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News Release Information

16-589-PHI
Wednesday, March 16, 2016

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Consumer Price Index, Northeast Region – February 2016

Regional prices up 0.2 percent over the month and 0.7 percent over the year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) in the Northeast edged up 0.2 percent in February, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Sheila Watkins, the Bureau’s regional commissioner, noted that the recent increase was due to a 0.5-percent increase in the all items less food and energy index. Partially offsetting the overall increase was a one-month decrease in the energy index, down 3.4 percent. The food index also decreased, down 0.1 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 Northeast all items CPI-U increased 0.7 percent, due mostly to a 2.0-percent advance in the all items less food and energy index. Food prices also rose, up 0.9 percent over the year. (See chart 1 and table A.) The increase was moderated by a 14.6-percent decline in the energy index since February 2015. (See table 1.)

Food

The food index inched down 0.1 percent since January. Prices for one of its two components, food at home, decreased 0.3 percent, while prices for the other, food away from home, increased 0.1 percent over the month.  

From February 2015 to February 2016, the food index increased 0.9 percent. Prices for food away from home rose 2.5 percent over the year, while those for food at home edged down 0.2 percent.

Energy

The energy index, which includes prices for household and transportation fuels, decreased 3.4 percent since January, led by a 7.6-percent decline in gasoline prices. Prices for electricity and utility (piped) gas service also decreased over the month, down 0.7 and 0.6 percent, respectively.

The energy index fell 14.6 percent since February 2015, led by an 18.3-percent drop in gasoline prices. Prices for electricity and utility (piped) gas service also decreased over the year, down 8.6 and 13.1 percent, respectively.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy increased 0.5 percent in February. The index’s increase was led by higher prices for shelter (0.4 percent), apparel (3.5 percent), and medical care (1.1 percent), among others.

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy increased 2.0 percent, led by higher prices for shelter (2.6 percent), particularly owners’ equivalent rent of residences (2.6 percent). Prices were also higher over the year for medical care (2.9 percent) and education and communication (2.3 percent).

Table A. Northeast region CPI-U 1-month and 12-month percent changes, all items index, not seasonally adjusted
Month20122013201420152016
1-month12-month1-month12-month1-month12-month1-month12-month1-month12-month

January

0.42.90.31.80.61.5-0.2-0.40.00.7

February

0.42.80.62.00.11.00.2-0.20.20.7

March

0.52.50.01.50.51.50.3-0.4  

April

0.32.3-0.11.10.01.60.1-0.3  

May

-0.11.70.01.20.42.00.4-0.3  

June

-0.21.50.11.50.01.90.30.0  

July

-0.11.10.21.80.11.8-0.1-0.2  

August

0.51.30.21.5-0.31.3-0.2-0.1  

September

0.51.70.11.10.01.20.0-0.1  

October

0.11.9-0.40.7-0.21.4-0.2-0.1  

November

-0.21.80.11.0-0.40.90.00.3  

December

-0.31.80.01.3-0.50.4-0.40.5  

The Consumer Price Index for March 2016 is scheduled to be released Thursday, April 14, 2016, 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/pdf/homch17.pdf.

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
Dec.
2015
Jan.
2016
Feb.
2016
Feb.
2015
Dec.
2015
Jan.
2016

All items

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251.670251.739252.2500.70.20.2

All items (December 1977 = 100)

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396.303396.412397.217   
 

Food and beverages

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252.100253.328253.2120.90.40.0

Food

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252.268253.531253.2610.90.4-0.1

Food at home

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247.883249.096248.472-0.20.2-0.3

Food away from home

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261.919263.274263.5472.50.60.1

Alcoholic beverages

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248.763249.519251.3960.81.10.8
 

Housing

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265.320265.610266.3400.90.40.3

Shelter

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328.018328.130329.5422.60.50.4

Rent of primary residence (1)

