Friday, September 11, 2020
Prices in the New York-Newark-Jersey City area, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), ticked down 0.1 percent in August, after increasing 0.5 percent in July, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Chief Regional Economist Martin Kohli attributed the downturn to falling prices for energy. (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 1.4 percent. (See chart 1 and table A.) The index for all items less food and energy rose 1.8 percent. Price increases for shelter drove the 12-month change in both indexes. (See table 1.)
The food index was unchanged in August, after dropping 0.8 percent in July. A 0.7-percent rise in prices for food away from home was offset by a 0.5-percent decline in prices for food at home. Among the groceries with lower prices in August were uncooked beef steaks; rice, pasta, cornmeal; and snacks.
For the year ended in August 2020, the food index rose 3.9 percent. Prices for food at home increased 4.4 percent, and prices for food away from home rose 3.3 percent.
The energy index declined 1.8 percent in August, after a 0.2-percent rise in July. Prices for household energy decreased 2.6 percent. Often down in August, electricity prices fell 4.1 percent. By contrast, prices for natural gas edged up 0.2 percent. Gasoline prices retreated 0.6 percent in August after advancing 2.5 percent in July and 2.6 percent in June.
Over the year, energy prices dropped 8.9 percent, primarily due to a 21.0-percent fall in gasoline prices. Household energy prices edged down 0.2 percent, with price declines for fuel oil and other fuels largely offset by increases in prices for electricity (3.6 percent) and for natural gas (0.7 percent).
The index for all items less food and energy was flat in August, after advancing 0.7 percent in July. A seasonal increase in apparel prices (4.1 percent) led the components with higher prices in August. Other categories with rising prices included recreation (1.1 percent), used cars and trucks (5.9 percent), and household furnishings and operations (1.1 percent). These increases were partly offset by price declines for new vehicles (-0.9 percent) and motor vehicle insurance (-0.6 percent).
From August 2019 to August 2020, the index for all items less food and energy rose 1.8 percent. A 1.7-percent increase in shelter prices included a 2.2-percent rise in owners’ equivalent rent and a 1.7-percent increase in residential rent. Recreation prices advanced 6.6 percent, and medical care prices rose 4.6 percent. A 2.6-percent rise in prices for tuition, other school fees, and childcare contributed to a 2.4-percent increase in prices for education and communication.
In August, the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) was 277.920, unchanged over the month. The CPI-W rose 1.5 percent over the year.
The September 2020 Consumer Price Index for New York-Newark-Jersey City is scheduled to be released on Tuesday, October 13, 2020, at 8:30 a.m. (ET).
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 August 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
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 U.S. population and (2) a CPI for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) which covers approximately 29 percent of the total U.S. 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 6,000 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, NY-NJ-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.
|Item and Group||Indexes||Percent change from-|
All items (1967=100)
Food and beverages
Food at home
Cereals and bakery products
Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs
Dairy and related products
Fruits and vegetables
Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials(1)
Other food at home
Food away from home
Rent of primary residence
Owners' equivalent rent of residences(2)
Owners' equivalent rent of primary residence(2)
Fuels and utilities
Utility (piped) gas service
Household furnishings and operations
New and used motor vehicles(3)
Used cars and trucks(1)
Gasoline (all types)
Gasoline, unleaded regular(4)
Gasoline, unleaded premium(4)
Motor vehicle insurance(1)
Education and communication(3)
Tuition, other school fees, and child care(1)
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
Last Modified Date: Friday, September 11, 2020