Wednesday, March 16, 2016
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.)
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.
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.
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).
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).
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.
|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: Wednesday, March 16, 2016