Wednesday, May 10, 2023
Prices in the Northeast Region, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), increased by 0.2 percent in April, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (See table A.) Regional Commissioner Alexandra Hall Bovee noted that the April increase was due to a 0.3-percent rise in the all items less food and energy index which was largely the result of higher shelter prices. The food index also rose 0.2 percent while the energy index decreased 0.6 percent due to lower household energy prices. (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 increased 3.8 percent, mainly due to a 4.2-percent rise in the all items less food and energy index which was also led by increases within the shelter component. (See chart 1 and table A.) The food index continued moderating, rising only 7.4 percent (down from a peak of 10.3 percent in October), while the energy index decreased 5.7 percent, down for the second consecutive month after 25 months of over-the-year increases which peaked at 44.2 percent in June 2022. (See table 1.)Food
In April, the food index rose 0.2 percent, as prices for food away from home increased 0.3 percent and prices for food at home were up 0.1 percent. (See table 1.) Within the food at home category, the fruits and vegetables index advanced 1.3 percent after falling 2.7 percent last month. Prices for cereals and bakery products were up 0.6 percent and prices for the other food at home index rose 0.2 percent. The remaining grocery categories partially offset these increases — nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials prices were down 1.3 percent, the largest drop since November 2020. The index for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs decreased 0.3 percent and dairy and related products declined 0.5 percent over the month, both continuing declines from March.
From April 2022 to April 2023, the food index increased 7.4 percent while the food at home index rose 7.0 percent, both continuing to moderate from their peaks last year to the smallest increases in over a year. Within food at home, prices for the other food at home category increased 10.2 percent and cereals and bakery products prices were up 13.0 percent. The rest of the grocery categories increased, but at a slower pace than in recent months. The food away from home index was up 8.1 percent, about the same as last month.Energy
The energy index decreased 0.6 percent over the month as all energy categories declined except for gasoline. The utility (piped) gas service index was down 5.8 percent; the index has decreased each month in 2023. Prices for electricity were down 2.5 percent, the third decline in a row, and fuel oil also declined. The gasoline index was up 4.5 percent in April, offsetting much of the decrease in household energy, and was the largest increase since November 2022 although gasoline prices dropped in 7 of the last 12 months.
Energy prices continued to decline over the year, down 5.7 percent; last month’s 5.0-percent decrease was the first since January 2021. The April-to-April decline was mainly due to gasoline, down 13.8 percent. Fuel oil prices also dropped, and the utility (piped) gas service index was down 0.9 percent — the first decline since December 2020. Slightly offsetting the overall energy index downward movement was a 9.4-percent increase in prices for electricity, the first single-digit increase in that index since February 2022; substantial over-the-year increases peaked in February 2023 at 44.2 percent.All items less food and energy
The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.3 percent in April, mainly due to a 0.5-percent rise in the shelter index. Within shelter, the owners’ equivalent rent of residences index was up 0.5 percent, rent of primary residence was up 0.4 percent, and lodging away from home also increased. A 1.2-percent increase in the new and used motor vehicles index also contributed to the overall rise, as prices for used cars and trucks advanced 4.7 percent (the largest increase since June 2021) and new vehicles rose 0.4 percent. There were major categories that had declining prices that counteracted some of the overall increase. Apparel prices dropped 2.6 percent (in the last 10 years, the apparel index decreased 8 out of 10 times in April). The education and communication index declined 0.2 percent and the medical care index was down 0.1 percent as prices for medical care services decreased 0.3 percent over the month.
Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy was up 4.2 percent, primarily because of the 6.3-percent increase in the shelter index, about the same as the previous 2 months. In the shelter category, owners’ equivalent rent of residences rose 6.1 percent and rent of primary residence advanced 6.9 percent as both indexes have continued to steadily increase over the past year. The only major index category to decrease over the year was medical care, down a historic 1.4 percent, which is the largest decrease since the index began in 1978. The medical care index decline was due to a 2.4 percent decrease in the medical care services index, now the series low in that index after last month’s record 1.1 percent decline.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 New England division increased by 0.3 percent. For the Middle Atlantic division, the all items CPI-U index increased 0.2 percent over the month.
Over the year, the all items index advanced 3.9 percent in the Middle Atlantic division and 3.8 percent in the New England division. (See table B.)
|Area||1-month change||12-month change|
New England Division
Middle Atlantic Division
The May 2023 Consumer Price Index for the Northeast Region is scheduled to be released on June 13, 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, May 10, 2023