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News Release Information

20-615-PHI
Friday, April 10, 2020

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Consumer Price Index, Northeast Region – March 2020

Regional prices down 0.2 percent over the month; up 1.7 percent over the year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) in the Northeast edged down 0.2 percent in March, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Sheila Watkins, the Bureau’s regional commissioner, noted that the recent over-the-month decrease was due entirely to a 4.1-percent decline in the energy index. The food index increased from February to March, up 0.2 percent, while the all items less food and energy 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 1.7 percent. (See chart 1 and table A.) This was due largely to an advance in the all items less food and energy index, up 2.3 percent. The food index also rose, up 1.8, while the energy index declined 6.0 percent since March 2019. (See table 1.)

Food

The food index edged up 0.2 percent since February. Prices were higher for both food at home and for food away from home, up 0.2 percent each.

From March 2019 to March 2020, the food index increased 1.8 percent. Prices for food away from home increased over the year, up 3.2 percent; those for food at home also rose, up 0.8 percent.

Energy

The energy index, which includes prices for household and transportation fuels, declined 4.1 percent in March, due largely to a 6.3-percent decline in gasoline prices. Prices were also lower for electricity (-1.0 percent) and utility (piped) gas service (-0.6 percent) over the month.

The energy index decreased 6.0 percent since March 2019. The decrease reflected lower prices for gasoline (-7.8 percent). Prices for utility (piped) gas service and electricity also decreased over the year, down 5.0 and 1.0 percent, respectively.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy was unchanged over the month. Higher prices for shelter (0.3 percent) and recreation (0.9 percent), among others, were offset by lower prices for new vehicles (-0.6 percent) and education and communication (-0.1 percent).

The index for all items less food and energy increased 2.3 percent since March 2019, led by higher prices for shelter and medical care, up 2.6 and 5.3 percent, respectively. Prices also rose over the year for education and communication (3.0 percent), recreation (2.5 percent), and other goods and services (3.1 percent).

Table A. Northeast region CPI-U 1-month and 12-month percent changes, all items index, not seasonally adjusted
Month20162017201820192020
1-month12-month1-month12-month1-month12-month1-month12-month1-month12-month

January

0.00.70.62.50.51.60.31.50.72.3

February

0.20.70.32.60.41.70.21.30.32.4

March

0.20.6-0.12.20.12.00.51.7-0.21.7

April

0.61.00.31.90.42.10.41.7

May

0.30.90.11.70.42.50.31.5

June

0.20.70.01.50.02.60.11.6

July

0.00.8-0.21.30.02.70.11.7

August

0.11.00.31.60.22.70.11.5

September

0.21.30.51.90.12.20.01.4

October

0.21.6-0.11.5-0.12.3-0.11.5

November

0.01.60.01.6-0.41.90.11.9

December

0.01.90.11.7-0.11.7-0.11.9

Geographic divisions

Additional price indexes are now available for the two divisions of the Northeast. Over the month, the all items CPI-U decreased 0.2 percent in both the New England division and Middle Atlantic division.

Over the year, the all items index advanced 1.5 percent in the New England division. (See table B.) Prices also rose in the Middle Atlantic division, up 1.8 percent.

 Table B. CPI-U 1-month and 12-month percent changes, all items index, Northeast region and divisions, not seasonally adjusted
Area1-month change12-month change

Northeast

-0.21.7

New England Division

-0.21.5

Middle Atlantic Division

-0.21.8

The Consumer Price Index for April 2020 is scheduled to be released Tuesday, May 12, 2020, at 8:30 a.m. (ET).

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Impact on March 2020 Consumer Price Index Data

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) program suspended data collection by personal visit on March 16, 2020. When possible, data normally collected by personal visit were collected either online or by phone. Additionally, data collection in March was affected by the temporary closing or limited operations of certain types of establishments. These factors resulted in an increase in the number of prices being considered temporarily unavailable and imputed. While the CPI program attempted to collect as much data as possible, many indexes are based on smaller amounts of collected prices than usual, and a small number of indexes that are normally published were not published this month. Additional information is available at www.bls.gov/bls/effects-of-covid-19-pandemic-on-bls-price-indexes.htm#CPI.


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 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.

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
Jan.
2020
Feb.
2020
Mar.
2020
Mar.
2019
Jan.
2020
Feb.
2020

All items

Go to web page with historical data for series CUUR0100SA0
272.316273.080272.5311.70.1-0.2

All items (December 1977 = 100)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUUR0100AA0
428.815430.018429.153   

Food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUUR0100SAF
267.315267.618268.0921.90.30.2

Food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUUR0100SAF1
268.003268.208268.7211.80.30.2

Food at home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUUR0100SAF11
253.493253.418253.9220.80.20.2

Cereals and bakery products

Go to web page with historical data for series CUUR0100SAF111
300.805299.794298.906-0.1-0.6-0.3

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

Go to web page with historical data for series CUUR0100SAF112
255.132254.913256.0631.60.40.5

Dairy and related products

Go to web page with historical data for series CUUR0100SEFJ
235.243236.802234.3614.1-0.4-1.0

Fruits and vegetables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUUR0100SAF113
316.676313.377313.699-2.8-0.90.1

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials

Go to web page with historical data for series CUUR0100SAF114
176.957178.921177.4121.60.3-0.8

Other food at home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUUR0100SAF115
225.792226.117229.1461.51.51.3

Food away from home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUUR0100SEFV
293.045293.687294.2193.20.40.2

Alcoholic beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUUR0100SAF116
257.401259.053258.9901.90.60.0

