Wednesday, March 11, 2020
The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) in the Northeast increased 0.3 percent in February, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Sheila Watkins, the Bureau’s regional commissioner, noted that the recent over-the-month increase was due almost entirely to a 0.5-percent rise in the all items less food and energy index. The food index also increased from January to February, inching up 0.1 percent, while the energy index declined, down 2.4 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 2.4 percent. (See chart 1 and table A.) This was due largely to an advance in the all items less food and energy index, up 2.6 percent. The food index and energy index also rose, up 2.1 and 0.6 percent, respectively, since February 2019. (See table 1.)
The food index inched up 0.1 percent since January. Prices were higher for food away from home (0.2 percent), while those for food at home were unchanged.
From February 2019 to February 2020, the food index increased 2.1 percent. Prices for food away from home increased over the year, up 3.3 percent; those for food at home also rose, up 1.1 percent.
The energy index, which includes prices for household and transportation fuels, declined 2.4 percent in February. Prices were lower for gasoline (-3.7 percent) and utility (piped) gas service (-1.2 percent), while those for electricity were unchanged over the month.
The energy index rose 0.6 percent since February 2019. The increase reflected higher prices for gasoline (4.7 percent). Prices for utility (piped) gas service and electricity decreased over the year, down 4.3 and 0.4 percent, respectively.
The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.5 percent over the month. Higher prices were led by apparel (5.2 percent) and shelter (0.4 percent), among others. Prices were also higher for medical care and other goods and services (0.4 percent each).
The index for all items less food and energy increased 2.6 percent since February 2019, led by higher prices for shelter and medical care, up 2.8 and 6.0 percent, respectively. Prices also rose over the year for education and communication (3.3 percent), other goods and services (3.2 percent), and recreation (1.8 percent).
Additional price indexes are now available for the two divisions of the Northeast. Over the month, the all items CPI-U increased 0.2 percent in the New England division and 0.3 percent in the Middle Atlantic division.
Over the year, the all items index advanced 2.5 percent in the New England division. (See table B.) Prices also rose in the Middle Atlantic division, up 2.3 percent.
|Area||1-month change||12-month change|
New England Division
Middle Atlantic Division
The Consumer Price Index for March 2020 is scheduled to be released Friday, April 10, 2020, 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: Wednesday, March 11, 2020