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News Release Information

20-973-NEW
Tuesday, May 12, 2020

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Technical information:
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  • (646) 264-3620

Consumer Price Index, New York-Newark-Jersey City – April 2020

Area prices down 0.5 percent over the month and up 1.1 percent over the year

Prices in the New York-Newark-Jersey City area, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), declined 0.5 percent in April, after edging down 0.2 percent in March, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Chief Regional Economist Martin Kohli attributed the decrease to lower prices for energy and a variety of items other than food. (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 increased 1.1 percent, the slowest rate in three years. (See chart 1 and table A.) The index for all items less food and energy increased 1.5 percent. Price increases for shelter drove the 12-month change in both indexes. (See table 1.)

Food

The food index jumped 2.6 percent in April, the largest increase in more than 30 years. Prices for food at home advanced 3.6 percent, with each of the six major grocery groups recording an increase of more than 2.0 percent. Among the groceries with higher April prices were eggs, potatoes, and citrus fruits. Prices for food away from home advanced 1.2 percent.

For the year ended in April 2020, the food index increased 4.1 percent. At-home food prices advanced 4.8 percent, and away-from-home food prices rose 3.3 percent.

Energy

The energy index fell 5.2 percent in April, following declines in March (3.7 percent) and in February (2.3 percent). Gasoline prices dropped 8.9 percent, and household energy prices decreased 3.0 percent. Lower prices for electricity (-1.4 percent) and for natural gas (-0.9 percent) led to a 1.2-percent decline for energy services.

Over the year, energy prices were down 11.0 percent, largely due to lower prices for gasoline (-20.4 percent). Household energy prices declined 4.3 percent; among energy services, a 0.9-percent decrease in electricity charges were offset by a 0.6-percent rise in prices for natural gas.  

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy declined 0.6 percent in April, the largest decrease in more than 11 years. Apparel prices, often down in April, fell 6.6 percent. Shelter prices edged down 0.2 percent, with declining prices for out-of-town lodging outweighing price increases for owners’ equivalent rent (0.2 percent) and for residential rent (0.1 percent). Lower prices were also reported for new and used motor vehicles (-0.7 percent) and for motor vehicle insurance (-13.1 percent).

From April 2019 to April 2020, the index for all items less food and energy rose 1.5 percent. A 1.9-percent increase in shelter prices included a 2.6-percent rise in owners’ equivalent rent and a 2.1-percent increase in residential rent. Medical care prices rose 5.3 percent, and a 4.3-percent rise in prices for tuition, other school fees, and childcare contributed to a 2.7-percent increase in prices for education and communication. Prices for recreation rose 4.2 percent. Partly offsetting these increases were declines in apparel (-3.1 percent) and in motor vehicle insurance (-9.7 percent).

Table A. New York-Newark-Jersey City CPI-U 1-month and 12-month percent changes (not seasonally adjusted)
Month201520162017201820192020
1-month12-month1-month12-month1-month12-month1-month12-month1-month12-month1-month12-month

January

0.1-0.50.20.80.62.50.41.40.51.60.82.5

February

0.30.10.20.60.32.60.51.70.21.30.22.4

March

0.2-0.10.20.70.02.30.01.70.31.6-0.22.0

April

0.10.00.41.00.12.00.31.90.31.6-0.51.1

May

0.4-0.10.30.90.11.80.42.20.21.5

June

0.20.10.2(R)0.9(R)0.21.80.12.00.31.7

July

-0.1-0.1-0.11.0-0.21.60.02.20.01.7

August

0.10.10.21.10.21.70.12.20.21.8

September

0.20.30.21.00.52.10.42.00.01.4

October

-0.10.40.11.2-0.21.8-0.12.00.01.5

November

-0.20.60.21.6-0.11.6-0.21.90.11.8

December

-0.40.70.12.10.11.6-0.21.60.12.2

Footnotes:
(R) = revised.

CPI-W

In April, the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) was 274.876, down 0.4 percent over the month. The CPI-W rose 1.1 percent over the year.

The May 2020 Consumer Price Index for New York-Newark-Jersey City is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, June 10, 2020, at 8:30 a.m. (ET).

