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News Release Information

20-970-PHI
Tuesday, May 12, 2020

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Consumer Price Index, Northeast Region – April 2020

Regional prices down 0.4 percent over the month; up 0.8 percent over the year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) in the Northeast decreased 0.4 percent in April, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Sheila Watkins, the Bureau’s regional commissioner, noted that the recent over-the-month decline was due to decreases in the all items less food and energy index and energy index, down 0.5 and 6.0 percent, respectively. The food index increased from March to April, up 2.2 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 0.8 percent. (See chart 1 and table A.) This was due largely to an advance in the all items less food and energy index, up 1.5 percent. The food index also rose, up 4.5 percent, while the energy index declined 14.1 percent since April 2019. (See table 1.)

Food

The food index advanced 2.2 percent since March. Prices were higher for both food at home and for food away from home, up 3.3 and 0.8 percent, respectively.

From April 2019 to April 2020, the food index increased 4.5 percent. Prices for food at home increased over the year, up 5.0 percent; those for food away from home also rose, up 3.6 percent.

Energy

The energy index, which includes prices for household and transportation fuels, declined 6.0 percent in April, due largely to an 11.3-percent decline in gasoline prices. Prices were also lower for utility (piped) gas service (-1.1 percent) and electricity (-0.4 percent) over the month.

The energy index decreased 14.1 percent since April 2019. The decrease reflected lower prices for gasoline (-24.4 percent). Prices for utility (piped) gas service and electricity also decreased over the year, down 3.8 and 0.7 percent, respectively.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy decreased 0.5 percent over the month. Lower prices for apparel (-5.8 percent) and new and used motor vehicles (-0.5 percent) were offset by higher prices for medical care (0.6 percent) and other goods and services (0.3 percent).

The index for all items less food and energy increased 1.5 percent since April 2019, led by higher prices for shelter and medical care, up 2.2 and 5.8 percent, respectively. Prices also rose over the year for education and communication (2.9 percent), recreation (2.2 percent), and other goods and services (3.2 percent).

Table A. Northeast region CPI-U 1-month and 12-month percent changes, all items index, not seasonally adjusted
Month 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
1-month 12-month 1-month 12-month 1-month 12-month 1-month 12-month 1-month 12-month

January

0.0 0.7 0.6 2.5 0.5 1.6 0.3 1.5 0.7 2.3

February

0.2 0.7 0.3 2.6 0.4 1.7 0.2 1.3 0.3 2.4

March

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

April

0.6 1.0 0.3 1.9 0.4 2.1 0.4 1.7 -0.4 0.8

May

0.3 0.9 0.1 1.7 0.4 2.5 0.3 1.5

June

0.2 0.7 0.0 1.5 0.0 2.6 0.1 1.6

July

0.0 0.8 -0.2 1.3 0.0 2.7 0.1 1.7

August

0.1 1.0 0.3 1.6 0.2 2.7 0.1 1.5

September

0.2 1.3 0.5 1.9 0.1 2.2 0.0 1.4

October

0.2 1.6 -0.1 1.5 -0.1 2.3 -0.1 1.5

November

0.0 1.6 0.0 1.6 -0.4 1.9 0.1 1.9

December

0.0 1.9 0.1 1.7 -0.1 1.7 -0.1 1.9

Geographic divisions

Additional price indexes are now available for the two divisions of the Northeast. Over the month, the all items CPI-U decreased 0.3 percent in the New England division and 0.5 percent in the Middle Atlantic division.

Over the year, the all items index rose 0.7 percent in the New England division. (See table B.) Prices also rose in the Middle Atlantic division, up 0.9 percent.

 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

-0.4 0.8

New England Division

-0.3 0.7

Middle Atlantic Division

-0.5 0.9

The Consumer Price Index for May 2020 is scheduled to be released Wednesday, June 10, 2020, at 8:30 a.m. (ET).

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

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 April 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/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 category Indexes Percent change from
Historical
data
Feb.
2020
Mar.
2020
Apr.
2020
Apr.
2019
Feb.
2020
Mar.
2020

All items

273.080 272.531 271.325 0.8 -0.6 -0.4

All items (December 1977 = 100)

