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15-1206-BOS Thursday, June 18, 2015

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Consumer Price Index, Boston-Brockton-Nashua — May 2015

Area prices edged down 0.1 percent over two months; up 0.6 percent from a year ago

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) in the Boston-Brockton-Nashua area edged down 0.1 percent in May, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Deborah A. Brown noted that the two-month decrease was mainly due to lower prices for energy, down 6.0 percent over two months. Higher prices paid by area consumers for shelter, up 0.8 percent, and recreation, up 1.3 percent, largely offset this decrease. (Data in this report are not seasonally adjusted. Accordingly, bimonthly changes may reflect the impact of seasonal influences.)

Over the last 12 months the Boston CPI-U rose 0.6 percent. The increase was largely attributable to higher shelter prices, up 3.2 percent. (See chart 1.)  Lower energy prices paid by area consumers, down 16.4 percent, nearly offset the modest increase.

 Chart 1.  Over-the-year percent change in CPI-U, Boston-Brockton-Nashua,  May 2012 - May 2015

 

Food

Food prices were unchanged since March. Grocery store prices, also known as food at home, edged down 0.3 percent. A rise in the prices for food away from home (0.7 percent), or restaurant prices, offset this rise.

From May 2014 to May 2015 the index for food rose 1.7 percent mainly due to higher grocery store prices (+1.5 percent) and, to a lesser extent, higher restaurant prices (+2.0 percent).  

Energy

The energy index was down 6.0 percent over the two months, mainly due to decreases in the prices paid for electricity (-12.8 percent) and utility (piped) gas (-30.1 percent). These decreases were partially offset by higher prices for gasoline, up 10.2 percent from March. Area motorists paid $2.685 per gallon of gasoline in May.

Energy prices were down 16.4 percent from a year ago, attributable to lower gasoline prices, down 27.4 percent. Contributing to the decline were lower prices paid by area consumers for utility (piped) gas, down 23.3 percent from one year ago. Partially offsetting these declines was a 17.6-percent advance in local electricity prices.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy was up 0.5 percent from March. Increases in the indexes for shelter (+0.8 percent) and recreation (+1.3 percent) led the advance. 

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy rose 2.3 percent, with higher shelter costs, rising 3.2 percent from May 2014, being the main cause of this increase. This marked the 47th consecutive annual increase in the local shelter index. Contributing to the over-the-year rise in the all items less food and energy index were increases in the prices paid for recreation (+3.7 percent) and apparel (+5.3 percent).

CPI-W

In May, the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) was 256.286. The CPI-W was down 0.3 percent over two months and edged up 0.1 percent over the year.

The May 2015 Consumer Price Index for Boston-Brockton-Nashua is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, August 19, 2015, at 8:30 a.m. (ET).


Technical Note

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 89 percent of the total population and (2) a CPI for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) which covers 28 percent of the total 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 87 urban areas across the country from about 6,000 housing units and approximately 24,000 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 change from a designated reference date (1982-84) that equals 100.0. An increase of 16.5 percent, for example, is shown as 116.5. This change can also be expressed in dollars as follows: the price of a base period "market basket" of goods and services in the CPI has risen from $10 in 1982-84 to $11.65. 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/homch17_a.htm.

In calculating the index, price changes for the various items in each location are averaged together withweights 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-Brockton-Nashua, Mass.-N.H.-Maine-Conn. consolidated area covered in this release is comprised of Essex, Middlesex, