Mid-Atlantic Information Office

For release: Thursday, March 17, 2011 PLS - 4768
Technical Information: (215) 597-3282 • BLSInfoPhiladelphia@bls.govwww.bls.gov/ro3
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consumer price index, northeast region – FEBRUARY 2011 (pdf)

Regional Prices 0.5 Percent Higher Over the Month; 2.0 Percent Higher Over the Year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) in the Northeast region rose 0.5 percent in February, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Sheila Watkins, the Bureau’s regional commissioner, noted that the recent increase was mostly due to a 0.4-percent rise in the all items less food and energy index. Prices were also higher for both energy (1.3 percent) and food (0.5 percent) over the month. Within the energy index, higher gasoline prices led the recent increase. (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 2.0 percent. (See chart 1 and table A.) The index for all items less food and energy advanced 1.1 percent over the year. Prices were also higher for both energy (9.8 percent) and food (2.5 percent) since February 2010.

Chart 1. 12-month percent change in CPI for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), Northeast region, February 2008 to February 2011 (not seasonally adjusted)

12-month percent change in CPI for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), Northeast region, February 2008 to February 2011 (not seasonally adjusted)

Food

The food index rose 0.5 percent in February. The food at home index advanced 0.6 percent and the food away from home index edged up 0.3 percent over the month.

Over the year, the food index rose 2.5 percent—the largest 12-month increase since June 2009—as the food at home and food away from home components increased 3.0 and 1.9 percent, respectively. (See table 1.)

Energy

Due mostly to higher gasoline prices, the energy index, which includes prices for household and transportation fuels, increased 1.3 percent in February. Gasoline prices advanced for the fifth straight month, up 20.7 percent since September and 1.4 percent since January. Utility (piped) gas service prices increased 0.7 percent over the month, while electricity prices declined 0.4 percent.

The energy index advanced 9.8 percent since February 2010, reflecting an 18.5-percent jump in gasoline prices. Moderating the rise in the energy index were over-the-year declines in prices for utility (piped) gas service and electricity, down 3.9 and 1.7 percent, respectively.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.4 percent since January—the largest one-month increase since March 2009. Higher prices for apparel (2.5 percent) and recreation (1.0 percent) led the recent advance. Partially offsetting these one-month increases were lower prices for education and communication (-0.3 percent) and household furnishings and operations (-0.2 percent).

The index for all items less food and energy rose 1.1 percent over the year. Higher prices for shelter (0.7 percent) and medical care (3.4 percent) led the overall increase. Moderating these advances were declines in prices for household furnishings and operations (-1.4 percent) and recreation (-0.9 percent).

The March 2011 Consumer Price Index for the Northeast region is scheduled to be released on April 15, 2011, 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 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
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

1.0 4.1 0.3 2.3 0.4 3.9 0.2 0.5 0.4 3.0 0.4 1.6

February

0.3 3.9 0.4 2.4 0.4 4.0 0.6 0.7 0.0 2.5 0.5 2.0

March

0.6 3.3 0.8 2.6 0.8 3.9 0.2 0.2 0.3 2.6

April

0.9 3.8 0.5 2.2 0.5 3.9 0.2 -0.1 0.2 2.5

May

0.5 4.6 0.5 2.3 0.9 4.3 0.1 -0.8 0.2 2.6

June

0.5 5.1 0.4 2.3 1.1 5.0 0.8 -1.2 -0.1 1.7

July

0.4 4.6 0.2 2.0 0.8 5.7 0.1 -1.9 0.0 1.6

August

0.3 4.5 -0.2 1.6 -0.3 5.5 0.3 -1.2 0.1 1.4

September

-0.8 2.6 -0.1 2.4 -0.4 5.2 0.1 -0.7 -0.1 1.2

October

-0.5 1.7 0.2 3.1 -0.9 4.0 0.0 0.2 0.3 1.5

November

-0.2 2.3 0.6 4.0 -1.6 1.7 0.2 2.0 0.2 1.5

December

0.2 3.0 0.0 3.8 -0.9 0.7 -0.1 2.8 0.0 1.6

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 87 percent of the total population and (2) a CPI for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) which covers 32 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 25,000 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; TDD message referral phone number: 1-800-877-8339.

For personal assistance or further information on Consumer Price Indexes, as well as other Bureau products, contact the Mid-Atlantic Information Office at (215) 597-3282 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. ET.

