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17-435-BOS
Friday, April 14, 2017

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

Area prices edged up 0.1 percent over two months; up 2.5 percent from a year ago

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) in the Boston-Brockton-Nashua area edged up 0.1 percent in March, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Deborah A. Brown noted that the two-month increase was mainly due to higher prices paid by area consumers for all items less food and energy, up 0.2 percent. Lower food and energy prices down 0.6 percent and 0.4 percent respectively, almost entirely offset 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 2.5 percent. The increase was largely attributable to higher prices within all items less food and energy, up 2.1 percent and to a lesser extent, higher energy prices paid by area consumers, up 13.6 percent (See chart 1.). Food prices were down 0.4 percent over the year, partially offsetting the increase.

 

 

Food

Food prices edged down 0.6 percent since January mainly due to lower grocery store or food at home prices, down 0.8 percent. Restaurant prices, or food away from home, edged down 0.2 percent, contributing to the decrease. 

Food prices decreased 0.4 percent over the year mainly due to lower grocery store prices, down 1.9 percent.  To a lesser extent, restaurant prices edged up 2.1 percent partially offsetting the overall decrease since last March.  

 

Energy

The energy index decreased 0.4 percent over the two months, mainly due to lower gasoline prices down 2.9 percent. Increases in prices paid by local households for electricity (2.0 percent) offset the overall decrease. To a lesser extent, higher prices for utility piped gas up 0.6 percent also partially offset the decrease.

Energy prices were up 13.6 percent from a year ago, largely attributable to higher gasoline prices, up 18.3 percent. Higher prices for electricity, up 9.4 percent, and to a lesser extent, utility (piped) gas up 7.5 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 January (0.2 percent).  The increase was mainly attributable to recreation also up 2.2 percent but almost entirely offset by decreases in education and communication (1.6 percent). Apparel, up 4.6 percent attributed to this overall increase. Within the local shelter index, lower prices for lodging away from home partially offset the overall increase.

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy rose 2.1 percent, with higher shelter costs being the main driver of the increase up 2.5 percent. Higher recreation and other goods and services prices up 6.3 percent and 6.1 percent respectively also contributed to the overall increase. Apparel up 4.4 percent also contributed to the overall increase. Within shelter, higher costs for owners’ equivalent rent of residences, up 2.5 percent led the increase.

CPI-W

In March, the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) was 263.888. The CPI-W was up 0.1 percent over two months and increased 2.6 percent over the year.

The May 2017 Consumer Price Index for Boston-Brockton-Nashua is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, June 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 http://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
Jan.
2017
Feb.
2017
Mar.
2017
Mar.
2016
Jan.
2017
Feb.
2017

All items

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SA0
264.865   265.070 2.5 0.1  

All items (1967 = 100)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103AA0
769.837   770.433      
 

Food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SAF
259.177   258.411 -0.3 -0.3  

Food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SAF1
260.190   258.746 -0.4 -0.6  

Food at home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SAF11
245.733 244.194 243.793 -1.9 -0.8 -0.2

Food away from home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SEFV
285.291   284.807 2.1 -0.2  

Alcoholic beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SAF116
252.051   259.430 0.9 2.9  
 

Housing

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SAH
268.742   268.885 3.0 0.1  

Shelter

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SAH1
316.742 317.307 316.390 2.5 -0.1 -0.3

Rent of primary residence(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SEHA
328.042 329.161 328.992 3.3 0.3 -0.1

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

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SEHC
338.105 339.002 338.114 2.5 0.0 -0.3

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

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SEHC01
338.105 339.002 338.114 2.5 0.0 -0.3

Fuels and utilities

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SAH2
270.189   272.981 10.2 1.0  

Household energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SAH21
226.756 228.116 229.481 10.8 1.2 0.6

Energy services(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SEHF
240.729 242.657 244.524 8.9 1.6 0.8

Electricity(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SEHF01
271.662 271.662 276.971 9.4 2.0 2.0

Utility (piped) gas service(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SEHF02
178.513 183.632 179.588 7.5 0.6 -2.2

Household furnishings and operations

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SAH3
128.024   128.342 -1.2 0.2  
 

Apparel

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SAA
141.290   147.823 4.4 4.6  
 

Transportation

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SAT
185.505   184.533 2.7 -0.5  

Private transportation

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SAT1
185.183   183.721 3.2 -0.8  

Motor fuel

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SETB
200.438 196.581 194.747 18.2 -2.8 -0.9

Gasoline (all types)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SETB01
198.220 194.347 192.520 18.3 -2.9 -0.9

Gasoline, unleaded regular(4)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SS47014
191.838 187.962 185.985 18.5 -3.1 -1.1

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(4)(5)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SS47015
211.648 208.590 208.015 16.9 -1.7 -0.3

Gasoline, unleaded premium(4)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SS47016
211.617 208.425 208.082 16.3 -1.7 -0.2
 

Medical care

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SAM
635.944   637.160 0.8 0.2  
 

Recreation(6)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SAR
122.228   124.970 6.3 2.2  
 

Education and communication(6)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SAE
161.094   158.582 1.4 -1.6  
 

Other goods and services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SAG
471.909   475.618 6.1 0.8  
 

Commodity and service group

 

Commodities

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SAC
188.622   189.019 1.6 0.2  

Commodities less food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SACL11
151.672   152.515 2.9 0.6  

Nondurables less food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SANL11
195.043   195.942 6.3 0.5  

Durables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SAD
109.546   110.295 -1.4 0.7  

Services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SAS
333.811   333.838 3.0 0.0  
 

Special aggregate indexes

 

All items less shelter

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SA0L2
247.190   247.615 2.5 0.2  

All items less medical care

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SA0L5
250.627   250.795 2.7 0.1  

Commodities less food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SACL1
155.677   156.721 2.8 0.7  

Nondurables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SAN
226.138   226.251 2.6 0.0  

Nondurables less food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SANL1
198.186   199.497 5.8 0.7  

Services less rent of shelter(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SASL2RS
371.192   371.673 3.6 0.1  

Services less medical care services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SASL5
313.110   313.143 3.4 0.0  

Energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SA0E
213.684 212.766 212.731 13.6 -0.4 0.0

All items less energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SA0LE
273.515   273.837 1.7 0.1  

All items less food and energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SA0L1E
276.636   277.261 2.1 0.2  

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: Friday, April 14, 2017