Jump to page with historical data
330.296330.856331.6343.00.40.2

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

Jump to page with historical data
340.368340.963341.6322.60.40.2

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

Jump to page with historical data
340.105340.696341.3622.60.40.2

Fuels and utilities

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203.697205.630204.437-9.90.4-0.6

Household energy

Jump to page with historical data
179.319181.149179.675-12.30.2-0.8

Energy services (1)

Jump to page with historical data
181.210184.665183.484-9.81.3-0.6

Electricity (1)

Jump to page with historical data
192.558197.527196.205-8.61.9-0.7

Utility (piped) gas service (1)

Jump to page with historical data
144.327144.319143.522-13.1-0.6-0.6

Household furnishings and operations

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122.920122.619122.529-0.3-0.3-0.1
 

Apparel

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128.090127.645132.0540.73.13.5
 

Transportation

Jump to page with historical data
193.211191.225189.627-2.8-1.9-0.8

Private transportation

Jump to page with historical data
184.880182.965180.554-3.3-2.3-1.3

New and used motor vehicles (3)

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97.11397.28897.4670.10.40.2

New vehicles

Jump to page with historical data
145.024145.381145.8990.30.60.4

New cars and trucks (3) (4)

Jump to page with historical data
100.482100.725101.0850.30.60.4

New cars (4)

Jump to page with historical data
137.230137.396138.047-0.50.60.5

Used cars and trucks

Jump to page with historical data
149.144149.383150.7920.21.10.9

Motor fuel

Jump to page with historical data
180.925170.044157.071-18.5-13.2-7.6

Gasoline (all types)

Jump to page with historical data
180.106169.283156.349-18.3-13.2-7.6

Gasoline, unleaded regular (4)

Jump to page with historical data
177.112166.101152.914-19.3-13.7-7.9

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade (4) (5)

Jump to page with historical data
194.852184.655173.232-14.7-11.1-6.2

Gasoline, unleaded premium (4)

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193.420184.381173.424-12.2-10.3-5.9
 

Medical care

Jump to page with historical data
470.813473.711478.8632.91.71.1

Medical care commodities

Jump to page with historical data
369.270371.929377.418-0.62.21.5

Medical care services

Jump to page with historical data
499.719502.663507.6373.81.61.0

Professional services

Jump to page with historical data
365.933367.213369.8412.51.10.7
 

Recreation (3)

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120.123120.471120.7290.50.50.2
 

Education and communication (3)

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141.178141.275141.1302.30.0-0.1
 

Other goods and services

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455.714455.999458.0773.00.50.5
 

Commodity and service group

 

Commodities

Jump to page with historical data
183.806183.250182.954-1.7-0.5-0.2

Commodities less food and beverages

Jump to page with historical data
146.883145.631145.277-3.6-1.1-0.2

Nondurables less food and beverages

Jump to page with historical data
181.895178.955177.997-5.6-2.1-0.5

Durables

Jump to page with historical data
105.554105.735105.885-0.70.30.1

Services

Jump to page with historical data
317.353317.977319.2121.90.60.4
 

Special aggregate indexes

 

All items less shelter

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225.495225.549225.732-0.40.10.1

All items less medical care

Jump to page with historical data
242.052241.994242.2970.50.10.1

Commodities less food

Jump to page with historical data
150.554149.353149.062-3.4-1.0-0.2

Nondurables

Jump to page with historical data
216.645215.643215.073-2.1-0.7-0.3

Nondurables less food

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185.805183.087182.297-5.1-1.9-0.4

Services less rent of shelter (2)

Jump to page with historical data
316.938318.143319.2211.10.70.3

Services less medical care services

Jump to page with historical data
304.753305.224306.2121.70.50.3

Energy

Jump to page with historical data
180.170176.949170.903-14.6-5.1-3.4

All items less energy

Jump to page with historical data
261.518261.920263.0991.90.60.5

All items less food and energy

Jump to page with historical data
264.856265.116266.5462.00.60.5

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: Wednesday, March 16, 2016