Department of Labor Logo United States Department of Labor
Dot gov

The .gov means it's official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you're on a federal government site.

Https

The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

News Release Information

21-1104-BOS
Friday, June 11, 2021

Contacts

Technical information:
Media contact:

Consumer Price Index, Boston-Cambridge-Newton — May 2021

Area prices up 0.8 percent over two months; up 3.2 percent from a year ago

Prices in the Boston area, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), advanced 0.8 percent for the two months ending in May 2021, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (See table.) Regional Commissioner William J. Sibley noted that the May increase was influenced by higher prices for all items less food and energy.  (Data in this report are not seasonally adjusted. Accordingly, bi-monthly changes may reflect seasonal influences.)

Over the last 12 months, the CPI-U advanced 3.2 percent. This was the largest advance since November 2018. (See chart 1 and table.) The index for all items less food and energy rose 2.3 percent over the year. Energy prices jumped 23.4 percent, largely the result of an increase in the price of gasoline. Food prices rose 1.2 percent. (See table.)

Food

Food prices advanced 0.9 percent for the two months ending in May. (See table.) Prices for food at home rose 1.0 percent, and prices for food away from home rose 0.9 percent for the same period.

Over the year, food prices rose 1.2 percent. Prices for food away from home advanced 6.6 percent. Partially offsetting this advance were lower food at home prices, which decreased 2.4 percent since a year ago.

Energy

The energy index decreased 2.0 percent for the two months ending in May. The decrease was mainly due to lower prices for natural gas service (-20.3 percent) as suppliers switched to summer schedules. Prices for gasoline rose 5.5 percent, while prices for electricity decreased 2.6 percent for the same period.

Energy prices jumped 23.4 percent over the year, largely due to higher prices for gasoline (44.8 percent). Prices paid for natural gas service jumped 13.6 percent, and prices for electricity rose 3.6 percent during the past year.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy rose 1.0 percent in the latest two-month period. Higher prices for new and used motor vehicles (7.9 percent); shelter (0.7 percent); and recreation (1.4 percent) were partially offset by lower prices for household furnishings and operations (-1.3 percent) and education and communication (-0.4 percent).

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy rose 2.3 percent. Components contributing to the increase included new and used motor vehicles (14.8 percent); shelter (1.5 percent); and household furnishings and operations (3.1 percent). Partly offsetting the increases was a price decrease in recreation (-5.3 percent).

CPI-W

In May, the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) was 290.685. The CPI-W increased 0.7 percent over two months and increased 3.6 percent over the year.

The July 2021 Consumer Price Index for Boston-Cambridge-Newton area is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, August 11, 2021, at 8:30 a.m. (ET).

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic Impact on May 2021 Consumer Price Index Data

Data collection by personal visit for the Consumer Price Index (CPI) program has been suspended since March 16, 2020. When possible, data normally collected by personal visit were collected either online or by phone. Additionally, data collection in May was affected by the temporary closing or limited operations of certain types of establishments. These factors resulted in an increase in the number of prices considered temporarily unavailable and imputed.

While the CPI program attempted to collect as much data as possible, many indexes are based on smaller amounts of collected prices than usual, and a small number of indexes that are normally published were not published this month. Additional information is available atwww.bls.gov/covid19/effects-of-covid-19-pandemic-on-consumer-price-index.htm

 


Technical Note

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) is a measures 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 93 percent of the total U.S. population and (2) a CPI for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) which covers approximately 29 percent of the total U.S. 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 75 urban areas across the country from about 6,000 housing units and approximately 22,000 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 changes from a designated reference date; for most of the CPI-U the reference base is 1982-84 equals 100. An increase of 7 percent from the reference base, for example, is shown as 107.000.  Alternatively, that relationship can also be expressed as the price of a base period market basket of goods and services rising from $100 to $107. For further details see the CPI home page on the internet at www.bls.gov/cpi and the CPI section of the BLS Handbook of Methods available on the internet at www.bls.gov/opub/hom/cpi/.

In calculating the index, price changes for the various items in each location are averaged together with weights 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-Cambridge-Newton, Mass.-N.H. Core Based Statistical Area covered in this release is comprised of Essex, Middlesex, Norfolk, Plymouth, Suffolk Counties in Massachusetts; Rockingham, Strafford Counties in New Hampshire.

Information from this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: 202-691-5200; Federal Relay Service: 1-800-877-8339. 

Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U): Indexes and percent changes for selected periods, Boston-Cambridge-Newton, Ma.-N.H. (1982-84=100 unless otherwise noted) (not seasonally adjusted)
Expenditure categoryIndexesPercent change from
Historical
data
Mar.
2021
Apr.
2021
May
2021
May
2020
Mar.
2021
Apr.
2021

All items

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASA0
289.240 291.6673.20.8 

All items (1967 = 100)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11AAA0
840.685 847.738   

Food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAF
286.713 289.2401.40.9 

Food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAF1
288.899 291.5941.20.9 

Food at home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAF11
263.208259.887265.725-2.41.02.2

Cereal and bakery products

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAF111
303.975 319.379-4.25.1 

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAF112
282.857 283.348-0.70.2 

Dairy and related products

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASEFJ
288.382 290.198-2.40.6 

Fruits and vegetables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAF113
343.859 347.441-1.21.0 

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAF114
170.693 168.6173.3-1.2 

Other food at home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAF115
201.881 202.702-6.10.4 

Food away from home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASEFV
334.016 337.0216.60.9 

Alcoholic beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAF116
266.886 267.6834.30.3 

Housing

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAH
304.561 304.0582.4-0.2 

Shelter

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAH1
360.418363.031362.8011.50.7-0.1

Rent of primary residence(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASEHA
375.726375.556375.5991.50.00.0

Owners' equivalent rent of residences(2)(3)(4)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASEHC
388.654390.279390.5031.70.50.1

Owners' equivalent rent of primary residence(2)(3)(4)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASEHC01
388.654390.279390.5031.70.50.1

Fuels and utilities

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAH2
314.526 294.88910.8-6.2 

Household energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAH21
263.506266.061244.71511.0-7.1-8.0

Energy services(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASEHF
281.648285.055257.0786.4-8.7-9.8

Electricity(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASEHF01
315.096320.925306.8033.6-2.6-4.4

Utility (piped) gas service(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASEHF02
214.344214.339170.92413.6-20.3-20.3

Household furnishings and operations

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAH3
133.185 131.5073.1-1.3 

Apparel

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAA
127.278 128.4554.90.9 

Transportation

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAT
194.353 206.78117.46.4 

Private transportation

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAT1
201.763 211.08518.34.6 

New and used motor vehicles(5)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASETA
112.018 120.88914.87.9 

New Vehicles(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASETA01
213.293 211.375-5.5-0.9 

Used cars and trucks(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASETA02
353.745 412.65131.016.7 

Motor fuel

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASETB
238.316243.287251.44844.45.53.4

Gasoline (all types)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASETB01
235.775240.753248.84044.85.53.4

Gasoline, unleaded regular(6)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASS47014
228.954233.961241.36447.25.43.2

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(6)(7)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASS47015
247.415256.683267.24133.18.04.1

Gasoline, unleaded premium(6)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASS47016
246.394249.656261.12530.96.04.6

Motor vehicle insurance(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASETE
      

Medical care

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAM
697.383 698.8800.10.2 

Recreation(5)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAR
115.031 116.623-5.31.4 

Education and communication(5)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAE
174.023 173.2801.4-0.4 

Tuition, other fees, and child care(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASEEB
1,422.544 1,424.2141.90.1 

Other goods and services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAG
522.085 522.7281.70.1 

Commodity and service group

Commodities

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAC
198.613 202.0696.11.7 

Commodities less food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASACL11
153.780 157.4579.92.4 

Nondurables less food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASANL11
194.499 198.43011.82.0 

Durables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAD
113.445 116.6817.62.9 

Services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAS
370.922 372.4611.90.4 

Special aggregate indexes

All items less shelter

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASA0L2
263.333 265.8274.30.9 

All items less medical care

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASA0L5
273.706 276.1523.50.9 

Commodities less food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASACL1
158.251 161.8449.62.3 

Nondurables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAN
239.316 242.5775.61.4 

Nondurables less food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASANL1
198.855 202.53111.01.8 

Services less rent of shelter(3)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASASL2RS
399.915 400.3352.30.1 

Services less medical care services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASASL5
347.119 348.8362.10.5 

Energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASA0E
250.570254.126245.45623.4-2.0-3.4

All items less energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASA0LE
297.059 300.1142.11.0 

All items less food and energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASA0L1E
299.469 302.5952.31.0 

Footnotes
(1) Indexes on a January 1978=100 base.
(2) This index series was calculated using a Laspeyres estimator. All other item stratum index series were calculated using a geometric means estimator.
(3) Indexes on a November 1982=100 base.
(4) 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.
(5) Indexes on a December 1997=100 base.
(6) Special index based on a substantially smaller sample.
(7) Indexes on a December 1993=100 base.

Note: Index applies to a month as a whole, not to any specific date.

 

Last Modified Date: Friday, June 11, 2021