Wednesday, April 12, 2023
Prices in the Northeast Region, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), decreased by 0.2 percent in March, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (See table A.) Regional Commissioner Alexandra Hall Bovee noted that the March decrease was due to a 3.3-percent decrease in energy prices as all energy components’ prices were lower since February. The all items less food and energy index had no change while the food index increased just 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 Northeast all items CPI-U index rose 4.3 percent, primarily due to a 4.5-percent increase in the all items less food and energy index.(See chart 1 and table A.) The food index continued to moderate, up just 8.3 percent, while the energy index slightly offset the overall rise as it declined 5.0 percent. (See table 1.)Food
In March, the food index rose 0.1 percent, the smallest increase since February 2021. (See table 1.) Prices for food away from home had a 0.5-percent increase while prices for food at home decreased 0.1 percent. The grocery categories had an even mix of declines and advances which contributed to the small movement overall. The decreasing indexes included fruits and vegetables (down 2.7 percent, the greatest decline since April 2019); meats, poultry, fish, and eggs (down 0.5 percent), and dairy and related products (down 0.3 percent). The miscellaneous other food at home index rose 1.2 percent, cereals and bakery products rose 1.1 percent, and nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials increased 0.2 percent over the month.
From March 2022 to March 2023, the food index increased 8.3 percent after peaking at 10.3 percent in October while the food at home index rose 8.4 percent following its peak of 12.0 percent in August. Within food at home, prices for the other food at home category increased 10.7 percent and cereals and bakery products prices were up 14.0 percent. All other grocery categories increased over the year but continued to moderate from their peaks in the last year. The food away from home index was up 8.2 percent, the highest 12-month increase for the index since October 1981.Energy
The energy index decreased 3.3 percent over the month as all energy categories declined. The 7.5-percent decline in the utility (piped) gas service index was the greatest decrease since May 2012. Electricity prices declined 2.8 percent, the lowest since February 2022. Prices for gasoline were down 1.9 percent and only increased in 4 months of the last year. Prices for fuel oil decreased as well.
Energy prices also were lower over the year — down 5.0 percent, the first index decline since January 2021. This drop was due to a 19.6-percent decrease in prices for gasoline — the largest decrease since July 2020 — and a decline in fuel oil prices. The other components of the energy index showed moderation in the rate of increase although they were higher than the year before. The electricity index was up 14.6 percent (down from a series-high 23.2 percent last month) and the utility (piped) gas service index continued to moderate, up 8.1 percent (the smallest increase since May 2021) after 20 consecutive months of double-digit increases that peaked at 39.6 percent in September 2022.All items less food and energy
The index for all items less food and energy did not change over the month of March mainly as increases in the shelter index components largely countered decreases in medical care prices; the remaining categories showed a combination of rises and falls. The medical care index was down 2.5 percent due to a 3.0-percent decrease in the medical care services index, both constituting the greatest decline in these indexes since they began in 1987. Prices for household furnishings and operations were down 0.6 percent. Balancing these decreases, the shelter index was up 0.5 percent, with moderating increases in the owners’ equivalent rent of residences index (up 0.3 percent) and rent of primary residence index (up 0.4 percent). Lodging away from home prices increased as well. Prices for apparel also rose, up 1.2 percent, while the other goods and services index increased 0.9 percent.
Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy was up 4.5 percent, mainly due to a 6.3-percent increase in the shelter index (the largest increase in 32 years). Within shelter, the owners’ equivalent rent of residences index rose 5.9 percent (the most since October 2002) and rent of primary residence increased 6.7 percent (the largest since February 1987). Prices for household furnishings and operations increased 5.7 percent, and new and used motor vehicles prices rose 2.4 percent. Within new and used motor vehicles, prices for new vehicles advanced 6.4 percent while the used cars and trucks index continued to decline as it has since November, down 11.3 percent over the year. Prices for medical care were 0.4 percent lower as medical care services were down 1.1 percent, both the first declines in these indexes since 2021 which was the first year with decreases since these indexes began in 1978.Geographic divisions
Additional price indexes are available for the two divisions of the Northeast. Over the month, the all items CPI-U index for the Middle Atlantic division decreased by 0.3 percent. For the New England division, the all items CPI-U index had no percent change over the month.
Over the year, the all items index advanced 4.6 percent in the Middle Atlantic division and 3.6 percent in the New England division. (See table B.)
|Area||1-month change||12-month change|
New England Division
Middle Atlantic Division
The April 2022 Consumer Price Index for the Northeast Region is scheduled to be released on May 10, 2023.
The Consumer Price Index for the Northeast Region is published monthly. 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, 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: Wednesday, April 12, 2023