Tuesday, March 14, 2023
Prices in the Northeast Region, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), increased by 0.5 percent in February, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (See table A.) Regional Commissioner Alexandra Hall Bovee noted that the February increase was largely due to the shelter index, up 0.8 percent over the month, which helped to push the all items less food and energy index up by the same amount. The food index moderated, up just 0.3 percent while the energy index decreased 1.6 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 Northeast all items CPI-U index rose 5.9 percent. (See chart 1 and table A.) The 5.1-percent increase in the all items less food and energy index was mainly responsible for the over-the-year increase. The other two major categories’ rates of increase moderated; the food index was up 8.9 percent, while the energy index advanced 9.2 percent. (See table 1.)Food
In February, the food index and its two major components, food at home and food away from home, all rose 0.3 percent and were below their January rates. (See table 1.) With the exception of fruits and vegetables, all grocery categories had over-the-month changes that were lower than those in January. Produce prices were up 0.7 percent as citrus fruit prices advanced. Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials prices increased 0.8 percent, down from the record 3.4-percent increase in January. Other grocery indexes that rose included cereals and bakery products (up 0.4 percent), other food at home (up 0.2 percent), and dairy and related products (up 0.1 percent). The meats, poultry, fish, and eggs index edged down 0.2 percent as prices for eggs declined from last month.
From February 2022 to February 2023, the food index increased just 8.9 percent after peaking at 10.3 percent in October. The food at home index advanced 9.5 percent following the peak of 12.0 percent in August. Prices across all grocery categories rose at a slower rate than in recent months. This was led by a 11.9-percent increase in the other food at home index (down from the peak of 14.0 percent in October) and a 13.5-percent increase in the cereals and bakery products index (down from October’s 17.1 percent rise). Prices also rose for nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials (up 11.7 percent); meats, poultry, fish, and eggs (up 5.6 percent, notably lower than the 11.9-percent increase a year ago); dairy and related products (up 11.8 percent); and fruits and vegetables (up 5.4 percent). The food away from home index was up 8.0 percent, the highest 12-month increase for the index since October 1981.Energy
The energy index decreased 1.6 percent over the month as all energy categories except gasoline declined. The fuel oil index was down; the utility (piped) gas service index dropped 3.7 percent -- the greatest decrease since May 2020; and prices for electricity were down 1.0 percent. Gasoline prices were up 0.5 percent, the smallest change in that index since April 2021; gasoline prices peaked at 18.0 percent in March 2022.
Energy prices increased over the year, up 9.2 percent, although it was the smallest increase in 2 years. While there was some moderation in other categories, electricity increased at a record high of 23.2 percent, topping the previous 21.9-percent record set in December. Over the year, prices for utility (piped) gas services were up 16.9 percent, the smallest increase since August 2021, and the fuel oil index also rose. Gasoline prices were down 3.2 percent from last February, the first decline in the index in 25 months where the general trend was of moderating price increases over the year since the peak of 60.0 percent last June.All items less food and energy
The index for all items less food and energy increased 0.8 percent in February, the highest 1-month increase since June. It matched the 0.8-percent rise in the shelter index which contributed the most to that overall increase. Within shelter, the owners’ equivalent rent of residences index and rent of primary residence index were both up 0.6 percent, and prices for lodging away from home also increased. Prices for apparel rose 2.7 percent over the month, down from 5.1 percent in January; this index has increased every February for the last 30 years. The other goods and services index was up 2.1 percent, the largest increase since March 2009, while the new and used motor vehicle index was up 0.9 percent despite a 1.6-percent decrease in prices for used cars and trucks, the sixth consecutive decline. Medical care prices declined slightly, led primarily by a decrease in prices for medical care services; each index was down 0.3 percent.
Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy was up 5.1 percent, predominantly because of a 6.2-percent increase in the shelter index. The shelter rise was driven by the owners’ equivalent rent of residences index, up 5.7 percent. The rent of primary residence index also contributed to the shelter increase -- the 6.4-percent rise was the largest in 36 years. Prices for household furnishings and operations increased 7.1 percent. All other categories across the all items less food and energy index rose over the year except for a 13.7-percent decrease in prices for used cars and trucks, following a trend of generally diminishing price increases from the recent peak of 42.5 percent last February.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 Middle Atlantic division increased by 0.7 percent. For the New England division, the all items CPI-U index increased by 0.2 percent over the month.
Over the year, the all items index advanced 6.2 percent in the Middle Atlantic division and 5.1 percent in the New England division. (See table B.)
|Area||1-month change||12-month change|
New England Division
Middle Atlantic Division
The March 2022 Consumer Price Index for the Northeast Region is scheduled to be released on April 12, 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: Tuesday, March 14, 2023