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News Release Information

22-663-BOS
Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Contacts Technical information: Media contact:

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

Area prices were up 1.9 percent over the past two months, up 7.3 percent from a year ago

Prices in the Boston area, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), advanced 1.9 percent for the two months ending in March 2022, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (See table A.) Regional Commissioner William J. Sibley noted that the March increase was influenced by higher prices for energy with gasoline being a big component of the energy increase. (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 7.3 percent. (See chart 1 and table A.) This was the largest annual increase recorded in the Boston area since January 1989. The index for all items less food and energy rose 5.2 percent over the year. Energy prices jumped 36.9 percent, largely the result of an increase in the price of gasoline. Food prices rose 7.1 percent. (See table 1.)

Food

Food prices advanced 1.8 percent for the two months ending in March. (See table 1.) Prices for food at home increased 1.7 percent, and prices for food away from home advanced 1.8 percent for the same period.

Over the year, food prices rose 7.1 percent. Prices for food at home increased 6.1 percent since a year ago, and prices for food away from home increased 8.7 percent.

Energy

The energy index jumped 14.8 percent for the two months ending in March. The increase was mainly due to higher prices for gasoline (24.5 percent). This was the largest 2-month advance in the area since June 2009 (+29.6 percent). Prices for natural gas service increased 8.1 percent, while prices for electricity edged up 0.4 percent for the same period.

Energy prices jumped 36.9 percent over the year, largely due to higher prices for gasoline (53.6 percent). Prices paid for natural gas service advanced 27.0 percent, and prices for electricity jumped 14.5 percent during the past year.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.8 percent in the latest two-month period. Higher prices for apparel (7.9 percent) and household furnishings and operations (2.9 percent) were partially offset by lower prices for education and communication (-0.3 percent).

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy rose 5.2 percent. Components contributing to the increase included shelter (4.1 percent), used cars and trucks (36.7 percent) and household furnishings and operations (9.9 percent).

The Consumer Price Index for May 2022 is scheduled to be released on Friday, June 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; Telecommunications Relay Service: 7-1-1.

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

0.93.60.52.10.11.80.91.31.97.3

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
Jan.
2022
Feb.
2022
Mar.
2022
Mar.
2021
Jan.
2022
Feb.
2022

All items

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASA0
304.634 310.3117.31.9 

All items (1967 = 100)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11AAA0
885.427 901.926   

Food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAF
300.803 305.7916.71.7 

Food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAF1
304.158 309.5227.11.8 

Food at home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAF11
274.441275.322279.2136.11.71.4

Cereal and bakery products

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAF111
335.316 338.04211.20.8 

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAF112
291.535 310.1719.76.4 

Dairy and related products

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASEFJ
307.660 319.74010.93.9 

Fruits and vegetables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAF113
348.349 357.5814.02.7 

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAF114
170.778 168.060-1.5-1.6 

Other food at home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAF115
212.911 209.2433.6-1.7 

Food away from home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASEFV
356.507 362.9378.71.8 

Alcoholic beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAF116
268.338 268.8570.70.2 

Housing

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAH
319.796 323.7266.31.2 

Shelter

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAH1
374.094373.029375.1144.10.30.6

Rent of primary residence(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASEHA
383.389383.669385.4222.60.50.5

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

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASEHC
399.853401.577402.5543.60.70.2

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

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASEHC01
399.853401.577402.5543.60.70.2

Fuels and utilities

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAH2
358.687 385.34322.57.4 

Household energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAH21
306.087311.791332.00026.08.56.5

Energy services(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASEHF
325.196327.180334.89318.93.02.4

Electricity(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASEHF01
359.213362.483360.82914.50.4-0.5

Utility (piped) gas service(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASEHF02
251.671251.671272.12727.08.18.1

Household furnishings and operations

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAH3
142.242 146.3209.92.9 

Apparel

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAA
132.805 143.25412.67.9 

Transportation

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAT
222.369 234.57820.75.5 

Private transportation

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAT1
233.547 245.02621.44.9 

New and used motor vehicles(5)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASETA
135.405 135.32720.8-0.1 

New Vehicles(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASETA01
233.835 230.5888.1-1.4 

Used cars and trucks(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASETA02
490.035 483.41036.7-1.4 

Motor fuel

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASETB
293.865304.988366.19453.724.620.1

Gasoline (all types)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASETB01
290.790301.780362.17353.624.520.0

Gasoline, unleaded regular(6)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASS47014
282.623293.675353.10954.224.920.2

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(6)(7)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASS47015
310.998320.775382.58254.623.019.3

Gasoline, unleaded premium(6)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASS47016
301.359310.154367.48249.121.918.5

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
714.612 723.5613.81.3 

Recreation(5)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAR
117.206 117.2812.00.1 

Education and communication(5)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAE
176.258 175.6600.9-0.3 

Tuition, other fees, and child care(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASEEB
1,433.865 1,433.8650.80.0 

Other goods and services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAG
556.021 563.9438.01.4 

Commodity and service group

Commodities

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAC
216.661 224.79613.23.8 

Commodities less food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASACL11
172.623 181.19617.85.0 

Nondurables less food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASANL11
214.905 238.60922.711.0 

Durables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAD
129.797 129.25113.9-0.4 

Services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAS
384.053 387.5264.50.9 

Special aggregate indexes

All items less shelter

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASA0L2
279.780 287.6079.22.8 

All items less medical care

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASA0L5
288.953 294.4937.61.9 

Commodities less food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASACL1
176.604 185.06116.94.8 

Nondurables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAN
256.708 271.75813.65.9 

Nondurables less food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASANL1
217.785 240.01220.710.2 

Services less rent of shelter(3)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASASL2RS
412.668 419.6154.91.7 

Services less medical care services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASASL5
360.203 363.2354.60.8 

Energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASA0E
298.633306.464342.95836.914.811.9

All items less energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASA0LE
310.180 313.1155.40.9 

All items less food and energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASA0L1E
312.346 314.9435.20.8 

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, April 13, 2022