Thursday, January 12, 2023
Prices in the Northeast Region, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), decreased by 0.1 percent in December, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (See table A.) Regional Commissioner Alexandra Hall Bovee noted that the December decrease was due predominately to lower prices for gasoline, which declined 8.5 percent over the month. As a result, the energy index was down 4.0 percent. The all items less food and energy index was up 0.3 percent while the food index rose 0.2 percent, representing a mix of increases and decreases within their categories. (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 Northeast all items CPI-U index rose 6.1 percent, the smallest increase since December 2021. (See chart 1 and table A.) The all items less food and energy index, up 4.8 percent, was predominantly responsible for the over-the-year increase in December. The food index increased 9.5 percent while the energy index advanced 14.6 percent, both moderating from recent peaks earlier in the year. (See table 1.)Food
In December, food prices rose 0.2 percent for the second month in a row, well below the recent peak of 1.3 percent in July. (See table 1.) Of the two major components within the food index, prices for food away from home increased 0.4 percent and were responsible for much of the rise in food prices. Food at home prices advanced 0.2 percent. Prices for fruits and vegetables noticeably rose 1.6 percent over the month after 2 months of declines in the index, contributing the most to the food index increase. Within the fruits and vegetables index, prices for tomatoes were up while citrus fruits were down over the month. The other food at home index was up 0.6 percent; but decreases in other grocery categories moderated the overall rise, including meats, poultry, fish, and eggs—down 0.4 percent, resulting from diverging price changes between fresh fish and seafood (down), chicken (down), and eggs (up). Other indexes tempering the increase were cereals and bakery products (down 0.6 percent and the first decline in the index since January 2021), dairy and related products (down 0.5 percent and the first decrease in the index since August 2021), and nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials (down 0.2 percent).
From December 2021 to December 2022, the food index increased 9.5 percent, moderating from the recent 10.3-percent peak in October. The food at home index advanced 10.8 percent since a year ago—continuing a trend of double-digit increases since May 2022—as prices in all grocery categories rose over the year. This was led by a 12.4-percent increase in the other food at home index and a 16.2-percent rise in the cereals and bakery products index; both indexes declined from their recent peaks earlier in the year but continued to report double-digit rises. The food away from home index increased 7.3 percent.Energy
The energy index decreased 4.0 percent over the month, on par with decreases seen in July, August, and September. The December decline was primarily due to lower prices for gasoline, which dropped 8.5 percent following a 4.8 percent rise in November. Throughout 2022, changes in the gasoline index ranged from -11.0 percent (September) to 18.0 percent (March). Fuel oil prices were also down. Increases in the indexes for electricity (up 2.6 percent) and utility (piped) gas service (up 2.7 percent) tempered the decrease in the overall index.
Energy prices increased over the year, up 14.6 percent, the lowest rise since March 2021 and well below the peak of 44.2 percent in June. Over the year, prices for electricity were up 21.9 percent, the highest they have risen since the series began in 1978. The utility (piped) gas service index was up 23.6 percent, and the fuel oil index also rose. Gasoline prices advanced 1.6 percent, notably below the peak in June of 60.0 percent and the smallest over-the-year increase in nearly 2 years.All items less food and energy
The index for all items less food and energy increased 0.3 percent in December, led by the shelter index rise of 0.6 percent over the month. Within shelter, the owners’ equivalent rent of residences index also increased 0.6 percent while rent of primary residence rose 0.8 percent (the highest since November 1999). The household furnishing and operations index advanced 1.4 percent. Prices for new and used motor vehicles were up 0.6 percent. Other component indexes moderated the overall increase, including used cars and trucks—down 2.5 percent, marking the 4th consecutive month of decline. Other indexes with lower prices were apparel (down 1.4 percent), education and communication (down 0.3 percent), other goods and services (down 0.5 percent), recreation (down 0.3 percent), and medical care (down 0.2 percent).
Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy was up 4.8 percent; in 2022, increases in the index ranged from 4.3 to 5.4 percent. Increases in the shelter index were driven by the owners’ equivalent rent of residences index, up 5.1 and 5.0 percent respectively; both were the highest 12-month change since January 2007. The 5.8-percent rise in rent of primary residence was the largest since November 1989. Increases in prices for household furnishings and operations (up 7.3 percent), new and used motor vehicles (up 4.0 percent, well below the high of 23.2 percent in February), and medical care (up 4.2 percent) also contributed to the all items less food and energy increase. The only major category to decline over the year was the index for used cars and trucks, down 8.7 percent, the lowest since May 2009 and well below the 42.5 percent increase posted in February 2022.Geographic divisions
Additional price indexes are now available for the two divisions of the Northeast. Over the month, the all items CPI-U index for the New England division decreased by 0.5 percent. For the Middle Atlantic division, the all items CPI-U index increased by 0.1 percent over the month.
Over the year, the all items index advanced 6.3 percent in the Middle Atlantic division and 5.5 percent in the New England division. (See table B.)
|Area||1-month change||12-month change|
New England Division
Middle Atlantic Division
The January 2022 Consumer Price Index for the Northeast Region is scheduled to be released on February 14, 2023.
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 93 percent of the total U.S. population and (2) a CPI for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) which covers approximately 29 percent of the total U.S. 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 75 urban areas across the country from about 6,000 housing units and approximately 22,000 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; for most of the CPI-U the reference base is 1982-84 equals 100. An increase of 7 percent from the reference base, for example, is shown as 107.000. Alternatively, that relationship can also be expressed as the price of a base period market basket of goods and services rising from $100 to $107. For further details see the CPI home page on the Internet at www.bls.gov/cpi and the CPI section of the BLS Handbook of Methods available on the internet at www.bls.gov/opub/hom/cpi/.
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.
The New England division is comprised of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont.
The Middle Atlantic division is comprised of New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania.
Information in this release will be made available to individuals with sensory impairments upon request. Voice phone: (202) 691-5200; Telecommunications Relay Service: 7-1-1.
|Expenditure category||Indexes||Percent change from|
All items (December 1977 = 100)
Food and beverages
Food at home
Cereals and bakery products
Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs
Dairy and related products
Fruits and vegetables
Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials
Other food at home
Food away from home
Rent of primary residence
Owners' equivalent rent of residences(1)
Owners' equivalent rent of primary residence(1)
Fuels and utilities
Utility (piped) gas service
Household furnishings and operations
New and used motor vehicles(2)
Used cars and trucks
Gasoline (all types)
Gasoline, unleaded regular(3)
Gasoline, unleaded premium(3)
Medical care commodities
Medical care services
Education and communication(2)
Tuition, other school fees, and child care(5)
Other goods and services
Commodity and service group
Commodities less food and beverages
Nondurables less food and beverages
Special aggregate indexes
All items less shelter
All items less medical care
Commodities less food
Nondurables less food
Services less rent of shelter(1)
Services less medical care services
All items less energy
All items less food and energy
Last Modified Date: Thursday, January 12, 2023