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18-258-BOS
Wednesday, February 14, 2018

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Consumer Price Index, Boston-Cambridge-Newton — January 2018

Area prices up 1.1 percent over two months; up 2.8 percent from a year ago

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) in the Boston-Cambridge-Newton area increased 1.1 percent in January, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.  Acting Regional Commissioner Jim Sibley noted that the two-month increase was mainly due to all item less food and energy, up 1.0 percent and, to a lesser extent, higher energy prices, up 3.9 percent.  (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 2.8 percent. The increase was largely attributable to higher prices within all items less food and energy up 2.1 percent (See chart 1.). Higher energy prices paid by area consumers, up 13.3 percent also contributed to the increase.

 

 

Food

Food prices edged up 0.8 percent since November mainly due to higher food away from home prices, up 1.3 percent. Higher grocery store or food at home prices also contributed to the increase, up 0.6 percent, which was mainly driven by higher fruits and vegetables, up 1.3 percent.

Food prices increased 1.5 percent over the year, mainly due to higher food away from home prices, up 2.2 percent. Food at home prices, edged up 1.1 percent, also contributing to the overall increase.

 

Energy

The energy index increased 3.9 percent over the two months, mainly driven by higher electricity prices up 8.7 percent. 

Energy prices were up 13.3 percent from a year ago, largely attributable to electricity prices, up 15.5 percent. Higher prices for gasoline also contributed to the overall increase, up 10.1 percent.

 

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy increased from November (1.0 percent) mainly due to higher shelter costs, up 1.4 percent.  Within shelter, owners’ equivalent rent of residences prices up, 1.1 percent, and to a lesser extent, lodging away from home prices or hotel and motel prices, up 16.4 percent also contributed to the increase. Higher prices for new and used motor vehicles, up 3.7 also contributed to the increase. Lower prices for apparel, down 5.5 percent offset this increase.

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy rose 2.1 percent, with higher shelter costs being the main driver of the increase, up 3.7 percent. Within shelter, higher costs for owners’ equivalent rent of residences, up 3.8 percent, led the increase. To a lesser extent, higher prices for rent of primary residence, up 4.6 percent, also contributed to the increase.

CPI-W

In January, the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) was 271.612. The CPI-W was up 1.1 percent over two months and increased 3.0 percent over the year.

The March 2018 Consumer Price Index for Boston-Cambridge-Newton is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, April 11, 2018, at 8:30 a.m. (ET).

Consumer Price Index Geographic Revision for 2018

In January 2018, BLS introduced a new geographic area sample for the Consumer Price Index (CPI). As part of the new sample, the index for this area will be renamed. The indexes using the new structure are published for the first time this month. Additional information on the geographic revision is available at https://www.bls.gov/cpi/additional-resources/geographic-revision-2018.htm


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 94 percent of the total population and (2) a CPI for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) which covers approximately 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 75 urban areas across the country from about 5,000 housing units and approximately 22,000 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/pdf/homch17.pdf.

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 Boston-Cambridge-Newton, Mass.-N.H. consolidated area covered in this release is comprised of Essex, Middlesex, Norfolk, Plymouth, Suffolk Counties in Massachusetts; Rockingham, Strafford Counties in New Hampshire.

Information from this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: 202-691-5200; Federal Relay Service: 1-800-877-8339. 

Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U): Indexes and percent changes for selected periods, Boston-Cambridge-Newton, Ma.-N.H. (1982-84=100 unless otherwise noted) (not seasonally adjusted)
Expenditure categoryIndexesPercent change from
 
Historical
data
Nov.
2017
Dec.
2017
Jan.
2018
Jan.
2017
Nov.
2017
Dec.
2017

All items

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASA0
269.149 272.2292.81.1 

All items (1967 = 100)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11AAA0
782.288 791.242   
 

Food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAF
260.463 263.4571.71.1 

Food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAF1
261.898 264.0841.50.8 

Food at home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAF11
246.968245.166248.3551.10.61.3

