Department of Labor Logo United States Department of Labor
Dot gov

The .gov means it's official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you're on a federal government site.

Https

The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

News Release Information

16-2040-BOS
Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Contacts

Technical information:
Media contact:

Consumer Price Index, Boston-Brockton-Nashua — September 2016

Area prices edged up 0.7 percent over two months; up 2.3 percent from a year ago

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) in the Boston-Brockton-Nashua area edged up 0.7 percent in September, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Deborah A. Brown noted that higher prices within all items less food and energy and to a lesser extent, higher energy prices were partially offset by lower food prices. (Data in this report are not seasonally adjusted. Accordingly, bimonthly changes may reflect the impact of seasonal influences.)

Over the last 12 months the Boston CPI-U rose 2.3 percent. This was the largest annual increase since January 2012. The increase was largely attributable to higher prices within all items less food and energy, up 2.5 percent. (See chart 1.) To a lesser extent, higher energy prices paid by area consumers, up 3.9, and higher food prices up 0.6 percent also contributed to the increase.

 

Food

Food prices edged down 0.1 percent since July mainly due to lower grocery store or food at home prices, down 0.6 percent. Restaurant prices, or food away from home, edged up 0.8 percent partially offsetting this decrease. 

Food prices increased 0.6 percent over the year mainly due to higher restaurant prices, up 3.2 percent.  Grocery store prices edged down 0.9 percent partially offsetting the overall increase since last September.  

Energy

The energy index increased 0.7 percent over the two months, mainly due to higher utility piped gas (11.0 percent) and to a lesser extent, increases in prices paid by local households for electricity (0.5 percent).  Lower prices for gasoline down 2.0 percent, partially offset the overall increase in local energy prices over the period.

Energy prices were up 3.9 percent from a year ago, largely attributable to higher electricity prices, up 14.3 percent and higher costs for utility piped gas up 34.4 percent over the year.  The annual increase in energy costs was the first recorded since July 2014. Lower prices for gasoline down 7.0 percent partially offset the overall increase. 

 

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy edged up from July (0.8 percent).  The rise was mainly attributable to apparel costs, up 15.8 percent. To a lesser extent, increases in shelter costs (0.7 percent) attributed to this overall advance. Within the local shelter index, higher prices for owners’ equivalent rent led the advance.  Higher education and communication costs (+1.8 percent) were partially offset by lower costs for new and used motor vehicles.

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy rose 2.5 percent, with higher shelter costs being the main driver of the increase up 3.4 percent. Within shelter, higher costs for owners’ rental equivalency of residences led the increase, up 3.2 percent.  Contributing to the overall increase, but to a lesser extent, were higher prices paid by area consumers for medical care, up 4.6 percent from one year ago, and education and communication, up 2.6 percent over the period.

CPI-W

In September, the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) was 260.483. The CPI-W was up 0.5 percent over two months and increased 2.0 percent over the year.

The November 2016 Consumer Price Index for Boston-Brockton-Nashua is scheduled to be released on Thursday, December 15, 2016, at 8:30 a.m. (ET).


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 89 percent of the total population and (2) a CPI for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) which covers 28 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 6,000 housing units and approximately 24,000 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 change 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 https://www.bls.gov/opub/hom/pdf/homch17.pdf

In calculating the index, price changes for the various items in each location are averaged together withweights 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 Boston-Brockton-Nashua, Mass.-N.H.-Maine-Conn. consolidated area covered in this release is comprised of Essex, Middlesex, Norfolk, Plymouth, Suffolk, Bristol, Hampden, and Worcester Counties in Massachusetts; Hillsborough, Merrimack, Rockingham, and Strafford Counties in New Hampshire; York County in Maine; and Windham County in Connecticut.

Information in this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: (202) 691-5200; Federal Relay Service (800) 877-8339.

Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U): Indexes and percent changes for selected periods, Boston-Brockton-Nashua, Ma.-N.H.-Maine-Conn., (1982-84=100 unless otherwise noted) (not seasonally adjusted)
Expenditure categoryIndexesPercent change from
 
Historical
data
Jul.
2016
Aug.
2016
Sep.
2016
Sep.
2015
Jul.
2016
Aug.
2016

All items

Jump to page with historical data
260.800 262.6062.30.7 

All items (1967 = 100)

Jump to page with historical data
758.023 763.273   
 

Food and beverages

Jump to page with historical data
257.607 257.9640.50.1 

Food

Jump to page with historical data
258.955 258.7950.6-0.1 

Food at home

Jump to page with historical data
245.869246.945244.475-0.9-0.6-1.0

Food away from home

Jump to page with historical data
281.457 283.6473.20.8 

Alcoholic beverages

Jump to page with historical data
246.406 253.016-0.32.7 
 

Housing

Jump to page with historical data
264.491 266.6343.80.8 

Shelter

Jump to page with historical data
315.483315.846317.6183.40.70.6

Rent of primary residence (1)

Jump to page with historical data
323.237324.190325.3273.20.60.4

Owners' equivalent rent of residences (1) (2) (3)

Jump to page with historical data
334.800335.430336.8643.20.60.4

Owners' equivalent rent of primary residence (1) (2) (3)

Jump to page with historical data
334.800335.430336.8643.20.60.4

Fuels and utilities

Jump to page with historical data
241.268 247.24511.92.5 

Household energy

Jump to page with historical data
200.476200.531205.77213.32.62.6

Energy services (1)

Jump to page with historical data
213.415213.951219.99618.53.12.8

Electricity (1)

Jump to page with historical data
250.789251.627251.93814.30.50.1

Utility (piped) gas service (1)

Jump to page with historical data
141.385141.385156.91034.411.011.0

Household furnishings and operations

Jump to page with historical data
127.999 127.956-1.00.0 
 

Apparel

Jump to page with historical data
134.230 155.4716.215.8 
 

Transportation

Jump to page with historical data
185.882 183.232-0.6-1.4 

Private transportation

Jump to page with historical data
184.426 182.219-0.4-1.2 

Motor fuel

Jump to page with historical data
189.678184.535185.953-7.1-2.00.8

Gasoline (all types)

Jump to page with historical data
187.638182.502183.903-7.0-2.00.8

Gasoline, unleaded regular (4)

Jump to page with historical data
181.567176.287177.756-7.1-2.10.8

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade (4) (5)

Jump to page with historical data
200.474196.235197.125-7.0-1.70.5

Gasoline, unleaded premium (4)

Jump to page with historical data
200.561197.622198.220-5.9-1.20.3
 

Medical care

Jump to page with historical data
635.449 634.3314.6-0.2 
 

Recreation (6)

Jump to page with historical data
117.012 116.575-0.7-0.4 
 

Education and communication (6)

Jump to page with historical data
156.300 159.0912.61.8 
 

Other goods and services

Jump to page with historical data
451.509 450.9711.2-0.1 
 

Commodity and service group

 

Commodities

Jump to page with historical data
186.972 188.536-0.20.8 

Commodities less food and beverages

Jump to page with historical data
150.067 152.040-0.91.3 

Nondurables less food and beverages

Jump to page with historical data
189.434 194.963-0.92.9 

Durables

Jump to page with historical data
111.067 110.230-0.6-0.8 

Services

Jump to page with historical data
327.539 329.5593.80.6 
 

Special aggregate indexes

 

All items less shelter

Jump to page with historical data
241.986 243.6821.80.7 

All items less medical care

Jump to page with historical data
246.444 248.3522.20.8 

Commodities less food

Jump to page with historical data
153.941 156.065-0.91.4 

Nondurables

Jump to page with historical data
222.422 225.5210.01.4 

Nondurables less food

Jump to page with historical data
192.589 198.173-0.82.9 

Services less rent of shelter (2)

Jump to page with historical data
358.627 360.5904.30.5 

Services less medical care services

Jump to page with historical data
306.717 308.8053.70.7 

Energy

Jump to page with historical data
194.338192.134195.6753.90.71.8

All items less energy

Jump to page with historical data
270.900 272.7772.20.7 

All items less food and energy

Jump to page with historical data
273.777 276.0082.50.8 

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) This index series underwent a change in composition in January 2010. The expenditure class now includes weight from secondary residences, and has been re-titled "Owners' equivalent rent of residences." The item stratum "Owners' equivalent rent of primary residence" excludes secondary residences.
(4) Special index based on a substantially smaller sample.
(5) Indexes on a December 1993=100 base.
(6) Indexes on a December 1997=100 base.
 

Note: Index applies to a month as a whole, not to any specific date.
 

 

Last Modified Date: Tuesday, October 18, 2016