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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

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Consumer Price Index, Northeast Region – March 2013

Regional Prices Unchanged Over the Month; Up 1.5 Percent Over the Year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) in the Northeast region was unchanged in March, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Sheila Watkins, the Bureau’s regional commissioner, noted that a 0.2-percent increase in the index for all items less food and energy since February was offset by one-month decreases in the indexes for energy (-1.1 percent) and food (-0.2 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 1.5 percent, due almost entirely to a 1.8-percent advance in the all items less food and energy index. (See chart 1 and table A.) The food index also rose since March 2012, up 1.4 percent, while the energy index decreased 1.0 percent. (See table 1.)

Chart 1. 12-month percent change in CPI for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), Northeast region, March 2010 to March 2013 (not seasonally adjusted)

 

Food

Following an identical decrease in February, the food index edged down 0.2 percent in March. The recent decrease was due to lower food at home prices, which declined 0.4 percent for the second straight month. Prices for food away from home edged up 0.2 percent since February.

Over the year, the food index advanced 1.4 percent. Prices for both the food away from home and food at home components increased since last March, up 1.8 and 1.1 percent, respectively.

Energy

The energy index, which includes prices for household and transportation fuels, fell 1.1 percent since February. The one-month decrease was due largely to a 3.5-percent decline in electricity prices. Gasoline prices also decreased over the month, edging down 0.2 percent, while utility (piped) gas service prices increased 0.4 percent.

Energy prices declined 1.0 percent over the year, primarily reflecting a 1.5-percent decrease in gasoline prices. Electricity prices also declined since March 2012, down 1.0 percent, while utility (piped) gas service prices rose 3.2 percent.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy edged up 0.2 percent in March. The recent advance was led by a 0.2-percent increase in prices for shelter. Apparel prices also rose since February, recording a smaller-than-usual seasonal advance of 0.7 percent. Moderating the March increase in the all items less food and energy index was a 0.4-percent decrease in recreation prices.

The index for all items less food and energy rose 1.8 percent over the year. The 12-month advance was led by higher prices for shelter (2.1 percent), particularly those for owners’ equivalent rent of residences (1.8 percent). Widespread price increases among other components, including medical care (2.7 percent), also contributed to the rise in the all items less food and energy index since March 2012.

The April 2013 Consumer Price Index for the Northeast region is scheduled to be released on May 16, 2013, 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 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
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

0.4 3.9 0.2 0.5 0.4 3.0 0.4 1.6 0.4 2.9 0.3 1.8

February

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

March

0.8 3.9 0.2 0.2 0.3 2.6 0.8 2.5 0.5 2.5 0.0 1.5

April

0.5 3.9 0.2 -0.1 0.2 2.5 0.5 2.8 0.3 2.3    

May

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

June

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

July

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

August

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

September

-0.4 5.2 0.1 -0.7 -0.1 1.2 0.1 4.0 0.5 1.7    

October

-0.9 4.0 0.0 0.2 0.3 1.5 -0.1 3.6 0.1 1.9    

November

-1.6 1.7 0.2 2.0 0.2 1.5 -0.1 3.2 0.2 1.8    

December

-0.9 0.7 -0.1 2.8 0.0 1.6 -0.3 2.9 -0.3 1.8    

 

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; Federal Relay Service:  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
Jan.
2013
Feb.
2013
Mar.
2013
Mar.
2012
Jan.
2013
Feb.
2013

All items

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247.277 248.665 248.719 1.5 0.6 0.0

All items (December 1977 = 100)

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389.386 391.571 391.657      
 

Food and beverages

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243.031 242.682 242.247 1.4 -0.3 -0.2

Food

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242.947 242.461 242.001 1.4 -0.4 -0.2

Food at home

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243.016 242.105 241.071 1.1 -0.8 -0.4

Food away from home

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245.899 246.035 246.415 1.8 0.2 0.2

Alcoholic beverages

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242.663 244.299 244.217 1.8 0.6 0.0
 

Housing

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254.299 254.836 254.689 1.6 0.2 -0.1

Shelter

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305.150 306.049 306.748 2.1 0.5 0.2

Rent of primary residence (1)

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304.407 305.518 306.762 2.9 0.8 0.4

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

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317.244 317.613 317.898 1.8 0.2 0.1

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

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317.150 317.516 317.802 1.8 0.2 0.1

Fuels and utilities

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224.304 224.236 220.169 0.1 -1.8 -1.8

Household energy

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204.026 203.916 199.619 -0.4 -2.2 -2.1

Energy services (1)

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191.488 189.781 185.575 0.3 -3.1 -2.2

Electricity (1)

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190.050 187.824 181.337 -1.0 -4.6 -3.5

Utility (piped) gas service (1)

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182.953 182.430 183.220 3.2 0.1 0.4

Household furnishings and operations

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128.521 128.298 128.269 0.3 -0.2 0.0
 

Apparel

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126.919 129.525 130.408 -0.6 2.7 0.7
 

Transportation

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214.909 219.243 220.030 1.4 2.4 0.4

Private transportation

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207.800 212.106 212.229 0.7 2.1 0.1

New and used motor vehicles (3)

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99.084 99.152 99.432 0.5 0.4 0.3

New vehicles

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144.976 144.761 144.646 1.3 -0.2 -0.1

New cars and trucks (3) (4)

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100.480 100.327 100.247 1.3 -0.2 -0.1

New cars (4)

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140.590 140.378 140.043 1.3 -0.4 -0.2

Used cars and trucks

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154.679 155.992 157.819 -0.1 2.0 1.2

Motor fuel

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294.479 312.225 311.504 -1.5 5.8 -0.2

Gasoline (all types)

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293.045 310.952 310.263 -1.5 5.9 -0.2

Gasoline, unleaded regular (4)

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293.474 312.367 311.368 -1.9 6.1 -0.3

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade (4) (5)

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300.805 316.403 316.790 -0.6 5.3 0.1

Gasoline, unleaded premium (4)

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286.168 300.889 300.842 0.1 5.1 0.0
 

Medical care

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441.430 444.784 445.676 2.7 1.0 0.2

Medical care commodities

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362.800 364.692 365.485 -0.1 0.7 0.2

Medical care services

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462.228 466.095 467.004 3.7 1.0 0.2

Professional services

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345.730 347.338 347.704 2.1 0.6 0.1
 

Recreation (3)

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120.172 120.922 120.445 0.7 0.2 -0.4
 

Education and communication (3)

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136.358 136.452 136.477 1.4 0.1 0.0
 

Other goods and services

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430.507 431.003 430.720 1.0 0.0 -0.1
 

Commodity and service group

 

Commodities

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193.971 195.917 195.772 0.2 0.9 -0.1

Commodities less food and beverages

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164.915 167.787 167.775 -0.6 1.7 0.0

Nondurables less food and beverages

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212.934 218.411 218.419 -0.8 2.6 0.0

Durables

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110.985 111.202 111.171 -0.2 0.2 0.0

Services

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299.578 300.447 300.692 2.3 0.4 0.1
 

Special aggregate indexes

 

All items less shelter

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227.993 229.574 229.391 1.2 0.6 -0.1

All items less medical care

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238.694 240.000 240.023 1.4 0.6 0.0

Commodities less food

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167.943 170.796 170.782 -0.5 1.7 0.0

Nondurables

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228.943 231.739 231.539 0.3 1.1 -0.1

Nondurables less food

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214.622 219.899 219.902 -0.6 2.5 0.0

Services less rent of shelter (2)

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304.328 305.193 304.928 2.6 0.2 -0.1

Services less medical care services

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288.254 288.954 289.161 2.2 0.3 0.1

Energy

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241.935 249.192 246.358 -1.0 1.8 -1.1

All items less energy

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250.215 250.994 251.356 1.7 0.5 0.1

All items less food and energy

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253.098 254.120 254.639 1.8 0.6 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) 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: April 18, 2013