Mid-Atlantic Information Office

For release: Thursday, September 15, 2011 PLS-4823

Technical information: (215) 597-3282 • BLSInfoPhiladelphia@bls.govwww.bls.gov/ro3
Media contact: (215) 861-5600 • BLSMediaPhiladelphia@bls.gov

Consumer Price Index, Northeast Region – August 2011 (PDF)

Regional Prices 0.3 Percent Higher Over the Month; 3.8 Percent Higher Over the Year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) in the Northeast region rose 0.3 percent in August, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Sheila Watkins, the Bureau’s regional commissioner, noted that the recent increase was largely due to an advance in the all items less food and energy index (0.4 percent). Food prices also rose 0.4 percent since July, while energy prices decreased 0.8 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 CPI-U increased 3.8 percent—the largest over-the-year advance since October 2008. (See chart 1 and table A.) The all items less food and energy index rose 2.1 percent over the year. Prices were also higher for energy (18.4 percent) and food (4.5 percent) since August 2010. (See table 1.)

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

Food

The food index rose 0.4 percent in August. Prices for food at home increased for the fourth straight month, up 2.6 percent since April and 0.4 percent since July. Food away from home prices also advanced 0.4 percent over the month.

Over the year, the food index rose 4.5 percent, the largest 12-month increase since February 2009. Prices for the food at home and food away from home components were up 5.8 and 2.9 percent, respectively.

Energy

Due largely to a 2.2-percent decrease in electricity prices, the energy index, which includes prices for household and transportation fuels, fell 0.8 percent over the month. Lower gasoline prices (-0.4 percent) also contributed to the decline in the energy index. Following five straight months of decreases totaling 9.3 percent, utility (piped) gas service prices rose 0.5 percent in August.

Despite its recent decrease, the energy index advanced 18.4 percent over the year, due largely to a 36.1-percent jump in gasoline prices. Both the electricity and utility (piped) gas service indexes posted 12-month declines, down 1.7 and 4.4 percent, respectively.

All items less food and energy

Led by a larger-than-usual seasonal increase in apparel prices (4.5 percent), the index for all items less food and energy rose 0.4 percent since July. Also contributing to the recent advance were higher prices for recreation and education and communication (0.7 percent each). Lower prices for household furnishings and operations (-0.4 percent) and new and used motor vehicles (-0.1 percent) moderated the one-month increase in the all items less food and energy index.

Over the last 12 months, the index for all items less food and energy rose 2.1 percent, led by an increase in the shelter index, up 1.9 percent. Higher apparel prices, up 6.2 percent over the year—the largest 12-month increase since February 1993—also contributed to the rise in the all items less food and energy index.

The September 2011 Consumer Price Index for the Northeast region is scheduled to be released on October 19, 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 0.8 2.5

April

0.9 3.8 0.5 2.2 0.5 3.9 0.2 -0.1 0.2 2.5 0.5 2.8

May

0.5 4.6 0.5 2.3 0.9 4.3 0.1 -0.8 0.2 2.6 0.5 3.2

June

0.5 5.1 0.4 2.3 1.1 5.0 0.8 -1.2 -0.1 1.7 0.1 3.4

July

0.4 4.6 0.2 2.0 0.8 5.7 0.1 -1.9 0.0 1.6 0.2 3.6

August

0.3 4.5 -0.2 1.6 -0.3 5.5 0.3 -1.2 0.1 1.4 0.3 3.8

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 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; 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
Jun.
2011
Jul.
2011
Aug.
2011
Aug.
2010
Jun.
2011
Jul.
2011

All items

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241.690 242.282 243.033 3.8 0.6 0.3

All items (December 1977 = 100)

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380.588 381.520 382.703

Food and beverages

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233.553 234.819 235.816 4.3 1.0 0.4

Food

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233.202 234.580 235.601 4.5 1.0 0.4

Food at home

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232.427 234.223 235.239 5.8 1.2 0.4

Food away from home

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237.185 238.009 239.049 2.9 0.8 0.4

Alcoholic beverages

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236.952 236.670 237.344 1.8 0.2 0.3