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.
2010
Jan.
2011
Feb.
2011
Feb.
2010
Dec.
2010
Jan.
2011

All items

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235.141 235.969 237.110 2.0 0.8 0.5

All items (December 1977 = 100)

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370.275 371.580 373.375

Food and beverages

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227.783 229.463 230.484 2.4 1.2 0.4

Food

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227.167 228.939 230.025 2.5 1.3 0.5

Food at home

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224.616 227.203 228.583 3.0 1.8 0.6

Food away from home

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233.507 234.185 234.883 1.9 0.6 0.3

Alcoholic beverages

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234.842 235.249 235.369 1.6 0.2 0.1

Housing

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244.365 244.953 245.371 0.8 0.4 0.2

Shelter

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292.219 292.671 292.916 0.7 0.2 0.1

Rent of primary residence (1)

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290.183 289.910 290.256 1.9 0.0 0.1

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

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304.444 304.827 304.944 0.4 0.2 0.0

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

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304.396 304.785 304.888 0.3 0.2 0.0

Fuels and utilities

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217.895 220.371 222.591 3.0 2.2 1.0

Household energy

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200.193 202.645 204.811 2.5 2.3 1.1

Energy services (1) (3)

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196.408 196.171 196.073 -2.4 -0.2 0.0

Electricity (1)

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189.719 188.517 187.846 -1.7 -1.0 -0.4

Utility (piped) gas service (1)

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199.464 201.632 202.959 -3.9 1.8 0.7

Household furnishings and operations

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125.288 125.024 124.760 -1.4 -0.4 -0.2

Apparel

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121.019 119.195 122.118 2.2 0.9 2.5

Transportation

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198.534 200.573 202.701 6.7 2.1 1.1

Private transportation

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192.328 194.172 195.925 6.5 1.9 0.9

New and used motor vehicles (4)

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96.305 96.192 96.705 0.0 0.4 0.5

New vehicles

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137.715 137.765 138.824 0.4 0.8 0.8

New cars and trucks (4) (5)

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95.405 95.440 96.189 0.4 0.8 0.8

New cars (5)

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134.258 133.844 134.785 -0.6 0.4 0.7

Used cars and trucks

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149.065 149.066 149.443 2.8 0.3 0.3

Motor fuel

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254.633 262.671 266.622 18.6 4.7 1.5

Gasoline (all types)

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253.807 261.786 265.477 18.5 4.6 1.4

Gasoline, unleaded regular (4)

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255.227 263.444 267.264 18.9 4.7 1.5

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade (5) (6)

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257.833 265.530 268.958 17.6 4.3 1.3

Gasoline, unleaded premium (5)

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244.678 251.622 254.914 16.8 4.2 1.3

Medical care

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413.488 416.249 418.653 3.4 1.2 0.6

Medical care commodities

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345.090 348.337 351.861 5.0 2.0 1.0

Medical care services

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430.791 433.288 435.180 2.9 1.0 0.4

Professional services

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331.904 334.649 335.176 2.4 1.0 0.2

Recreation (4)

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115.960 115.853 116.995 -0.9 0.9 1.0

Education and communication (4)

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133.509 133.571 133.216 0.0 -0.2 -0.3

Other goods and services

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412.220 411.706 412.611 2.3 0.1 0.2

Commodity and service group

Commodities

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182.667 183.864 185.445 3.7 1.5 0.9

Commodities less food and beverages

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155.781 156.724 158.472 4.4 1.7 1.1

Nondurables less food and beverages

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197.273 199.401 202.616 7.6 2.7 1.6

Durables

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108.622 108.360 108.595 -1.0 0.0 0.2

Services

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286.580 287.061 287.790 1.1 0.4 0.3

Special aggregate indexes

All items less shelter

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216.036 217.013 218.500 2.7 1.1 0.7

All items less medical care

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227.209 227.964 229.052 1.9 0.8 0.5

Commodities less food

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158.800 159.732 161.444 4.3 1.7 1.1

Nondurables

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213.307 215.251 217.491 5.0 2.0 1.0

Nondurables less food

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199.375 201.411 204.462 7.3 2.6 1.5

Services less rent of shelter (2)

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290.747 291.271 292.580 1.5 0.6 0.4

Services less medical care services

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276.344 276.719 277.381 0.9 0.4 0.2

Energy

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223.012 227.822 230.741 9.8 3.5 1.3

All items less energy

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238.671 239.095 240.062 1.3 0.6 0.4

All items less food and energy

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242.265 242.443 243.395 1.1 0.5 0.4

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) This index series was formerly titled Gas (piped) and electricity.
(4) Indexes on a December 1997=100 base.
(5) Special index based on a substantially smaller sample.
(6) Indexes on a December 1993=100 base.

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

Last Modified Date: March 18, 2011

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