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19-277-BOS
Thursday, February 14, 2019

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Consumer Price Index, Boston-Cambridge-Newton — January 2019

Area prices up 0.5 percent over two months; up 2.5 percent from a year ago

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) in the Boston-Cambridge-Newton area increased 0.5 percent in January, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.  Regional Commissioner Deborah A. Brown noted that this was mainly attributable to higher prices within all items less food and energy, up 0.8 percent and to a lesser extent higher food prices, up 1.0 percent. Lower energy prices, down 3.7 percent partially offset the increase. (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 2.5 percent. The increase was largely attributable to higher prices within all items less food and energy up 2.9 percent.(See chart 1.)

Food

Food prices edged up 1.0 percent since November, mainly due to higher food at home prices, up 1.1 percent. Restaurant prices, up 1.0 percent also contributed to the increase. Higher food at home prices were mainly driven by higher prices for fruits and vegetables, up 3.2 percent.

Food prices increased 1.9 percent over the year, mainly due to both higher food at home prices, up 1.6 percent, and food away from home prices, up 2.4 percent.

Energy

The energy index decreased 3.7 percent over the two months, mainly driven by lower gasoline prices, down 11.2 percent. Higher electricity prices, and utility (piped) gas prices, up 3.4 percent and 2.6 percent respectively, partially moderated the decrease.

Energy prices were down 0.9 percent from a year ago, largely attributable to gasoline prices, down 2.8 percent.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy increased from November (0.8 percent) mainly due to higher shelter costs. Within shelter, higher prices in lodging away from home, mainly drove the increase. Owners’ equivalent rent of residences, up 0.6 percent also contributed to the increase.

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy rose 2.9 percent, with higher shelter costs being the main driver of the increase, up 4.7 percent. Within shelter, higher costs for owners’ equivalent rent of residences, up 4.3 percent and to a lesser extent, higher rent of primary residence, up 4.4 percent led the increase.

 CPI-W

In January, the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) was 277.969. The CPI-W increased 0.2 percent over two months and increased 2.3 percent over the year.

 

The March 2019 Consumer Price Index for Boston-Cambridge-Newton is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, April 10, 2019, 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
Nov.
2018
Dec.
2018
Jan.
2019
Jan.
2018
Nov.
2018
Dec.
2018

All items

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASA0
277.632 278.9762.50.5 

All items (1967 = 100)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11AAA0
806.946 810.852   

Food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAF
264.467 267.4291.51.1 

Food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAF1
266.382 269.1691.91.0 

Food at home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAF11
249.715252.155252.3531.61.10.1

Cereal and bakery products

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAF111
292.317 301.4292.43.1 

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAF112
255.373 252.4691.6-1.1 

Dairy and related products

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASEFJ
287.058 286.5378.0-0.2 

Fruits and vegetables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAF113
314.498 324.455-1.23.2 

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAF114
163.407 165.3541.41.2 

Other food at home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAF115
199.126 199.7680.80.3 

Food away from home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASEFV
295.534 298.5802.41.0 

Alcoholic beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAF116
246.882 251.903-3.42.0 

Housing

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAH
287.035 291.4053.71.5 

Shelter

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAH1
338.854341.240343.8564.71.50.8

Rent of primary residence(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASEHA
355.082357.167358.0784.40.80.3

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

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASEHC
363.452365.338365.7374.30.60.1

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

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASEHC01
363.452365.338365.7374.30.60.1

Fuels and utilities

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAH2
305.274 309.6370.81.4 

Household energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAH21
258.417258.098263.0030.41.81.9

Energy services(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASEHF
270.334272.870278.7142.13.12.1

Electricity(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASEHF01
303.965303.965314.1630.13.43.4

Utility (piped) gas service(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASEHF02
203.570208.866208.9605.82.60.0

Household furnishings and operations

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAH3
123.966 126.587-1.82.1 

Apparel

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAA
141.282 135.0260.9-4.4 

Transportation

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAT
196.925 192.3020.9-2.3 

Private transportation

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAT1
197.966 193.5380.8-2.2 

New and used motor vehicles(5)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASETA
104.487 106.9423.02.3 

New Vehicles(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASETA01
207.482 216.0230.44.1 

Used cars and trucks(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASETA02
315.519 317.7992.30.7 

Motor fuel

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASETB
241.684229.707214.604-2.8-11.2-6.6

Gasoline (all types)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASETB01
238.902227.045212.094-2.8-11.2-6.6

Gasoline, unleaded regular(6)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASS47014
232.165220.334205.441-2.9-11.5-6.8

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(6)(7)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASS47015
252.895241.158227.478-1.3-10.1-5.7

Gasoline, unleaded premium(6)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASS47016
247.102237.355224.673-2.3-9.1-5.3

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
656.108 655.3741.2-0.1 

Recreation(5)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAR
123.936 124.4902.80.4 

Education and communication(5)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAE
166.050 164.7190.5-0.8 

Tuition, other fees, and child care(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASEEB
1,348.743 1,348.7432.90.0 

Other goods and services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAG
489.490 498.1502.61.8 

Commodity and service group

Commodities

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAC
192.091 190.988-0.7-0.6 

Commodities less food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASACL11
154.244 151.331-2.3-1.9 

Nondurables less food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASANL11
204.755 196.487-1.9-4.0 

Durables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAD
106.392 108.044-2.91.6 

Services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAS
354.920 358.3474.01.0 

Special aggregate indexes

All items less shelter

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASA0L2
256.108 255.7241.1-0.1 

All items less medical care

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASA0L5
263.032 264.4222.60.5 

Commodities less food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASACL1
158.004 155.359-2.4-1.7 

Nondurables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAN
233.740 231.0240.0-1.2 

Nondurables less food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASANL1
206.851 199.578-2.1-3.5 

Services less rent of shelter(3)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASASL2RS
391.396 392.5423.00.3 

Services less medical care services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASASL5
333.589 337.0624.11.0 

Energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASA0E
249.278243.899240.079-0.9-3.7-1.6

All items less energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASA0LE
284.295 286.5992.70.8 

All items less food and energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASA0L1E
288.233 290.4622.90.8 

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: Thursday, February 14, 2019