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consumer price index, northeast region – FEBRUARY 2011 (pdf)
Regional Prices 0.5 Percent Higher Over the Month; 2.0 Percent Higher Over the Year
The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) in the Northeast region rose 0.5 percent in February, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Sheila Watkins, the Bureau’s regional commissioner, noted that the recent increase was mostly due to a 0.4-percent rise in the all items less food and energy index. Prices were also higher for both energy (1.3 percent) and food (0.5 percent) over the month. Within the energy index, higher gasoline prices led the recent increase. (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 2.0 percent. (See chart 1 and table A.) The index for all items less food and energy advanced 1.1 percent over the year. Prices were also higher for both energy (9.8 percent) and food (2.5 percent) since February 2010.
Chart 1. 12-month percent change in CPI for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), Northeast region, February 2008 to February 2011 (not seasonally adjusted)
The food index rose 0.5 percent in February. The food at home index advanced 0.6 percent and the food away from home index edged up 0.3 percent over the month.
Over the year, the food index rose 2.5 percent—the largest 12-month increase since June 2009—as the food at home and food away from home components increased 3.0 and 1.9 percent, respectively. (See table 1.)
Due mostly to higher gasoline prices, the energy index, which includes prices for household and transportation fuels, increased 1.3 percent in February. Gasoline prices advanced for the fifth straight month, up 20.7 percent since September and 1.4 percent since January. Utility (piped) gas service prices increased 0.7 percent over the month, while electricity prices declined 0.4 percent.
The energy index advanced 9.8 percent since February 2010, reflecting an 18.5-percent jump in gasoline prices. Moderating the rise in the energy index were over-the-year declines in prices for utility (piped) gas service and electricity, down 3.9 and 1.7 percent, respectively.
All items less food and energy
The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.4 percent since January—the largest one-month increase since March 2009. Higher prices for apparel (2.5 percent) and recreation (1.0 percent) led the recent advance. Partially offsetting these one-month increases were lower prices for education and communication (-0.3 percent) and household furnishings and operations (-0.2 percent).
The index for all items less food and energy rose 1.1 percent over the year. Higher prices for shelter (0.7 percent) and medical care (3.4 percent) led the overall increase. Moderating these advances were declines in prices for household furnishings and operations (-1.4 percent) and recreation (-0.9 percent).
The March 2011 Consumer Price Index for the Northeast region is scheduled to be released on April 15, 2011, 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 87 percent of the total population and (2) a CPI for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) which covers 32 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 25,000 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; TDD message referral phone number: 1-800-877-8339.
For personal assistance or further information on Consumer Price Indexes, as well as other Bureau products, contact the Mid-Atlantic Information Office at (215) 597-3282 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. ET.
Last Modified Date: March 18, 2011