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12-99-PHI

Thursday, January 19, 2012

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Consumer Price Index, Northeast Region – December 2011

Regional Prices Down 0.3 Percent Over the Month; Up 2.9 Percent Over the Year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) in the Northeast region declined 0.3 percent in December, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Sheila Watkins, the Bureau’s regional commissioner, noted that the recent decline reflected one-month decreases in both the energy index and the all items less food and energy index, down 2.1 and 0.2 percent, respectively. Moderating the overall decrease, the food index rose 0.4 percent since November. (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 2.9 percent. (See chart 1 and table A.)  The all items less food and energy component advanced 2.4 percent over the year. Prices also rose for both food and energy, up 4.4 and 5.1 percent, respectively, since December 2010. (See table 1.)

Chart 1. 12-month percent change in CPI for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), Northeast region, December 2008 to December 2011 (not seasonally adjusted)

Food

Following a 0.4-percent decline in November, the food index rose 0.4 percent in December. Prices for both components of the food index rose over the month—food at home prices increased 0.6 percent and food away from home prices, 0.1 percent.

Over the year, the food index rose 4.4 percent. Prices for both the food at home and food away from home components increased since last December, up 5.6 and 2.8 percent, respectively.

Energy

The energy index, which includes prices for household and transportation fuels, fell 2.1 percent in December, due mostly to a decline in the gasoline index. Gasoline prices decreased for the seventh straight month, down 15.7 percent since May and 3.1 percent since November. Prices for electricity and utility (piped) gas service were also lower over the month, down 1.4 and 1.7 percent, respectively.

Despite its recent 1-month decline, the energy index advanced 5.1 percent over the year, due mainly to a 9.4-percent rise in gasoline prices since December 2010. Moderating the increase in the energy index were lower prices for utility (piped) gas service (-6.1 percent) and electricity (-1.9 percent).

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy edged down 0.2 percent since November, led by a 4.0-percent seasonal decline in apparel prices. Moderating the overall decrease were higher prices in a number of categories including household furnishings and operations (0.6 percent) and medical care (0.4 percent).

The index for all items less food and energy rose 2.4 percent over the year. The recent gain was led by an increase in the shelter index (2.1 percent), particularly owners’ equivalent rent of residences (2.0 percent). Higher prices for medical care (3.6 percent) and new and used motor vehicles (3.0 percent) also contributed to the advance in the all items less food and energy index since December 2010.

The January 2012 Consumer Price Index for the Northeast region is scheduled to be released on February 17, 2012, at 8:30 a.m. (ET).

Table A. Northeast region CPI-U 1-month and 12-month percent changes, all items index (not seasonally adjusted)
Month 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
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

1.0 4.1 0.3 2.3 0.4 3.9 0.2 0.5 0.4 3.0 0.4 1.6

February

0.3 3.9 0.4 2.4 0.4 4.0 0.6 0.7 0.0 2.5 0.5 2.0

March

0.6 3.3 0.8 2.6 0.8 3.9 0.2 0.2 0.3 2.6 0.8 2.5

April

0.9 3.8 0.5 2.2 0.5 3.9 0.2 -0.1 0.2 2.5 0.5 2.8

May

0.5 4.6 0.5 2.3 0.9 4.3 0.1 -0.8 0.2 2.6 0.5 3.2

June

0.5 5.1 0.4 2.3 1.1 5.0 0.8 -1.2 -0.1 1.7 0.1 3.4

July

0.4 4.6 0.2 2.0 0.8 5.7 0.1 -1.9 0.0 1.6 0.2 3.6

August

0.3 4.5 -0.2 1.6 -0.3 5.5 0.3 -1.2 0.1 1.4 0.3 3.8

September

-0.8 2.6 -0.1 2.4 -0.4 5.2 0.1 -0.7 -0.1 1.2 0.1 4.0

October

-0.5 1.7 0.2 3.1 -0.9 4.0 0.0 0.2 0.3 1.5 -0.1 3.6

November

-0.2 2.3 0.6 4.0 -1.6 1.7 0.2 2.0 0.2 1.5 -0.1 3.2

December

0.2 3.0 0.0 3.8 -0.9 0.7 -0.1 2.8 0.0 1.6 -0.3 2.9

 

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 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 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; 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.

