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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

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Consumer Price Index, Northeast Region – March 2014

Regional Prices Up 0.5 Percent Over the Month; 1.5 Percent Over the Year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) in the Northeast region rose 0.5 percent in March, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Sheila Watkins, the Bureau’s regional commissioner, noted that the recent increase was led by a 2.3-percent increase in the energy index. The all items less food and energy index and the food index also rose over the month, up 0.3 and 0.4 percent, respectively. (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 CPI-U increased 1.5 percent, due mostly to a 1.4-percent advance in the all items less food and energy index. (See chart 1 and table A.) The energy and food indexes also rose since March 2013, up 2.2 and 1.4 percent, respectively. (See table 1.)

Chart 1. 12-month percent change in CPI for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), Northeast region, March 2011 to March 2014 (not seasonally adjusted)

Food

Over the month, the food index increased 0.4 percent. Prices were higher for both components of the food index—food at home prices rose 0.5 percent and those for food away from home inched up 0.1 percent in March.

Over the year, the food index rose 1.4 percent. Prices for the food away from home component rose 2.0 percent and those for food at home increased 0.9 percent since March 2013.

Energy

The energy index, which includes prices for household and transportation fuels, advanced 2.3 percent over the month. Prices for gasoline and electricity rose in March, up 2.6 and 3.4 percent, respectively. Utility (piped) gas service prices also advanced over the month, up 3.6 percent.

The energy index increased 2.2 percent over the year, due largely to a 12.7-percent jump in electricity prices—the electricity index’s largest 12-month advance since June 2006. Utility (piped) gas prices also rose since March 2013, up 4.3 percent, while gasoline prices decreased 3.5 percent.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy edged up 0.3 percent over the month, led by a 0.4-percent rise in shelter prices. Apparel prices also increased, posting a seasonal advance of 1.9 percent since February. These increases and others were moderated by lower recreation prices, down 0.4 percent over the month.

The all items less food and energy index rose 1.4 percent over the year. The advance mainly reflected higher prices for shelter (2.7 percent) as the owners’ equivalent rent of residences index was up 2.8 percent since March 2013. Price increases were widespread among other components, including medical care (1.3 percent), education and communication (0.8 percent), and other goods and services (1.8 percent).

The April 2014 Consumer Price Index for the Northeast region is scheduled to be released on May 15, 2014, at 8:30 a.m. (ET).

Table A. Northeast region CPI-U 1-month and 12-month percent changes, all items index (not seasonally adjusted)
Month 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
1-month 12-month 1-month 12-month 1-month 12-month 1-month 12-month 1-month 12-month 1-month 12-month

January

0.2 0.5 0.4 3.0 0.4 1.6 0.4 2.9 0.3 1.8 0.6 1.5

February

0.6 0.7 0.0 2.5 0.5 2.0 0.4 2.8 0.6 2.0 0.1 1.0

March

0.2 0.2 0.3 2.6 0.8 2.5 0.5 2.5 0.0 1.5 0.5 1.5

April

0.2 -0.1 0.2 2.5 0.5 2.8 0.3 2.3 -0.1 1.1

May

0.1 -0.8 0.2 2.6 0.5 3.2 -0.1 1.7 0.0 1.2

June

0.8 -1.2 -0.1 1.7 0.1 3.4 -0.2 1.5 0.1 1.5

July

0.1 -1.9 0.0 1.6 0.2 3.6 -0.1 1.1 0.2 1.8

August

0.3 -1.2 0.1 1.4 0.3 3.8 0.5 1.3 0.2 1.5

September

0.1 -0.7 -0.1 1.2 0.1 4.0 0.5 1.7 0.1 1.1

October

0.0 0.2 0.3 1.5 -0.1 3.6 0.1 1.9 -0.4 0.7

November

0.2 2.0 0.2 1.5 -0.1 3.2 0.2 1.8 0.1 1.0

December

-0.1 2.8 0.0 1.6 -0.3 2.9 -0.3 1.8 0.0 1.3

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 88 percent of the total population and (2) a CPI for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) which covers 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 87 urban areas across the country from about 4,000 housing units and approximately 26,000 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/homch17_a.htm.

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.

Information in this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: 202-691-5200; Federal Relay Service: 1-800-877-8339.

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
Jan.
2014
Feb.
2014
Mar.
2014
Mar.
2013
Jan.
2014
Feb.
2014

All items

Jump to page with historical data
251.045 251.233 252.413 1.5 0.5 0.5

All items (December 1977 = 100)

Jump to page with historical data
395.319 395.615 397.473

Food and beverages

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244.204 244.652 245.441 1.3 0.5 0.3

Food

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244.046 244.436 245.294 1.4 0.5 0.4

Food at home

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241.790 241.934 243.235 0.9 0.6 0.5

Food away from home

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250.436 251.194 251.406 2.0 0.4 0.1

Alcoholic beverages

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245.060 246.265 246.155 0.8 0.4 0.0

Housing

Jump to page with historical data
261.042 260.608 261.945 2.8 0.3 0.5

Shelter

Jump to page with historical data
313.633 313.922 315.041 2.7 0.4 0.4

Rent of primary residence (1)

