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News Release Information

20-444-PHI
Wednesday, March 11, 2020

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Consumer Price Index, Northeast Region – February 2020

Regional prices up 0.3 percent over the month; up 2.4 percent over the year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) in the Northeast increased 0.3 percent in February, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Sheila Watkins, the Bureau’s regional commissioner, noted that the recent over-the-month increase was due almost entirely to a 0.5-percent rise in the all items less food and energy index. The food index also increased from January to February, inching up 0.1 percent, while the energy index declined, down 2.4 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 increased 2.4 percent. (See chart 1 and table A.) This was due largely to an advance in the all items less food and energy index, up 2.6 percent. The food index and energy index also rose, up 2.1 and 0.6 percent, respectively, since February 2019. (See table 1.)

Food

The food index inched up 0.1 percent since January. Prices were higher for food away from home (0.2 percent), while those for food at home were unchanged.

From February 2019 to February 2020, the food index increased 2.1 percent. Prices for food away from home increased over the year, up 3.3 percent; those for food at home also rose, up 1.1 percent.

Energy

The energy index, which includes prices for household and transportation fuels, declined 2.4 percent in February. Prices were lower for gasoline (-3.7 percent) and utility (piped) gas service (-1.2 percent), while those for electricity were unchanged over the month.

The energy index rose 0.6 percent since February 2019. The increase reflected higher prices for gasoline (4.7 percent). Prices for utility (piped) gas service and electricity decreased over the year, down 4.3 and 0.4 percent, respectively.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.5 percent over the month. Higher prices were led by apparel (5.2 percent) and shelter (0.4 percent), among others. Prices were also higher for medical care and other goods and services (0.4 percent each).

The index for all items less food and energy increased 2.6 percent since February 2019, led by higher prices for shelter and medical care, up 2.8 and 6.0 percent, respectively. Prices also rose over the year for education and communication (3.3 percent), other goods and services (3.2 percent), and recreation (1.8 percent).

Table A. Northeast region CPI-U 1-month and 12-month percent changes, all items index, not seasonally adjusted
Month 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
1-month 12-month 1-month 12-month 1-month 12-month 1-month 12-month 1-month 12-month

January

0.0 0.7 0.6 2.5 0.5 1.6 0.3 1.5 0.7 2.3

February

0.2 0.7 0.3 2.6 0.4 1.7 0.2 1.3 0.3 2.4

March

0.2 0.6 -0.1 2.2 0.1 2.0 0.5 1.7

April

0.6 1.0 0.3 1.9 0.4 2.1 0.4 1.7

May

0.3 0.9 0.1 1.7 0.4 2.5 0.3 1.5

June

0.2 0.7 0.0 1.5 0.0 2.6 0.1 1.6

July

0.0 0.8 -0.2 1.3 0.0 2.7 0.1 1.7

August

0.1 1.0 0.3 1.6 0.2 2.7 0.1 1.5

September

0.2 1.3 0.5 1.9 0.1 2.2 0.0 1.4

October

0.2 1.6 -0.1 1.5 -0.1 2.3 -0.1 1.5

November

0.0 1.6 0.0 1.6 -0.4 1.9 0.1 1.9

December

0.0 1.9 0.1 1.7 -0.1 1.7 -0.1 1.9

Geographic divisions

Additional price indexes are now available for the two divisions of the Northeast. Over the month, the all items CPI-U increased 0.2 percent in the New England division and 0.3 percent in the Middle Atlantic division.

Over the year, the all items index advanced 2.5 percent in the New England division. (See table B.) Prices also rose in the Middle Atlantic division, up 2.3 percent.

 Table B. CPI-U 1-month and 12-month percent changes, all items index, Northeast region and divisions, not seasonally adjusted
Area 1-month change 12-month change

Northeast

0.3 2.4

New England Division

0.2 2.5

Middle Atlantic Division

0.3 2.3

The Consumer Price Index for March 2020 is scheduled to be released Friday, April 10, 2020, at 8:30 a.m. (ET).


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 93 percent of the total population and (2) a CPI for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) which covers approximately 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 75 urban areas across the country from about 5,000 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 (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/pdf/homch17.pdf.