Housing

Go to web page with historical data for series CUUR0100SAH
291.320291.976292.0491.70.30.0

Shelter

Go to web page with historical data for series CUUR0100SAH1
362.949364.396365.3432.60.70.3

Rent of primary residence

Go to web page with historical data for series CUUR0100SEHA
367.151367.584368.2272.90.30.2

Owners' equivalent rent of residences(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUUR0100SEHC
375.827376.663377.6152.70.50.3

Owners' equivalent rent of primary residence(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUUR0100SEHC01
375.520376.352377.3022.70.50.3

Fuels and utilities

Go to web page with historical data for series CUUR0100SAH2
231.253228.767224.048-3.5-3.1-2.1

Household energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUUR0100SAH21
203.988201.073196.018-4.7-3.9-2.5

Energy services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUUR0100SEHF
200.722200.046198.364-2.2-1.2-0.8

Electricity

Go to web page with historical data for series CUUR0100SEHF01
205.220205.296203.304-1.0-0.9-1.0

Utility (piped) gas service

Go to web page with historical data for series CUUR0100SEHF02
177.069175.007174.043-5.0-1.7-0.6

Household furnishings and operations

Go to web page with historical data for series CUUR0100SAH3
120.048120.218120.472-0.60.40.2

Apparel

Go to web page with historical data for series CUUR0100SAA
124.311130.779130.385-0.14.9-0.3

Transportation

Go to web page with historical data for series CUUR0100SAT
205.706205.178200.823-1.9-2.4-2.1

Private transportation

Go to web page with historical data for series CUUR0100SAT1
197.770196.774194.453-1.4-1.7-1.2

New and used motor vehicles(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUUR0100SETA
95.48395.93596.408-0.41.00.5

New vehicles

Go to web page with historical data for series CUUR0100SETA01
144.655145.294144.375-0.3-0.2-0.6

New cars and trucks(2)(3)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUUR0100SS4501A
100.229100.675100.063-0.3-0.2-0.6

New cars(3)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUUR0100SS45011
134.340135.139133.9940.2-0.3-0.8

Used cars and trucks

Go to web page with historical data for series CUUR0100SETA02
142.295143.849146.8820.53.22.1

Motor fuel

Go to web page with historical data for series CUUR0100SETB
225.044216.622203.111-7.8-9.7-6.2

Gasoline (all types)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUUR0100SETB01
223.893215.507201.992-7.8-9.8-6.3

Gasoline, unleaded regular(3)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUUR0100SS47014
220.991212.365198.608-8.2-10.1-6.5

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(3)(4)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUUR0100SS47015
239.856232.875221.847-5.1-7.5-4.7

Gasoline, unleaded premium(3)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUUR0100SS47016
234.801228.561217.336-5.3-7.4-4.9

Motor vehicle insurance(5)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUUR0100SETE
630.155635.676636.1012.00.90.1

Medical care

Go to web page with historical data for series CUUR0100SAM
542.206544.627545.9335.30.70.2

Medical care commodities

Go to web page with historical data for series CUUR0100SAM1
396.371396.347393.296-2.8-0.8-0.8

Medical care services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUUR0100SAM2
584.522587.696590.3657.11.00.5

Professional services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUUR0100SEMC
397.084398.861400.6973.70.90.5

Recreation(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUUR0100SAR
127.234127.218128.3092.50.80.9

Education and communication(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUUR0100SAE
147.047147.120146.9243.0-0.1-0.1

Tuition, other school fees, and child care(5)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUUR0100SEEB
1,293.9081,300.2231,301.0333.90.60.1

Other goods and services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUUR0100SAG
506.971509.062509.6503.10.50.1

Commodity and service group

Commodities

Go to web page with historical data for series CUUR0100SAC
191.117191.386190.212-0.4-0.5-0.6

Commodities less food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUUR0100SACL11
150.717150.960149.178-1.9-1.0-1.2

Nondurables less food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUUR0100SANL11
196.237195.906191.808-2.7-2.3-2.1

Durables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUUR0100SAD
100.948101.550101.562-0.80.60.0

Services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUUR0100SAS
350.229351.467351.5132.70.40.0

Special aggregate indexes

All items less shelter

Go to web page with historical data for series CUUR0100SA0L2
241.027241.550240.4671.2-0.2-0.4

All items less medical care

Go to web page with historical data for series CUUR0100SA0L5
260.415261.105260.4721.30.0-0.2

Commodities less food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUUR0100SACL1
154.550154.832153.086-1.7-0.9-1.1

Nondurables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUUR0100SAN
231.429231.403229.494-0.2-0.8-0.8

Nondurables less food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUUR0100SANL1
199.806199.592195.736-2.3-2.0-1.9

Services less rent of shelter(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUUR0100SASL2RS
348.497349.535348.6152.70.0-0.3

Services less medical care services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUUR0100SASL5
334.087335.191335.0572.20.30.0

Energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUUR0100SA0E
212.595207.448198.967-6.0-6.4-4.1

All items less energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUUR0100SA0LE
281.225282.537282.7022.20.50.1

All items less food and energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUUR0100SA0L1E
285.362286.879286.9842.30.60.0

Footnotes
(1) Indexes on a December 1982=100 base.
(2) Indexes on a December 1997=100 base.
(3) Special index based on a substantially smaller sample.
(4) Indexes on a December 1993=100 base.
(5) Indexes on a December 1977=100 base.

 

Last Modified Date: Friday, April 10, 2020