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News Release Information

22-1182-BOS
Friday, June 10, 2022

Contacts Technical information: Media contact:

Consumer Price Index, Boston-Cambridge-Newton – May 2022

Area prices rose 1.1 percent over the past two months, up 7.5 percent from a year ago

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for Boston advanced 1.1 percent for the two months ending in May 2022, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner William J. Sibley noted that the May increase was influenced by higher prices for all items less food and energy. Within the all items less food and energy group, price increases were noted for several indexes, including shelter, household furnishings and operations, and medical care. (Data in this report are not seasonally adjusted. Accordingly, month-to-month changes may reflect the impact of seasonal influences.)

Over the last 12 months, the CPI-U advanced 7.5 percent, reflecting price increases for shelter and new and used motor vehicles. This was the highest annual advance recorded in Boston since November 1981. (See chart 1 and table A.) The index for all items less food and energy rose 4.9 percent over the year. (See table 1.)

Food

Food prices advanced 2.4 percent for the two months ending in May. (See table 1.) Prices for food at home rose 3.9 percent, and prices for food away from home inched down 0.1 percent for the same period.

Over the year, food prices rose 8.7 percent. This was the highest annual advance recorded in Boston since January 1981. Prices for food at home rose 9.2 percent since a year ago, and prices for food away from home rose 7.6 percent.

Energy

The energy index advanced 2.4 percent for the two months ending in May. The increase was mainly due to higher prices for gasoline (8.2 percent). Prices for electricity decreased 4.0 percent, and prices for natural gas service fell 11.3 percent for the same period.

Energy prices jumped 43.0 percent over the year, largely due to higher prices for gasoline (57.4 percent). Prices paid for natural gas service rose 41.1 percent, and prices for electricity advanced 12.9 percent during the past year.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.7 percent in the latest two-month period. Higher prices for shelter (0.6 percent) and household furnishings and operations (3.3 percent) were partially offset by lower prices for apparel (-5.1 percent) and education and communication (-0.6 percent).

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy advanced 4.9 percent. Components contributing to the increase included shelter (4.0 percent) and household furnishings and operations (14.9 percent).

The Consumer Price Index for July2022 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, August 10, 2022, at 8:30 a.m. (ET).


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 BLS Handbook of Methods, Chapter 17, The Consumer Price Index, 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; Telecommunications Relay Service: 7-1-1.

Table A. Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH, CPI-U 2-month and 12-month percent changes, all items index, not seasonally adjusted
Month 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month

January

1.1 2.8 0.5 2.5 0.6 2.2 0.7 0.5 1.6 6.3

March

0.9 3.6 0.5 2.1 0.1 1.8 0.9 1.3 1.9 7.3

May

0.0 3.2 0.2 2.3 -1.0 0.6 0.8 3.2 1.1 7.5

July

0.3 3.4 0.0 2.0 0.2 0.8 1.2 4.3

September

1.2 3.3 0.2 1.1 0.1 0.6 -0.1 4.0

November

-0.4 3.2 0.7 2.1 0.4 0.4 1.7 5.3
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 category Indexes Percent change from
Historical
data
Mar.
2022
Apr.
2022
May
2022
May
2021
Mar.
2022
Apr.
2022

All items

310.311   313.578 7.5 1.1  

All items (1967 = 100)

901.926   911.422      

Food and beverages

305.791   312.662 8.1 2.2  

Food

309.522   316.898 8.7 2.4  

Food at home

279.213 281.075 290.104 9.2 3.9 3.2

Cereal and bakery products

338.042   347.425 8.8 2.8  

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

310.171   317.587 12.1 2.4  

Dairy and related products

319.740   332.523 14.6 4.0  

Fruits and vegetables

357.581   376.289 8.3 5.2  

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials(1)

168.060   175.428 4.0 4.4  

Other food at home

209.243   219.249 8.2 4.8  

Food away from home

362.937   362.550 7.6 -0.1  

Alcoholic beverages

268.857   269.720 0.8 0.3  

Housing

323.726   325.761 7.1 0.6  

Shelter

375.114 376.867 377.395 4.0 0.6 0.1

Rent of primary residence(2)

385.422 386.973 388.190 3.4 0.7 0.3

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

402.554 403.791 405.346 3.8 0.7 0.4

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

402.554 403.791 405.346 3.8 0.7 0.4

Fuels and utilities

385.343   379.200 28.6 -1.6  

Household energy

332.000 335.281 325.258 32.9 -2.0 -3.0

Energy services(2)

334.893 335.526 312.895 21.7 -6.6 -6.7

Electricity(2)

360.829 361.872 346.253 12.9 -4.0 -4.3

Utility (piped) gas service(2)

272.127 272.127 241.257 41.1 -11.3 -11.3

Household furnishings and operations

146.320   151.131 14.9 3.3  

Apparel

143.254   135.997 5.9 -5.1  

Transportation

234.578   242.470 17.3 3.4  

Private transportation

245.026   249.985 18.4 2.0  

New and used motor vehicles(5)

135.327   136.123 12.6 0.6  

New Vehicles(1)

230.588   234.301 10.8 1.6  

Used cars and trucks(1)

483.410   483.067 17.1 -0.1  

Motor fuel

366.194 360.242 396.371 57.6 8.2 10.0

Gasoline (all types)

362.173 356.248 391.698 57.4 8.2 10.0

Gasoline, unleaded regular(6)

353.109 346.685 382.105 58.3 8.2 10.2

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(6)(7)

382.582 380.501 412.235 54.3 7.8 8.3

Gasoline, unleaded premium(6)

367.482 365.861 396.049 51.7 7.8 8.3

Motor vehicle insurance(1)

           

Medical care

723.561   733.033 4.9 1.3  

Recreation(5)

117.281   118.266 1.4 0.8  

Education and communication(5)

175.660   174.610 0.8 -0.6  

Tuition, other fees, and child care(1)

1,433.865   1,434.076 0.7 0.0  

Other goods and services

563.943   565.740 8.2 0.3  

Commodity and service group

Commodities

224.796   228.512 13.1 1.7  

Commodities less food and beverages

181.196   183.589 16.6 1.3  

Nondurables less food and beverages

238.609   245.049 23.5 2.7  

Durables

129.251   129.193 10.7 0.0  

Services

387.526   390.392 4.8 0.7  

Special aggregate indexes

All items less shelter

287.607   291.367 9.6 1.3  

All items less medical care

294.493   297.528 7.7 1.0  

Commodities less food

185.061   187.439 15.8 1.3  

Nondurables

271.758   278.442 14.8 2.5  

Nondurables less food

240.012   246.095 21.5 2.5  

Services less rent of shelter(3)

419.615   423.369 5.8 0.9  

Services less medical care services

363.235   365.422 4.8 0.6  

Energy

342.958 342.506 351.088 43.0 2.4 2.5

All items less energy

313.115   316.080 5.3 0.9  

All items less food and energy

314.943   317.284 4.9 0.7  

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 10, 2022