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News Release Information

15-1033-PHI
Friday, May 22, 2015

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Consumer Price Index, Northeast Region – April 2015

Area prices up 0.1 percent over the month; down 0.3 percent over the year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) in the Northeast inched up 0.1 percent in April, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Sheila Watkins, the Bureau’s regional commissioner, noted that this was mostly due to a 0.2-percent rise in the all items less food and energy index. The food index also increased over the month, inching up 0.1 percent. These one-month increases were partially offset by a 0.7-percent decline in the energy index. (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 19.1 percent over the year, while the all items less food and energy index was 1.5 percent higher. Food prices also increased from April 2014, up 2.2 percent. (See table 1.)

Food

The food index inched up 0.1 percent in April as both of its components—food at home and food away from home—also recorded 0.1 percent increases.

From April 2014 to April 2015, the food index increased 2.2 percent. Food at home prices rose 2.1 percent over the year and prices for food away from home increased 2.3 percent.

Energy

The energy index, which includes prices for household and transportation fuels, decreased 0.7 percent since March. This was due to a 3.5-percent decline in the utility (piped) gas service index. The decline was moderated by increases in both electricity and gasoline prices, up 0.8 and 0.4 percent, respectively.

The energy index fell 19.1 percent since April 2014. The decrease was mostly due to a 32.0-percent drop in gasoline prices. Prices for utility (piped) gas service also dropped over the year, down 20.3 percent—the largest 12-month decrease for this index since November 2009. The electricity index increased, up 7.6 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 April. Shelter prices rose 0.2 percent, led by a 0.3-percent rise in the owners’ equivalent rent of residences component. Prices were also higher for medical care (0.5 percent) and recreation (0.3 percent), among others. Moderating the overall increase in the all items less food and energy index were lower prices for apparel, down 1.3 percent.

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy increased 1.5 percent, led by higher prices for shelter (2.3 percent), particularly owners’ equivalent rent of residences (2.1 percent). Prices were also higher for medical care (3.4 percent), other goods and services (1.4 percent), and apparel (1.1 percent).

 

Table A. Northeast region CPI-U 1-month and 12-month percent changes, all items index, not seasonally adjusted
Month20112012201320142015
1-month12-month1-month12-month1-month12-month1-month12-month1-month12-month

January

0.41.60.42.90.31.80.61.5-0.2-0.4

February

0.52.00.42.80.62.00.11.00.2-0.2

March

0.82.50.52.50.01.50.51.50.3-0.4

April

0.52.80.32.3-0.11.10.01.60.1-0.3

May

0.53.2-0.11.70.01.20.42.0  

June

0.13.4-0.21.50.11.50.01.9  

July

0.23.6-0.11.10.21.80.11.8  

August

0.33.80.51.30.21.5-0.31.3  

September

0.14.00.51.70.11.10.01.2  

October

-0.13.60.11.9-0.40.7-0.21.4  

November

-0.13.2-0.21.80.11.0-0.40.9  

December

-0.32.9-0.31.80.01.3-0.50.4  

The Consumer Price Index for May 2015 is scheduled to be released Thursday, June 18, 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 categoryIndexesPercent change from
 
Historical
data
Feb.
2015
Mar.
2015
Apr.
2015
Apr.
2014
Feb.
2015
Mar.
2015

All items

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250.619251.451251.760-0.30.50.1

All items (December 1977 = 100)

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394.648395.958396.445   
 

Food and beverages

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250.897250.658250.8442.10.00.1

Food

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250.917250.711251.0042.20.00.1

Food at home

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248.881248.385248.7412.1-0.10.1

Food away from home

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257.064257.287257.4902.30.20.1

Alcoholic beverages

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249.447248.785247.6040.8-0.7-0.5
 

Housing

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264.049264.040264.2491.20.10.1

Shelter

Jump to page with historical data
321.074321.995322.7832.30.50.2

Rent of primary residence (1)

Jump to page with historical data
321.961322.538322.6342.40.20.0

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

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332.996333.117334.1552.10.30.3

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

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332.815332.929333.9632.10.30.3

Fuels and utilities

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226.898220.864218.143-4.4-3.9-1.2

Household energy

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204.961198.476195.470-5.5-4.6-1.5

Energy services (1)

Jump to page with historical data
203.334193.794193.183-0.8-5.0-0.3

Electricity (1)

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214.691203.688205.2437.6-4.40.8

Utility (piped) gas service (1)

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165.164159.589153.948-20.3-6.8-3.5

Household furnishings and operations

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122.954124.224124.634-0.81.40.3
 

Apparel

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131.201133.810132.0341.10.6-1.3
 

Transportation

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195.156198.706199.572-9.32.30.4

Private transportation

Jump to page with historical data
186.628190.545191.261-10.02.50.4

New and used motor vehicles (3)

Jump to page with historical data
97.38498.19598.601-0.21.20.4

New vehicles

Jump to page with historical data
145.396145.298145.5550.40.10.2

New cars and trucks (3) (4)

Jump to page with historical data
100.757100.671100.8500.50.10.2

New cars (4)

Jump to page with historical data
138.743138.321138.111-0.3-0.5-0.2

Used cars and trucks

Jump to page with historical data
150.518154.140156.913-0.64.21.8

Motor fuel

Jump to page with historical data
192.644206.834207.583-32.07.80.4

Gasoline (all types)

Jump to page with historical data
191.458205.554206.474-32.07.80.4

Gasoline, unleaded regular (4)

Jump to page with historical data
189.577204.223205.052-32.88.20.4

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade (4) (5)

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203.032215.109216.578-30.06.70.7

Gasoline, unleaded premium (4)

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197.472208.923210.162-28.66.40.6
 

Medical care

Jump to page with historical data
465.554466.218468.3863.40.60.5

Medical care commodities

Jump to page with historical data
379.834378.847378.2483.1-0.4-0.2

Medical care services

Jump to page with historical data
489.058490.284493.3803.40.90.6

Professional services

Jump to page with historical data
360.957361.833361.3752.80.1-0.1
 

Recreation (3)

Jump to page with historical data
120.103120.624121.0130.50.80.3
 

Education and communication (3)

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137.904137.729137.8710.20.00.1
 

Other goods and services

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444.710445.092445.1071.40.10.0
 

Commodity and service group

 

Commodities

Jump to page with historical data
186.174188.161188.007-3.91.0-0.1

Commodities less food and beverages

Jump to page with historical data
150.688153.552153.257-7.81.7-0.2

Nondurables less food and beverages

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188.497193.647192.195-11.42.0-0.7

Durables

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106.641107.300108.036-1.51.30.7

Services

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313.190312.989313.7241.80.20.2
 

Special aggregate indexes

 

All items less shelter

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226.657227.463227.595-1.60.40.1

All items less medical care

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241.177242.013242.245-0.60.40.1

Commodities less food

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154.280157.049156.726-7.41.6-0.2

Nondurables

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219.602222.240221.553-4.70.9-0.3

Nondurables less food

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192.046196.843195.409-10.61.8-0.7

Services less rent of shelter (2)

Jump to page with historical data
315.746314.278314.9681.3-0.20.2

Services less medical care services

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301.003300.717301.3061.60.10.2

Energy

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200.035202.160200.716-19.10.3-0.7

All items less energy

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258.290258.996259.4901.60.50.2

All items less food and energy

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261.272262.145262.6781.50.50.2

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: Friday, May 22, 2015