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15-1637-PHI
Wednesday, August 19, 2015

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Consumer Price Index, Northeast Region – July 2015

Regional prices down 0.1 percent over the month and 0.2 percent over the year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) in the Northeast inched down 0.1 percent in July, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Sheila Watkins, the Bureau’s regional commissioner, noted that this was mostly due to a 2.1-percent decrease in the energy index. The decline was moderated by an increase in the all items less food and energy index, which inched up 0.1 percent. Food prices were unchanged over the month. (Data in this report are not seasonally adjusted. Accordingly, month-to-month changes may reflect the impact of seasonal influences.)

Over the last 12 months, the Northeast all items CPI-U edged down 0.2 percent. (See chart 1 and table A.) The energy index fell 17.3 percent over the year, while the all items less food and energy index was 1.6 percent higher. Food prices also increased from July 2014, up 1.4 percent. (See table 1.)

 Chart 1. Over-the-year percent change in CPI-U, Northeast region, July 2012-July 2015

Food

After edging up 0.2 percent in June, food prices were unchanged in July. Food at home prices decreased 0.3 percent, while food away from home prices increased 0.3 percent.

From July 2014 to July 2015, the food index increased 1.4 percent. Prices for food away from home rose 2.3 percent over the year and those for food at home increased 0.7 percent.

Energy

The energy index, which includes prices for household and transportation fuels, decreased 2.1 percent since June. This was mostly due to a 3.8-percent decline in electricity prices. Utility (piped) gas service and gasoline prices also decreased over the month, down 2.3 and 0.5 percent, respectively.

The energy index fell 17.3 percent since July 2014, mostly due to a 25.2-percent drop in gasoline prices. Prices for utility (piped) gas service and electricity also declined over the year, down 15.7 and 0.9 percent, respectively.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy inched up 0.1 percent in July. Shelter prices rose 0.5 percent, led by higher prices for lodging away from home. Moderating the overall increase in the all items less food and energy index were lower prices for household furnishings and operations and apparel (-1.0 percent each).

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy increased 1.6 percent, led by higher prices for shelter (2.5 percent), particularly owners’ equivalent rent of residences (2.2 percent). Prices were also higher for several other categories including medical care and other goods and services, up 2.6 and 2.5 percent, respectively.

Table A. Northeast region CPI-U 1-month and 12-month percent changes, all items index, not seasonally adjusted
Month 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
1-month 12-month 1-month 12-month 1-month 12-month 1-month 12-month 1-month 12-month

January

0.4 1.6 0.4 2.9 0.3 1.8 0.6 1.5 -0.2 -0.4

February

0.5 2.0 0.4 2.8 0.6 2.0 0.1 1.0 0.2 -0.2

March

0.8 2.5 0.5 2.5 0.0 1.5 0.5 1.5 0.3 -0.4

April

0.5 2.8 0.3 2.3 -0.1 1.1 0.0 1.6 0.1 -0.3

May

0.5 3.2 -0.1 1.7 0.0 1.2 0.4 2.0 0.4 -0.3

June

0.1 3.4 -0.2 1.5 0.1 1.5 0.0 1.9 0.3 0.0

July

0.2 3.6 -0.1 1.1 0.2 1.8 0.1 1.8 -0.1 -0.2

August

0.3 3.8 0.5 1.3 0.2 1.5 -0.3 1.3    

September

0.1 4.0 0.5 1.7 0.1 1.1 0.0 1.2    

October

-0.1 3.6 0.1 1.9 -0.4 0.7 -0.2 1.4    

November

-0.1 3.2 -0.2 1.8 0.1 1.0 -0.4 0.9    

December

-0.3 2.9 -0.3 1.8 0.0 1.3 -0.5 0.4    

The Consumer Price Index for August 2015 is scheduled to be released Wednesday, September 16, 2015, 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 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 Northeast region is comprised of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

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, Northeast Region, (1982-84=100 unless otherwise noted) (not seasonally adjusted)
Expenditure category Indexes Percent change from
 
Historical
data
May
2015
Jun.
2015
Jul.
2015
Jul.
2014
May
2015
Jun.
2015

All items

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252.770 253.626 253.405 -0.2 0.3 -0.1

All items (December 1977 = 100)

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398.035 399.384 399.036      
 

Food and beverages

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251.356 251.852 251.840 1.4 0.2 0.0

Food

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251.457 252.005 251.901 1.4 0.2 0.0