Cereal and bakery products

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAF111
293.414 294.230 0.3 

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAF112
249.244 248.563 -0.3 

Dairy and related products

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASEFJ
262.638 265.415 1.1 

Fruits and vegetables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAF113
324.006 328.268 1.3 

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAF114
161.043 163.026 1.2 

Other food at home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAF115
198.007 198.104 0.0 

Food away from home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASEFV
287.884 291.5742.21.3 

Alcoholic beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAF116
248.281 260.6603.45.0 
 

Housing

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAH
275.470 280.9284.52.0 

Shelter

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAH1
323.945325.584328.5163.71.40.9

Rent of primary residence(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASEHA
339.499341.946343.1274.61.10.3

Owners' equivalent rent of residences(2)(3)(4)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASEHC
347.148349.480350.8243.81.10.4

Owners' equivalent rent of primary residence(2)(3)(4)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASEHC01
347.148349.480350.8243.81.10.4

Fuels and utilities

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAH2
289.105 307.10413.76.2 

Household energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAH21
244.580246.818261.91215.57.16.1

Energy services(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASEHF
258.782258.838273.07313.45.55.5

Electricity(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASEHF01
288.639288.727313.84615.58.78.7

Utility (piped) gas service(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASEHF02
197.659197.659197.55610.7-0.1-0.1

Household furnishings and operations

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAH3
125.812 128.8450.62.4 
 

Apparel

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAA
141.503 133.773-5.3-5.5 
 

Transportation

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAT
188.944 190.6772.80.9 

Private transportation

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAT1
188.676 192.0183.71.8 

New and used motor vehicles(5)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASETA
100.105 103.780 3.7 

New Vehicles(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASETA01
199.334 215.221 8.0 

Used cars and trucks(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASETA02
306.642 310.689 1.3 

Motor fuel

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASETB
222.224219.018220.77010.1-0.70.8

Gasoline (all types)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASETB01
219.787216.513218.21410.1-0.70.8

Gasoline, unleaded regular(6)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASS47014
213.176209.991211.58210.3-0.70.8

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(6)(7)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASS47015
232.449229.088230.4938.9-0.80.6

Gasoline, unleaded premium(6)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASS47016
230.961227.581229.9578.7-0.41.0

Motor vehicle insurance(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASETE
      
 

Medical care

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAM
646.503 647.7321.90.2 
 

Recreation(5)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAR
119.889 121.117-0.91.0 
 

Education and communication(5)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAE
163.261 163.8581.70.4 

Tuition, other fees, and child care(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASEEB
1,306.747 1,310.836 0.3 
 

Other goods and services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAG
482.975 485.3732.90.5 
 

Commodity and service group

 

Commodities

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAC
188.847 192.2651.91.8 

Commodities less food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASACL11
151.463 154.9482.22.3 

Nondurables less food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASANL11
199.203 200.3542.70.6 

Durables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAD
106.048 111.3161.65.0 

Services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAS
341.820 344.7263.30.9 
 

Special aggregate indexes

 

All items less shelter

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASA0L2
250.374 252.9322.31.0 

All items less medical care

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASA0L5
254.671 257.7822.91.2 

Commodities less food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASACL1
155.361 159.1682.22.5 

Nondurables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAN
228.952 231.0202.20.9 

Nondurables less food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASANL1
201.829 203.7792.81.0 

Services less rent of shelter(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASASL2RS
380.314 381.1512.70.2 

Services less medical care services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASASL5
320.908 323.8383.40.9 

Energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASA0E
233.102232.957242.14713.33.93.9

All items less energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASA0LE
276.366 278.9652.00.9 

All items less food and energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASA0L1E
279.692 282.3702.11.0 

Footnotes
(1) Indexes on a January 1978=100 base.
(2) This index series was calculated using a Laspeyres estimator. All other item stratum index series were calculated using a geometric means estimator.
(3) Indexes on a December 1982=100 base.
(4) 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.
(5) Indexes on a December 1997=100 base.
(6) Special index based on a substantially smaller sample.
(7) Indexes on a December 1993=100 base.
 

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

 

Last Modified Date: Wednesday, February 14, 2018