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Tuesday, October 18, 2016
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 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.
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.
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).
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.
|Expenditure category||Indexes||Percent change from|
All items (1967 = 100)
Food and beverages
Food at home
Food away from home
Rent of primary residence (1)
Fuels and utilities
Energy services (1)
Utility (piped) gas service (1)
Household furnishings and operations
Gasoline (all types)
Gasoline, unleaded regular (4)
Gasoline, unleaded premium (4)
Education and communication (6)
Other goods and services
Commodity and service group
Commodities less food and beverages
Nondurables less food and beverages
Special aggregate indexes
All items less shelter
All items less medical care
Commodities less food
Nondurables less food
Services less rent of shelter (2)
Services less medical care services
All items less energy
All items less food and energy
Note: Index applies to a month as a whole, not to any specific date.
Last Modified Date: Tuesday, October 18, 2016