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16-2040-BOS
Tuesday, October 18, 2016

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

Area prices edged up 0.7 percent over two months; up 2.3 percent from a year ago

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) in the Boston-Brockton-Nashua area edged up 0.7 percent in September, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Deborah A. Brown noted that higher prices within all items less food and energy and to a lesser extent, higher energy prices were partially offset by lower food prices. (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 2.3 percent. This was the largest annual increase since January 2012. The increase was largely attributable to higher prices within all items less food and energy, up 2.5 percent. (See chart 1.) To a lesser extent, higher energy prices paid by area consumers, up 3.9, and higher food prices up 0.6 percent also contributed to the increase.

 

Food

Food prices edged down 0.1 percent since July mainly due to lower grocery store or food at home prices, down 0.6 percent. Restaurant prices, or food away from home, edged up 0.8 percent partially offsetting this decrease. 

Food prices increased 0.6 percent over the year mainly due to higher restaurant prices, up 3.2 percent.  Grocery store prices edged down 0.9 percent partially offsetting the overall increase since last September.  

Energy

The energy index increased 0.7 percent over the two months, mainly due to higher utility piped gas (11.0 percent) and to a lesser extent, increases in prices paid by local households for electricity (0.5 percent).  Lower prices for gasoline down 2.0 percent, partially offset 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 14.3 percent and higher costs for utility piped gas up 34.4 percent over the year.  The annual increase in energy costs was the first recorded since July 2014. Lower prices for gasoline down 7.0 percent partially offset the overall increase. 

 

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy edged up from July (0.8 percent).  The rise was mainly attributable to apparel costs, up 15.8 percent. To a lesser extent, increases in shelter costs (0.7 percent) attributed to this overall advance. Within the local shelter index, higher prices for owners’ equivalent rent led the advance.  Higher education and communication costs (+1.8 percent) were partially offset by lower costs for new and used motor vehicles.

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy rose 2.5 percent, with higher shelter costs being the main driver of the increase up 3.4 percent. Within shelter, higher costs for owners’ rental equivalency of residences led the increase, up 3.2 percent.  Contributing to the overall increase, but to a lesser extent, were higher prices paid by area consumers for medical care, up 4.6 percent from one year ago, and education and communication, up 2.6 percent over the period.

CPI-W

In September, the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) was 260.483. The CPI-W was up 0.5 percent over two months and increased 2.0 percent over the year.

The November 2016 Consumer Price Index for Boston-Brockton-Nashua is scheduled to be released on Thursday, December 15, 2016, 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
Jul.
2016
Aug.
2016
Sep.
2016
Sep.
2015
Jul.
2016
Aug.
2016

All items

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260.800   262.606 2.3 0.7  

All items (1967 = 100)

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758.023   763.273      
 

Food and beverages

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257.607   257.964 0.5 0.1  

Food

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258.955   258.795 0.6 -0.1  

Food at home

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245.869 246.945 244.475 -0.9 -0.6 -1.0

Food away from home

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281.457   283.647 3.2 0.8  

Alcoholic beverages

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246.406   253.016 -0.3 2.7  
 

Housing

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264.491   266.634 3.8 0.8  

Shelter

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315.483 315.846 317.618 3.4 0.7 0.6

Rent of primary residence (1)

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323.237 324.190 325.327 3.2 0.6 0.4

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

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334.800 335.430 336.864 3.2 0.6 0.4

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

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334.800 335.430 336.864 3.2 0.6 0.4

Fuels and utilities

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241.268   247.245 11.9 2.5  

Household energy

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200.476 200.531 205.772 13.3 2.6 2.6

Energy services (1)

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213.415 213.951 219.996 18.5 3.1 2.8

Electricity (1)

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250.789 251.627 251.938 14.3 0.5 0.1

Utility (piped) gas service (1)

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141.385 141.385 156.910 34.4 11.0 11.0

Household furnishings and operations

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127.999   127.956 -1.0 0.0  
 

Apparel

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134.230   155.471 6.2 15.8  
 

Transportation

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185.882   183.232 -0.6 -1.4  

Private transportation

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184.426   182.219 -0.4 -1.2  

Motor fuel

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189.678 184.535 185.953 -7.1 -2.0 0.8

Gasoline (all types)

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187.638 182.502 183.903 -7.0 -2.0 0.8

Gasoline, unleaded regular (4)

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181.567 176.287 177.756 -7.1 -2.1 0.8

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade (4) (5)

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200.474 196.235 197.125 -7.0 -1.7 0.5

Gasoline, unleaded premium (4)

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200.561 197.622 198.220 -5.9 -1.2 0.3
 

Medical care

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635.449   634.331 4.6 -0.2  
 

Recreation (6)

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117.012   116.575 -0.7 -0.4  
 

Education and communication (6)

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156.300   159.091 2.6 1.8  
 

Other goods and services

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451.509   450.971 1.2 -0.1  
 

Commodity and service group

 

Commodities

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186.972   188.536 -0.2 0.8  

Commodities less food and beverages

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150.067   152.040 -0.9 1.3  

Nondurables less food and beverages

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189.434   194.963 -0.9 2.9  

Durables

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111.067   110.230 -0.6 -0.8  

Services

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327.539   329.559 3.8 0.6  
 

Special aggregate indexes

 

All items less shelter

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241.986   243.682 1.8 0.7  

All items less medical care

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246.444   248.352 2.2 0.8  

Commodities less food

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153.941   156.065 -0.9 1.4  

Nondurables

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222.422   225.521 0.0 1.4  

Nondurables less food

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192.589   198.173 -0.8 2.9  

Services less rent of shelter (2)

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358.627   360.590 4.3 0.5  

Services less medical care services

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306.717   308.805 3.7 0.7  

Energy

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194.338 192.134 195.675 3.9 0.7 1.8

All items less energy

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270.900   272.777 2.2 0.7  

All items less food and energy

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273.777   276.008 2.5 0.8  

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: Tuesday, October 18, 2016