 -0.2

Services less rent of shelter (2)

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299.029 300.122 300.446 1.2 0.5 0.1

Services less medical care services

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285.594 286.015 286.342 1.5 0.3 0.1

Energy

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242.207 250.391 248.020 3.5 2.4 -0.9

All items less energy

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249.043 249.466 249.890 1.7 0.3 0.2

All items less food and energy

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252.195 252.673 253.091 1.7 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.