Thursday, August 10, 2023
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 July 2023, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (See table A.) Regional Commissioner William J. Sibley attributed the July decrease to lower prices for household 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 2.8 percent. (See chart 1 and table A.) The index for all items less food and energy increased 4.0 percent over the year. Food prices rose 5.8 percent. Energy prices fell 15.2 percent, largely the result of a decrease in the price of gasoline. (See table 1.)Food
Food prices rose 1.3 percent for the two months ending in July. Prices for food at home increased 1.2 percent for this period, with price increases in five of the six grocery categories. Food away from home prices increased 1.5 percent.
Over the year, food prices advanced 5.8 percent, reflecting price increases for food at home (6.3 percent) and for food away from home (5.2 percent).Energy
For the two months ending in July, the energy index fell 4.6 percent, driven by an 8.7-percent decline in household energy. Within household energy, electricity prices fell 11.2 percent, and natural gas prices decreased 7.5 percent. In contrast, gasoline prices increased 2.8 percent.
Energy prices fell 15.2 percent over the year, led by lower prices for gasoline (-22.8 percent). Household energy prices fell 7.8 percent, with a 25.7-percent decline in natural gas prices. Fuel oil prices were also down. On the other hand, electricity prices rose 7.8 percent.All items less food and energy
The index for all items less food and energy increased 0.1 percent in the latest two-month period. Shelter prices rose 0.3 percent, with price increases for owners’ equivalent rent (1.1 percent) and residential rent (0.9 percent). Prices for new and used motor vehicles advanced 2.0 percent. These increases were partially offset by declines for medical care (-0.8 percent), apparel (-2.7 percent), and airline fares.
Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy advanced 4.0 percent. The increase was led by a 7.2-percent rise in shelter prices. Within the shelter component, owners’ equivalent rent increased 6.8 percent, and residential rent advanced 7.5 percent.
The September 2023 Consumer Price Index for the Boston area is scheduled to be released on October 12, 2023.
The Consumer Price Index for Boston is published bi-monthly. 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 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, 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, MA-NH Core Based Statistical Area covered in this release is comprised of Essex, Middlesex, Norfolk, Plymouth, Suffolk Counties in Massachusetts and Rockingham and Strafford Counties in New Hampshire.
Information in this release will be made available to individuals with sensory impairments upon request. Voice phone: (202) 691-5200; Telecommunications Relay Service: 7-1-1.
|Item and Group||Indexes||Percent change from-|
All items (1967=100)
Food and beverages
Food at home
Cereals and bakery products
Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs
Dairy and related products
Fruits and vegetables
Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials(1)
Other food at home
Food away from home
Rent of primary residence
Owners' equivalent rent of residences(2)
Owners' equivalent rent of primary residence(2)
Fuels and utilities
Utility (piped) gas service
Household furnishings and operations
New and used motor vehicles(3)
Used cars and trucks(1)
Gasoline (all types)
Gasoline, unleaded regular(4)
Gasoline, unleaded premium(4)
Education and communication(3)
Tuition, other school fees, and child care(1)
Other goods and services
Commodity and service group
Commodities less food and beverages
Nondurables less food and beverages
Special aggregate indexes
All items less medical care
All items less shelter
Commodities less food
Nondurables less food
Services less rent of shelter(2)
Services less medical care services
All items less energy
All items less food and energy
Last Modified Date: Thursday, August 10, 2023