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News Release Information

19-1491-BOS
Tuesday, August 13, 2019

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

Area prices remained unchanged over two months; up 2.0 percent from a year ago

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) in the Boston-Cambridge-Newton area remained unchanged in July, 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 0.5 percent, and lower energy prices, down 4.7 percent, which primarily offset the increase. Lower food prices down 0.2 percent also 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 2.0 percent. The increase was largely attributable to higher prices within all items less food and energy up 2.7 percent.(See chart 1.)

Food

Food prices decreased 0.2 percent since May, mainly due to lower food at home prices, down 0.9 percent. Higher food away from home prices, up 0.7 partially offset the decrease. Lower food at home prices were mainly driven by lower prices in nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials, and fruits and vegetables, down 3.5 percent and 1.9 percent, respectively.

Food prices increased 0.7 percent over the year, due to higher food away from home prices, up 2.0 percent. Partially offsetting this increase, were lower food at home or grocery store prices, down 0.2 percent.

Energy

The energy index decreased 4.7 percent over the two months, mainly driven by lower gasoline prices, down 4.4 percent. Lower prices in electricity and utility piped gas, down 4.5 percent and 7.1 percent respectively, also contributed to the decrease.

Energy prices were down 3.1 percent from a year ago, largely attributable to lower gasoline prices, down 6.3 percent.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy increased from May (0.5 percent) mainly due to higher shelter costs, up 1.2 percent. Within shelter, higher local costs for lodging away from home, mainly contributed to the increase. To a lesser extent, higher costs for owners’ equivalent rent of residences, up 0.4 percent also contributed to the increase.  Lower apparel costs, down 5.2 percent partially offset the increase.

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy rose 2.7 percent, with higher shelter costs being the main driver of the increase, up 4.3 percent. Within shelter, higher costs for owners’ equivalent rent of residences, up 4.1 percent and to a lesser extent, higher rent of primary residence, up 3.5 percent led the increase. Higher medical care costs, up 4.7 percent, also contributed to the overall increase.

CPI-W

In July, the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) was 279.164. The CPI-W decreased 0.1 percent over two months and increased 1.8 percent over the year.

The September 2019 Consumer Price Index for Boston-Cambridge-Newton is scheduled to be released on Thursday, October 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
May
2019
Jun.
2019
Jul.
2019
Jul.
2018
May
2019
Jun.
2019

All items

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASA0
280.937 280.9432.00.0 

All items (1967 = 100)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11AAA0
816.552 816.568   

Food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAF
267.579 266.5570.7-0.4 

Food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAF1
269.182 268.5110.7-0.2 

Food at home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAF11
252.739251.377250.490-0.2-0.9-0.4

Cereal and bakery products

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAF111
294.265 293.2630.2-0.3 

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAF112
257.115 254.328-0.3-1.1 

Dairy and related products

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASEFJ
288.302 288.1003.8-0.1 

Fruits and vegetables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAF113
327.179 320.883-5.6-1.9 

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAF114
167.415 161.517-3.2-3.5 

Other food at home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAF115
197.865 199.5744.30.9 

Food away from home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASEFV
297.931 300.0652.00.7 

Alcoholic beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAF116
253.633 248.5611.2-2.0 

Housing

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAH
291.877 293.4953.50.6 

Shelter

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAH1
346.860347.912351.1274.31.20.9

Rent of primary residence(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASEHA
358.833359.676360.1653.50.40.1

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

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASEHC
369.195370.348370.7774.10.40.1

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

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASEHC01
369.195370.348370.7774.10.40.1

Fuels and utilities

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAH2
289.596 276.9170.1-4.4 

Household energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAH21
243.529240.501231.216-0.5-5.1-3.9

Energy services(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASEHF
251.696250.211238.2980.5-5.3-4.8

Electricity(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASEHF01
303.198303.614289.5900.6-4.5-4.6

Utility (piped) gas service(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASEHF02
165.557161.961153.7360.4-7.1-5.1

Household furnishings and operations

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAH3
128.072 127.251-0.4-0.6 

Apparel

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAA
135.571 128.5450.7-5.2 

Transportation

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAT
199.182 193.663-3.0-2.8 

Private transportation

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAT1
199.107 194.449-3.5-2.3 

New and used motor vehicles(5)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASETA
104.010 103.497-2.5-0.5 

New Vehicles(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASETA01
211.027 201.502-2.1-4.5 

Used cars and trucks(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASETA02
317.849 329.7142.73.7 

Motor fuel

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASETB
246.923236.420236.165-6.2-4.4-0.1

Gasoline (all types)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASETB01
244.108233.709233.461-6.3-4.4-0.1

Gasoline, unleaded regular(6)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASS47014
237.526226.846226.587-6.5-4.6-0.1

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(6)(7)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASS47015
254.226247.233247.460-4.6-2.70.1

Gasoline, unleaded premium(6)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASS47016
250.688244.122243.925-4.3-2.7-0.1

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
675.683 685.1574.71.4 

Recreation(5)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAR
123.545 124.2901.20.6 

Education and communication(5)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAE
164.903 166.7890.81.1 

Tuition, other fees, and child care(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASEEB
1,349.187 1,353.2601.80.3 

Other goods and services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAG
499.710 504.7184.01.0 

Commodity and service group

Commodities

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAC
193.773 191.373-0.5-1.2 

Commodities less food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASACL11
155.233 152.273-1.5-1.9 

Nondurables less food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASANL11
205.434 200.095-1.6-2.6 

Durables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAD
107.602 106.733-1.3-0.8 

Services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAS
359.654 361.6823.20.6 

Special aggregate indexes

All items less shelter

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASA0L2
257.238 255.1850.5-0.8 

All items less medical care

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASA0L5
265.811 265.5341.8-0.1 

Commodities less food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASACL1
159.198 156.154-1.3-1.9 

Nondurables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAN
235.617 232.417-0.3-1.4 

Nondurables less food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASANL1
207.964 202.668-1.4-2.5 

Services less rent of shelter(3)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASASL2RS
391.216 389.9341.6-0.3 

Services less medical care services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASASL5
337.287 338.8853.00.5 

Energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASA0E
243.239236.987231.691-3.1-4.7-2.2

All items less energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASA0LE
288.482 289.5182.40.4 

All items less food and energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASA0L1E
292.670 294.0002.70.5 

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: Tuesday, August 13, 2019