Wednesday, October 13, 2021
The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) in the Northeast edged up 0.3 percent in September, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Alexandra Hall Bovee noted that the increase was largely due to higher food prices, up 0.9 percent. The energy index and the all items less food and energy index also increased in September, up 1.1 and 0.1 percent, respectively. Among the indexes within the all items less food and energy index, prices were higher for apparel and household furnishings and operations. (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 4.6 percent, about where it has been since June as it has ranged from 4.3 to 4.6 percent, compared with 0.8 to 1.2 percent between June and September 2020. (See chart 1 and table A.) The all items less food and energy index increased 3.2 percent and the energy index jumped 24.3 percent—the index’s largest over-the-year advance since August 2008. The food index also advanced over the year, up 4.1 percent – that index’s largest 12-month increase since January 2009. (See table 1.)
Food prices increased 0.9 percent in September following a 0.6 percent increase in August. Of the two components within the food index, prices for food at home (groceries) rose 0.9 percent and prices for food away from home (restaurant, cafeteria, and vending purchases) increased 1.0 percent over the month. Within the food at home group, categories experiencing increases included nonfrozen noncarbonated juices and drinks as well as the fresh biscuits, rolls, muffins group. Prices were lower for candy and chewing gum as well as pork chops.
From September 2020 to September 2021, the food index increased 4.1 percent, the highest 12-month change since January 2012. Grocery food prices rose 3.1 percent over the year and prices for food away from home increased sharply to 5.4 percent, its largest such increase since 1989. Over the last 2 years, the 12-month increase ranged from 3.0 to 4.6 percent while it ranged from just 2.2 to 3.1 percent between September 2017 and September 2019.
The energy index rose 1.1 percent in September led by an increase in the index for gasoline (1.1 percent). Prices also rose for utility (piped) gas service, up 2.5 percent, while those for electricity were unchanged over the month.
On an annual basis, the Northeast energy index recorded a 24.3-percent increase, its highest over-the-year rise in 13 years. Over the year, the index for gasoline jumped 40.9 percent. Prices for utility (piped) gas service and electricity also increased, up 17.2 and 6.7 percent, respectively.
The index for all items less food and energy inched up 0.1 percent in September. Among the index’s components, prices were 2.0 percent higher for apparel and 0.9 percent higher for household furnishings and operations. In contrast, the index for new and used motor vehicles decreased 0.7 percent over the month; although the new vehicle index was up 1.7 percent in its seventh consecutive 1-month increase, used cars and trucks prices fell 3.3 percent. Earlier this year the 1-month increases for used cars and trucks ranged from 6.5 to 11 percent in April through June.
Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy increased 3.2 percent. Annual increases in the indexes for new and used motor vehicles (16.1 percent)—more specifically, used cars and trucks (25.9 percent) —and shelter (2.0 percent) were the major contributing factors.
Additional price indexes are now available for the two divisions of the Northeast. Over the month, the all items CPI-U was unchanged in the New England division, while prices in the Middle Atlantic division rose 0.4 percent.
Over the year, prices rose in the Middle Atlantic division, up 4.7 percent. The all items index also rose in the New England division (4.1 percent). (See table B.)
|Area||1-month change||12-month change|
New England Division
Middle Atlantic Division
The Consumer Price Index for October 2021 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, November 10, 2021, at 8:30 a.m. (ET).
Data collection by personal visit for the Consumer Price Index (CPI) program has been suspended since March 16, 2020. When possible, data normally collected by personal visit were collected either online or by phone. Additionally, data collection in September 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 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/covid19/effects-of-covid-19-pandemic-on-consumer-price-index.htm.
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 U.S. population and (2) a CPI for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) which covers approximately 29 percent of the total U.S. 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 6,000 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; for most of the CPI-U the reference base is 1982-84 equals 100. An increase of 7 percent from the reference base, for example, is shown as 107.000. Alternatively, that relationship can also be expressed as the price of a base period market basket of goods and services rising from $100 to $107. For further details see the CPI home page on the Internet at www.bls.gov/cpi and the CPI section of the BLS Handbook of Methods available on the internet at www.bls.gov/opub/hom/cpi/.
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 individuals with sensory impairments 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, October 13, 2021