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17-836-BOS
Wednesday, June 14, 2017

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

Area prices edged up 0.4 percent over two months; up 2.1 percent from a year ago

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) in the Boston-Brockton-Nashua area edged up 0.4 percent in May, 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 0.5 percent. Higher food prices up 0.7 percent also contributed to the increase. Energy prices down 0.3 percent, mitigated 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 2.1 percent. The increase was largely attributable to higher prices within all items less food and energy, up 1.8 percent (See chart 1.).Higher energy prices paid by area consumers, up 7.8 percent also contributed to the increase and to a lesser extent, food prices, up 1.0 percent over the year, contributed also.

 

Food

Food prices edged up 0.7 percent since March mainly due to higher grocery store or food at home prices, up 1.1 percent. Restaurant prices, or food away from home, down 0.1 percent, partially offset the overall increase.

Food prices increased 1.0 percent over the year mainly due to higher restaurant prices, or food away from home, up 1.7 percent.  To a lesser extent, grocery store prices edged up 0.5 percent, also contributed to the increase.

 

Energy

The energy index decreased 0.3 percent over the two months, mainly driven by lower utility piped gas prices down 14.2 percent. Higher prices for gasoline up 4.8 percent almost entirely offset the decrease.

Energy prices were up 7.8 percent from a year ago, largely attributable to higher electricity prices, up 9.7 percent. Higher prices for gasoline, up 4.3 percent, and to a lesser extent, utility (piped) gas up 11.3 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 March (0.5 percent).  The increase was mainly attributable to shelter up 1.0 percent. This was driven by higher prices for lodging away from home, and, to a lesser extent higher costs for owners’ equivalent rent of residences, up 0.3 percent. Higher prices for new and used motor vehicles and public transportation also contributed to the increase.

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy rose 1.8 percent, with higher shelter costs being the main driver of the increase up 1.9 percent. Higher recreation and other goods and services prices up 6.6 percent and 6.0 percent, respectively, also contributed to the overall increase. Within shelter, higher costs for owners’ equivalent rent of residences, up 2.1 percent, led the increase.

CPI-W

In May, the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) was 264.713. The CPI-W was up 0.3 percent over two months and increased 2.2 percent over the year.

The July 2017 Consumer Price Index for Boston-Brockton-Nashua is scheduled to be released on Friday, August 11, 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
Mar.
2017
Apr.
2017
May
2017
May
2016
Mar.
2017
Apr.
2017

All items

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SA0
265.070   266.256 2.1 0.4  

All items (1967 = 100)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103AA0
770.433   773.880      
 

Food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SAF
258.411   259.428 1.1 0.4  

Food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SAF1
258.746   260.444 1.0 0.7  

Food at home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SAF11
243.793 246.455 246.542 0.5 1.1 0.0

Food away from home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SEFV
284.807   284.485 1.7 -0.1  

Alcoholic beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SAF116
259.430   252.275 2.3 -2.8  
 

Housing

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SAH
268.885   270.157 2.6 0.5  

Shelter

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SAH1
316.390 317.610 319.588 1.9 1.0 0.6

Rent of primary residence(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SEHA
328.992 329.812 329.836 2.6 0.3 0.0

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

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SEHC
338.114 338.698 339.191 2.1 0.3 0.1

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

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SEHC01
338.114 338.698 339.191 2.1 0.3 0.1

Fuels and utilities

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SAH2
272.981   264.662 9.7 -3.0  

Household energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SAH21
229.481 228.453 221.361 10.3 -3.5 -3.1

Energy services(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SEHF
244.524 243.129 235.321 10.1 -3.8 -3.2

Electricity(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SEHF01
276.971 277.035 277.650 9.7 0.2 0.2

Utility (piped) gas service(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SEHF02
179.588 175.774 154.001 11.3 -14.2 -12.4

Household furnishings and operations

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SAH3
128.342   128.787 -0.3 0.3  
 

Apparel

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SAA
147.823   146.570 2.2 -0.8  
 

Transportation

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SAT
184.533   188.169 0.6 2.0  

Private transportation

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SAT1
183.721   186.794 0.9 1.7  

Motor fuel

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SETB
194.747 202.829 203.890 4.4 4.7 0.5

Gasoline (all types)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SETB01
192.520 200.608 201.682 4.3 4.8 0.5

Gasoline, unleaded regular(4)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SS47014
185.985 194.182 195.299 4.1 5.0 0.6

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(4)(5)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SS47015
208.015 213.659 214.388 5.0 3.1 0.3

Gasoline, unleaded premium(4)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SS47016
208.082 213.977 214.517 5.7 3.1 0.3
 

Medical care

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SAM
637.160   635.502 -0.2 -0.3  
 

Recreation(6)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SAR
124.970   124.428 6.6 -0.4  
 

Education and communication(6)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SAE
158.582   158.366 1.6 -0.1  
 

Other goods and services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SAG
475.618   474.681 6.0 -0.2  
 

Commodity and service group

 

Commodities

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SAC
189.019   189.644 0.7 0.3  

Commodities less food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SACL11
152.515   152.954 0.4 0.3  

Nondurables less food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SANL11
195.942   196.704 1.7 0.4  

Durables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SAD
110.295   110.462 -1.2 0.2  

Services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SAS
333.838   335.536 2.8 0.5  
 

Special aggregate indexes

 

All items less shelter

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SA0L2
247.615   248.025 2.2 0.2  

All items less medical care

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SA0L5
250.795   252.081 2.3 0.5  

Commodities less food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SACL1
156.721   156.936 0.5 0.1  

Nondurables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SAN
226.251   227.137 1.3 0.4  

Nondurables less food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SANL1
199.497   199.751 1.7 0.1  

Services less rent of shelter(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SASL2RS
371.673   371.639 3.8 0.0  

Services less medical care services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SASL5
313.143   314.894 3.1 0.6  

Energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SA0E
212.731 215.670 212.173 7.8 -0.3 -1.6

All items less energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SA0LE
273.837   275.211 1.7 0.5  

All items less food and energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SA0L1E
277.261   278.584 1.8 0.5  

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, June 14, 2017