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News Release Information

16-530-NEW
Wednesday, March 16, 2016

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Technical information:
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Consumer Price Index, New York-Northern New Jersey – February 2016

Area prices up 0.2 percent over the month and 0.6 percent over the year

Prices in the New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island area, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), edged up 0.2 percent for the second consecutive month in February, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Chief Regional Economist Martin Kohli attributed the increase to higher prices for shelter and apparel. (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 was up 0.6 percent. (See  table A.) The index for all items less food and energy increased 2.1 percent. (See chart 1.) Higher prices for shelter drove the 12-month change in both indexes. (See table 1.) 

Food

The food index declined 0.4 percent in February—the largest decrease in over a year—due to lower prices for food at home (-0.8 percent). Lower prices for tomatoes, lettuce, and citrus fruits contributed to the decline in grocery prices. By contrast, prices for food away from home edged up 0.2 percent.

Over the year, the food index increased 0.8 percent. While at-home food prices declined 0.8 percent, away-from-home food prices rose 2.9 percent.

Energy

The energy index fell 4.0 percent, marking the eighth consecutive decline, the longest stretch of monthly declines in the history of the series which began in 1977. Gasoline prices dropped 7.5 percent, following a 6.0 percent decrease in January. Within household energy, electricity and natural gas were down, 1.8 percent and 1.5 percent, respectively.

For the year ended in February 2016, the energy index fell 17.6 percent. The decline was driven by a 17.3-percent drop in electricity prices—the largest 12-month decrease since the series start in 1971. Natural gas prices also declined, 9.7 percent. Gasoline prices were down 18.4 percent over the year.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.6 percent. Shelter prices rose 0.4 percent, with seasonal increases for out-of-town lodging, along with increases in both residential rent (0.3 percent), and owners’ equivalent rent (0.2 percent). Apparel prices, often up at this time of year, rose 3.7 percent. Medical care prices increased 1.2 percent, following a 1.4-percent increase in January. Higher prices were also reported for airline fares and for other goods and services (0.7 percent).

From February 2015 to February 2016, the index for all items less food and energy advanced 2.1 percent. Shelter prices rose 3.0 percent, reflecting higher prices for residential rent (4.0 percent) and owners’ equivalent rent (2.9 percent). Other categories with higher prices included other goods and services (3.0 percent), education and communication and medical care (2.2 percent each), and apparel (0.9 percent).

Table A. New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island CPI-U 1-month and 12-month percent changes (not seasonally adjusted)
Month201120122013201420152016
1-month12-month1-month12-month1-month12-month1-month12-month1-month12-month1-month12-month

January

0.31.50.42.80.52.20.91.90.1-0.50.20.8

February

0.52.10.42.60.62.4-0.21.10.30.10.20.6

March

0.72.30.62.60.11.90.41.30.2-0.1  

April

0.42.50.22.4-0.21.40.01.60.10.0  

May

0.62.90.11.80.11.40.51.90.4-0.1  

June

0.23.2-0.11.60.31.80.01.70.20.1  

July

0.33.3-0.21.10.22.10.11.6-0.1-0.1  

August

0.43.50.61.40.11.7-0.21.30.10.1  

September

0.23.80.41.60.31.60.01.00.20.3  

October

-0.23.3-0.11.7-0.61.1-0.21.3-0.10.4  

November

-0.33.00.02.00.11.2-0.40.8-0.20.6  

December

-0.42.7-0.32.10.01.5-0.50.3-0.40.7  

CPI-W

In February, the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) was 255.246, up 0.1 percent over the month. The CPI-W rose 0.5 percent over the year.

The March 2016 Consumer Price Index for New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island is scheduled to be released Thursday, April 14, 2016, at 8:30 a.m. (ET).


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 89 percent of the total population and (2) a CPI for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) which covers approximately 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 6,000 housing units and approximately 24,000 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 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.

