Wednesday, January 12, 2022
The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) in the Northeast rose 0.2 percent in December, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Alexandra Hall Bovee noted that this was below the identical 0.6 percent increases in October and November. Three-quarters of the December increase was due to the all items less food and energy index, also up 0.2 percent. The food index also increased over the month while the energy index declined. (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 5.9 percent, about the same as in November (6.0 percent) which was the highest such rise in over 30 years. (See chart 1 and table A.) The all items less food and energy index was mostly responsible for the over-the-year increase, up 4.3 percent – the highest 12-month change since June 1992. The energy index moderated somewhat as the 28.0 percent over-the-year increase was down from a record 32.5 percent jump in November. The food index advanced 5.5 percent over-the-year, slightly below the 5.8 percent rate in November. (See table 1.)
Food prices rose 0.5 percent for the month of December. Both main components of the overall food index moderated over the month; prices for food at home increased 0.5 percent and prices for food away from home advanced 0.4 percent. Within food at home, the overall increase was led by increasing prices for nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials, up 1.8 percent; fruits and vegetables rose 1.0 percent and the other food at home category, up 0.8 percent. Lower prices for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs were largely due to declines for uncooked beef roasts (-3.4 percent) and ham (-5.7 percent); the 0.6 percent decline in meats, poultry, fish, and eggs was the first monthly drop since February.
From December 2020 to December 2021, the food index increased 5.5 percent. Prices for food at home advanced 4.9 percent since a year ago and prices for food away from home increased 6.3 percent, each less than the 12-month changes reported for November. The food at home increase was led by an 8.9 percent rise in the meats, poultry, fish, and eggs index which also moderated after posting a 10.5 percent increase in November.
The energy index inched down 0.2 percent over the month. The decrease was mainly due to lower prices for gasoline (-0.8 percent). Prices for electricity decreased 0.3 percent and fuel oil dropped 2.7 percent for the same period, while prices for utility (piped) gas service advanced 2.6 percent.
Energy prices were up 28.0 percent over the year led by higher prices for gasoline (50.3 percent). Although all of the energy components were up over the year, the rate of increase moderated for all but utility (piped) gas service (up 21.0 percent over the year compared with 19.6 percent the previous month). Prices paid for fuel oil were up 40.1 percent and the electricity index advanced 4.9 percent during the past year.
The index for all items less food and energy edged up 0.2 percent in December. Higher prices for shelter (0.3 percent), specifically owners' equivalent rent of residences (0.4 percent), drove the increase. Prices for new and used motor vehicles (1.5 percent) rose at a somewhat slower pace than the previous two monthly increases; the rise was largely due to higher prices for used cars and trucks, up 3.5 percent, still well below the recent April through June peak when it ranged from 6.5 to 11.0 percent each month. The index for household furnishings and operations (0.8 percent) also contributed to the overall increase for the all items less food and energy index. Some categories did decline over the month; apparel (-1.4 percent) declined as it has every December since the index began in 1987 though over the last 10 years, that drop averaged about 3.6 percent. Recreation prices also declined, down 0.5 percent.
Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy increased 4.3 percent. The annual increase in the index for new and used motor vehicles (21.7 percent) was the highest since that series began in 1998 and was led by increases in used cars and trucks (38.6 percent – the largest since July’s 42.4 percent increase) and new vehicles (11.9 percent). Higher prices for shelter (2.6 percent) and household furnishings and operations (7.2 percent) were also 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 0.4 percent higher in the New England division, while prices in the Middle Atlantic division rose 0.1 percent.
Over the year, prices rose in the New England division (6.2 percent). The all items index also rose in the Middle Atlantic division, up 5.8 percent. (See table B.)
|Area||1-month change||12-month change|
New England Division
Middle Atlantic Division
The Consumer Price Index for January 2022 is scheduled to be released on Thursday, February 10, 2022, at 8:30 a.m. (ET).
Data collection by personal visit for the Consumer Price Index (CPI) program has been suspended almost entirely since March 16, 2020. When possible, data normally collected by personal visit were collected either online or by phone. Additionally, data collection in December 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.
For each month from March 2020 to December 2021, BLS has published a summary of the impact of the pandemic on the Consumer Price Index news release and data. The impact summary for December is available at https://www.bls.gov/covid19/consumer-price-index-covid19-impacts-december-2021.htm. Beginning with publication of January 2022 data in February 2022, this month-specific impact summary will be discontinued. However, information related to the impact of the pandemic will continue to be available at https://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, January 12, 2022