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19-2176-BOS
Thursday, December 12, 2019

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

Area prices increased by 0.7 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 0.7 percent in November, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.  Regional Commissioner Deborah A. Brown noted that this was mainly attributable to higher energy prices, up 5.7 percent.  To a lesser extent, higher prices for all items less food and energy, up 0.2 percent, and higher food prices, up 1.2 percent, 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 shelter costs within all items less food and energy, up 4.0 percent, and, to a lesser extent, higher food prices, up 1.3 percent.  Lower energy prices, down 3.9 percent, partially offset the increase.  (See chart 1.)

Food

Food prices increased 1.2 percent since September, mainly due to higher food at home or grocery store prices, up 2.0 percent.  Lower food away from home or restaurant prices, down 0.1 percent, partially offset the increase.  Higher food at home prices were mainly driven by higher fruits and vegetables prices, up 9.2 percent.

Food prices increased 1.3 percent over the year, mainly due to higher restaurant prices, up 2.0 percent, and, to a lesser extent, higher grocery store prices, up 0.8 percent.

Energy

The energy index increased 5.7 percent over the two months, mainly driven by higher utility (piped) gas prices, up 31.9 percent, as suppliers switched to winter rate schedules.  To a lesser extent, higher electricity prices, up 5.2 percent, also contributed.  Lower gasoline prices, down 1.5 percent, partially offset the increase in energy prices since September.

Energy prices were down 3.9 percent from a year ago, largely attributable to lower gasoline prices, down 7.7 percent.  Lower prices for utility (piped) gas, down 1.7 percent, contributed to the decrease to a lesser extent.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy edged up from September (0.2 percent) mainly due to higher medical care costs, up 1.6 percent.  To a lesser extent, higher costs for education and communication and new and used motor vehicles, up 1.0 and 1.2 percent, respectively, also contributed.  Lower apparel and household furnishings costs, down 6.4 and 1.4 percent, respectively, partially offset the overall increase.

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy rose 2.8 percent, with higher shelter costs being the main driver of the increase, up 4.0 percent. Within shelter, higher costs for owners’ equivalent rent of residences, up 3.1 percent, and to a lesser extent, rent of primary residence, up 2.5 percent, led the increase. Higher medical care costs, up 6.9 and, to a lesser extent, higher costs within education and communication and household furnishings, up 3.2 and 4.2 percent, respectively, also contributed to the overall increase.

CPI-W

In November, the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) was 282.162. The CPI-W increased 0.8 percent over two months and 1.7 percent over the year.

The January 2020 Consumer Price Index for Boston-Cambridge-Newton is scheduled to be released on Thursday, February 13, 2020, 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.
2019
Oct.
2019
Nov.
2019
Nov.
2018
Sep.
2019
Oct.
2019

All items

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASA0
281.603 283.5262.10.7 

All items (1967 = 100)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11AAA0
818.486 824.078   

Food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAF
265.357 268.3451.51.1 

Food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAF1
266.716 269.7851.31.2 

Food at home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAF11
246.839252.522251.7680.82.0-0.3

Cereal and bakery products

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAF111
297.248 301.1563.01.3 

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAF112
254.149 256.0550.30.7 

Dairy and related products

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASEFJ
280.547 284.327-1.01.3 

Fruits and vegetables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAF113
292.654 319.5171.69.2 

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAF114
162.724 162.868-0.30.1 

Other food at home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAF115
201.911 200.3910.6-0.8 

Food away from home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASEFV
301.568 301.3312.0-0.1 

Alcoholic beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAF116
254.180 256.2743.80.8 

Housing

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAH
294.677 297.1263.50.8 

Shelter

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAH1
352.054351.791352.4124.00.10.2

Rent of primary residence(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASEHA
363.530362.925364.0412.50.10.3

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

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASEHC
373.432372.072374.6413.10.30.7

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

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASEHC01
373.432372.072374.6413.10.30.7

Fuels and utilities

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAH2
275.390 302.251-1.09.8 

Household energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAH21
229.750230.000255.453-1.111.211.1

Energy services(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASEHF
237.064237.064268.780-0.613.413.4

Electricity(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASEHF01
289.144289.144304.1770.15.25.2

Utility (piped) gas service(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASEHF02
151.689151.689200.074-1.731.931.9

Household furnishings and operations

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAH3
130.939 129.1524.2-1.4 

Apparel

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAA
144.971 135.676-4.0-6.4 

Transportation

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAT
189.679 190.692-3.20.5 

Private transportation

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAT1
190.479 191.576-3.20.6 

New and used motor vehicles(5)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASETA
101.698 102.885-1.51.2 

New Vehicles(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASETA01
201.777 205.236-1.11.7 

Used cars and trucks(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASETA02
318.547 316.3900.3-0.7 

Motor fuel

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASETB
226.427223.287223.122-7.7-1.5-0.1

Gasoline (all types)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASETB01
223.820220.707220.542-7.7-1.5-0.1

Gasoline, unleaded regular(6)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASS47014
216.739213.524213.377-8.1-1.6-0.1

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(6)(7)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASS47015
240.597237.255237.105-6.2-1.5-0.1

Gasoline, unleaded premium(6)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASS47016
237.523235.749235.471-4.7-0.9-0.1

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
690.706 701.4246.91.6 

Recreation(5)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAR
121.200 122.090-1.50.7 

Education and communication(5)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAE
169.723 171.3413.21.0 

Tuition, other fees, and child care(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASEEB
1,394.175 1,394.2153.40.0 

Other goods and services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAG
502.331 504.3933.00.4 

Commodity and service group

Commodities

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAC
191.569 191.527-0.30.0 

Commodities less food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASACL11
153.096 151.686-1.7-0.9 

Nondurables less food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASANL11
201.886 198.167-3.2-1.8 

Durables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAD
106.719 107.2820.80.5 

Services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAS
362.744 366.3563.21.0 

Special aggregate indexes

All items less shelter

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASA0L2
255.735 258.4710.91.1 

All items less medical care

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASA0L5
266.040 267.6781.80.6 

Commodities less food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASACL1
157.148 155.855-1.4-0.8 

Nondurables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAN
232.730 232.324-0.6-0.2 

Nondurables less food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASANL1
204.727 201.444-2.6-1.6 

Services less rent of shelter(3)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASASL2RS
391.224 399.7992.12.2 

Services less medical care services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASASL5
339.300 342.3942.60.9 

Energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASA0E
226.643225.419239.561-3.95.76.3

All items less energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASA0LE
290.696 291.6682.60.3 

All items less food and energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASA0L1E
295.690 296.3082.80.2 

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, December 12, 2019