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Friday, March 15, 2013

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Consumer Price Index, Northeast Region – February 2013

Regional Prices Up 0.6 Percent Over the Month and 2.0 Percent Over the Year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) in the Northeast region rose 0.6 percent in February—the largest one-month increase since March 2011, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Sheila Watkins, the Bureau’s regional commissioner, noted that the recent rise reflected one-month increases in the indexes for all items less food and energy (0.4 percent) and energy (3.0 percent), while the food index edged down 0.2 percent. (Data in this report are not seasonally adjusted. Accordingly, month-to-month changes may reflect the impact of seasonal influences.)

The CPI-U and its largest component, all items less food and energy, each posted over-the-year price advances of 2.0 percent. (See chart 1 and table A.) The indexes for energy and food also rose since February 2012, up 2.8 and 1.6 percent, respectively. (See table 1.)

Chart 1. 12-month percent change in CPI for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), Northeast region, February 2010 to February 2013 (not seasonally adjusted)

 

Food

The food index edged down 0.2 percent in February. The recent decline was due to a 0.4-percent decrease in food at home prices. Prices for food away from home were almost unchanged, inching up 0.1 percent since January.

Over the year, the food index advanced 1.6 percent. Prices for both the food at home and food away from home components increased since last February, up 1.4 and 1.8 percent, respectively.

Energy

The energy index, which includes prices for household and transportation fuels, rose 3.0 percent since January. The one-month increase was due almost entirely to a 6.1-percent advance in gasoline prices, following four consecutive months of decreases totaling 9.5 percent. Moderating the overall increase in the energy index were lower prices for electricity (-1.2 percent) and utility (piped) gas service (-0.3 percent).

Energy prices increased 2.8 percent over the year, primarily reflecting a 3.4-percent advance in gasoline prices. After 27 consecutive months of over-the-year decreases, the utility (piped) gas service index recorded a price increase, up 4.1 percent since February 2012. Electricity prices also advanced over the year, up 1.6 percent.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.4 percent in February, led by an increase in prices for shelter, up 0.3 percent. Also contributing to the advance in the all items less food and energy group were a seasonal increase in apparel prices (2.1 percent) and a rise in medical care prices (0.8 percent), among others. Moderating the overall advance was a 0.2-percent decrease in household furnishings and operations prices.

The index for all items less food and energy rose 2.0 percent over the year. The 12-month advance was led by higher prices for shelter (2.1 percent), particularly those for owners’ equivalent rent of residences (1.9 percent). Widespread price increases among other components, including medical care (2.6 percent) and education and communication (1.4 percent), also contributed to the rise in the all items less food and energy index since February 2012.

The March 2013 Consumer Price Index for the Northeast region is scheduled to be released on April 16, 2013, 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 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
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

0.4 3.9 0.2 0.5 0.4 3.0 0.4 1.6 0.4 2.9 0.3 1.8

February

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

March

0.8 3.9 0.2 0.2 0.3 2.6 0.8 2.5 0.5 2.5    

April

0.5 3.9 0.2 -0.1 0.2 2.5 0.5 2.8 0.3 2.3    

May

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

June

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

July

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

August

-0.3 5.5 0.3 -1.2 0.1 1.4 0.3 3.8 0.5 1.3    

September

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

October

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

November

-1.6 1.7 0.2 2.0 0.2 1.5 -0.1 3.2 0.2 1.8    

December

-0.9 0.7 -0.1 2.8 0.0 1.6 -0.3 2.9 -0.3 1.8    

 

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
Dec.
2012
Jan.
2013
Feb.
2013
Feb.
2012
Dec.
2012
Jan.
2013

All items

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246.456 247.277 248.665 2.0 0.9 0.6

All items (December 1977 = 100)

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388.094 389.386 391.571      
 

Food and beverages

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241.478 243.031 242.682 1.6 0.5 -0.1

Food

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241.343 242.947 242.461 1.6 0.5 -0.2

Food at home

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240.583 243.016 242.105 1.4 0.6 -0.4

Food away from home

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245.498 245.899 246.035 1.8 0.2 0.1

