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Friday, March 16, 2012

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Consumer Price Index, Northeast Region – February 2012

Regional Prices Up 0.4 Percent Over the Month, 2.8 Percent Over the Year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) in the Northeast region rose 0.4 percent in February, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Sheila Watkins, the Bureau’s regional commissioner, noted that the recent rise reflected one-month increases in the indexes for all items less food and energy (0.3 percent) and energy (1.9 percent). The food index was unchanged over the month. (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 2.8 percent. (See chart 1 and table A.) The all items less food and energy component advanced 2.4 percent over the year. Prices also rose for both food and energy, up 3.8 and 5.1 percent, respectively, since February 2011. (See table 1.)

Chart 1. 12-month percent change in CPI for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), Northeast region, February 2009 to February 2012 (not seasonally adjusted)

Food

Following a 0.7-percent increase in January, the food index was unchanged in February. Food at home prices inched down 0.1 percent, while food away from home prices were unchanged over the month.

Over the year, the food index advanced 3.8 percent. Prices for both the food at home and food away from home components increased since last February, up 4.5 and 2.9 percent, respectively.

Energy

The energy index, which includes prices for household and transportation fuels, increased 1.9 percent in February. The recent advance was due to a 4.9-percent rise in the gasoline index. Moderating the increase in the energy index were lower prices for utility (piped) gas service (-4.6 percent) and electricity (-0.8 percent) since January.

The energy index rose 5.1 percent over the year, reflecting a 13.3-percent jump in gasoline prices since February 2011. Moderating the 12-month increase in the energy index were lower prices for utility (piped) gas service (-13.7 percent) and electricity (-1.6 percent).

All items less food and energy

Over the month, the all items less food and energy index edged up 0.3 percent, led by a 0.2-percent rise in shelter prices. A seasonal increase in apparel prices (1.2 percent) and higher prices for recreation (0.6 percent) also contributed to the recent advance in the all items less food and energy index.

The index for all items less food and energy rose 2.4 percent over the year. The advance reflected widespread price increases for various components, led by shelter prices (2.3 percent), particularly those for owners’ equivalent rent of residences (2.2 percent). Higher prices for medical care (3.5 percent) also contributed to the rise in the all items less food and energy index since February 2011.

The March 2012 Consumer Price Index for the Northeast region is scheduled to be released on April 13, 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 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
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

0.3 2.3 0.4 3.9 0.2 0.5 0.4 3.0 0.4 1.6 0.4 2.9

February

0.4 2.4 0.4 4.0 0.6 0.7 0.0 2.5 0.5 2.0 0.4 2.8

March

0.8 2.6 0.8 3.9 0.2 0.2 0.3 2.6 0.8 2.5

April

0.5 2.2 0.5 3.9 0.2 -0.1 0.2 2.5 0.5 2.8

May

0.5 2.3 0.9 4.3 0.1 -0.8 0.2 2.6 0.5 3.2

June

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

July

0.2 2.0 0.8 5.7 0.1 -1.9 0.0 1.6 0.2 3.6

August

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

September

-0.1 2.4 -0.4 5.2 0.1 -0.7 -0.1 1.2 0.1 4.0

October

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

November

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

December

0.0 3.8 -0.9 0.7 -0.1 2.8 0.0 1.6 -0.3 2.9

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
Dec.
2011
Jan.
2012
Feb.
2012
Feb.
2011
Dec.
2011
Jan.
2012

All items

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241.987 242.879 243.850 2.8 0.8 0.4

All items (December 1977 = 100)

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381.056 382.461 383.989

Food and beverages

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237.339 239.006 238.921 3.7 0.7 0.0

Food

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237.187 238.836 238.752 3.8 0.7 0.0

Food at home

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237.276 238.932 238.798 4.5 0.6 -0.1

Food away from home

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240.039 241.697 241.687 2.9 0.7 0.0

Alcoholic beverages

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237.977 239.904 239.810 1.9 0.8 0.0

