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12-1905-PHI

Friday, September 14, 2012

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Consumer Price Index, Northeast Region – August 2012

Regional Prices 0.5 Percent Higher Over the Month; 1.3 Percent Higher Over the Year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) in the Northeast region rose 0.5 percent in August, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Sheila Watkins, the Bureau’s regional commissioner, noted that an advance of 3.0 percent in the energy index was largely responsible for the overall increase since July. The all items less food and energy index also contributed to the overall rise, up 0.3 percent, while the food index was nearly unchanged, inching up 0.1 percent. (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 1.3 percent due mainly to an advance in the all items less food and energy component, up 1.7 percent. (See chart 1 and table A.) The food component also rose, up 2.0 percent, while energy prices declined 2.4 percent since August 2011. (See table 1.)

Chart 1. 12-month percent change in CPI for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), Northeast region, August 2009 to August 2012 (not seasonally adjusted)


Food

The food index inched up 0.1 percent in August, reflecting small price increases for both food away from home (0.2 percent) and food at home (0.1 percent).

Over the year, the food index advanced 2.0 percent. Prices for the food away from home and food at home components were up 2.5 and 1.7 percent, respectively.

Energy

Following three months of declines totaling 6.7 percent, the energy index, which includes prices for household and transportation fuels, rose 3.0 percent in August. The recent one-month increase reflected higher prices for gasoline, up 5.6 percent since July. Moderating the rise in the energy index were lower prices for electricity, down 0.8 percent. Utility (piped) gas service prices were unchanged over the month.

Despite the recent one-month increase, energy prices were down 2.4 percent over the year. Utility (piped) gas service prices dropped 12.3 percent, their 22nd consecutive over-the-year decrease, and electricity prices fell 3.6 percent, their 10th. Gasoline prices rose 0.6 percent since August 2011, partially offsetting these declines.

All items less food and energy

Led by a seasonal increase in apparel prices (3.5 percent), the index for all items less food and energy rose 0.3 percent since July. Also contributing to the recent advance were higher prices for shelter, particularly owners’ equivalent rent of residences (0.2 percent each). Lower prices for new and used motor vehicles (-0.3 percent) and recreation (-0.2 percent) helped to moderate the one-month increase in the all items less food and energy index.

The index for all items less food and energy rose 1.7 percent over the year. The 12-month advance was led by higher shelter prices (1.8 percent), particularly those for owners’ equivalent rent of residences (2.0 percent). Widespread price increases among other components, including medical care (4.0 percent), also contributed to the rise in the all items less food and energy index since August 2011.

The September 2012 Consumer Price Index for the Northeast region is scheduled to be released on October 16, 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 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
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

0.3 2.3 0.4 3.9 0.2 0.5 0.4 3.0 0.4 1.6 0.4 2.9

February

0.4 2.4 0.4 4.0 0.6 0.7 0.0 2.5 0.5 2.0 0.4 2.8

March

0.8 2.6 0.8 3.9 0.2 0.2 0.3 2.6 0.8 2.5 0.5 2.5

April

0.5 2.2 0.5 3.9 0.2 -0.1 0.2 2.5 0.5 2.8 0.3 2.3

May

0.5 2.3 0.9 4.3 0.1 -0.8 0.2 2.6 0.5 3.2 -0.1 1.7

June

0.4 2.3 1.1 5.0 0.8 -1.2 -0.1 1.7 0.1 3.4 -0.2 1.5

July

0.2 2.0 0.8 5.7 0.1 -1.9 0.0 1.6 0.2 3.6 -0.1 1.1

August

-0.2 1.6 -0.3 5.5 0.3 -1.2 0.1 1.4 0.3 3.8 0.5 1.3

September

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

October

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

November

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

December

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 88 percent of the total population and (2) a CPI for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) which covers 29 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.

