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12-2108-PHI

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

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Consumer Price Index, Northeast Region – September 2012

Regional Prices Up 0.5 Percent Over the Month and 1.7 Percent Over the Year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) in the Northeast region rose 0.5 percent in September, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Sheila Watkins, the Bureau’s regional commissioner, noted that the one-month increase was almost entirely due to advances in the energy index and all items less food and energy index, up 3.4 and 0.2 percent, respectively. The food index was nearly unchanged since August, inching up 0.1 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 1.7 percent, due mostly to an advance in the all items less food and energy component, also up 1.7 percent. (See chart 1 and table A.) The food index and the energy index also rose since September 2011, up 1.7 and 1.5 percent, respectively. (See table 1.)

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



Food

For the third consecutive month, the food index inched up 0.1 percent in September. Prices for food away from home also inched up 0.1 percent, while those for food at home were unchanged.

Over the year, the food index advanced 1.7 percent. Prices for the food away from home and food at home components were up 2.4 and 1.2 percent, respectively.

Energy

The energy index, which includes prices for household and transportation fuels, increased 3.4 percent in September. The recent one-month increase primarily reflected higher prices for gasoline, up 4.7 percent since August. Prices for electricity and utility (piped) gas service also rose over the month, up 1.6 and 1.1 percent, respectively.

Following five straight months of over-the-year decreases, energy prices increased 1.5 percent since September 2011, dominated by a 6.9-percent advance in gasoline prices. The utility (piped) gas service index posted its 23rd consecutive 12-month decrease, falling 10.1 percent since September 2011. Meanwhile, the electricity index recorded its 11th straight 12-month decline, down 3.3 percent over the year.

All items less food and energy

Due largely to a seasonal increase in apparel prices (3.7 percent), the index for all items less food and energy edged up 0.2 percent since August. Also contributing to the recent rise were advances in the indexes for owners’ equivalent rent of residences (0.2 percent) and education and communication (0.5 percent). Lower prices for new and used motor vehicles (-0.7 percent) helped to moderate the one-month increase in the all items less food and energy index.

The index for all items less food and energy rose 1.7 percent over the year. The 12-month advance was led by higher shelter prices, particularly those for owners’ equivalent rent of residences (1.9 percent each). Widespread price increases among other components, including medical care (3.9 percent), also contributed to the rise in the all items less food and energy index since September 2011.

The October 2012 Consumer Price Index for the Northeast region is scheduled to be released on November 15, 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 -0.1 1.7

June

0.4 2.3 1.1 5.0 0.8 -1.2 -0.1 1.7 0.1 3.4 -0.2 1.5

July

0.2 2.0 0.8 5.7 0.1 -1.9 0.0 1.6 0.2 3.6 -0.1 1.1

August

-0.2 1.6 -0.3 5.5 0.3 -1.2 0.1 1.4 0.3 3.8 0.5 1.3

September

-0.1 2.4 -0.4 5.2 0.1 -0.7 -0.1 1.2 0.1 4.0 0.5 1.7

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.

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
Jul.
2012
Aug.
2012
Sep.
2012
Sep.
2011
Jul.
2012
Aug.
2012

All items

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244.984 246.252 247.409 1.7 1.0 0.5

All items (December 1977 = 100)

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385.775 387.771 389.593

Food and beverages

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240.190 240.463 240.621 1.6 0.2 0.1

Food

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239.952 240.308 240.456 1.7 0.2 0.1

Food at home

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238.950 239.199 239.214 1.2 0.1 0.0

Food away from home

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244.446 244.964 245.310 2.4 0.4 0.1

Alcoholic beverages

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242.071 241.123 241.443 1.4 -0.3 0.1

Housing

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251.688 252.171 252.626 1.2 0.4 0.2

Shelter

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303.620 304.202 304.119 1.9 0.2 0.0

Rent of primary residence (1)

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300.890 301.813 302.463 2.5 0.5 0.2

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

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314.409 315.178 315.718 1.9 0.4 0.2

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

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314.307 315.074 315.612 1.9 0.4 0.2

Fuels and utilities

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213.541 214.408 217.829 -2.8 2.0 1.6

Household energy

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192.831 193.613 197.244 -4.0 2.3 1.9

Energy services (1)

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182.967 181.847 184.493 -5.7 0.8 1.5

Electricity (1)

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187.590 186.002 189.012 -3.3 0.8 1.6

Utility (piped) gas service (1)

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162.334 162.254 163.986 -10.1 1.0 1.1

Household furnishings and operations

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128.357 128.209 128.248 0.9 -0.1 0.0

Apparel

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125.107 129.468 134.271 2.8 7.3 3.7

Transportation

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213.659 216.851 219.435 2.3 2.7 1.2

Private transportation

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206.743 210.547 213.351 2.7 3.2 1.3

New and used motor vehicles (3)

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99.843 99.509 98.806 -1.5 -1.0 -0.7

New vehicles

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142.371 142.275 141.999 0.2 -0.3 -0.2

New cars and trucks (3) (4)

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98.674 98.609 98.416 0.2 -0.3 -0.2

New cars (4)

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138.215 138.203 137.791 -0.7 -0.3 -0.3

Used cars and trucks

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165.205 164.055 160.495 -1.2 -2.9 -2.2

Motor fuel

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293.789 310.036 324.678 6.9 10.5 4.7

Gasoline (all types)

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292.702 308.989 323.652 6.9 10.6 4.7

Gasoline, unleaded regular (4)

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293.771 310.480 325.269 6.8 10.7 4.8

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade (4) (5)

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298.828 314.505 329.733 7.2 10.3 4.8

Gasoline, unleaded premium (4)

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283.613 298.182 311.765 7.1 9.9 4.6

Medical care

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438.180 439.433 440.739 3.9 0.6 0.3

Medical care commodities

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370.806 373.346 373.556 5.0 0.7 0.1

Medical care services

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454.432 455.123 456.846 3.5 0.5 0.4

Professional services

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341.375 341.370 342.610 1.3 0.4 0.4

Recreation (3)

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119.766 119.586 119.649 1.2 -0.1 0.1

Education and communication (3)

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134.788 135.460 136.129 0.9 1.0 0.5

Other goods and services

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427.746 428.773 428.374 2.4 0.1 -0.1

Commodity and service group

Commodities

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192.791 194.931 196.800 2.0 2.1 1.0

Commodities less food and beverages

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164.507 167.378 169.922 2.3 3.3 1.5

Nondurables less food and beverages

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211.091 217.193 222.860 3.7 5.6 2.6

Durables

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111.988 111.597 110.997 -0.4 -0.9 -0.5

Services

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296.215 296.666 297.158 1.5 0.3 0.2

Special aggregate indexes

All items less shelter

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225.399 226.930 228.556 1.6 1.4 0.7

All items less medical care

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236.448 237.710 238.856 1.5 1.0 0.5

Commodities less food

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167.528 170.310 172.806 2.2 3.2 1.5

Nondurables

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226.616 230.041 233.177 2.6 2.9 1.4

Nondurables less food

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212.844 218.576 223.963 3.5 5.2 2.5

Services less rent of shelter (2)

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298.715 299.029 300.122 1.0 0.5 0.4

Services less medical care services

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285.159 285.594 286.015 1.3 0.3 0.1

Energy

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235.042 242.207 250.391 1.5 6.5 3.4

All items less energy

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248.389 249.043 249.466 1.7 0.4 0.2

All items less food and energy

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251.481 252.195 252.673 1.7 0.5 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.