Tuesday, March 24, 2015
Prices in the New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island area, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), rose 0.3 percent in February after inching up 0.1 percent in January, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Chief Regional Economist Martin Kohli attributed the advance to rising prices in all three broad categories—food, energy, and all other items. (Data in this report are not seasonally adjusted. Accordingly, month-to-month changes may reflect the impact of seasonal influences.)
Over the year, the CPI-U ticked up 0.1 percent after dropping 0.5 percent in January. (See chart 1 and table A.) The all items less food and energy index increased 1.5 percent. (See table 1.) In both indexes, the 12-month rise was largely driven by higher prices for shelter.
The food index edged up 0.2 percent in February, largely due to a rise in prices for food away from home. Away-from-home food prices, which had been unchanged during the two prior months, increased 0.3 percent. Prices for food at home ticked up 0.1 percent for the second consecutive month. Within the at-home food component, higher prices were reported for ham and non-chicken poultry, including turkey.
From February 2014 to February 2015, the food index increased 3.1 percent. Prices for food at home rose 3.2 percent, and prices for food away from home increased 3.0 percent.
After seven consecutive one-month declines, the energy index rose 1.5 percent. The upturn was primarily attributable to a 5.7-percent increase in electricity charges, which had jumped 7.3 percent in January. The last time prices for electricity advanced by more than 5.0 percent during two consecutive months was during the summer of 2001. In contrast, prices for natural gas dropped 2.5 percent, and prices for gasoline decreased 1.2 percent. The February decline in gasoline prices marks the eighth straight drop, the longest string of reductions since 1987.
Over the year, the energy index fell 19.3 percent. Prices for gasoline fell 35.1 percent, and prices for natural gas dropped 20.0 percent; for both series, these were the largest 12-month declines posted since 2009. In contrast, electricity prices advanced 6.2 percent.
The index for all items less food and energy increased 0.3 percent, after a 0.6-percent rise in January. Apparel prices, often up at this time of year, rose 3.7 percent. Shelter prices, including residential rent, edged up 0.2 percent. Medical care prices increased 0.3 percent, following increases of at least 0.5 percent in each of the three prior months. No other index grouping recorded an increase greater than 0.1 percent.
For the year ended February 2015, the index for all items less food and energy advanced 1.5 percent. Prices for shelter increased 2.3 percent, and residential rent rose 3.1 percent. Higher prices were also recorded for medical care (3.7 percent) and for apparel (4.5 percent).
In February, the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) was 254.044, up 0.3 percent over the month. The CPI-W decreased 0.3 percent over the year.
The March 2015 Consumer Price Index for New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island is scheduled to be released Friday, April 17, 2015, at 8:30 a.m. (ET).
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 89 percent of the total population and (2) a CPI for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) which covers 28 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 87 urban areas across the country from about 4,000 housing units and approximately 26,000 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/homch17_a.htm.
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 New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, N.Y.-N.J.-Conn.-Pa. consolidated area covered in this release is comprised of Bronx, Dutchess, Kings, Nassau, New York, Orange, Putnam, Queens, Richmond, Rockland, Suffolk, and Westchester Counties in New York State; Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, Union, and Warren Counties in New Jersey; Fairfield County and parts of Litchfield, Middlesex, and New Haven Counties in Connecticut; and Pike County in 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.
|Item and Group||Indexes||Percent change from-|
All items (1967=100)
Food and beverages
Food at home
Food away from home
Rent of primary residence (1)
Fuels and utilities
Energy services (1)
Utility (piped) gas service (1)
Household furnishings and operations
Gasoline (all types)
Gasoline, unleaded regular (3)
Gasoline, unleaded premium (3)
Education and communication (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 medical care
All items less shelter
Commodities less food
Nondurables less food
Services less rent of shelter (2)
Services less medical care services
All items less energy
All items less food and energy
Note: Index applies to a month as a whole, not to any specific date.
Last Modified Date: Tuesday, March 24, 2015