Jump to page with historical data
313.545 313.335 314.109 2.4 0.2 0.2

Owners' equivalent rent of residences (1) (2)

Jump to page with historical data
326.000 326.226 326.924 2.8 0.3 0.2

Owners' equivalent rent of primary residence (1) (2)

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325.893 326.111 326.812 2.8 0.3 0.2

Fuels and utilities

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236.254 232.733 237.032 7.7 0.3 1.8

Household energy

Jump to page with historical data
215.826 211.753 216.366 8.4 0.3 2.2

Energy services (1)

Jump to page with historical data
204.013 197.090 203.925 9.9 0.0 3.5

Electricity (1)

Jump to page with historical data
207.768 197.674 204.418 12.7 -1.6 3.4

Utility (piped) gas service (1)

Jump to page with historical data
183.580 184.464 191.122 4.3 4.1 3.6

Household furnishings and operations

Jump to page with historical data
125.830 125.142 125.162 -2.4 -0.5 0.0

Apparel

Jump to page with historical data
125.842 128.433 130.924 0.4 4.0 1.9

Transportation

Jump to page with historical data
215.918 216.430 218.235 -0.8 1.1 0.8

Private transportation

Jump to page with historical data
208.796 209.215 210.958 -0.6 1.0 0.8

New and used motor vehicles (3)

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98.138 98.270 98.372 -1.1 0.2 0.1

New vehicles

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144.426 144.676 144.420 -0.2 0.0 -0.2

New cars and trucks (3) (4)

Jump to page with historical data
100.042 100.215 100.040 -0.2 0.0 -0.2

New cars (4)

Jump to page with historical data
138.758 138.882 137.944 -1.5 -0.6 -0.7

Used cars and trucks

Jump to page with historical data
154.185 154.592 156.073 -1.1 1.2 1.0

Motor fuel

Jump to page with historical data
292.580 293.517 300.916 -3.4 2.8 2.5

Gasoline (all types)

Jump to page with historical data
291.209 291.934 299.393 -3.5 2.8 2.6

Gasoline, unleaded regular (4)

Jump to page with historical data
291.705 292.420 300.482 -3.5 3.0 2.8

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade (4) (5)

Jump to page with historical data
298.309 299.148 304.968 -3.7 2.2 1.9

Gasoline, unleaded premium (4)

Jump to page with historical data
284.593 285.188 290.499 -3.4 2.1 1.9

Medical care

Jump to page with historical data
448.007 450.452 451.518 1.3 0.8 0.2

Medical care commodities

Jump to page with historical data
361.546 364.767 365.106 -0.1 1.0 0.1

Medical care services

Jump to page with historical data
471.997 474.143 475.446 1.8 0.7 0.3

Professional services

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350.350 351.136 351.085 1.0 0.2 0.0

Recreation (3)

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121.276 121.200 120.721 0.2 -0.5 -0.4

Education and communication (3)

Jump to page with historical data
137.757 137.497 137.562 0.8 -0.1 0.0

Other goods and services

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436.928 436.754 438.401 1.8 0.3 0.4

Commodity and service group

Commodities

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193.443 194.274 195.401 -0.2 1.0 0.6

Commodities less food and beverages

Jump to page with historical data
163.663 164.625 165.851 -1.1 1.3 0.7

Nondurables less food and beverages

Jump to page with historical data
212.218 214.214 216.698 -0.8 2.1 1.2

Durables

Jump to page with historical data
109.290 109.279 109.319 -1.7 0.0 0.0

Services

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307.429 307.037 308.285 2.5 0.3 0.4

Special aggregate indexes

All items less shelter

Jump to page with historical data
230.056 230.207 231.423 0.9 0.6 0.5

All items less medical care

Jump to page with historical data
242.342 242.436 243.618 1.5 0.5 0.5

Commodities less food

Jump to page with historical data
166.781 167.753 168.944 -1.1 1.3 0.7

Nondurables

Jump to page with historical data
229.104 230.383 232.084 0.2 1.3 0.7

Nondurables less food

Jump to page with historical data
214.058 216.005 218.331 -0.7 2.0 1.1

Services less rent of shelter (2)

Jump to page with historical data
311.674 310.514 311.938 2.3 0.1 0.5

Services less medical care services

Jump to page with historical data
295.953 295.410 296.648 2.6 0.2 0.4

Energy

Jump to page with historical data
248.034 246.045 251.824 2.2 1.5 2.3

All items less energy

Jump to page with historical data
253.792 254.207 254.922 1.4 0.4 0.3

All items less food and energy

Jump to page with historical data
257.168 257.591 258.285 1.4 0.4 0.3

Footnotes
(1) This index series was calculated using a Laspeyres estimator. All other item stratum index series were calculated using a geometric means estimator.
(2) Indexes on a December 1982=100 base.
(3) Indexes on a December 1997=100 base.
(4) Special index based on a substantially smaller sample.
(5) Indexes on a December 1993=100 base.

Note: Index applies to a month as a whole, not to any specific date.