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13-97-PHI

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

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Consumer Price Index, Northeast Region – December 2012

Regional Prices Down 0.3 Percent Over the Month; Up 1.8 Percent Over the Year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) in the Northeast region edged down 0.3 percent in December, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Sheila Watkins, the Bureau’s regional commissioner, noted that the recent decline was due to one-month decreases in the energy index (-2.1 percent) and the all items less food and energy index (-0.1 percent). The food index was unchanged since November. (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 1.8 percent, due largely to an identical advance in the all items less food and energy index. (See chart 1 and table A.) The indexes for food and energy also rose since December 2011, up 1.8 and 2.1 percent, respectively. (See table 1.)

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



Food

After posting five consecutive over-the-month increases totaling 0.6 percent, the food index was unchanged in December. A 0.1-percent decrease in prices for food away from home was offset by a 0.1-percent increase in those for food at home.

Over the year, the food index rose 1.8 percent. Both components of the food index had price increases since December 2011—prices for food away from home rose 2.3 percent and those for food at home, 1.4 percent.

Energy

The energy index, which includes prices for household and transportation fuels, fell 2.1 percent since November. The one-month decline was dominated by a 4.2-percent decrease in gasoline prices. Electricity prices were also lower in December, down 0.3 percent. Moderating the overall decline in the energy index were higher utility (piped) gas service prices, up 1.4 percent.

Energy prices increased 2.1 percent over the year, primarily reflecting a 6.0-percent advance in gasoline prices. Partially offsetting the rise in gasoline prices were the 14th consecutive over-the-year decrease in electricity prices and the 26th in utility (piped) gas service prices, down 2.1 and 3.1 percent, respectively.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy inched down 0.1 percent in December, due mainly to a seasonal decline in apparel prices, down 3.1 percent. Higher prices for various components including owners’ equivalent rent of residences, up 0.2 percent, helped to moderate the over-the-month decline in the all items less food and energy index.

The index for all items less food and energy rose 1.8 percent over the year. The 12-month advance was led by higher prices for shelter, particularly those for owners’ equivalent rent of residences (2.2 percent each). Widespread price increases among other components, including medical care (2.7 percent), also contributed to the rise in the all items less food and energy index since December 2011. In contrast, prices for new and used motor vehicles recorded their sixth straight over-the-year decline, down 0.5 percent since last December.

The January 2013 Consumer Price Index for the Northeast region is scheduled to be released on February 21, 2013, 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 0.1 1.9

November

0.6 4.0 -1.6 1.7 0.2 2.0 0.2 1.5 -0.1 3.2 0.2 1.8

December

0.0 3.8 -0.9 0.7 -0.1 2.8 0.0 1.6 -0.3 2.9 -0.3 1.8

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; Federal Relay Service: 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
Oct.
2012
Nov.
2012
Dec.
2012
Dec.
2011
Oct.
2012
Nov.
2012

All items

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247.564 247.097 246.456 1.8 -0.4 -0.3

All items (December 1977 = 100)

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389.837 389.102 388.094

Food and beverages

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241.130 241.471 241.478 1.7 0.1 0.0

Food

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240.928 241.348 241.343 1.8 0.2 0.0

Food at home

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239.749 240.353 240.583 1.4 0.3 0.1

Food away from home

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245.695 245.850 245.498 2.3 -0.1 -0.1

Alcoholic beverages

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242.479 241.671 241.849 1.6 -0.3 0.1

Housing

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252.608 253.107 253.294 1.7 0.3 0.1

Shelter

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304.658 304.677 304.891 2.2 0.1 0.1

Rent of primary residence (1)

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303.026 303.148 303.907 2.5 0.3 0.3

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

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316.313 316.662 317.162 2.2 0.3 0.2

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

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316.212 316.559 317.061 2.2 0.3 0.2

Fuels and utilities

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215.552 218.862 219.324 -0.8 1.7 0.2

Household energy

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194.751 198.327 198.798 -1.6 2.1 0.2

Energy services (1)

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180.788 185.133 185.523 -2.5 2.6 0.2

Electricity (1)

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182.090 182.728 182.119 -2.1 0.0 -0.3

Utility (piped) gas service (1)

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167.197 178.991 181.438 -3.1 8.5 1.4

Household furnishings and operations

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128.047 128.044 127.926 0.6 -0.1 -0.1

Apparel

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133.745 132.110 127.979 1.5 -4.3 -3.1

Transportation

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219.488 216.923 214.789 2.7 -2.1 -1.0

Private transportation

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213.207 210.087 207.722 2.7 -2.6 -1.1

New and used motor vehicles (3)

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98.615 98.381 98.645 -0.5 0.0 0.3

New vehicles

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142.700 143.698 143.947 1.1 0.9 0.2

New cars and trucks (3) (4)

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98.885 99.580 99.763 1.1 0.9 0.2

New cars (4)

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138.461 139.699 139.806 0.9 1.0 0.1

Used cars and trucks

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157.541 155.078 154.570 -1.9 -1.9 -0.3

Motor fuel

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322.497 308.659 295.805 6.0 -8.3 -4.2

Gasoline (all types)

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321.423 307.372 294.352 6.0 -8.4 -4.2

Gasoline, unleaded regular (4)

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323.035 308.476 294.974 5.8 -8.7 -4.4

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade (4) (5)

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327.265 313.995 301.680 6.4 -7.8 -3.9

Gasoline, unleaded premium (4)

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309.842 298.012 286.760 6.7 -7.4 -3.8

Medical care

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442.157 440.321 439.991 2.7 -0.5 -0.1

Medical care commodities

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373.478 365.054 362.335 0.8 -3.0 -0.7

Medical care services

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458.843 459.764 460.424 3.4 0.3 0.1

Professional services

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343.244 342.947 344.245 1.1 0.3 0.4

Recreation (3)

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119.593 119.708 119.549 1.3 0.0 -0.1

Education and communication (3)

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136.374 135.974 135.752 1.0 -0.5 -0.2

Other goods and services

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430.038 428.698 429.778 1.8 -0.1 0.3

Commodity and service group

Commodities

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196.680 195.129 193.360 1.5 -1.7 -0.9

Commodities less food and beverages

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169.533 167.214 164.739 1.3 -2.8 -1.5

Nondurables less food and beverages

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222.296 217.899 213.169 2.3 -4.1 -2.2

Durables

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110.794 110.596 110.419 -0.5 -0.3 -0.2

Services

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297.574 298.130 298.553 2.1 0.3 0.1

Special aggregate indexes

All items less shelter

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228.571 227.920 226.958 1.7 -0.7 -0.4

All items less medical care

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238.962 238.549 237.900 1.8 -0.4 -0.3

Commodities less food

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172.453 170.164 167.749 1.3 -2.7 -1.4

Nondurables

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233.110 230.895 228.343 2.0 -2.0 -1.1

Nondurables less food

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223.484 219.274 214.802 2.3 -3.9 -2.0

Services less rent of shelter (2)

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300.446 301.654 302.409 1.9 0.7 0.3

Services less medical care services

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286.342 286.874 287.280 2.0 0.3 0.1

Energy

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248.020 244.421 239.396 2.1 -3.5 -2.1

All items less energy

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249.890 249.751 249.569 1.8 -0.1 -0.1

All items less food and energy

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253.091 252.844 252.629 1.8 -0.2 -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) 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: January 16, 2013