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News Release Information

22-71-PHI
Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Contacts Technical information: Media contact:

Consumer Price Index, Northeast Region – December 2021

Area prices were up 0.2 percent over the past month, up 5.9 percent from a year ago

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

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.

Energy

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.

All items less food and energy

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. 

Table A. Northeast region CPI-U 1-month and 12-month percent changes, all items index, not seasonally adjusted
Month 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
1-month 12-month 1-month 12-month 1-month 12-month 1-month 12-month 1-month 12-month

January

0.6 2.5 0.5 1.6 0.3 1.5 0.7 2.3 0.4 1.1

February

0.3 2.6 0.4 1.7 0.2 1.3 0.3 2.4 0.4 1.2

March

-0.1 2.2 0.1 2.0 0.5 1.7 -0.2 1.7 0.6 2.1

April

0.3 1.9 0.4 2.1 0.4 1.7 -0.4 0.8 0.7 3.3

May

0.1 1.7 0.4 2.5 0.3 1.5 0.0 0.6 0.6 3.9

June

0.0 1.5 0.0 2.6 0.1 1.6 0.3 0.8 1.0 4.6

July

-0.2 1.3 0.0 2.7 0.1 1.7 0.4 1.1 0.2 4.3

August

0.3 1.6 0.2 2.7 0.1 1.5 0.1 1.1 0.1 4.4

September

0.5 1.9 0.1 2.2 0.0 1.4 0.1 1.2 0.3 4.6

October

-0.1 1.5 -0.1 2.3 -0.1 1.5 -0.2 1.1 0.6 5.4

November

0.0 1.6 -0.4 1.9 0.1 1.9 0.1 1.1 0.6 6.0

December

0.1 1.7 -0.1 1.7 -0.1 1.9 0.2 1.4 0.2 5.9

Geographic divisions

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.)

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

Northeast

0.2 5.9

New England Division

0.4 6.2

Middle Atlantic Division

0.1 5.8

The Consumer Price Index for January 2022 is scheduled to be released on Thursday, February 10, 2022, at 8:30 a.m. (ET).

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic Impact on December 2021 Consumer Price Index Data

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.


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 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.

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 category Indexes Percent change from
Historical
data
Oct.
2021
Nov.
2021
Dec.
2021
Dec.
2020
Oct.
2021
Nov.
2021

All items

288.236 289.835 290.405 5.9 0.8 0.2

All items (December 1977 = 100)

453.884 456.401 457.299      

Food and beverages

287.264 289.111 290.371 5.2 1.1 0.4

Food

288.670 290.628 292.019 5.5 1.2 0.5

Food at home

270.004 271.905 273.384 4.9 1.3 0.5

Cereals and bakery products

318.587 320.295 321.479 4.6 0.9 0.4

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

288.273 292.763 291.134 8.9 1.0 -0.6

Dairy and related products

242.796 243.174 244.907 2.6 0.9 0.7

Fruits and vegetables

326.494 328.379 331.744 1.3 1.6 1.0

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials

186.416 185.026 188.326 5.6 1.0 1.8

Other food at home

238.065 240.325 242.129 4.7 1.7 0.8

Food away from home

320.371 322.436 323.704 6.3 1.0 0.4

Alcoholic beverages

267.533 267.862 267.326 0.4 -0.1 -0.2

Housing

304.637 305.642 306.791 4.0 0.7 0.4

Shelter

374.986 375.838 377.105 2.6 0.6 0.3

Rent of primary residence

376.831 377.717 378.897 1.7 0.5 0.3

Owners' equivalent rent of residences(1)

388.619 389.840 391.384 2.4 0.7 0.4

Owners' equivalent rent of primary residence(1)

388.285 389.499 391.031 2.4 0.7 0.4

Fuels and utilities

252.666 254.892 255.417 11.7 1.1 0.2

Household energy

223.704 226.036 226.535 13.4 1.3 0.2

Energy services

219.600 221.169 222.742 10.0 1.4 0.7

Electricity

219.185 217.753 217.206 4.9 -0.9 -0.3

Utility (piped) gas service

203.917 211.101 216.609 21.0 6.2 2.6

Household furnishings and operations

131.833 132.557 133.658 7.2 1.4 0.8

Apparel

128.269 124.885 123.105 5.9 -4.0 -1.4

Transportation

233.253 238.185 238.557 19.5 2.3 0.2

Private transportation

232.151 236.811 237.991 22.6 2.5 0.5

New and used motor vehicles(2)

116.325 118.611 120.426 21.7 3.5 1.5

New vehicles

159.984 163.240 163.153 11.9 2.0 -0.1

New cars and trucks(2)(3)

110.971 113.168 113.104 12.0 1.9 -0.1

New cars(3)

149.375 154.044 153.901 13.4 3.0 -0.1

Used cars and trucks

205.923 211.265 218.646 38.6 6.2 3.5

Motor fuel

283.299 294.222 291.991 50.1 3.1 -0.8

Gasoline (all types)

282.237 293.146 290.904 50.3 3.1 -0.8

Gasoline, unleaded regular(3)

279.880 290.834 288.444 51.8 3.1 -0.8

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(3)(4)

297.383 308.390 307.342 43.8 3.3 -0.3

Gasoline, unleaded premium(3)

286.894 297.120 295.791 40.4 3.1 -0.4

Motor vehicle insurance(5)

619.073 617.093 609.767 2.6 -1.5 -1.2

Medical care

550.296 552.929 553.612 1.6 0.6 0.1

Medical care commodities

385.545 384.047 380.624 -0.2 -1.3 -0.9

Medical care services

598.512 602.428 604.400 2.0 1.0 0.3

Professional services

420.936 423.630 424.071 4.1 0.7 0.1

Recreation(2)

132.516 133.629 132.909 3.0 0.3 -0.5

Education and communication(2)

152.601 152.713 152.515 2.7 -0.1 -0.1

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

1,343.986 1,343.702 1,342.343 2.4 -0.1 -0.1

Other goods and services

536.030 533.916 536.641 3.6 0.1 0.5

Commodity and service group

Commodities

210.785 212.633 213.213 11.4 1.2 0.3

Commodities less food and beverages

169.286 171.042 171.317 16.1 1.2 0.2

Nondurables less food and beverages

212.853 213.972 212.555 15.7 -0.1 -0.7

Durables

118.513 120.481 121.870 16.7 2.8 1.2

Services

362.587 363.950 364.512 3.1 0.5 0.2

Special aggregate indexes

All items less shelter

258.384 260.254 260.579 7.7 0.8 0.1

All items less medical care

276.703 278.257 278.823 6.3 0.8 0.2

Commodities less food

173.006 174.735 174.989 15.4 1.1 0.1

Nondurables

249.728 251.204 251.073 9.6 0.5 -0.1

Nondurables less food

216.030 217.102 215.738 14.4 -0.1 -0.6

Services less rent of shelter(1)

361.520 363.435 363.255 3.5 0.5 0.0

Services less medical care services

346.333 347.519 347.985 3.2 0.5 0.1

Energy

247.925 253.737 253.130 28.0 2.1 -0.2

All items less energy

295.580 296.816 297.500 4.5 0.6 0.2

All items less food and energy

298.688 299.803 300.367 4.3 0.6 0.2

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: Wednesday, January 12, 2022