Mid-Atlantic Information Office

News Release Information

12-987-PHI

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Contacts

Technical information:
Media contact:

Consumer Price Index, Northeast Region – April 2012

Regional Prices Up 0.3 Percent Over the Month; 2.3 Percent Over the Year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) in the Northeast region edged up 0.3 percent in April, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Sheila Watkins, the Bureau’s regional commissioner, noted that the recent advance reflected one-month increases in the indexes for all items less food and energy (0.2 percent) and energy (1.2 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 2.3 percent. (See chart 1 and table A.) The all items less food and energy component advanced 2.4 percent and the food component rose 3.4 percent over the year. Energy prices inched down 0.1 percent since April 2011. (See table 1.)

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

Food

In April, the food index remained unchanged for the third straight month. A decrease in food at home prices, which inched down 0.1 percent over the month, was offset by higher prices for food away from home, which inched up 0.1 percent.

Over the year, the food index advanced 3.4 percent. Prices for both the food at home and food away from home components increased since last April, up 3.9 and 2.8 percent, respectively.

Energy

The energy index, which includes prices for household and transportation fuels, increased 1.2 percent in April due entirely to a 3.5-percent rise in the gasoline index. Gasoline prices have advanced for four straight months, up 17.4 percent since December 2011. Moderating the recent increase in the energy index, prices fell for both utility (piped) gas service (-2.3 percent) and electricity (-0.8 percent) over the month.

The energy index inched down 0.1 percent over the year. Lower prices for both utility (piped) gas service and electricity, down 11.1 and 3.0 percent, respectively, were nearly offset by a 4.2-percent advance in gasoline prices since April 2011.

All items less food and energy

Over the month, the all items less food and energy index edged up 0.2 percent. The recent rise reflected widespread price increases among the components of this group, including the shelter index, up 0.1 percent, as well as the new and used motor vehicles index and the medical care services index, up 0.6 percent each.

The index for all items less food and energy rose 2.4 percent over the year. The 12-month advance was led by higher shelter prices, particularly those for owners’ equivalent rent of residences, up 2.3 percent each. Widespread price increases for other components, including medical care (3.5 percent) and apparel (5.5 percent), also contributed to the rise in the all items less food and energy index since April 2011.

The May 2012 Consumer Price Index for the Northeast region is scheduled to be released on June 14, 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 0.5 2.5

April

0.5 2.2 0.5 3.9 0.2 -0.1 0.2 2.5 0.5 2.8 0.3 2.3

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 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; 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
Feb.
2012
Mar.
2012
Apr.
2012
Apr.
2011
Feb.
2012
Mar.
2012

All items

Jump to page with historical data
243.850 245.125 245.850 2.3 0.8 0.3

All items (December 1977 = 100)

Jump to page with historical data
383.989 385.997 387.138

Food and beverages

Jump to page with historical data
238.921 238.911 238.835 3.3 0.0 0.0

Food

Jump to page with historical data
238.752 238.732 238.657 3.4 0.0 0.0

Food at home

Jump to page with historical data
238.798 238.560 238.223 3.9 -0.2 -0.1

Food away from home

Jump to page with historical data
241.687 241.987 242.298 2.8 0.3 0.1

Alcoholic beverages

Jump to page with historical data
239.810 239.942 239.846 1.3 0.0 0.0

Housing

Jump to page with historical data
249.965 250.557 250.511 1.5 0.2 0.0

Shelter

Jump to page with historical data
299.704 300.544 300.873 2.3 0.4 0.1

Rent of primary residence (1)

Jump to page with historical data
297.495 298.057 298.710 2.4 0.4 0.2

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

Jump to page with historical data
311.561 312.312 312.761 2.3 0.4 0.1

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

Jump to page with historical data
311.469 312.225 312.667 2.3 0.4 0.1

Fuels and utilities

Jump to page with historical data
219.282 219.967 217.641 -3.1 -0.7 -1.1

Household energy

Jump to page with historical data
199.724 200.456 197.928 -4.4 -0.9 -1.3

Energy services (1)

Jump to page with historical data
185.303 185.011 182.657 -6.1 -1.4 -1.3

Electricity (1)

