News Release Information
Friday, April 14, 2017
Consumer Price Index, Northeast Region – March 2017
Regional prices down 0.1 percent over the month and up 2.2 percent over the year
The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) in the Northeast inched down 0.1 percent in March, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Sheila Watkins, the Bureau’s regional commissioner, noted that the recent decrease was due mostly to a 1.5-percent decline in the energy index. The food index rose 0.3 percent over the month, while the all items less food and energy index remained unchanged. (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 2.2 percent, due largely to a 1.7-percent advance in the all items less food and energy index. (See chart 1 and table A.) The energy index and food index also increased, up 12.0 and 0.6 percent, respectively. (See table 1.)
The food index increased 0.3 percent since February. Prices for both food away from home and food at home increased over the month, up 0.4 and 0.2 percent, respectively.
From March 2016 to March 2017, the food index increased 0.6 percent, as a 2.5-percent increase in prices for food away home was moderated by a 0.6-percent decrease in those for food at home.
The energy index, which includes prices for household and transportation fuels, declined 1.5 percent since February. Prices for gasoline and electricity decreased over the month, down 1.8 percent each, while those for utility (piped) gas service were unchanged.
The energy index increased 12.0 percent since March 2016. The increase was led by a 24.2-percent jump in gasoline prices. Prices also increased over the year for utility (piped) gas service (11.0 percent), while those for electricity declined (-0.3 percent).
All items less food and energy
The index for all items less food and energy was unchanged over the month. Price decreases for categories including education and communication (-1.8 percent) and new and used motor vehicles were offset by price increases for shelter (0.1 percent) and apparel (1.5 percent), among others.
The index for all items less food and energy increased 1.7 percent since March 2016, led by higher prices for shelter (2.7 percent). Prices were also higher over the year for several other categories including medical care (2.9 percent).
The Consumer Price Index for April 2017 is scheduled to be released Friday, May 12, 2017, at 8:30 a.m. (ET).
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.
|Expenditure category||Indexes||Percent change from|
All items (December 1977 = 100)
Food and beverages
Food at home
Food away from home
Rent of primary residence(1)
Fuels and utilities
Utility (piped) gas service(1)
Household furnishings and operations
New and used motor vehicles(3)
Used cars and trucks
Gasoline (all types)
Gasoline, unleaded regular(4)
Gasoline, unleaded premium(4)
Medical care commodities
Medical care services
Education and communication(3)
Other goods and services
Commodity and service group
Commodities less food and beverages
Nondurables less food and beverages
Special aggregate indexes
All items less shelter
All items less medical care
Commodities less food
Nondurables less food
Services less rent of shelter(2)
Services less medical care services
All items less energy
All items less food and energy
Note: Index applies to a month as a whole, not to any specific date.
Last Modified Date: Friday, April 14, 2017