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17-1656-BOS
Wednesday, December 13, 2017

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

Area prices edged down 0.2 percent over two months; up 2.9 percent from a year ago

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) in the Boston-Brockton-Nashua area edged down 0.2 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 within shelter, down 0.8 percent and, to a lesser extent, lower food prices, down 0.2 percent. Moderating these declines were higher energy prices, up 3.3 percent over the period.  (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 2.9 percent. The increase was largely attributable to higher shelter costs within all items less food and energy, up 2.2 percent (See chart 1.). Higher energy prices paid by area consumers, up 13.3 percent, and to a lesser extent, higher food prices, up 1.3 percent, also contributed to the increase.                               

Chart 1.  Over-the-year percent change in CPI-U, Boston-Brockton-Nashua, November 2014-November 2017

 

Food

Food prices edged down 0.2 percent since September mainly due to lower grocery store or food at home prices, down 0.2 percent.  Restaurant prices, or food away from home, were unchanged over the period.

Food prices increased 1.3 percent over the year, mainly due to higher food at home prices, up 1.5 percent.  Restaurant prices, or food away from home edged up, 1.0 percent, and also contributed to the overall increase.

 

Energy

The energy index increased 3.3 percent over the two months, mainly driven by higher utility (piped) gas prices, up 29.1 percent due to suppliers switching to winter rates.  Lower gasoline prices, down 4.9 percent, partially offset the overall increase.  Higher electricity prices advanced 4.8 percent and further contributed to the overall increase over the period.     

Energy prices were up 13.3 percent from a year ago, largely attributable to higher gasoline prices, up 17.6 percent. To a lesser extent, higher prices for electricity and utility (piped) gas also contributed to the overall increase, up 9.6 and 8.2 percent, respectively. 

 

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy decreased from September (0.6 percent) mainly due to lower shelter costs.  Within shelter, lodging away from home prices or hotel and motel prices declined sharply. The decrease was partially offset by higher costs within owners’ equivalent rent of residences, up 0.9 percent.  Lower prices for apparel, down 5.9 percent and recreation, down 2.5 percent further contributed to the overall decline.  Also, partially offsetting the overall decrease were higher prices within education and communication, up 0.6 percent over the period. 

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy rose 2.2 percent, with higher shelter costs being the main driver of the increase, up 3.0 percent. Within shelter, higher costs for owners’ equivalent rent of residences, up 2.8 percent, led the increase.

CPI-W

In November, the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) was 268.524. The CPI-W was up 0.3 percent over two months and increased 3.0 percent over the year.

The January 2018 Consumer Price Index for Boston-Cambridge-Newton is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, February 14, 2018, at 8:30 a.m. (ET).

Consumer Price Index Geographic Revision for 2018

In January 2018, BLS will introduce a new geographic area sample for the Consumer Price Index. As part of the new sample, the index for this area will be renamed. The first indexes using the new structure will be published in February 2018. Additional information on the geographic revision is available at: www.bls.gov/cpi/georevision2018.htm.


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.
2017
Oct.
2017
Nov.
2017
Nov.
2016
Sep.
2017
Oct.
2017

All items

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SA0
269.757   269.149 2.9 -0.2  

All items (1967 = 100)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103AA0
784.055   782.288      
 

Food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SAF
261.001   260.463 1.2 -0.2  

Food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SAF1
262.306   261.898 1.3 -0.2  

Food at home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SAF11
247.541 245.350 246.968 1.5 -0.2 0.7

Food away from home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SEFV
287.974   287.884 1.0 0.0  

Alcoholic beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SAF116
250.393   248.281 0.0 -0.8  
 

Housing

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SAH
274.850   275.470 3.4 0.2  

Shelter

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SAH1
326.497 326.002 323.945 3.0 -0.8 -0.6

Rent of primary residence(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SEHA
335.405 336.557 339.499 4.1 1.2 0.9

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

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SEHC
343.957 345.243 347.148 2.8 0.9 0.6

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

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SEHC01
343.957 345.243 347.148 2.8 0.9 0.6

Fuels and utilities

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SAH2
266.408   289.105 9.3 8.5  

Household energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SAH21
222.424 220.702 244.580 10.4 10.0 10.8

Energy services(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SEHF
233.521 230.880 258.782 9.2 10.8 12.1

Electricity(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SEHF01
275.387 275.387 288.639 9.6 4.8 4.8

Utility (piped) gas service(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SEHF02
153.058 146.047 197.659 8.2 29.1 35.3

Household furnishings and operations

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SAH3
127.613   125.812 -0.8 -1.4  
 

Apparel

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SAA
150.306   141.503 0.0 -5.9  
 

Transportation

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SAT
189.834   188.944 3.8 -0.5  

Private transportation

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SAT1
189.750   188.676 4.0 -0.6  

Motor fuel

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SETB
233.496 224.772 222.224 17.6 -4.8 -1.1

Gasoline (all types)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SETB01
231.175 222.401 219.787 17.6 -4.9 -1.2

Gasoline, unleaded regular(4)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SS47014
224.994 216.192 213.176 18.0 -5.3 -1.4

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(4)(5)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SS47015
240.852 232.332 232.449 16.2 -3.5 0.1

Gasoline, unleaded premium(4)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SS47016
236.953 230.080 230.961 14.6 -2.5 0.4
 

Medical care

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SAM
644.047   646.503 2.1 0.4  
 

Recreation(6)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SAR
122.925   119.889 2.8 -2.5  
 

Education and communication(6)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SAE
162.225   163.261 1.7 0.6  
 

Other goods and services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SAG
481.451   482.975 6.5 0.3  
 

Commodity and service group

 

Commodities

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SAC
191.837   188.847 1.3 -1.6  

Commodities less food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SACL11
155.293   151.463 1.4 -2.5  

Nondurables less food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SANL11
205.606   199.203 4.3 -3.1  

Durables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SAD
107.696   106.048 -2.5 -1.5  

Services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SAS
340.224   341.820 3.7 0.5  
 

Special aggregate indexes

 

All items less shelter

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SA0L2
250.226   250.374 2.8 0.1  

All items less medical care

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SA0L5
255.388   254.671 2.9 -0.3  

Commodities less food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SACL1
159.164   155.361 1.3 -2.4  

Nondurables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SAN
232.599   228.952 2.6 -1.6  

Nondurables less food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SANL1
207.941   201.829 4.0 -2.9  

Services less rent of shelter(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SASL2RS
373.850   380.314 4.3 1.7  

Services less medical care services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SASL5
319.287   320.908 3.8 0.5  

Energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SA0E
225.634 220.881 233.102 13.3 3.3 5.5

All items less energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SA0LE
277.778   276.366 2.1 -0.5  

All items less food and energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA103SA0L1E
281.279   279.692 2.2 -0.6  

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, December 13, 2017