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

19-654-BOS
Thursday, April 11, 2019

Contacts

Technical information:
Media contact:

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

Area prices up 0.5 percent over two months; up 2.1 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 March, 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 0.4 percent and to a lesser extent higher food prices, up 1.1 percent. Higher energy prices, up 0.9 percent also contributed to 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 2.1 percent. The increase was largely attributable to higher prices within all items less food and energy up 2.5 percent.(See chart 1.)

Food

Food prices increased 1.1 percent since January, mainly due to higher food at home prices, up 1.8 percent. Higher food at home prices were mainly driven by higher prices for fruits and vegetables, up 6.6 percent.

Food prices increased 2.6 percent over the year, mainly due to both higher food at home prices, up 2.6 percent, and food away from home prices, up 2.7 percent.

Energy

The energy index increased 0.9 percent over the two months, mainly driven by higher gasoline prices, up 1.9 percent.

Energy prices were down 2.5 percent from a year ago, largely attributable to lower prices in utility piped gas, down 12.4 percent. Lower local gasoline prices, down 2.5 percent, also contributed to the decline.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy increased from January (0.4 percent) mainly due to higher apparel costs, up 9.5 percent. Higher local costs for owners’ equivalent rent of residences (0.2) percent, also contributed to the increase.

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 3.7 percent. Within shelter, higher costs for owners’ equivalent rent of residences, up 4.2 percent and to a lesser extent, higher rent of primary residence, up 3.7 percent led the increase. Higher apparel and recreation costs, up 5.7 percent and 2.5 percent respectively, also contributed to the increase.

CPI-W

In March, the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) was 279.451. The CPI-W increased 0.5 percent over two months and increased 2.1 percent over the year.

 

The May 2019 Consumer Price Index for Boston-Cambridge-Newton is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, June 12, 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
Jan.
2019
Feb.
2019
Mar.
2019
Mar.
2018
Jan.
2019
Feb.
2019

All items

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASA0
278.976 280.3932.10.5 

All items (1967 = 100)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11AAA0
810.852 814.971   

Food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAF
267.429 269.7842.20.9 

Food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAF1
269.169 272.1742.61.1 

Food at home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAF11
252.353253.592256.9232.61.81.3

Cereal and bakery products

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAF111
301.429 305.5122.61.4 

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAF112
252.469 253.007-0.20.2 

Dairy and related products

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASEFJ
286.537 282.6104.2-1.4 

Fruits and vegetables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAF113
324.455 345.8013.26.6 

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAF114
165.354 167.6153.01.4 

Other food at home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAF115
199.768 201.9373.41.1 

Food away from home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASEFV
298.580 298.8022.70.1 

Alcoholic beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAF116
251.903 246.830-2.4-2.0 

Housing

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAH
291.405 291.3272.60.0 

Shelter

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAH1
343.856342.088343.8573.70.00.5

Rent of primary residence(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASEHA
358.078356.377357.5173.7-0.20.3

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

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASEHC
365.737365.377366.5434.20.20.3

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

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASEHC01
365.737365.377366.5434.20.20.3

Fuels and utilities

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAH2
309.637 310.649-1.80.3 

Household energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAH21
263.003261.872263.764-2.50.30.7

Energy services(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASEHF
278.714276.552277.637-3.1-0.40.4

Electricity(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASEHF01
314.163313.952315.8642.80.50.6

Utility (piped) gas service(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASEHF02
208.960204.696204.689-12.4-2.00.0

Household furnishings and operations

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAH3
126.587 125.649-2.5-0.7 

Apparel

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAA
135.026 147.7995.79.5 

Transportation

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAT
192.302 193.3680.50.6 

Private transportation

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAT1
193.538 194.6330.40.6 

New and used motor vehicles(5)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASETA
106.942 106.7821.7-0.1 

New Vehicles(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASETA01
216.023 213.6950.4-1.1 

Used cars and trucks(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASETA02
317.799 320.1690.20.7 

Motor fuel

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASETB
214.604209.853218.685-2.51.94.2

Gasoline (all types)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASETB01
212.094207.394216.142-2.51.94.2

Gasoline, unleaded regular(6)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASS47014
205.441200.617209.413-2.71.94.4

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(6)(7)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASS47015
227.478223.713229.853-2.11.02.7

Gasoline, unleaded premium(6)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASS47016
224.673221.871228.895-1.11.93.2

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
655.374 659.0551.50.6 

Recreation(5)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAR
124.490 124.6672.50.1 

Education and communication(5)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAE
164.719 165.3890.10.4 

Tuition, other fees, and child care(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASEEB
1,348.743 1,348.7432.40.0 

Other goods and services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAG
498.150 500.3183.40.4 

Commodity and service group

Commodities

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAC
190.988 193.7280.41.4 

Commodities less food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASACL11
151.331 154.171-1.01.9 

Nondurables less food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASANL11
196.487 203.1810.73.4 

Durables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAD
108.044 107.571-3.5-0.4 

Services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAS
358.347 358.6812.90.1 

Special aggregate indexes

All items less shelter

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASA0L2
255.724 257.8661.10.8 

All items less medical care

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASA0L5
264.422 265.7542.20.5 

Commodities less food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASACL1
155.359 157.932-1.11.7 

Nondurables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAN
231.024 235.5651.52.0 

Nondurables less food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASANL1
199.578 205.3930.42.9 

Services less rent of shelter(3)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASASL2RS
392.542 393.3821.90.2 

Services less medical care services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASASL5
337.062 337.2263.00.0 

Energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASA0E
240.079237.384242.276-2.50.92.1

All items less energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASA0LE
286.599 287.9672.50.5 

All items less food and energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASA0L1E
290.462 291.5562.50.4 

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, April 11, 2019