Alcoholic beverages

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241.849 242.663 244.299 1.9 1.0 0.7
 

Housing

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253.294 254.299 254.836 1.9 0.6 0.2

Shelter

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304.891 305.150 306.049 2.1 0.4 0.3

Rent of primary residence (1)

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303.907 304.407 305.518 2.7 0.5 0.4

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

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317.162 317.244 317.613 1.9 0.1 0.1

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

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317.061 317.150 317.516 1.9 0.1 0.1

Fuels and utilities

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219.324 224.304 224.236 2.3 2.2 0.0

Household energy

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198.798 204.026 203.916 2.1 2.6 -0.1

Energy services (1)

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185.523 191.488 189.781 2.4 2.3 -0.9

Electricity (1)

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182.119 190.050 187.824 1.6 3.1 -1.2

Utility (piped) gas service (1)

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181.438 182.953 182.430 4.1 0.5 -0.3

Household furnishings and operations

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127.926 128.521 128.298 0.0 0.3 -0.2
 

Apparel

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127.979 126.919 129.525 2.7 1.2 2.1
 

Transportation

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214.789 214.909 219.243 2.7 2.1 2.0

Private transportation

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207.722 207.800 212.106 2.3 2.1 2.1

New and used motor vehicles (3)

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98.645 99.084 99.152 0.4 0.5 0.1

New vehicles

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143.947 144.976 144.761 1.5 0.6 -0.1

New cars and trucks (3) (4)

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99.763 100.480 100.327 1.5 0.6 -0.2

New cars (4)

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139.806 140.590 140.378 1.5 0.4 -0.2

Used cars and trucks

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154.570 154.679 155.992 -0.2 0.9 0.8

Motor fuel

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295.805 294.479 312.225 3.4 5.6 6.0

Gasoline (all types)

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294.352 293.045 310.952 3.4 5.6 6.1

Gasoline, unleaded regular (4)

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294.974 293.474 312.367 3.1 5.9 6.4

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade (4) (5)

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301.680 300.805 316.403 4.0 4.9 5.2

Gasoline, unleaded premium (4)

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286.760 286.168 300.889 4.5 4.9 5.1
 

Medical care

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439.991 441.430 444.784 2.6 1.1 0.8

Medical care commodities

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362.335 362.800 364.692 -0.2 0.7 0.5

Medical care services

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460.424 462.228 466.095 3.6 1.2 0.8

Professional services

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344.245 345.730 347.338 1.8 0.9 0.5
 

Recreation (3)

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119.549 120.172 120.922 1.0 1.1 0.6
 

Education and communication (3)

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135.752 136.358 136.452 1.4 0.5 0.1
 

Other goods and services

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429.778 430.507 431.003 1.6 0.3 0.1
 

Commodity and service group

 

Commodities

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193.360 193.971 195.917 1.3 1.3 1.0

Commodities less food and beverages

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164.739 164.915 167.787 1.1 1.9 1.7

Nondurables less food and beverages

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213.169 212.934 218.411 1.7 2.5 2.6

Durables

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110.419 110.985 111.202 0.0 0.7 0.2

Services

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298.553 299.578 300.447 2.4 0.6 0.3
 

Special aggregate indexes

 

All items less shelter

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226.958 227.993 229.574 1.9 1.2 0.7

All items less medical care

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237.900 238.694 240.000 1.9 0.9 0.5

Commodities less food

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167.749 167.943 170.796 1.2 1.8 1.7

Nondurables

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228.343 228.943 231.739 1.7 1.5 1.2

Nondurables less food

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214.802 214.622 219.899 1.8 2.4 2.5

Services less rent of shelter (2)

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302.409 304.328 305.193 2.7 0.9 0.3

Services less medical care services

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287.280 288.254 288.954 2.3 0.6 0.2

Energy

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239.396 241.935 249.192 2.8 4.1 3.0

All items less energy

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249.569 250.215 250.994 1.9 0.6 0.3

All items less food and energy

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252.629 253.098 254.120 2.0 0.6 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) 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: April 18, 2013