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

21-1860-BOS
Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Contacts

Technical information:
Media contact:

CONSUMER PRICE INDEX, BOSTON-CAMBRIDGE-NEWTON– SEPTEMBER 2021

Area prices were down 0.1 percent over the past two months, up 4.0 percent from a year ago

Prices in the Boston area, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), inched down 0.1 percent for the two months ending in September 2021, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (See table 1.) Regional Commissioner William J. Sibley noted that the September decrease was influenced by lower prices for all items less food and energy, led by lower prices within new and used motor vehicles and shelter, down 5.2 and 0.7 percent, respectively. (Data in this report are not seasonally adjusted. Accordingly, bi-monthly changes may reflect seasonal influences.)

Over the last 12 months, the CPI-U increased 4.0 percent. (See chart 1 and table 1.) The index for all items less food and energy increased 2.7 percent over the year. Higher new and used motor vehicles and shelter costs, up 18.5 and 2.1 percent, respectively, led the increase. Energy prices jumped 26.1 percent, largely the result of an increase in the price of gasoline. This was the second-largest annual increase in the local energy index since September 2008 (26.9 percent). Food prices increased 3.8 percent. (See table 1.)

cpi_bostonchart1_202109

Food

Food prices advanced 0.4 percent for the two months ending in September. (See table 1.) Prices for food away from home rose 1.0 percent, and prices for food at home inched down 0.1 percent for the same period.

Over the year, food prices increased 3.8 percent. Prices for food away from home jumped 10.2 percent since a year ago, and prices for food at home declined 0.6 percent. The annual increase for prices within food away from home was the highest since a 10.7 percent advance recorded in May 1984.

Energy

The energy index rose 1.8 percent for the two months ending in September. The increase was mainly due to higher prices for gasoline (2.4 percent). Prices for natural gas service advanced 2.2 percent, and prices for electricity rose 1.3 percent for the same period.

Energy prices jumped 26.1 percent over the year, largely due to higher prices for gasoline (42.9 percent). Prices paid for natural gas service jumped 22.8 percent, and prices for electricity increased 8.9 percent during the past year.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy declined 0.4 percent in the latest two-month period. Lower prices for new and used motor vehicles (-5.2 percent), shelter (-0.7 percent) and recreation (-2.4 percent) were partially offset by higher prices for household furnishings and operations (3.7 percent) and apparel (5.7 percent).

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy increased 2.7 percent. Components contributing to the increase included new and used motor vehicles (18.5 percent), shelter (2.1 percent) and household furnishings and operations (6.7 percent). Partly offsetting the increases was a price decrease in recreation (-1.7 percent). Within new and used motor vehicles and shelter, higher prices for used cars and trucks and owners’ equivalent rent of residences, up 27.7 and 2.1 percent, respectively, led the increases. 

CPI-W

In September, the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) was 294.003. The CPI-W was unchanged (0.0 percent) over two months and increased 4.4 percent over the year.

The November 2021 Consumer Price Index for Boston-Cambridge-Newton area is scheduled to be released on Friday, December 10, 2021, at 8:30 a.m. (ET).

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic Impact on September 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 September 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 at www.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
Jul.
2021
Aug.
2021
Sep.
2021
Sep.
2020
Jul.
2021
Aug.
2021

All items

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASA0
295.211 294.7844.0-0.1 

All items (1967 = 100)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11AAA0
858.038 856.798   

Food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAF
292.389 293.0803.50.2 

Food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAF1
294.819 295.9023.80.4 

Food at home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAF11
266.042265.213265.694-0.6-0.10.2

Cereal and bakery products

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAF111
318.899 315.229-1.5-1.2 

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAF112
281.663 290.7011.73.2 

Dairy and related products

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASEFJ
284.953 292.3930.52.6 

Fruits and vegetables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAF113
353.643 348.637-1.6-1.4 

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAF114
163.862 153.896-5.4-6.1 

Other food at home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAF115
206.251 207.0200.70.4 

Food away from home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASEFV
345.397 349.01610.21.0 

Alcoholic beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAF116
270.066 266.6590.4-1.3 

Housing

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAH
308.394 308.1263.5-0.1 

Shelter

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAH1
369.208367.342366.5272.1-0.7-0.2

Rent of primary residence(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASEHA
376.720378.719379.3391.10.70.2

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

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASEHC
393.353393.270393.4732.10.00.1

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

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASEHC01
393.353393.270393.4732.10.00.1

Fuels and utilities

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAH2
293.118 296.74913.51.2 

Household energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAH21
243.038246.359246.51215.31.40.1

Energy services(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASEHF
255.028258.971259.03512.81.60.0

Electricity(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASEHF01
303.295307.157307.2678.91.30.0

Utility (piped) gas service(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASEHF02
170.928174.637174.63722.82.20.0

Household furnishings and operations

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAH3
132.104 137.0566.73.7 

Apparel

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAA
123.164 130.1890.95.7 

Transportation

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAT
213.981 208.30915.2-2.7 

Private transportation

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAT1
221.406 217.11717.7-1.9 

New and used motor vehicles(5)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASETA
129.892 123.09418.5-5.2 

New Vehicles(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASETA01
221.544 205.6400.7-7.2 

Used cars and trucks(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASETA02
463.292 443.42327.7-4.3 

Motor fuel

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASETB
262.656265.298268.81442.62.31.3

Gasoline (all types)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASETB01
259.918262.543266.08242.92.41.3

Gasoline, unleaded regular(6)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASS47014
252.324254.867258.36544.62.41.4

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(6)(7)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASS47015
278.812281.661285.16835.82.31.2

Gasoline, unleaded premium(6)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASS47016
271.253274.021277.30832.52.21.2

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
695.077 700.8890.90.8 

Recreation(5)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAR
117.886 115.026-1.7-2.4 

Education and communication(5)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAE
174.151 175.5851.50.8 

Tuition, other fees, and child care(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASEEB
1,431.936 1,433.8040.80.1 

Other goods and services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAG
529.524 532.7963.80.6 

Commodity and service group

Commodities

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAC
205.805 207.1458.00.7 

Commodities less food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASACL11
161.264 162.80911.61.0 

Nondurables less food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASANL11
199.413 205.83812.13.2 

Durables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAD
122.270 120.16411.0-1.7 

Services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAS
375.860 373.8762.2-0.5 

Special aggregate indexes

All items less shelter

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASA0L2
268.168 268.7365.20.2 

All items less medical care

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASA0L5
279.928 279.2904.3-0.2 

Commodities less food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASACL1
165.616 166.99610.90.8 

Nondurables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASAN
244.607 248.2767.01.5 

Nondurables less food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASANL1
203.614 209.27210.92.8 

Services less rent of shelter(3)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASASL2RS
399.686 398.6082.2-0.3 

Services less medical care services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASASL5
352.709 350.4042.4-0.7 

Energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASA0E
249.249252.253253.82926.11.80.6

All items less energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASA0LE
303.697 302.8732.8-0.3 

All items less food and energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS11ASA0L1E
306.249 305.1122.7-0.4 

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: Wednesday, October 13, 2021