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
Oct.
2011
Nov.
2011
Dec.
2011
Dec.
2010
Oct.
2011
Nov.
2011

All items

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243.014 242.652 241.987 2.9 -0.4 -0.3

All items (December 1977 = 100)

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382.674 382.103 381.056      
 

Food and beverages

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237.413 236.468 237.339 4.2 0.0 0.4

Food

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237.253 236.309 237.187 4.4 0.0 0.4

Food at home

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237.219 235.977 237.276 5.6 0.0 0.6

Food away from home

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240.273 239.726 240.039 2.8 -0.1 0.1

Alcoholic beverages

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238.173 237.210 237.977 1.3 -0.1 0.3
 

Housing

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249.091 249.354 249.123 1.9 0.0 -0.1

Shelter

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298.371 298.396 298.294 2.1 0.0 0.0

Rent of primary residence (1)

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295.974 296.430 296.487 2.2 0.2 0.0

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

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310.193 310.471 310.417 2.0 0.1 0.0

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

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310.127 310.397 310.333 2.0 0.1 0.0

Fuels and utilities

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220.827 223.398 221.138 1.5 0.1 -1.0

Household energy

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201.869 204.539 202.046 0.9 0.1 -1.2

Energy services (1) (3)

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191.369 193.123 190.222 -3.1 -0.6 -1.5

Electricity (1)

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189.461 188.798 186.114 -1.9 -1.8 -1.4

Utility (piped) gas service (1)

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182.943 190.558 187.316 -6.1 2.4 -1.7

Household furnishings and operations

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126.944 126.363 127.143 1.5 0.2 0.6
 

Apparel

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132.618 131.239 126.040 4.1 -5.0 -4.0
 

Transportation

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212.273 211.191 209.107 5.3 -1.5 -1.0

Private transportation

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205.452 204.326 202.352 5.2 -1.5 -1.0

New and used motor vehicles (4)

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99.927 99.367 99.154 3.0 -0.8 -0.2

New vehicles

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141.854 142.078 142.341 3.4 0.3 0.2

New cars and trucks (4) (5)

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98.309 98.464 98.641 3.4 0.3 0.2

New cars (5)

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138.696 138.548 138.536 3.2 -0.1 0.0

Used cars and trucks

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160.764 158.980 157.606 5.7 -2.0 -0.9

Motor fuel

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291.909 287.863 279.173 9.6 -4.4 -3.0

Gasoline (all types)

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290.809 286.509 277.652 9.4 -4.5 -3.1

Gasoline, unleaded regular (5)

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292.140 287.705 278.684 9.2 -4.6 -3.1

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade (5) (6)

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296.364 292.258 283.585 10.0 -4.3 -3.0

Gasoline, unleaded premium (5)

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280.638 276.896 268.727 9.8 -4.2 -3.0
 

Medical care

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425.368 426.530 428.275 3.6 0.7 0.4

Medical care commodities

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356.728 358.631 359.466 4.2 0.8 0.2

Medical care services

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442.474 443.308 445.377 3.4 0.7 0.5

Professional services

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338.636 338.397 340.358 2.5 0.5 0.6
 

Recreation (4)

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118.628 118.059 118.040 1.8 -0.5 0.0
 

Education and communication (4)

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134.683 134.333 134.407 0.7 -0.2 0.1
 

Other goods and services

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420.094 422.332 422.357 2.5 0.5 0.0
 

Commodity and service group

 

Commodities

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192.474 191.692 190.538 4.3 -1.0 -0.6

Commodities less food and beverages

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165.242 164.562 162.603 4.4 -1.6 -1.2

Nondurables less food and beverages

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213.447 212.424 208.390 5.6 -2.4 -1.9

Durables

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111.095 110.780 110.942 2.1 -0.1 0.1

Services

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292.659 292.694 292.492 2.1 -0.1 -0.1
 

Special aggregate indexes

 

All items less shelter

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224.631 224.119 223.238 3.3 -0.6 -0.4

All items less medical care

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234.886 234.473 233.728 2.9 -0.5 -0.3

Commodities less food

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168.137 167.446 165.553 4.3 -1.5 -1.1

Nondurables

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226.641 225.643 223.821 4.9 -1.2 -0.8

Nondurables less food

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214.866 213.846 210.068 5.4 -2.2 -1.8

Services less rent of shelter (2)

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296.933 297.005 296.680 2.0 -0.1 -0.1

Services less medical care services

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282.077 282.071 281.756 2.0 -0.1 -0.1

Energy

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239.732 239.561 234.452 5.1 -2.2 -2.1

All items less energy

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245.704 245.318 245.108 2.7 -0.2 -0.1

All items less food and energy

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248.780 248.494 248.083 2.4 -0.3 -0.2

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) This index series was formerly titled Gas (piped) and electricity.
(4) Indexes on a December 1997=100 base.
(5) Special index based on a substantially smaller sample.
(6) Indexes on a December 1993=100 base.

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


 

Last Modified Date: January 19, 2012