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20-1948-BOS
Wednesday, October 14, 2020

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Consumer Price Index, Boston-Cambridge-Newton — September 2020

Area prices up 0.1 percent over two months; up 0.6 percent from a year ago

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) in the Boston-Cambridge-Newton area inched up 0.1 percent in September, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner William J. Sibley noted that the September increase was influenced by higher prices for all items less food and energy. (Data in this report are not seasonally adjusted. Accordingly, bimonthly changes may reflect the impact of seasonal influences.)

Over the last 12 months, the CPI-U rose 0.6 percent. Food prices rose 6.9 percent. The index for all items less food and energy increased 0.5 percent over the year. Energy prices dropped 11.2 percent, largely the result of a decrease in the price of gasoline. (See chart 1.)

Food

Food prices decreased 1.3 percent for the two months ending in September. (See table 1.) Prices for food at home decreased 2.3 percent, and prices for food away from home advanced 0.3 percent for the same period.

Over the year, food prices rose 6.9 percent. Prices rose due mainly to higher food at home prices (+8.2 percent), and, to a lesser extent, higher prices for food away from home (+5.0 percent) since a year ago.

Energy

The energy index rose 0.7 percent for the two months ending in September. The increase was mainly due to higher prices for gasoline (3.0 percent). Prices for natural gas service decreased 0.7 percent, and prices for electricity decreased 1.6 percent for the same period.

Energy prices dropped 11.2 percent over the year, largely due to lower prices for gasoline (-16.8 percent). Prices paid for electricity decreased 2.4 percent, and prices for natural gas service declined 6.2 percent during the past year.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy increased 0.3 percent in the latest two-month period. Higher prices for apparel (4.3 percent) and household furnishings and operations (1.5 percent) were partially offset by lower prices for new and used motor vehicles (-1.3 percent); other goods and services (-0.7 percent) and medical care (-0.1 percent).

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy increased 0.5 percent. Components contributing to the increase included shelter (1.9 percent) and education and communication (1.9 percent). Partly offsetting the increases were price decreases in apparel (-11.0 percent) and recreation (-3.5 percent).

CPI-W

In September, the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) was 281.670. The CPI-W remained flat (0.0 percent) over two months and increased 0.6 percent over the year.

The November 2020 Consumer Price Index for Boston-Cambridge-Newton area is scheduled to be released on Thursday, December 10, 2020, at 8:30 a.m. (ET).

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic Impact on September 2020 Consumer Price Index Data

Data collection by personal visit for the Consumer Price Index (CPI) program has been suspended since March 16, 2020. When possible, data normally collected by personal visit were collected either online or by phone. Additionally, data collection in September was affected by the temporary closing or limited operations of certain types of establishments. These factors resulted in an increase in the number of prices considered temporarily unavailable and imputed.

While the CPI program attempted to collect as much data as possible, many indexes are based on smaller amounts of collected prices than usual, and a small number of indexes that are normally published were not published this month. Additional information is available atwww.bls.gov/covid19/effects-of-covid-19-pandemic-on-consumer-price-index.htm

 


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
Jul.
2020
Aug.
2020
Sep.
2020
Sep.
2019
Jul.
2020
Aug.
2020

All items

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASA0
283.175 283.3910.60.1 

All items (1967 = 100)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11AAA0
823.056 823.682   

Food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAF
285.837 283.1786.7-0.9 

Food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAF1
288.878 285.1546.9-1.3 

Food at home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAF11
273.460264.259267.1868.2-2.31.1

Cereal and bakery products

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAF111
324.743 320.0747.7-1.4 

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAF112
297.522 285.73412.4-4.0 

Dairy and related products

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASEFJ
293.892 291.0533.7-1.0 

Fruits and vegetables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAF113
351.155 354.13321.00.8 

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAF114
170.999 162.7180.0-4.8 

Other food at home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAF115
212.319 205.6111.8-3.2 

Food away from home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASEFV
315.781 316.5855.00.3 

Alcoholic beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAF116
257.049 265.5144.53.3 

Housing

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAH
297.149 297.7861.10.2 

Shelter

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAH1
358.626359.574358.9161.90.1-0.2

Rent of primary residence(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASEHA
370.972372.555375.2843.21.20.7

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

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASEHC
384.724385.086385.3363.20.20.1

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

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASEHC01
384.724385.086385.3363.20.20.1

Fuels and utilities

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAH2
262.049 261.519-5.0-0.2 

Household energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAH21
215.296213.755213.780-7.0-0.70.0

Energy services(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASEHF
232.863229.423229.664-3.1-1.40.1

Electricity(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASEHF01
286.886281.785282.198-2.4-1.60.1

Utility (piped) gas service(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASEHF02
143.256142.251142.251-6.2-0.70.0

Household furnishings and operations

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAH3
126.530 128.480-1.91.5 

Apparel

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAA
123.640 128.971-11.04.3 

Transportation

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAT
181.952 180.884-4.6-0.6 

Private transportation

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAT1
184.405 184.528-3.10.1 

New and used motor vehicles(5)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASETA
105.263 103.8682.1-1.3 

New Vehicles(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASETA01
214.609 204.1111.2-4.9 

Used cars and trucks(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASETA02
322.507 347.1739.07.6 

Motor fuel

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASETB
183.054184.577188.492-16.83.02.1

Gasoline (all types)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASETB01
180.786182.309186.222-16.83.02.1

Gasoline, unleaded regular(6)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASS47014
173.189174.830178.631-17.63.12.2

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(6)(7)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASS47015
205.885206.353210.033-12.72.01.8

Gasoline, unleaded premium(6)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASS47016
204.765205.213209.347-11.92.22.0

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
695.700 694.8150.6-0.1 

Recreation(5)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAR
116.746 116.973-3.50.2 

Education and communication(5)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAE
171.624 173.0251.90.8 

Tuition, other fees, and child care(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASEEB
1,400.341 1,422.6662.01.6 

Other goods and services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAG
516.473 513.0632.1-0.7 

Commodity and service group

Commodities

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAC
190.932 191.7490.10.4 

Commodities less food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASACL11
143.674 145.869-4.71.5 

Nondurables less food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASANL11
180.178 183.602-9.11.9 

Durables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAD
107.108 108.2571.41.1 

Services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAS
366.236 365.9250.9-0.1 

Special aggregate indexes

All items less shelter

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASA0L2
255.248 255.434-0.10.1 

All items less medical care

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASA0L5
267.523 267.7750.70.1 

Commodities less food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASACL1
148.117 150.536-4.21.6 

Nondurables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAN
231.457 231.952-0.30.2 

Nondurables less food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASANL1
184.944 188.725-7.82.0 

Services less rent of shelter(3)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASASL2RS
391.109 389.959-0.3-0.3 

Services less medical care services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASASL5
342.500 342.1530.8-0.1 

Energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASA0E
199.790199.560201.231-11.20.70.8

All items less energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASA0LE
294.384 294.5071.30.0 

All items less food and energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASA0L1E
296.354 297.1020.50.3 

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, October 14, 2020