Food at home

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248.838 249.264 248.520 0.7 -0.1 -0.3

Food away from home

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258.477 259.212 260.058 2.3 0.6 0.3

Alcoholic beverages

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248.871 248.698 249.866 1.6 0.4 0.5
 

Housing

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263.998 265.278 265.298 1.0 0.5 0.0

Shelter

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323.612 324.500 326.169 2.5 0.8 0.5

Rent of primary residence (1)

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323.764 324.535 325.712 2.8 0.6 0.4

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

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334.672 335.723 336.328 2.2 0.5 0.2

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

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334.468 335.490 336.093 2.2 0.5 0.2

Fuels and utilities

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213.340 217.557 211.630 -7.2 -0.8 -2.7

Household energy

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190.234 194.781 188.157 -8.8 -1.1 -3.4

Energy services (1)

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187.136 193.073 186.405 -4.9 -0.4 -3.5

Electricity (1)

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197.806 207.265 199.371 -0.9 0.8 -3.8

Utility (piped) gas service (1)

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151.500 148.862 145.439 -15.7 -4.0 -2.3

Household furnishings and operations

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123.998 124.590 123.309 -1.4 -0.6 -1.0
 

Apparel

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131.321 128.839 127.487 -0.1 -2.9 -1.0
 

Transportation

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205.061 206.823 205.526 -7.3 0.2 -0.6

Private transportation

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195.963 197.526 197.234 -7.8 0.6 -0.1

New and used motor vehicles (3)

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98.504 98.829 98.570 -0.4 0.1 -0.3

New vehicles

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145.380 145.957 145.426 0.6 0.0 -0.4

New cars and trucks (3) (4)

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100.743 101.138 100.785 0.7 0.0 -0.3

New cars (4)

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137.704 138.407 138.026 0.2 0.2 -0.3

Used cars and trucks

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157.983 158.465 158.635 -1.0 0.4 0.1

Motor fuel

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228.019 233.607 232.454 -25.2 1.9 -0.5

Gasoline (all types)

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227.031 232.646 231.550 -25.2 2.0 -0.5

Gasoline, unleaded regular (4)

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226.196 231.928 230.488 -25.8 1.9 -0.6

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade (4) (5)

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235.448 240.649 241.197 -23.6 2.4 0.2

Gasoline, unleaded premium (4)

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227.283 232.359 232.948 -22.4 2.5 0.3
 

Medical care

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469.261 467.204 467.511 2.6 -0.4 0.1

Medical care commodities

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377.639 377.849 378.456 1.8 0.2 0.2

Medical care services

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494.757 491.942 492.142 2.8 -0.5 0.0

Professional services

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362.359 362.485 362.496 2.7 0.0 0.0
 

Recreation (3)

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121.212 121.629 121.488 0.9 0.2 -0.1
 

Education and communication (3)

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137.969 138.130 138.709 0.6 0.5 0.4
 

Other goods and services

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446.595 451.869 452.456 2.5 1.3 0.1
 

Commodity and service group

 

Commodities

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189.705 190.030 189.427 -3.5 -0.1 -0.3

Commodities less food and beverages

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155.395 155.633 154.801 -6.6 -0.4 -0.5

Nondurables less food and beverages

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196.733 196.973 195.785 -9.8 -0.5 -0.6

Durables

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107.924 108.143 107.682 -1.2 -0.2 -0.4

Services

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314.128 315.480 315.601 1.7 0.5 0.0
 

Special aggregate indexes

 

All items less shelter

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228.684 229.538 228.601 -1.6 0.0 -0.4

All items less medical care

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243.258 244.233 243.991 -0.4 0.3 -0.1

Commodities less food

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158.846 159.073 158.298 -6.3 -0.3 -0.5

Nondurables

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224.220 224.583 223.943 -4.1 -0.1 -0.3

Nondurables less food

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199.746 199.961 198.916 -9.0 -0.4 -0.5

Services less rent of shelter (2)

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314.906 316.813 315.230 0.8 0.1 -0.5

Services less medical care services

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301.649 303.246 303.362 1.6 0.6 0.0

Energy

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206.175 211.160 206.809 -17.3 0.3 -2.1

All items less energy

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260.049 260.486 260.691 1.6 0.2 0.1

All items less food and energy

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263.260 263.680 263.941 1.6 0.3 0.1

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) 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.

Note: Index applies to a month as a whole, not to any specific date.

 

Last Modified Date: Wednesday, August 19, 2015