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15-81-PHI
January 16, 2015

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Consumer Price Index, Northeast Region – December 2014

Regional Prices Down 0.5 Percent Over the Month; Up 0.4 Percent Over the Year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) in the Northeast declined 0.5 percent in December, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. A 4.2-percent decline in the energy index since November was joined by a 0.3-percent decrease in the all items less food and energy index; the food index rose 0.5 percent 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 CPI-U increased 0.4 percent, due mainly to an advance in the all items less food and energy index, up 1.2 percent. (See chart 1 and table A.) The food index also rose since December 2013, up 3.1 percent, while the energy index fell 10.9 percent. (See table 1.)

 

Food

Over the month, food prices increased 0.5 percent. Food at home prices rose 0.7 percent and those for food away from home inched up 0.1 percent since November.

Over the year, the food index advanced 3.1 percent. Prices were higher for both the food at home and food away from home components, up 3.5 and 2.6 percent, respectively, since December 2013.

Energy

The energy index, which includes prices for household and transportation fuels, declined for the seventh consecutive month, down 15.3 percent since May and 4.2 percent since November. This month’s decrease was also the largest decline for this index since December 2008. The decrease was due almost entirely to a 7.8-percent drop in gasoline prices, which matched the previous month’s drop. Prices also decreased for electricity, down 0.5 percent, while those for utility (piped) gas service increased 2.3 percent in December.

Energy prices declined over the year, down 10.9 percent, dominated by a 19.7-percent drop in gasoline prices—the largest over-the-year decline since September 2009. Utility (piped) gas service prices were also lower since December 2013, down 1.4 percent, while electricity prices rose 2.8 percent.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy edged down 0.3 percent over the month, led by a 4.6-percent seasonal decrease in apparel prices. Higher prices for medical care (0.2 percent), among others, moderated the decline in the all items less food and energy index since November.

The all items less food and energy index rose 1.2 percent over the year. The advance primarily reflected a 2.2-percent increase in prices for shelter. Price declines for household furnishings and operations (-1.4 percent) and recreation (-0.6 percent) moderated the 12-month advance in the all items less food and energy index.

 

Table A. Northeast region CPI-U 1-month and 12-month percent changes, all items index (not seasonally adjusted)
Month 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
1-month 12-month 1-month 12-month 1-month 12-month 1-month 12-month 1-month 12-month 1-month 12-month

January

0.2 0.5 0.4 3.0 0.4 1.6 0.4 2.9 0.3 1.8 0.6 1.5

February

0.6 0.7 0.0 2.5 0.5 2.0 0.4 2.8 0.6 2.0 0.1 1.0

March

0.2 0.2 0.3 2.6 0.8 2.5 0.5 2.5 0.0 1.5 0.5 1.5

April

0.2 -0.1 0.2 2.5 0.5 2.8 0.3 2.3 -0.1 1.1 0.0 1.6

May

0.1 -0.8 0.2 2.6 0.5 3.2 -0.1 1.7 0.0 1.2 0.4 2.0

June

0.8 -1.2 -0.1 1.7 0.1 3.4 -0.2 1.5 0.1 1.5 0.0 1.9

July

0.1 -1.9 0.0 1.6 0.2 3.6 -0.1 1.1 0.2 1.8 0.1 1.8

August

0.3 -1.2 0.1 1.4 0.3 3.8 0.5 1.3 0.2 1.5 -0.3 1.3

September

0.1 -0.7 -0.1 1.2 0.1 4.0 0.5 1.7 0.1 1.1 0.0 1.2

October

0.0 0.2 0.3 1.5 -0.1 3.6 0.1 1.9 -0.4 0.7 -0.2 1.4

November

0.2 2.0 0.2 1.5 -0.1 3.2 0.2 1.8 0.1 1.0 -0.4 0.9

December

-0.1 2.8 0.0 1.6 -0.3 2.9 -0.3 1.8 0.0 1.3 -0.5 0.4

The January 2015 Consumer Price Index for the Northeast region is scheduled to be released on February 26, 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 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:  1-800-877-8339.