Table 1. Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U): Indexes and percent changes for selected periods, New York-Northern N.J.-Long Island, NY-NJ-CT-PA (1982-84=100 unless otherwise noted)(not seasonally adjusted)
Item and GroupIndexesPercent change from-
Dec.
2015
Jan.
2016
Feb.
2016
Feb.
2015
Dec.
2015
Jan.
2016
 

Expenditure category

 
 

All items

259.941260.342260.8750.60.40.2

All items (1967=100)

751.453752.612754.153   
 

Food and beverages

256.782258.139257.1760.80.2-0.4

Food

256.735258.143257.1390.80.2-0.4

Food at home

253.938254.764252.679-0.8-0.5-0.8

Food away from home

267.390269.680270.2232.91.10.2

Alcoholic beverages

253.029253.675253.2881.40.1-0.2
 

Housing

280.056280.378280.9520.90.30.2

Shelter

353.825354.211355.6453.00.50.4

Rent of primary residence (1)

366.776367.552368.6934.00.50.3

Owners' equivalent rent of residences (1) (2)

360.779361.376362.1542.90.40.2

Owners' equivalent rent of primary residence (1) (2)

360.339360.930361.7052.80.40.2

Fuels and utilities

172.253173.800171.281-14.5-0.6-1.4

Household energy

163.172164.783161.641-17.2-0.9-1.9

Energy services (1)

158.123161.094158.285-15.50.1-1.7

Electricity (1)

172.137175.765172.533-17.30.2-1.8

Utility (piped) gas service (1)

124.975126.638124.721-9.7-0.2-1.5

Household furnishings and operations

113.360112.542112.376-2.0-0.9-0.1
 

Apparel

125.502126.608131.2830.94.63.7
 

Transportation

206.918204.878203.647-2.7-1.6-0.6

Private transportation

192.802190.689187.944-3.5-2.5-1.4

Motor fuel

169.153159.057147.105-18.4-13.0-7.5

Gasoline (all types)

168.382158.357146.459-18.4-13.0-7.5

Gasoline, unleaded regular (3)

165.856155.611143.421-19.5-13.5-7.8

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade (3) (4)

183.124174.355164.097-12.9-10.4-5.9

Gasoline, unleaded premium (3)

187.281178.737168.610-11.3-10.0-5.7
 

Medical care

445.724451.773457.2242.22.61.2
 

Recreation (5)

118.415118.595118.637-0.30.20.0
 

Education and communication (5)

143.473143.617143.6422.20.10.0
 

Other goods and services

407.622409.048411.7393.01.00.7
 

Commodity and service group

 
 

All items

259.941260.342260.8750.60.40.2

Commodities

184.499184.350184.012-1.8-0.3-0.2

Commodities less food and beverages

140.499139.661139.632-4.0-0.60.0

Nondurables less food and beverages

173.015171.401171.271-5.2-1.0-0.1

Durables

97.77597.76797.839-1.70.10.1

Services

323.982324.812326.0201.70.60.4
 

Special aggregate indexes

 
 

All items less medical care

251.839252.005252.3330.50.20.1

All items less shelter

222.794223.204223.371-0.90.30.1

Commodities less food

144.744143.948143.907-3.7-0.60.0

Nondurables

216.210215.997215.464-1.8-0.3-0.2

Nondurables less food

177.874176.390176.245-4.7-0.9-0.1

Services less rent of shelter (2)

302.096303.449304.4390.00.80.3

Services less medical care services

314.042314.510315.5001.60.50.3

Energy

167.724164.917158.388-17.6-5.6-4.0

All items less energy

270.652271.356272.5541.90.70.4

All items less food and energy

274.920275.510277.0892.10.80.6

Footnotes
(1) This index series was calculated using a Laspeyres estimator. All other item stratum index series were calculated using a geometric means estimator.
(2) Index is on a December 1982=100 base.
(3) Special index based on a substantially smaller sample.
(4) Indexes on a December 1993=100 base.
(5) Indexes on a December 1997=100 base.
 

Note: Index applies to a month as a whole, not to any specific date.
The New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-CT-PA consolidated area comprises the five boroughs of New York City, Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester, Rockland, Putnam, Dutchess, and Orange Counties in New York State; Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Monmouth, Middlesex, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, Union, and Warren Counties in New Jersey; Fairfield County and parts of Litchfield, New Haven, and Middlesex Counties in Connecticut; and Pike County in Pennsylvania.
 

 

Last Modified Date: Wednesday, March 16, 2016