Coronavirus (COVID-19) 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 New York-Newark-Jersey City, N.Y.-N.J.-Pa., Core Based Statistical Area includes Bronx, Dutchess, Kings, Nassau, New York, Orange, Putnam, Queens, Richmond, Rockland, Suffolk, and Westchester Counties in New York; Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Hunterdon, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, and Union Counties in New Jersey; 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-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA, not seasonally adjusted
(1982-84=100 unless otherwise noted)
Item and GroupIndexesPercent change from-
Feb.
2020
March
2020
April
2020
April
2019
Feb.
2020
March
2020

Expenditure category

All items

282.577281.975280.6231.1-0.7-0.5

All items (1967=100)

816.892815.152811.241   

Food and beverages

274.109274.523281.0424.02.52.4

Food

274.120274.371281.3804.12.62.6

Food at home

260.651261.184270.6444.83.83.6

Cereals and bakery products

304.005303.916310.2143.12.02.1

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

257.609261.942270.1796.24.93.1

Dairy and related products

229.092228.607238.5634.74.14.4

Fruits and vegetables

332.596330.553341.6105.02.73.3

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials(1)

257.741257.368266.7184.63.53.6

Other food at home

229.000228.597239.9154.44.85.0

Food away from home

300.707300.566304.3103.31.21.2

Alcoholic beverages

269.341271.981271.6613.20.9-0.1

Housing

307.210307.537306.4671.3-0.2-0.3

Shelter

390.984392.352391.6051.90.2-0.2

Rent of primary residence

406.261406.933407.4622.10.30.1

Owners' equivalent rent of residences(2)

397.890398.790399.9542.60.50.3

Owners' equivalent rent of primary residence(2)

397.398398.296399.4592.60.50.3

Fuels and utilities

195.727191.388186.538-3.2-4.7-2.5

Household energy

185.940181.048175.677-4.3-5.5-3.0

Energy services

178.215176.333174.1430.0-2.3-1.2

Electricity

178.913176.153173.661-0.9-2.9-1.4

Utility (piped) gas service

164.497164.509163.0780.6-0.9-0.9

Household furnishings and operations

108.883108.719108.897-0.50.00.2

Apparel

127.306125.096116.808-3.1-8.2-6.6

Transportation

221.716216.549207.798-7.0-6.3-4.0

Private transportation

207.689206.133197.195-6.4-5.1-4.3

New and used motor vehicles(3)

90.12991.02990.428-0.60.3-0.7

New vehicles(1)

207.401206.395206.3430.9-0.50.0

Used cars and trucks(1)

266.104271.931269.102-0.61.1-1.0

Motor fuel

208.115197.019179.650-20.2-13.7-8.8

Gasoline (all types)

207.070195.949178.549-20.4-13.8-8.9

Gasoline, unleaded regular(4)

205.231193.704176.078-21.2-14.2-9.1

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(4)(5)

218.955211.825196.358-14.3-10.3-7.3

Gasoline, unleaded premium(4)

222.350213.898198.041-14.5-10.9-7.4

Motor vehicle insurance(1)

790.503792.842688.887-9.7-12.9-13.1

Medical care

529.911530.628531.3565.30.30.1

Recreation(3)

129.424130.358130.8644.21.10.4

Education and communication(3)

147.979148.035148.0372.70.00.0

Tuition, other school fees, and child care(1)

1,256.4671,256.4671,256.4674.30.00.0

Other goods and services

441.273440.648442.2671.90.20.4

Commodity and service group

All items

282.577281.975280.6231.1-0.7-0.5

Commodities

191.973190.403189.595-0.8-1.2-0.4

Commodities less food and beverages

143.006140.638136.573-4.9-4.5-2.9

Nondurables less food and beverages

183.067178.482170.999-6.9-6.6-4.2

Durables

92.70892.55991.955-1.1-0.8-0.7

Services

358.410358.515356.7161.9-0.5-0.5

Special aggregate indexes

All items less medical care

271.847271.191269.7520.8-0.8-0.5

All items less shelter

239.554238.170236.5770.6-1.2-0.7

Commodities less food

147.685145.452141.473-4.5-4.2-2.7

Nondurables

229.808227.565226.725-0.7-1.3-0.4

Nondurables less food

188.257184.087177.013-6.1-6.0-3.8

Services less rent of shelter(2)

334.401333.199330.2811.9-1.2-0.9

Services less medical care services

343.722343.745341.7001.4-0.6-0.6

Energy

196.980189.692179.746-11.0-8.7-5.2

All items less energy

292.832292.781292.1301.9-0.2-0.2

All items less food and energy

298.055297.954296.0451.5-0.7-0.6

Footnotes
(1) Indexes on a December 1977=100 base.
(2) Indexes on a December 1982=100 base.
(3) Indexes on a December 1997=100 base.
(4) Special index based on a substantially smaller sample.
(5) Indexes on a December 1993=100 base.

 

Last Modified Date: Tuesday, May 12, 2020