Housing

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248.683 249.819 249.693 2.0 0.4 -0.1

Shelter

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296.810 298.352 298.749 1.9 0.7 0.1

Rent of primary residence (1)

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292.746 293.597 294.568 1.9 0.6 0.3

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

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307.015 308.043 309.089 1.6 0.7 0.3

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

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306.958 307.981 309.030 1.6 0.7 0.3

Fuels and utilities

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224.560 225.450 223.384 3.7 -0.5 -0.9

Household energy

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206.845 207.308 204.837 3.6 -1.0 -1.2

Energy services (1) (3)

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195.818 197.284 194.476 -2.5 -0.7 -1.4

Electricity (1)

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193.495 197.166 192.913 -1.7 -0.3 -2.2

Utility (piped) gas service (1)

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(R)184.552 184.024 184.983 -4.4 0.2 0.5

Household furnishings and operations

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127.396 127.445 126.947 0.9 -0.4 -0.4

Apparel

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122.579 121.166 126.635 6.2 3.3 4.5

Transportation

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215.867 215.391 215.368 11.8 -0.2 0.0

Private transportation

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209.252 208.854 208.705 12.3 -0.3 -0.1

New and used motor vehicles (4)

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99.699 100.580 100.518 3.2 0.8 -0.1

New vehicles

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141.582 141.788 141.701 3.1 0.1 -0.1

New cars and trucks (4) (5)

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98.114 98.268 98.198 3.1 0.1 -0.1

New cars (5)

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138.379 138.501 138.558 2.9 0.1 0.0

Used cars and trucks

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159.467 162.306 164.085 7.0 2.9 1.1

Motor fuel

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314.376 309.459 308.070 36.0 -2.0 -0.4

Gasoline (all types)

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313.496 308.528 307.192 36.1 -2.0 -0.4

Gasoline, unleaded regular (5)

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315.567 310.498 309.268 36.6 -2.0 -0.4

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade (5) (6)

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317.999 312.972 311.364 35.0 -2.1 -0.5

Gasoline, unleaded premium (5)

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300.646 296.123 294.521 33.9 -2.0 -0.5

Medical care

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421.695 421.872 422.552 3.2 0.2 0.2

Medical care commodities

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354.965 353.876 354.246 4.1 -0.2 0.1

Medical care services

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438.122 438.804 439.592 2.9 0.3 0.2

Professional services

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336.272 336.912 337.198 1.8 0.3 0.1

Recreation (4)

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117.779 118.230 119.103 -0.3 1.1 0.7

Education and communication (4)

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132.844 133.239 134.167 0.2 1.0 0.7

Other goods and services

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415.687 416.181 417.365 1.4 0.4 0.3

Commodity and service group

Commodities

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191.774 191.616 192.548 7.2 0.4 0.5

Commodities less food and beverages

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165.906 165.153 166.018 9.0 0.1 0.5

Nondurables less food and beverages

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214.327 212.473 214.308 13.3 0.0 0.9

Durables

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111.520 111.880 111.755 1.7 0.2 -0.1

Services

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290.731 292.042 292.625 1.8 0.7 0.2

Special aggregate indexes

All items less shelter

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223.383 223.624 224.515 4.8 0.5 0.4

All items less medical care

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233.654 234.257 235.005 3.8 0.6 0.3

Commodities less food

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168.752 168.008 168.872 8.7 0.1 0.5

Nondurables

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225.353 224.913 226.382 8.8 0.5 0.7

Nondurables less food

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215.633 213.863 215.637 12.6 0.0 0.8

Services less rent of shelter (2)

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294.515 295.584 296.403 1.6 0.6 0.3

Services less medical care services

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280.292 281.621 282.188 1.7 0.7 0.2

Energy

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252.096 250.285 248.273 18.4 -1.5 -0.8

All items less energy

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242.949 243.795 244.840 2.5 0.8 0.4

All items less food and energy

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246.246 247.000 248.055 2.1 0.7 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.

(R) Revised.

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

Last Modified Date: September 16, 2011

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