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18-1963-BOS
Wednesday, December 12, 2018

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

Area prices down 0.4 percent over two months; up 3.2 percent from a year ago

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) in the Boston-Cambridge-Newton area decreased 0.4 percent in November, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.  Regional Commissioner Deborah A. Brown noted that this was mainly attributable to lower prices within all items less food and energy, down 0.6 percent and to a lesser extent lower food prices, down 1.1 percent. Higher energy prices, up 4.0 percent partially offset the decrease. (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 3.2 percent. The increase was largely attributable to higher prices within all items less food and energy up 3.1 percent and to a lesser extent higher energy prices paid by area consumers, up 6.9 percent.(See chart 1.).

Food

Food prices edged down 1.1 percent since September, mainly due to lower food at home prices, down 2.0 percent. Lower food at home prices were mainly driven by lower prices for fruits and vegetables, down 11.6 percent.

Food prices increased 1.7 percent over the year, mainly due to higher food away from home prices, up 2.7 percent, and to a lesser extent, food at home prices, up 1.1 percent.

Energy

The energy index increased 4.0 percent over the two months, mainly driven by higher utility piped gas prices, up 32.9 percent due to suppliers switching to winter rates. Higher electricity prices, up 4.2 percent also contributed to the increase which was offset by lower gasoline prices down 3.6 percent.

Energy prices were up 6.9 percent from a year ago, largely attributable to gasoline prices, up 8.7 percent and electricity prices, up 5.3 percent.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy decreased from September (-0.6 percent) mainly due to lower shelter costs, down 0.7 percent and to a lesser extent, lower apparel costs, down  6.7 percent. Within shelter, lower prices in lodging away from home, drove the decrease.

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy rose 3.1 percent, with higher shelter costs being the main driver of the increase, up 4.6 percent. Within shelter, higher costs for owners’ equivalent rent of residences, up 4.7 percent and rent of primary residence, up 4.6 percent led the increase.

CPI-W

In November, the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) was 277.413. The CPI-W decreased 0.1 percent over two months and increased 3.3 percent over the year.

The January 2019 Consumer Price Index for Boston-Cambridge-Newton is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, February 13, 2018, 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 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. Core Based Statistical 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
Sep.
2018
Oct.
2018
Nov.
2018
Nov.
2017
Sep.
2018
Oct.
2018

All items

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASA0
278.663 277.6323.2-0.4 

All items (1967 = 100)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11AAA0
809.941 806.946   

Food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAF
267.884 264.4671.5-1.3 

Food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAF1
269.284 266.3821.7-1.1 

Food at home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAF11
254.831250.591249.7151.1-2.0-0.3

Cereal and bakery products

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAF111
293.670 292.317-0.4-0.5 

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAF112
250.017 255.3732.52.1 

Dairy and related products

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASEFJ
284.950 287.0589.30.7 

Fruits and vegetables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAF113
355.764 314.498-2.9-11.6 

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAF114
162.579 163.4071.50.5 

Other food at home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAF115
199.178 199.1260.60.0 

Food away from home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASEFV
294.499 295.5342.70.4 

Alcoholic beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAF116
256.270 246.882-0.6-3.7 

Housing

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAH
287.056 287.0354.20.0 

Shelter

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAH1
341.399343.172338.8544.6-0.7-1.3

Rent of primary residence(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASEHA
353.083354.814355.0824.60.60.1

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

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASEHC
360.965361.948363.4524.70.70.4

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

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASEHC01
360.965361.948363.4524.70.70.4

Fuels and utilities

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAH2
278.665 305.2745.69.5 

Household energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAH21
234.269236.373258.4175.710.39.3

Energy services(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASEHF
239.320239.356270.3344.513.012.9

Electricity(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASEHF01
291.848291.910303.9655.34.24.1

Utility (piped) gas service(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASEHF02
153.190153.190203.5703.032.932.9

Household furnishings and operations

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAH3
128.082 123.966-1.5-3.2 

Apparel

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAA
151.353 141.282-0.2-6.7 

Transportation

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAT
197.275 196.9254.2-0.2 

Private transportation

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAT1
198.872 197.9664.9-0.5 

New and used motor vehicles(5)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASETA
103.074 104.4874.41.4 

New Vehicles(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASETA01
203.769 207.4824.11.8 

Used cars and trucks(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASETA02
309.233 315.5192.92.0 

Motor fuel

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASETB
250.583248.129241.6848.8-3.6-2.6

Gasoline (all types)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASETB01
247.728245.281238.9028.7-3.6-2.6

Gasoline, unleaded regular(6)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASS47014
241.038238.522232.1658.9-3.7-2.7

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(6)(7)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASS47015
260.175257.223252.8958.8-2.8-1.7

Gasoline, unleaded premium(6)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASS47016
254.081252.795247.1027.0-2.7-2.3

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
651.678 656.1081.50.7 

Recreation(5)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAR
123.267 123.9363.40.5 

Education and communication(5)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAE
166.898 166.0501.7-0.5 

Tuition, other fees, and child care(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASEEB
1,348.743 1,348.7433.20.0 

Other goods and services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAG
492.088 489.4901.3-0.5 

Commodity and service group

Commodities

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAC
195.771 192.0911.7-1.9 

Commodities less food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASACL11
157.944 154.2441.8-2.3 

Nondurables less food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASANL11
211.679 204.7552.8-3.3 

Durables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAD
107.270 106.3920.3-0.8 

Services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAS
353.745 354.9203.80.3 

Special aggregate indexes

All items less shelter

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASA0L2
256.436 256.1082.3-0.1 

All items less medical care

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASA0L5
264.213 263.0323.3-0.4 

Commodities less food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASACL1
161.916 158.0041.7-2.4 

Nondurables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAN
238.921 233.7402.1-2.2 

Nondurables less food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASANL1
213.920 206.8512.5-3.3 

Services less rent of shelter(3)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASASL2RS
384.591 391.3962.91.8 

Services less medical care services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASASL5
332.501 333.5894.00.3 

Energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASA0E
239.658239.767249.2786.94.04.0

All items less energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASA0LE
286.290 284.2952.9-0.7 

All items less food and energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASA0L1E
290.080 288.2333.1-0.6 

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 November 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, December 12, 2018