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News Release Information

22-2014-BOS
Thursday, October 13, 2022

Contacts Technical information: Media contact:

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

Area prices were up 0.9 percent over the two months ending in September; up 8.1 percent over the year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for Boston advanced 0.9 percent for the two months ending in September 2022, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (See table A.) Regional Commissioner William J. Sibley noted that higher prices for shelter and food were partially offset by falling energy prices. (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 8.1 percent. (See chart 1 and table A.) The index for all items less food and energy rose 5.9 percent over the year, with widespread price increases within the overall category. (See table 1.)

Food

Food prices increased 2.1 percent for the two months ending in September. (See table 1.) Prices for food at home rose 2.4 percent, and prices for food away from home rose 1.5 percent for the same period.

Over the year, food prices increased 12.2 percent. Prices for food at home advanced 13.7 percent, while prices for food away from home rose 9.9 percent over the year.

Energy

The energy index fell 7.3 percent for the two months ending in September. The decrease was mainly due to falling gasoline prices (-19.0 percent). Prices for fuel oil also decreased over the same period. Partially offsetting these decreases were rising electricity (7.1 percent) and natural gas service (4.7 percent) prices. 

Energy prices advanced 31.0 percent over the year. Gasoline prices increased 22.8 percent. Prices paid for electricity rose 27.0 percent, while prices paid for natural gas services rose 56.0 percent over the past year.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy increased 1.6 percent in the latest two-month period. Higher prices for shelter (1.2 percent) and education and communication (1.6 percent) were partially offset by lower prices for used cars and trucks (-3.5 percent).

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy rose 5.9 percent. Components contributing to the increase included shelter (4.8 percent), new and used motor vehicles (12.6 percent), and medical care (6.8 percent). Within shelter, owners’ equivalent rent increased 5.4 percent, while rent of primary residence increased 5.3 percent.

The November 2022 Consumer Price Index for the Boston area is scheduled to be released on Tuesday, December 13, 2022.


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 0.7 7.0

September

1.2 3.3 0.2 1.1 0.1 0.6 -0.1 4.0 0.9 8.1

November

-0.4 3.2 0.7 2.1 0.4 0.4 1.7 5.3
Table 1. 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
Jul.
2022
Aug.
2022
Sep.
2022
Sep.
2021
Jul.
2022
Aug.
2022

All items

315.841   318.800 8.1 0.9  

All items (1967 = 100)

918.001   926.601      

Food and beverages

320.493   327.202 11.6 2.1  

Food

325.185   331.888 12.2 2.1  

Food at home

294.910 300.973 301.967 13.7 2.4 0.3

Cereal and bakery products

353.862   356.916 13.2 0.9  

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

317.142   321.796 10.7 1.5  

Dairy and related products

342.933   349.805 19.6 2.0  

Fruits and vegetables

370.481   374.926 7.5 1.2  

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials(1)

187.788   190.860 24.0 1.6  

Other food at home

225.162   237.552 14.7 5.5  

Food away from home

377.960   383.666 9.9 1.5  

Alcoholic beverages

272.176   279.156 4.7 2.6  

Housing

326.206   332.273 7.8 1.9  

Shelter

379.462 383.097 384.018 4.8 1.2 0.2

Rent of primary residence(2)

394.186 395.694 399.536 5.3 1.4 1.0

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

409.915 412.564 414.602 5.4 1.1 0.5

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

409.915 412.564 414.602 5.4 1.1 0.5

Fuels and utilities

380.640   403.489 36.0 6.0  

Household energy

330.197 328.388 338.387 37.3 2.5 3.0

Energy services(2)

332.054 333.876 352.832 36.2 6.3 5.7

Electricity(2)

364.450 388.832 390.175 27.0 7.1 0.3

Utility (piped) gas service(2)

260.309 229.866 272.438 56.0 4.7 18.5

Household furnishings and operations

145.836   150.086 9.5 2.9  

Apparel

133.558   140.637 8.0 5.3  

Transportation

245.748   235.205 12.9 -4.3  

Private transportation

256.074   243.484 12.1 -4.9  

New and used motor vehicles(5)

139.570   138.642 12.6 -0.7  

New Vehicles(1)

236.830   239.197 16.3 1.0  

Used cars and trucks(1)

494.963   477.666 7.7 -3.5  

Motor fuel

407.841 373.344 330.546 23.0 -19.0 -11.5

Gasoline (all types)

403.191 369.108 326.708 22.8 -19.0 -11.5

Gasoline, unleaded regular(6)

391.643 357.549 315.222 22.0 -19.5 -11.8

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(6)(7)

434.832 403.348 364.567 27.8 -16.2 -9.6

Gasoline, unleaded premium(6)

419.128 390.766 355.001 28.0 -15.3 -9.2

Motor vehicle insurance(1)

           

Medical care

743.091   748.394 6.8 0.7  

Recreation(5)

118.320   120.763 5.0 2.1  

Education and communication(5)

175.231   178.096 1.4 1.6  

Tuition, other fees, and child care(1)

1,437.716   1,464.680 2.2 1.9  

Other goods and services

572.395   594.997 11.7 3.9  

Commodity and service group

Commodities

230.836   229.750 10.9 -0.5  

Commodities less food and beverages

183.914   180.321 10.8 -2.0  

Nondurables less food and beverages

245.826   234.150 13.8 -4.7  

Durables

129.237   130.400 8.5 0.9  

Services

392.603   399.203 6.8 1.7  

Special aggregate indexes

All items less shelter

293.759   296.071 10.2 0.8  

All items less medical care

299.505   302.370 8.3 1.0  

Commodities less food

187.819   184.452 10.5 -1.8  

Nondurables

282.543   279.444 12.6 -1.1  

Nondurables less food

246.974   236.473 13.0 -4.3  

Services less rent of shelter(3)

425.961   435.562 9.3 2.3  

Services less medical care services

367.591   374.245 6.8 1.8  

Energy

358.607 343.695 332.423 31.0 -7.3 -3.3

All items less energy

317.996   323.143 6.7 1.6  

All items less food and energy

318.288   323.233 5.9 1.6  

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: Thursday, October 13, 2022