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16-2344-BOS
Thursday, December 15, 2016

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Consumer Price Index, Boston-Brockton-Nashua — November 2016

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 down 0.4 percent in November, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Deborah A. Brown noted that the two-month decrease was mainly due to lower prices paid by area consumers for all items less food and energy, down 0.9 percent and to a lesser extent, lower food prices, down 0.1 percent. Higher energy prices, up 5.2 percent partially offset this decrease. (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 1.3 percent. The increase was largely attributable to higher prices within all items less food and energy, up 1.2 percent.(See chart 1.) To a lesser extent, higher energy prices paid by area consumers, up 3.9, and higher food prices up 0.5 percent also contributed to the increase.

 

Food

Food prices edged down 0.1 percent since September mainly due to lower grocery store or food at home prices, down 0.4 percent. Restaurant prices, or food away from home, edged up 0.5 percent partially offsetting this decrease. 

Food prices increased 0.5 percent over the year mainly due to higher restaurant prices, up 3.4 percent.  Grocery store prices edged down 1.2 percent partially offsetting the overall increase since last November.  

Energy

The energy index increased 5.2 percent over the two months, mainly due to higher utility piped gas (16.4 percent) and to a lesser extent, increases in prices paid by local households for electricity (4.5 percent).  Higher prices for gasoline up 1.6 percent, also contributed to the overall increase in local energy prices over the period.

Energy prices were up 3.9 percent from a year ago, largely attributable to higher electricity prices, up 10.2 percent. Higher prices for gasoline, up 1.2 percent, and utility piped gas, up 1.5 percent, also contributed to the overall increase. 

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy edged down from September (0.9 percent).  The decrease was mainly attributable to shelter costs, down 1 percent. To a lesser extent, decreases in apparel costs (9 percent) attributed to this overall decrease. Within the local shelter index, lower prices for lodging away from home led the decline reflecting normal seasonal declines.  Lower costs for new and used motor vehicles (1.2 percent) were partially offset by higher costs for education and communication.

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy rose 1.2 percent, with higher shelter costs being the main driver of the increase up 2.8 percent. Higher education and communication prices up 2.9 percent also contributed to the overall increase. Within shelter, higher costs for owners’ equivalent rent of residences, up 3.1 percent and, to a lesser extent, rent of primary residence, up 3.5 led the increase. Apparel costs edged down 4.6 percent partially offsetting the increase over the period.

CPI-W

In November, the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) was 260.705. The CPI-W was up 0.1 percent over two months and increased 1.4 percent over the year.

The January 2017 Consumer Price Index for Boston-Brockton-Nashua is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, February 15, 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
Sep.
2016
Oct.
2016
Nov.
2016
Nov.
2015
Sep.
2016
Oct.
2016

All items

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SA0
262.606   261.675 1.3 -0.4  

All items (1967 = 100)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103AA0
763.273   760.566      
 

Food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SAF
257.964   257.413 0.4 -0.2  

Food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SAF1
258.795   258.588 0.5 -0.1  

Food at home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SAF11
244.475 244.859 243.413 -1.2 -0.4 -0.6

Food away from home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SEFV
283.647   285.071 3.4 0.5  

Alcoholic beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SAF116
253.016   248.306 -0.7 -1.9  
 

Housing

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SAH
266.634   266.390 2.8 -0.1  

Shelter

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SAH1
317.618 315.970 314.558 2.8 -1.0 -0.4

Rent of primary residence(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SEHA
325.327 325.196 326.119 3.5 0.2 0.3

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

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SEHC
336.864 337.301 337.737 3.1 0.3 0.1

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

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SEHC01
336.864 337.301 337.737 3.1 0.3 0.1

Fuels and utilities

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SAH2
247.245   264.464 6.1 7.0  

Household energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SAH21
205.772 210.178 221.465 5.8 7.6 5.4

Energy services(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SEHF
219.996 222.594 236.966 7.6 7.7 6.5

Electricity(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SEHF01
251.938 256.006 263.362 10.2 4.5 2.9

Utility (piped) gas service(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SEHF02
156.910 156.910 182.596 1.5 16.4 16.4

Household furnishings and operations

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SAH3
127.956   126.876 -1.2 -0.8  
 

Apparel

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SAA
155.471   141.548 -4.6 -9.0  
 

Transportation

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SAT
183.232   182.101 -0.9 -0.6  

Private transportation

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SAT1
182.219   181.500 0.3 -0.4  

Motor fuel

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SETB
185.953 190.087 189.038 1.1 1.7 -0.6

Gasoline (all types)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SETB01
183.903 187.984 186.924 1.2 1.6 -0.6

Gasoline, unleaded regular(4)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SS47014
177.756 181.815 180.669 1.1 1.6 -0.6

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(4)(5)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SS47015
197.125 200.840 200.066 0.8 1.5 -0.4

Gasoline, unleaded premium(4)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SS47016
198.220 201.714 201.595 1.7 1.7 -0.1
 

Medical care

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SAM
634.331   633.165 -0.5 -0.2  
 

Recreation(6)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SAR
116.575   116.645 1.0 0.1  
 

Education and communication(6)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SAE
159.091   160.521 2.9 0.9  
 

Other goods and services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SAG
450.971   453.646 1.1 0.6  
 

Commodity and service group

 

Commodities

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SAC
188.536   186.401 -0.6 -1.1  

Commodities less food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SACL11
152.040   149.373 -1.3 -1.8  

Nondurables less food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SANL11
194.963   190.923 -1.2 -2.1  

Durables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SAD
110.230   108.765 -1.4 -1.3  

Services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SAS
329.559   329.744 2.3 0.1  
 

Special aggregate indexes

 

All items less shelter

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SA0L2
243.682   243.575 0.5 0.0  

All items less medical care

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SA0L5
248.352   247.432 1.4 -0.4  

Commodities less food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SACL1
156.065   153.319 -1.3 -1.8  

Nondurables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SAN
225.521   223.120 -0.3 -1.1  

Nondurables less food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SANL1
198.173   194.101 -1.1 -2.1  

Services less rent of shelter(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SASL2RS
360.590   364.697 1.8 1.1  

Services less medical care services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SASL5
308.805   309.044 2.7 0.1  

Energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SA0E
195.675 199.932 205.775 3.9 5.2 2.9

All items less energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SA0LE
272.777   270.746 1.1 -0.7  

All items less food and energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SA0L1E
276.008   273.660 1.2 -0.9  

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: Thursday, December 15, 2016