430.018 429.153 427.254      

Food and beverages

267.618 268.092 273.573 4.3 2.2 2.0

Food

268.208 268.721 274.617 4.5 2.4 2.2

Food at home

253.418 253.922 262.180 5.0 3.5 3.3

Cereals and bakery products

299.794 298.906 313.438 5.8 4.6 4.9

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

254.913 256.063 268.731 7.5 5.4 4.9

Dairy and related products

236.802 234.361 241.163 5.2 1.8 2.9

Fruits and vegetables

313.377 313.699 320.523 2.3 2.3 2.2

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials

178.921 177.412 181.651 4.9 1.5 2.4

Other food at home

226.117 229.146 234.059 4.4 3.5 2.1

Food away from home

293.687 294.219 296.492 3.6 1.0 0.8

Alcoholic beverages

259.053 258.990 258.802 2.0 -0.1 -0.1

Housing

291.976 292.049 291.569 1.3 -0.1 -0.2

Shelter

364.396 365.343 365.383 2.2 0.3 0.0

Rent of primary residence

367.584 368.227 369.142 2.7 0.4 0.2

Owners' equivalent rent of residences(1)

376.663 377.615 379.025 2.8 0.6 0.4

Owners' equivalent rent of primary residence(1)

376.352 377.302 378.705 2.8 0.6 0.4

Fuels and utilities

228.767 224.048 219.796 -4.5 -3.9 -1.9

Household energy

201.073 196.018 191.620 -5.9 -4.7 -2.2

Energy services

200.046 198.364 197.091 -1.6 -1.5 -0.6

Electricity

205.296 203.304 202.391 -0.7 -1.4 -0.4

Utility (piped) gas service

175.007 174.043 172.177 -3.8 -1.6 -1.1

Household furnishings and operations

120.218 120.472 120.596 0.3 0.3 0.1

Apparel

130.779 130.385 122.783 -5.0 -6.1 -5.8

Transportation

205.178 200.823 192.380 -8.0 -6.2 -4.2

Private transportation

196.774 194.453 186.784 -7.3 -5.1 -3.9

New and used motor vehicles(2)

95.935 96.408 95.942 -1.3 0.0 -0.5

New vehicles

145.294 144.375 144.030 -1.0 -0.9 -0.2

New cars and trucks(2)(3)

100.675 100.063 99.818 -1.0 -0.9 -0.2

New cars(3)

135.139 133.994 133.004 -0.5 -1.6 -0.7

Used cars and trucks

143.849 146.882 145.373 -0.8 1.1 -1.0

Motor fuel

216.622 203.111 180.260 -24.3 -16.8 -11.3

Gasoline (all types)

215.507 201.992 179.103 -24.4 -16.9 -11.3

Gasoline, unleaded regular(3)

212.365 198.608 175.315 -25.2 -17.4 -11.7

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(3)(4)

232.875 221.847 201.686 -19.3 -13.4 -9.1

Gasoline, unleaded premium(3)

228.561 217.336 198.540 -18.8 -13.1 -8.6

Motor vehicle insurance(5)

635.676 636.101 568.633 -8.7 -10.5 -10.6

Medical care

544.627 545.933 549.330 5.8 0.9 0.6

Medical care commodities

396.347 393.296 390.261 -3.3 -1.5 -0.8

Medical care services

587.696 590.365 595.764 7.9 1.4 0.9

Professional services

398.861 400.697 401.080 3.9 0.6 0.1

Recreation(2)

127.218 128.309 128.377 2.2 0.9 0.1

Education and communication(2)

147.120 146.924 147.043 2.9 -0.1 0.1

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

1,300.223 1,301.033 1,301.052 3.8 0.1 0.0

Other goods and services

509.062 509.650 511.241 3.2 0.4 0.3

Commodity and service group

Commodities

191.386 190.212 188.826 -1.6 -1.3 -0.7

Commodities less food and beverages

150.960 149.178 145.084 -5.6 -3.9 -2.7

Nondurables less food and beverages

195.906 191.808 183.337 -8.7 -6.4 -4.4

Durables

101.550 101.562 100.951 -1.5 -0.6 -0.6

Services

351.467 351.513 350.479 2.1 -0.3 -0.3

Special aggregate indexes

All items less shelter

241.550 240.467 238.814 0.1 -1.1 -0.7

All items less medical care

261.105 260.472 259.058 0.4 -0.8 -0.5

Commodities less food

154.832 153.086 149.072 -5.3 -3.7 -2.6

Nondurables

231.403 229.494 227.723 -1.7 -1.6 -0.8

Nondurables less food

199.592 195.736 187.760 -7.9 -5.9 -4.1

Services less rent of shelter(1)

349.535 348.615 346.404 2.0 -0.9 -0.6

Services less medical care services

335.191 335.057 333.579 1.4 -0.5 -0.4

Energy

207.448 198.967 187.095 -14.1 -9.8 -6.0

All items less energy

282.537 282.702 282.453 2.0 0.0 -0.1

All items less food and energy

286.879 286.984 285.641 1.5 -0.4 -0.5

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: Tuesday, May 12, 2020