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 sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: (202) 691-5200; Federal Relay Service: (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
Dec.
2019
Jan.
2020
Feb.
2020
Feb.
2019
Dec.
2019
Jan.
2020

All items

270.429 272.316 273.080 2.4 1.0 0.3

All items (December 1977 = 100)

425.844 428.815 430.018      

Food and beverages

265.571 267.315 267.618 2.0 0.8 0.1

Food

266.209 268.003 268.208 2.1 0.8 0.1

Food at home

251.134 253.493 253.418 1.1 0.9 0.0

Cereals and bakery products

300.008 300.805 299.794 0.9 -0.1 -0.3

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

253.674 255.132 254.913 1.9 0.5 -0.1

Dairy and related products

231.914 235.243 236.802 4.6 2.1 0.7

Fruits and vegetables

312.132 316.676 313.377 -1.2 0.4 -1.0

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials

174.040 176.957 178.921 1.2 2.8 1.1

Other food at home

224.169 225.792 226.117 0.7 0.9 0.1

Food away from home

292.114 293.045 293.687 3.3 0.5 0.2

Alcoholic beverages

256.346 257.401 259.053 1.6 1.1 0.6

Housing

289.370 291.320 291.976 2.0 0.9 0.2

Shelter

360.599 362.949 364.396 2.8 1.1 0.4

Rent of primary residence

366.084 367.151 367.584 3.0 0.4 0.1

Owners' equivalent rent of residences(1)

374.302 375.827 376.663 2.6 0.6 0.2

Owners' equivalent rent of primary residence(1)

373.986 375.520 376.352 2.6 0.6 0.2

Fuels and utilities

228.305 231.253 228.767 -1.4 0.2 -1.1

Household energy

200.981 203.988 201.073 -2.3 0.0 -1.4

Energy services

197.669 200.722 200.046 -1.6 1.2 -0.3

Electricity

199.567 205.220 205.296 -0.4 2.9 0.0

Utility (piped) gas service

179.213 177.069 175.007 -4.3 -2.3 -1.2

Household furnishings and operations

119.756 120.048 120.218 -1.0 0.4 0.1

Apparel

118.918 124.311 130.779 0.7 10.0 5.2

Transportation

204.829 205.706 205.178 1.7 0.2 -0.3

Private transportation

197.333 197.770 196.774 1.4 -0.3 -0.5

New and used motor vehicles(2)

95.505 95.483 95.935 -0.8 0.5 0.5

New vehicles

142.726 144.655 145.294 -0.2 1.8 0.4

New cars and trucks(2)(3)

98.926 100.229 100.675 -0.2 1.8 0.4

New cars(3)

131.898 134.340 135.139 0.6 2.5 0.6

Used cars and trucks

143.268 142.295 143.849 -0.9 0.4 1.1

Motor fuel

223.213 225.044 216.622 4.6 -3.0 -3.7

Gasoline (all types)

222.068 223.893 215.507 4.7 -3.0 -3.7

Gasoline, unleaded regular(3)

219.082 220.991 212.365 4.7 -3.1 -3.9

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(3)(4)

238.347 239.856 232.875 4.8 -2.3 -2.9

Gasoline, unleaded premium(3)

233.712 234.801 228.561 4.5 -2.2 -2.7

Motor vehicle insurance(5)

629.013 630.155 635.676 1.9 1.1 0.9

Medical care

539.822 542.206 544.627 6.0 0.9 0.4

Medical care commodities

397.493 396.371 396.347 0.9 -0.3 0.0

Medical care services

581.050 584.522 587.696 7.1 1.1 0.5

Professional services

399.880 397.084 398.861 3.4 -0.3 0.4

Recreation(2)

126.481 127.234 127.218 1.8 0.6 0.0

Education and communication(2)

146.595 147.047 147.120 3.3 0.4 0.0

Tuition, other school fees, and child care(5)

1,291.441 1,293.908 1,300.223 3.8 0.7 0.5

Other goods and services

502.127 506.971 509.062 3.2 1.4 0.4

Commodity and service group

Commodities

189.415 191.117 191.386 1.2 1.0 0.1

Commodities less food and beverages

149.119 150.717 150.960 0.7 1.2 0.2

Nondurables less food and beverages

193.215 196.237 195.906 1.8 1.4 -0.2

Durables

100.516 100.948 101.550 -0.8 1.0 0.6

Services

348.163 350.229 351.467 2.9 0.9 0.4

Special aggregate indexes

All items less shelter

239.298 241.027 241.550 2.2 0.9 0.2

All items less medical care

258.549 260.415 261.105 2.1 1.0 0.3

Commodities less food

152.956 154.550 154.832 0.8 1.2 0.2

Nondurables

229.011 231.429 231.403 1.9 1.0 0.0

Nondurables less food

196.902 199.806 199.592 1.8 1.4 -0.1

Services less rent of shelter(1)

346.682 348.497 349.535 3.1 0.8 0.3

Services less medical care services

332.117 334.087 335.191 2.5 0.9 0.3

Energy

210.063 212.595 207.448 0.6 -1.2 -2.4

All items less energy

279.372 281.225 282.537 2.5 1.1 0.5

All items less food and energy

283.487 285.362 286.879 2.6 1.2 0.5

Footnotes
(1) Indexes on a December 1982=100 base.
(2) Indexes on a December 1997=100 base.
(3) Special index based on a substantially smaller sample.
(4) Indexes on a December 1993=100 base.
(5) Indexes on a December 1977=100 base.

 

Last Modified Date: Wednesday, March 11, 2020