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PLS-4859

Friday, December 16, 2011

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Consumer Price Index, Northeast Region – November 2011

Regional Prices Down 0.1 Percent Over the Month; Up 3.2 Percent Over the Year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) in the Northeast region inched down 0.1 percent in November, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Sheila Watkins, the Bureau’s regional commissioner, noted that the recent decline reflected small one-month decreases in both the all items less food and energy index and the food index, down 0.1 and 0.4 percent, respectively. Also contributing to the overall decrease, the energy index inched down 0.1 percent since October. (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 3.2 percent. (See chart 1 and table A.) The all items less food and energy index advanced 2.3 percent over the year. Prices also rose for both energy and food, up 10.4 and 4.0 percent since November 2010. (See table 1.)

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

Food

The food index fell 0.4 percent in November, recording its first decrease since July 2010. Prices for both components of the food index were down over the month. Food at home prices decreased 0.5 percent; food away from home prices edged down 0.2 percent after posting 11 consecutive over-the-month increases.

Over the year, the food index rose 4.0 percent. Prices for the food at home and food away from home components were up 5.0 and 2.8 percent, respectively, since last November.

Energy

The energy index, which includes prices for household and transportation fuels, inched down 0.1 percent since October, due largely to a decline in the gasoline index. Gasoline prices decreased for the sixth straight month, down 13.1 percent since May and 1.5 percent since October. Electricity prices were also lower in November, posting a 0.3-percent decrease. Partially offsetting these declines, utility (piped) gas service prices advanced 4.2 percent over the month.

Despite its recent 1-month decline, the energy index advanced 10.4 percent over the year, due in large part to an 18.3-percent jump in gasoline prices since November 2010. Moderating the increase in the energy index were lower prices for utility (piped) gas service and electricity, down 4.6 and 0.3 percent, respectively.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy inched down 0.1 percent since October. Lower prices for apparel (-1.0 percent) and new and used motor vehicles (-0.6 percent), among others, were nearly offset by various 12-month increases in categories such as other goods and services (0.5 percent) and medical care (0.3 percent).

The index for all items less food and energy rose 2.3 percent over the year, following an identical 12-month increase in October. The recent gain was led by an increase in the shelter index (2.2 percent), particularly owners’ equivalent rent of residences (2.0 percent). Higher prices for medical care and new and used motor vehicles (3.4 percent each) also contributed to the advance in the all items less food and energy index since November 2010.

The December 2011 Consumer Price Index for the Northeast region is scheduled to be released on January 19, 2012, 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 0.1 4.0

October

-0.5 1.7 0.2 3.1 -0.9 4.0 0.0 0.2 0.3 1.5 -0.1 3.6

November

-0.2 2.3 0.6 4.0 -1.6 1.7 0.2 2.0 0.2 1.5 -0.1 3.2

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
Sep.
2011
Oct.
2011
Nov.
2011
Nov.
2010
Sep.
2011
Oct.
2011

All items

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243.323 243.014 242.652 3.2 -0.3 -0.1

All items (December 1977 = 100)

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383.159 382.674 382.103

Food and beverages

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236.731 237.413 236.468 3.8 -0.1 -0.4

Food

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236.533 237.253 236.309 4.0 -0.1 -0.4

Food at home

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236.477 237.219 235.977 5.0 -0.2 -0.5

Food away from home

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239.573 240.273 239.726 2.8 0.1 -0.2

Alcoholic beverages

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238.015 238.173 237.210 1.0 -0.3 -0.4

Housing

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249.617 249.091 249.354 2.2 -0.1 0.1

Shelter

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298.435 298.371 298.396 2.2 0.0 0.0

Rent of primary residence (1)

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295.088 295.974 296.430 2.2 0.5 0.2

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

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309.799 310.193 310.471 2.0 0.2 0.1

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

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309.727 310.127 310.397 2.0 0.2 0.1

Fuels and utilities

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224.137 220.827 223.398 3.4 -0.3 1.2

Household energy

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205.425 201.869 204.539 3.1 -0.4 1.3

Energy services (1) (3)

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195.563 191.369 193.123 -1.6 -1.2 0.9

Electricity (1)

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195.468 189.461 188.798 -0.3 -3.4 -0.3

Utility (piped) gas service (1)

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182.363 182.943 190.558 -4.6 4.5 4.2

Household furnishings and operations

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127.068 126.944 126.363 0.8 -0.6 -0.5

Apparel

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130.676 132.618 131.239 4.2 0.4 -1.0

Transportation

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214.535 212.273 211.191 7.9 -1.6 -0.5

Private transportation

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207.774 205.452 204.326 7.9 -1.7 -0.5

New and used motor vehicles (4)

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100.285 99.927 99.367 3.4 -0.9 -0.6

New vehicles

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141.726 141.854 142.078 3.3 0.2 0.2

New cars and trucks (4) (5)

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98.220 98.309 98.464 3.3 0.2 0.2

New cars (5)

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138.727 138.696 138.548 3.1 -0.1 -0.1

Used cars and trucks

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162.454 160.764 158.980 6.7 -2.1 -1.1

Motor fuel

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303.600 291.909 287.863 18.4 -5.2 -1.4

Gasoline (all types)

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302.672 290.809 286.509 18.3 -5.3 -1.5

Gasoline, unleaded regular (5)

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304.431 292.140 287.705 18.3 -5.5 -1.5

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade (5) (6)

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307.507 296.364 292.258 18.6 -5.0 -1.4

Gasoline, unleaded premium (5)

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291.077 280.638 276.896 18.1 -4.9 -1.3

Medical care

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424.205 425.368 426.530 3.4 0.5 0.3

Medical care commodities

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355.601 356.728 358.631 4.3 0.9 0.5

Medical care services

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441.325 442.474 443.308 3.1 0.4 0.2

Professional services

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338.223 338.636 338.397 2.0 0.1 -0.1

Recreation (4)

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118.198 118.628 118.059 0.2 -0.1 -0.5

Education and communication (4)

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134.976 134.683 134.333 0.2 -0.5 -0.3

Other goods and services

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418.182 420.094 422.332 2.4 1.0 0.5

Commodity and service group

Commodities

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192.941 192.474 191.692 5.1 -0.6 -0.4

Commodities less food and beverages

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166.174 165.242 164.562 5.9 -1.0 -0.4

Nondurables less food and beverages

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214.973 213.447 212.424 8.2 -1.2 -0.5

Durables

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111.405 111.095 110.780 1.9 -0.6 -0.3

Services

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292.818 292.659 292.694 2.1 0.0 0.0

Special aggregate indexes

All items less shelter

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225.034 224.631 224.119 3.7 -0.4 -0.2

All items less medical care

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235.245 234.886 234.473 3.2 -0.3 -0.2

Commodities less food

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169.044 168.137 167.446 5.7 -0.9 -0.4

Nondurables

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227.169 226.641 225.643 6.1 -0.7 -0.4

Nondurables less food

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216.302 214.866 213.846 7.8 -1.1 -0.5

Services less rent of shelter (2)

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297.192 296.933 297.005 1.9 -0.1 0.0

Services less medical care services

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282.301 282.077 282.071 2.0 -0.1 0.0

Energy

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246.723 239.732 239.561 10.4 -2.9 -0.1

All items less energy

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245.323 245.704 245.318 2.5 0.0 -0.2

All items less food and energy

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248.459 248.780 248.494 2.3 0.0 -0.1

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.