Tuesday, March 12, 2019
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 this was due mostly to a 0.2-percent increase in the all items less food and energy index. The energy index also increased over the month, up 0.3 percent, while the food index was 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 1.3 percent. (See chart 1 and table A.) The all items less food and energy index led the advance, rising 1.8 percent. The food index also rose, up 1.7 percent since February 2018, while the energy index declined 4.2 percent. (See table 1.)
The food index was unchanged since January as higher prices for food away from home (0.2 percent) were offset by lower prices for food at home (-0.1 percent).
From February 2018 to February 2019, the food index increased 1.7 percent. Prices for both food away from home and food at home increased over the year, up 2.6 and 1.1 percent, respectively.
The energy index, which includes prices for household and transportation fuels, edged up 0.3 percent in February. Electricity prices rose 1.8 percent since January. Prices were also higher for gasoline (0.4 percent), while prices declined for utility (piped) gas service (-3.1 percent).
The energy index decreased 4.2 percent since February 2018. The decline reflected lower prices for gasoline, down 9.9 percent. Utility (piped) gas service prices also decreased (-0.1 percent) over the year, while electricity prices advanced 1.1 percent.
The index for all items less food and energy edged up 0.2 percent over the month. Prices were higher for apparel (2.6 percent), new vehicles (1.0 percent), and medical care (0.2 percent), among others.
The index for all items less food and energy increased 1.8 percent since February 2018, led by higher prices for shelter, up 2.6 percent. Prices also rose over the year for medical care (2.0 percent) and education and communication (1.5 percent), but were lower for apparel (-1.0 percent).
Additional price indexes are now available for the two divisions of the Northeast. Over the month, the all items CPI-U rose 0.3 percent in the Middle Atlantic division, and inched down 0.1 percent in the New England division.
Over the year, the all items index advanced 1.6 percent in the New England division. (See table B.) Prices also rose in the Middle Atlantic division, up 1.2 percent.
|Area||1-month change||12-month change|
New England Division
Middle Atlantic Division
The Consumer Price Index for March 2019 is scheduled to be released Wednesday, April 10, 2019, 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 93 percent of the total population and (2) a CPI for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) which covers approximately 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 75 urban areas across the country from about 5,000 housing units and approximately 22,000 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.
The New England division is comprised of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont.
The Middle Atlantic division is comprised of New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania.
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
Cereals and bakery products
Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs
Dairy and related products
Fruits and vegetables
Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials
Other food at home
Food away from home
Rent of primary residence
Owners' equivalent rent of residences(1)
Owners' equivalent rent of primary residence(1)
Fuels and utilities
Utility (piped) gas service
Household furnishings and operations
New and used motor vehicles(2)
Used cars and trucks
Gasoline (all types)
Gasoline, unleaded regular(3)
Gasoline, unleaded premium(3)
Motor vehicle insurance(5)
Medical care commodities
Medical care services
Education and communication(2)
Tuition, other school fees, and child care(5)
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(1)
Services less medical care services
All items less energy
All items less food and energy
Last Modified Date: Tuesday, March 12, 2019