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17-244-BOS
Wednesday, February 15, 2017

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Consumer Price Index, Boston-Brockton-Nashua — January 2017

Area prices edged down 0.4 percent over two months; up 1.3 percent from a year ago

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) in the Boston-Brockton-Nashua area edged up 1.2 percent in January, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Acting Regional Commissioner Joyce Sweeney noted that the two-month increase was mainly due to higher prices paid by area consumers for all items less food and energy, up 1.1 percent and to a lesser extent, higher energy prices, up 3.8 percent. Higher food prices, up 0.6 percent also contributed to this 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 3.0 percent. The increase was largely attributable to higher prices within all items less food and energy, up 2.7 percent.(See chart 1.) To a lesser extent, higher energy prices paid by area consumers, up 12.7 percent also contributed to the increase. Food prices were down 0.2 percent over the year.

 

Food

Food prices edged up 0.6 percent since November mainly due to higher grocery store or food at home prices, up 1.0 percent. Restaurant prices, or food away from home, edged up 0.1 percent, contributing to the increase. 

Food prices decreased 0.2 percent over the year mainly due to lower grocery store prices, down 1.6 percent.  To a lesser extent, restaurant prices edged up 2.3 percent partially offsetting the overall decrease since last January.  

Energy

The energy index increased 3.8 percent over the two months, mainly due to higher gasoline prices (6.0 percent) and to a lesser extent, increases in prices paid by local households for electricity (3.2 percent).  Lower prices for utility piped gas down 2.2 percent, partially offset the overall increase.

Energy prices were up 12.7 percent from a year ago, largely attributable to higher gasoline prices, up 18.9 percent. Higher prices for electricity, up 8.5 percent, and utility (piped) gas up 2.2 percent, also contributed to the overall increase. 

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy edged up from November (1.1 percent).  The increase was mainly attributable to recreation, up 4.8 percent. To a lesser extent, increases in shelter (0.7 percent) and other goods and services, up 4.0 percent attributed to this overall increase. Within the local shelter index, higher prices for lodging away from home led the advance.

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 3.8 percent. Higher education and communication and recreation prices up 3.0 percent and 4.5 percent, respectively, also contributed to the overall increase. Other goods and services up 5.7 percent also contributed to the overall increase. Within shelter, higher costs for owners’ equivalent rent of residences, up 2.9 percent led the increase.

CPI-W

In January, the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) was 263.730. The CPI-W was up 1.2 percent over two months and increased 2.9 percent over the year.

The March 2017 Consumer Price Index for Boston-Brockton-Nashua is scheduled to be released on Friday, April 14, 2017, 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 89 percent of the total population and (2) a CPI for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) which covers 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 87 urban areas across the country from about 6,000 housing units and approximately 24,000 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 change 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 https://www.bls.gov/opub/hom/pdf/homch17.pdf

In calculating the index, price changes for the various items in each location are averaged together withweights 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-Brockton-Nashua, Mass.-N.H.-Maine-Conn. consolidated area covered in this release is comprised of Essex, Middlesex, Norfolk, Plymouth, Suffolk, Bristol, Hampden, and Worcester Counties in Massachusetts; Hillsborough, Merrimack, Rockingham, and Strafford Counties in New Hampshire; York County in Maine; and Windham County in Connecticut.

Information in this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: (202) 691-5200; Federal Relay Service (800) 877-8339.

Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U): Indexes and percent changes for selected periods, Boston-Brockton-Nashua, Ma.-N.H.-Maine-Conn., (1982-84=100 unless otherwise noted) (not seasonally adjusted)
Expenditure category Indexes Percent change from
 
Historical
data
Nov.
2016
Dec.
2016
Jan.
2017
Jan.
2016
Nov.
2016
Dec.
2016

All items

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SA0
261.675   264.865 3.0 1.2  

All items (1967 = 100)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103AA0
760.566   769.837      
 

Food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SAF
257.413   259.177 -0.1 0.7  

Food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SAF1
258.588   260.190 -0.2 0.6  

