NEW YORK, NY -- Prices in the New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island area, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), inched up 0.1 percent in December. This reflected a 2.7-percent increase in energy prices, which was partially offset by a 3.6-percent decline in apparel prices, often down in December.
Natural gas prices rose 4.6 percent over the month. Prices also increased for electricity (2.1 percent), gasoline (1.8 percent), and fuel oil.
The food index was virtually unchanged in December. Prices for food at home dipped 0.1 percent, while prices for food away from home were flat. Groceries with lower prices in December included cheese, tomatoes, and other beverage materials, including tea.
Over the year, the CPI-U advanced 2.1 percent, the largest 12-month increase in over three years. The cost of shelter rose 3.2 percent. Energy prices climbed 9.2 percent, while the index for food prices was virtually unchanged.