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News Release Information

22-259-BOS
Thursday, February 10, 2022

Contacts Technical information: Media contact:

Consumer Price Index, Boston-Cambridge-Newton – January 2022

Area prices were up 1.6 percent over the past two months, up 6.3 percent from a year ago

Prices in the Boston area, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), advanced 1.6 percent for the two months ending in January 2022, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (See table A.) Regional Commissioner William J. Sibley noted that the January increase was influenced by higher prices for shelter, new and used vehicles, and energy. (Data in this report are not seasonally adjusted. Accordingly, month-to-month changes may reflect the impact of seasonal influences.)

Over the last 12 months, the CPI-U rose 6.3 percent. (See chart 1 and table A) This was the largest annual increase recorded in the Boston area since July 2008. The index for all items less food and energy rose 4.7 percent over the year. Energy prices jumped 29.5 percent, largely the result of an increase in the price of gasoline. Food prices rose 6.0 percent. (See table 1.)

Food

Food prices advanced 1.6 percent for the two months ending in January. (See table 1.) Prices for food at home increased 1.4 percent, and prices for food away from home advanced 1.9 percent for the same period.

Over the year, food prices rose 6.0 percent. Prices for food at home increased 3.6 percent since a year ago, and prices for food away from home increased 9.6 percent.

Energy

The energy index advanced 3.1 percent for the two months ending in January. The increase was mainly due to higher prices for electricity (9.0 percent). Prices for natural gas service edged up 0.2 percent, while prices for gasoline decreased 0.8 percent for the same period.

Energy prices jumped 29.5 percent over the year, largely due to higher prices for gasoline (46.8 percent). Prices paid for natural gas service advanced 16.1 percent, and prices for electricity jumped 16.0 percent during the past year.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy rose 1.5 percent in the latest two-month period. This was largely due to higher prices for shelter (1.7 percent), new and used motor vehicles (3.2 percent), and medical care (1.5 percent). Within shelter and new and used motor vehicles, price increases were noted for owners’ equivalent rent of residences (+1.1 percent) and used cars and trucks (+4.7 percent). 

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy rose 4.7 percent. Components contributing to the increase included shelter (4.3 percent), new and used motor vehicles (24.4 percent), and household furnishings and operations (6.8 percent), its largest yearly advance since January 1989 (7.8 percent). Within new and used motor vehicles and shelter, higher prices for used cars and trucks and owners’ equivalent rent of residences, up 42.9 and 3.5 percent, respectively, led the increases. 

The Consumer Price Index for February 2022 is scheduled to be released on Thursday, March 10, 2022, at 8:30 a.m. (ET).


Technical Note

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) is a measures 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 93 percent of the total U.S. population and (2) a CPI for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) which covers approximately 29 percent of the total U.S. 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 6,000 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; for most of the CPI-U the reference base is 1982-84 equals 100. An increase of 7 percent from the reference base, for example, is shown as 107.000.  Alternatively, that relationship can also be expressed as the price of a base period market basket of goods and services rising from $100 to $107. For further details see the CPI home page on the internet at www.bls.gov/cpi and the CPI section of the BLS Handbook of Methods available on the internet at www.bls.gov/opub/hom/cpi/.

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. 

Table A. Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH, CPI-U 2-month and 12-month percent changes, all items index, not seasonally adjusted
Month20182019202020212022
2-month12-month2-month12-month2-month12-month2-month12-month2-month12-month

January

1.12.80.52.50.62.20.70.51.66.3

March

0.93.60.52.10.11.80.91.3

May

0.03.20.22.3-1.00.60.83.2

July

0.33.40.02.00.20.81.24.3

September

1.23.30.21.10.10.6-0.14.0

November

-0.43.20.72.10.40.41.75.3
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.
2021
Dec.
2021
Jan.
2022
Jan.
2021
Nov.
2021
Dec.
2021

All items

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASA0
299.723 304.6346.31.6 

All items (1967 = 100)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11AAA0
871.152 885.427   

Food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAF
296.279 300.8035.61.5 

Food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAF1
299.367 304.1586.01.6 

Food at home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAF11
270.693269.553274.4413.61.41.8

Cereal and bakery products

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAF111
326.540 335.3167.62.7 

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAF112
296.777 291.5354.6-1.8 

Dairy and related products

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASEFJ
296.859 307.6606.23.6 

Fruits and vegetables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAF113
351.027 348.3491.4-0.8 

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAF114
160.323 170.7781.36.5 

Other food at home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAF115
208.698 212.9112.42.0 

Food away from home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASEFV
349.756 356.5079.61.9 

Alcoholic beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAF116
267.106 268.3380.90.5 

Housing

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAH
313.236 319.7965.62.1 

Shelter

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAH1
367.731373.016374.0944.31.70.3

Rent of primary residence(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASEHA
379.851381.263383.3892.20.90.6

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

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASEHC
395.614398.589399.8533.51.10.3

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

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASEHC01
395.614398.589399.8533.51.10.3

Fuels and utilities

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAH2
341.583 358.68716.75.0 

Household energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAH21
289.413291.602306.08719.25.85.0

Energy services(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASEHF
306.939310.025325.19616.35.94.9

Electricity(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASEHF01
329.685330.250359.21316.09.08.8

Utility (piped) gas service(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASEHF02
251.242257.311251.67116.10.2-2.2

Household furnishings and operations

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAH3
138.726 142.2426.82.5 

Apparel

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAA
127.601 132.8057.84.1 

Transportation

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAT
220.436 222.36918.50.9 

Private transportation

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAT1
230.899 233.54721.91.1 

New and used motor vehicles(5)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASETA
131.202 135.40524.43.2 

New Vehicles(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASETA01
231.917 233.8358.20.8 

Used cars and trucks(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASETA02
468.133 490.03542.94.7 

Motor fuel

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASETB
296.170295.492293.86546.7-0.8-0.6

Gasoline (all types)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASETB01
293.163292.365290.79046.8-0.8-0.5

Gasoline, unleaded regular(6)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASS47014
285.224284.296282.62348.3-0.9-0.6

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(6)(7)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASS47015
311.498311.853310.99839.4-0.2-0.3

Gasoline, unleaded premium(6)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASS47016
301.931301.995301.35938.0-0.2-0.2

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
704.062 714.6123.01.5 

Recreation(5)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAR
115.947 117.2061.01.1 

Education and communication(5)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAE
175.610 176.2582.00.4 

Tuition, other fees, and child care(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASEEB
1,433.804 1,433.8650.90.0 

Other goods and services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAG
538.772 556.0217.13.2 

Commodity and service group

Commodities

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAC
212.686 216.66111.41.9 

Commodities less food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASACL11
169.054 172.62316.02.1 

Nondurables less food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASANL11
211.733 214.90516.71.5 

Durables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAD
126.226 129.79715.12.8 

Services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAS
378.319 384.0533.91.5 

Special aggregate indexes

All items less shelter

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASA0L2
275.433 279.7807.51.6 

All items less medical care

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASA0L5
284.263 288.9536.61.6 

Commodities less food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASACL1
173.065 176.60415.12.0 

Nondurables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAN
252.881 256.70810.21.5 

Nondurables less food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASANL1
214.730 217.78515.01.4 

Services less rent of shelter(3)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASASL2RS
407.640 412.6683.41.2 

Services less medical care services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASASL5
354.771 360.2034.11.5 

Energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASA0E
289.779290.735298.63329.53.12.7

All items less energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASA0LE
305.472 310.1804.91.5 

All items less food and energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASA0L1E
307.581 312.3464.71.5 

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: Thursday, February 10, 2022