Jump to page with historical data
184.795 183.221 181.762 -3.0 -1.6 -0.8

Utility (piped) gas service (1)

Jump to page with historical data
175.205 177.596 173.523 -11.1 -1.0 -2.3

Household furnishings and operations

Jump to page with historical data
128.278 127.945 128.419 1.6 0.1 0.4

Apparel

Jump to page with historical data
126.113 131.208 132.085 5.5 4.7 0.7

Transportation

Jump to page with historical data
213.500 217.010 220.249 3.1 3.2 1.5

Private transportation

Jump to page with historical data
207.320 210.717 213.735 3.2 3.1 1.4

New and used motor vehicles (3)

Jump to page with historical data
98.793 98.964 99.601 2.0 0.8 0.6

New vehicles

Jump to page with historical data
142.675 142.784 143.557 2.6 0.6 0.5

New cars and trucks (3) (4)

Jump to page with historical data
98.877 98.953 99.497 2.6 0.6 0.5

New cars (4)

Jump to page with historical data
138.331 138.263 139.026 2.3 0.5 0.6

Used cars and trucks

Jump to page with historical data
156.228 157.903 160.396 5.0 2.7 1.6

Motor fuel

Jump to page with historical data
302.025 316.289 327.196 4.2 8.3 3.4

Gasoline (all types)

Jump to page with historical data
300.700 315.029 326.070 4.2 8.4 3.5

Gasoline, unleaded regular (4)

Jump to page with historical data
302.883 317.467 328.640 4.2 8.5 3.5

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade (4) (5)

Jump to page with historical data
304.351 318.818 329.856 4.4 8.4 3.5

Gasoline, unleaded premium (4)

Jump to page with historical data
287.812 300.644 311.109 4.2 8.1 3.5

Medical care

Jump to page with historical data
433.449 433.803 435.762 3.5 0.5 0.5

Medical care commodities

Jump to page with historical data
365.375 365.805 365.345 2.8 0.0 -0.1

Medical care services

Jump to page with historical data
450.113 450.427 453.330 3.7 0.7 0.6

Professional services

Jump to page with historical data
341.037 340.473 341.129 1.7 0.0 0.2

Recreation (3)

Jump to page with historical data
119.782 119.597 119.606 2.0 -0.1 0.0

Education and communication (3)

Jump to page with historical data
134.554 134.562 134.626 1.2 0.1 0.0

Other goods and services

Jump to page with historical data
424.249 426.251 426.733 2.6 0.6 0.1

Commodity and service group

Commodities

Jump to page with historical data
193.405 195.456 196.580 3.0 1.6 0.6

Commodities less food and beverages

Jump to page with historical data
165.919 168.791 170.395 2.8 2.7 1.0

Nondurables less food and beverages

Jump to page with historical data
214.668 220.153 222.751 3.3 3.8 1.2

Durables

Jump to page with historical data
111.236 111.445 112.014 1.9 0.7 0.5

Services

Jump to page with historical data
293.418 293.967 294.320 1.9 0.3 0.1

Special aggregate indexes

All items less shelter

Jump to page with historical data
225.283 226.730 227.607 2.3 1.0 0.4

All items less medical care

Jump to page with historical data
235.456 236.759 237.434 2.3 0.8 0.3

Commodities less food

Jump to page with historical data
168.846 171.658 173.225 2.8 2.6 0.9

Nondurables

Jump to page with historical data
227.954 230.913 232.280 3.2 1.9 0.6

Nondurables less food

Jump to page with historical data
216.114 221.319 223.776 3.2 3.5 1.1

Services less rent of shelter (2)

Jump to page with historical data
297.089 297.327 297.721 1.5 0.2 0.1

Services less medical care services

Jump to page with historical data
282.468 283.026 283.238 1.8 0.3 0.1

Energy

Jump to page with historical data
242.509 248.826 251.834 -0.1 3.8 1.2

All items less energy

Jump to page with historical data
246.331 247.083 247.573 2.6 0.5 0.2

All items less food and energy

Jump to page with historical data
249.249 250.152 250.751 2.4 0.6 0.2

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.