Housing

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249.123 249.682 249.965 1.9 0.3 0.1

Shelter

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298.294 299.017 299.704 2.3 0.5 0.2

Rent of primary residence (1)

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296.487 297.481 297.495 2.5 0.3 0.0

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

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310.417 311.295 311.561 2.2 0.4 0.1

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

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310.333 311.211 311.469 2.2 0.4 0.1

Fuels and utilities

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221.138 220.885 219.282 -1.5 -0.8 -0.7

Household energy

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202.046 201.701 199.724 -2.5 -1.1 -1.0

Energy services (1)

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190.222 189.159 185.303 -5.5 -2.6 -2.0

Electricity (1)

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186.114 186.315 184.795 -1.6 -0.7 -0.8

Utility (piped) gas service (1)

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187.316 183.690 175.205 -13.7 -6.5 -4.6

Household furnishings and operations

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127.143 127.863 128.278 2.8 0.9 0.3

Apparel

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126.040 124.574 126.113 3.3 0.1 1.2

Transportation

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209.107 210.720 213.500 5.3 2.1 1.3

Private transportation

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202.352 204.479 207.320 5.8 2.5 1.4

New and used motor vehicles (3)

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99.154 98.877 98.793 2.2 -0.4 -0.1

New vehicles

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142.341 142.721 142.675 2.8 0.2 0.0

New cars and trucks (3) (4)

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98.641 98.906 98.877 2.8 0.2 0.0

New cars (4)

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138.536 138.530 138.331 2.6 -0.1 -0.1

Used cars and trucks

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157.606 156.487 156.228 4.5 -0.9 -0.2

Motor fuel

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279.173 288.153 302.025 13.3 8.2 4.8

Gasoline (all types)

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277.652 286.730 300.700 13.3 8.3 4.9

Gasoline, unleaded regular (4)

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278.684 288.384 302.883 13.3 8.7 5.0

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade (4) (5)

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283.585 291.372 304.351 13.2 7.3 4.5

Gasoline, unleaded premium (4)

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268.727 275.607 287.812 12.9 7.1 4.4

Medical care

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428.275 432.393 433.449 3.5 1.2 0.2

Medical care commodities

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359.466 364.959 365.375 3.8 1.6 0.1

Medical care services

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445.377 448.821 450.113 3.4 1.1 0.3

Professional services

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340.358 341.005 341.037 1.7 0.2 0.0

Recreation (3)

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118.040 119.038 119.782 2.4 1.5 0.6

Education and communication (3)

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134.407 134.604 134.554 1.0 0.1 0.0

Other goods and services

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422.357 422.311 424.249 2.8 0.4 0.5

Commodity and service group

Commodities

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190.538 191.806 193.405 4.3 1.5 0.8

Commodities less food and beverages

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162.603 163.648 165.919 4.7 2.0 1.4

Nondurables less food and beverages

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208.390 210.315 214.668 5.9 3.0 2.1

Durables

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110.942 111.086 111.236 2.4 0.3 0.1

Services

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292.492 293.104 293.418 2.0 0.3 0.1

Special aggregate indexes

All items less shelter

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223.238 224.183 225.283 3.1 0.9 0.5

All items less medical care

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233.728 234.502 235.456 2.8 0.7 0.4

Commodities less food

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165.553 166.628 168.846 4.6 2.0 1.3

Nondurables

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223.821 225.642 227.954 4.8 1.8 1.0

Nondurables less food

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210.068 211.994 216.114 5.7 2.9 1.9

Services less rent of shelter (2)

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296.680 297.214 297.089 1.5 0.1 0.0

Services less medical care services

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281.756 282.229 282.468 1.8 0.3 0.1

Energy

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234.452 237.953 242.509 5.1 3.4 1.9

All items less energy

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245.108 245.758 246.331 2.6 0.5 0.2

All items less food and energy

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248.083 248.568 249.249 2.4 0.5 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.

Last Modified Date: March 16, 2012

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