Food at home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SAF11
243.413 241.309 245.733 -1.6 1.0 1.8

Food away from home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SEFV
285.071   285.291 2.3 0.1  

Alcoholic beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SAF116
248.306   252.051 0.3 1.5  
 

Housing

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SAH
266.390   268.742 3.9 0.9  

Shelter

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SAH1
314.558 314.057 316.742 3.8 0.7 0.9

Rent of primary residence(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SEHA
326.119 326.581 328.042 3.7 0.6 0.4

Owners' equivalent rent of residences(1)(2)(3)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SEHC
337.737 337.678 338.105 2.9 0.1 0.1

Owners' equivalent rent of primary residence(1)(2)(3)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SEHC01
337.737 337.678 338.105 2.9 0.1 0.1

Fuels and utilities

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SAH2
264.464   270.189 8.6 2.2  

Household energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SAH21
221.465 221.759 226.756 8.9 2.4 2.3

Energy services(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SEHF
236.966 235.479 240.729 6.7 1.6 2.2

Electricity(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SEHF01
263.362 263.369 271.662 8.5 3.2 3.1

Utility (piped) gas service(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SEHF02
182.596 178.636 178.513 2.2 -2.2 -0.1

Household furnishings and operations

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SAH3
126.876   128.024 -1.3 0.9  
 

Apparel

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SAA
141.548   141.290 3.0 -0.2  
 

Transportation

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SAT
182.101   185.505 3.1 1.9  

Private transportation

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SAT1
181.500   185.183 4.1 2.0  

Motor fuel

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SETB
189.038 194.247 200.438 18.7 6.0 3.2

Gasoline (all types)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SETB01
186.924 192.046 198.220 18.9 6.0 3.2

Gasoline, unleaded regular(4)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SS47014
180.669 185.722 191.838 19.3 6.2 3.3

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(4)(5)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SS47015
200.066 204.999 211.648 15.9 5.8 3.2

Gasoline, unleaded premium(4)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SS47016
201.595 206.301 211.617 16.2 5.0 2.6
 

Medical care

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SAM
633.165   635.944 1.3 0.4  
 

Recreation(6)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SAR
116.645   122.228 4.5 4.8  
 

Education and communication(6)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SAE
160.521   161.094 3.0 0.4  
 

Other goods and services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SAG
453.646   471.909 5.7 4.0  
 

Commodity and service group

 

Commodities

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SAC
186.401   188.622 1.6 1.2  

Commodities less food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SACL11
149.373   151.672 2.8 1.5  

Nondurables less food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SANL11
190.923   195.043 6.3 2.2  

Durables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SAD
108.765   109.546 -1.7 0.7  

Services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SAS
329.744   333.811 3.7 1.2  
 

Special aggregate indexes

 

All items less shelter

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SA0L2
243.575   247.190 2.6 1.5  

All items less medical care

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SA0L5
247.432   250.627 3.1 1.3  

Commodities less food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SACL1
153.319   155.677 2.6 1.5  

Nondurables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SAN
223.120   226.138 2.7 1.4  

Nondurables less food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SANL1
194.101   198.186 5.8 2.1  

Services less rent of shelter(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SASL2RS
364.697   371.192 3.7 1.8  

Services less medical care services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SASL5
309.044   313.110 4.1 1.3  

Energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SA0E
205.775 208.204 213.684 12.7 3.8 2.6

All items less energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SA0LE
270.746   273.515 2.3 1.0  

All items less food and energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SA0L1E
273.660   276.636 2.7 1.1  

Footnotes
(1) This index series was calculated using a Laspeyres estimator. All other item stratum index series were calculated using a geometric means estimator.
(2) Indexes on a December 1982=100 base.
(3) 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.
(4) Special index based on a substantially smaller sample.
(5) Indexes on a December 1993=100 base.
(6) Indexes on a December 1997=100 base.
 

Note: Index applies to a month as a whole, not to any specific date.
 

 

Last Modified Date: Wednesday, February 15, 2017