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
Jun.
2012
Jul.
2012
Aug.
2012
Aug.
2011
Jun.
2012
Jul.
2012

All items

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245.201 244.984 246.252 1.3 0.4 0.5

All items (December 1977 = 100)

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386.116 385.775 387.771      
 

Food and beverages

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240.039 240.190 240.463 2.0 0.2 0.1

Food

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239.798 239.952 240.308 2.0 0.2 0.1

Food at home

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239.056 238.950 239.199 1.7 0.1 0.1

Food away from home

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243.906 244.446 244.964 2.5 0.4 0.2

Alcoholic beverages

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241.963 242.071 241.123 1.6 -0.3 -0.4
 

Housing

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251.619 251.688 252.171 1.0 0.2 0.2

Shelter

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303.136 303.620 304.202 1.8 0.4 0.2

Rent of primary residence (1)

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300.242 300.890 301.813 2.5 0.5 0.3

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

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313.774 314.409 315.178 2.0 0.4 0.2

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

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313.681 314.307 315.074 2.0 0.4 0.2

Fuels and utilities

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215.185 213.541 214.408 -4.0 -0.4 0.4

Household energy

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194.873 192.831 193.613 -5.5 -0.6 0.4

Energy services (1)

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185.112 182.967 181.847 -6.5 -1.8 -0.6

Electricity (1)

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190.619 187.590 186.002 -3.6 -2.4 -0.8

Utility (piped) gas service (1)

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162.510 162.334 162.254 -12.3 -0.2 0.0

Household furnishings and operations

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128.380 128.357 128.209 1.0 -0.1 -0.1
 

Apparel

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126.999 125.107 129.468 2.2 1.9 3.5
 

Transportation

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214.475 213.659 216.851 0.7 1.1 1.5

Private transportation

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207.362 206.743 210.547 0.9 1.5 1.8

New and used motor vehicles (3)

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99.939 99.843 99.509 -1.0 -0.4 -0.3

New vehicles

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142.576 142.371 142.275 0.4 -0.2 -0.1

New cars and trucks (3) (4)

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98.817 98.674 98.609 0.4 -0.2 -0.1

New cars (4)

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138.334 138.215 138.203 -0.3 -0.1 0.0

Used cars and trucks

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164.734 165.205 164.055 0.0 -0.4 -0.7

Motor fuel

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296.226 293.789 310.036 0.6 4.7 5.5

Gasoline (all types)

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295.081 292.702 308.989 0.6 4.7 5.6

Gasoline, unleaded regular (4)

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296.395 293.771 310.480 0.4 4.8 5.7

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade (4) (5)

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300.810 298.828 314.505 1.0 4.6 5.2

Gasoline, unleaded premium (4)

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285.020 283.613 298.182 1.2 4.6 5.1
 

Medical care

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437.098 438.180 439.433 4.0 0.5 0.3

Medical care commodities

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366.859 370.806 373.346 5.4 1.8 0.7

Medical care services

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454.557 454.432 455.123 3.5 0.1 0.2

Professional services

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342.037 341.375 341.370 1.2 -0.2 0.0
 

Recreation (3)

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119.880 119.766 119.586 0.4 -0.2 -0.2
 

Education and communication (3)

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134.973 134.788 135.460 1.0 0.4 0.5
 

Other goods and services

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427.178 427.746 428.773 2.7 0.4 0.2
 

Commodity and service group

 

Commodities

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193.235 192.791 194.931 1.2 0.9 1.1

Commodities less food and beverages

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165.193 164.507 167.378 0.8 1.3 1.7

Nondurables less food and beverages

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212.243 211.091 217.193 1.3 2.3 2.9

Durables

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112.191 111.988 111.597 -0.1 -0.5 -0.3

Services

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296.218 296.215 296.666 1.4 0.2 0.2
 

Special aggregate indexes

 

All items less shelter

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225.877 225.399 226.930 1.1 0.5 0.7

All items less medical care

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236.713 236.448 237.710 1.2 0.4 0.5

Commodities less food

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168.196 167.528 170.310 0.9 1.3 1.7

Nondurables

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227.168 226.616 230.041 1.6 1.3 1.5

Nondurables less food

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213.930 212.844 218.576 1.4 2.2 2.7

Services less rent of shelter (2)

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299.263 298.715 299.029 0.9 -0.1 0.1

Services less medical care services

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285.156 285.159 285.594 1.2 0.2 0.2

Energy

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237.253 235.042 242.207 -2.4 2.1 3.0

All items less energy

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248.396 248.389 249.043 1.7 0.3 0.3

All items less food and energy

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251.518 251.481 252.195 1.7 0.3 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: September 17, 2012