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
Oct.
2014
Nov.
2014
Dec.
2014
Dec.
2013
Oct.
2014
Nov.
2014

All items

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252.730 251.781 250.519 0.4 -0.9 -0.5

All items (December 1977 = 100)

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397.972 396.478 394.492      
 

Food and beverages

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249.505 249.408 250.444 3.0 0.4 0.4

Food

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249.557 249.386 250.516 3.1 0.4 0.5

Food at home

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247.358 246.920 248.691 3.5 0.5 0.7

Food away from home

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255.929 256.153 256.346 2.6 0.2 0.1

Alcoholic beverages

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247.664 248.508 248.323 1.2 0.3 -0.1
 

Housing

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261.938 262.149 261.939 1.5 0.0 -0.1

Shelter

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319.396 319.239 319.376 2.2 0.0 0.0

Rent of primary residence (1)

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319.098 320.069 320.606 2.6 0.5 0.2

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

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330.397 330.925 331.392 2.0 0.3 0.1

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

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330.250 330.756 331.222 1.9 0.3 0.1

Fuels and utilities

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217.529 221.300 219.675 -1.2 1.0 -0.7

Household energy

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194.932 198.919 197.158 -2.0 1.1 -0.9

Energy services (1)

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185.338 191.303 191.825 1.6 3.5 0.3

Electricity (1)

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191.398 197.266 196.345 2.8 2.6 -0.5

Utility (piped) gas service (1)

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160.580 166.432 170.300 -1.4 6.1 2.3

Household furnishings and operations

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124.555 123.395 123.004 -1.4 -1.2 -0.3
 

Apparel

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135.262 132.251 126.185 -0.3 -6.7 -4.6
 

Transportation

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213.407 208.769 203.360 -6.0 -4.7 -2.6

Private transportation

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205.838 200.291 195.468 -6.2 -5.0 -2.4

New and used motor vehicles (3)

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98.143 97.523 96.961 -1.4 -1.2 -0.6

New vehicles

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144.345 144.366 144.186 0.0 -0.1 -0.1

New cars and trucks (3) (4)

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99.997 100.008 99.890 0.0 -0.1 -0.1

New cars (4)

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137.102 137.408 137.366 -0.8 0.2 0.0

Used cars and trucks

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155.450 151.540 149.169 -3.7 -4.0 -1.6

Motor fuel

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275.024 253.633 233.855 -19.7 -15.0 -7.8

Gasoline (all types)

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273.775 252.361 232.565 -19.7 -15.1 -7.8

Gasoline, unleaded regular (4)

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273.259 251.127 230.940 -20.5 -15.5 -8.0

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade (4) (5)

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283.490 263.994 245.039 -17.4 -13.6 -7.2

Gasoline, unleaded premium (4)

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270.987 253.480 236.160 -16.5 -12.9 -6.8
 

Medical care

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457.876 459.461 460.596 3.1 0.6 0.2

Medical care commodities

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373.277 374.465 373.682 4.2 0.1 -0.2

Medical care services

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481.094 482.795 484.578 2.7 0.7 0.4

Professional services

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355.024 356.199 358.519 2.1 1.0 0.7
 

Recreation (3)

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119.389 119.260 119.093 -0.6 -0.2 -0.1
 

Education and communication (3)

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138.258 137.975 137.850 0.0 -0.3 -0.1
 

Other goods and services

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444.767 444.355 445.391 2.6 0.1 0.2
 

Commodity and service group

 

Commodities

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194.139 191.319 188.554 -2.1 -2.9 -1.4

Commodities less food and beverages

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162.349 158.474 154.189 -5.3 -5.0 -2.7

Nondurables less food and beverages

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211.218 204.421 196.400 -6.9 -7.0 -3.9

Durables

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107.800 106.758 106.045 -2.7 -1.6 -0.7

Services

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310.037 310.767 310.844 1.8 0.3 0.0
 

Special aggregate indexes

 

All items less shelter

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230.220 228.962 227.159 -0.6 -1.3 -0.8

All items less medical care

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243.685 242.635 241.277 0.2 -1.0 -0.6

Commodities less food

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165.581 161.833 157.655 -5.0 -4.8 -2.6

Nondurables

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231.082 227.404 223.610 -1.9 -3.2 -1.7

Nondurables less food

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213.275 206.943 199.400 -6.4 -6.5 -3.6

Services less rent of shelter (2)

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310.845 312.590 312.601 1.3 0.6 0.0

Services less medical care services

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298.157 298.824 298.798 1.7 0.2 0.0

Energy

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228.510 221.924 212.652 -10.9 -6.9 -4.2

All items less energy

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257.690 257.316 256.872 1.5 -0.3 -0.2

All items less food and energy

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260.804 260.392 259.664 1.2 -0.4 -0.3

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: Friday, January 16, 2015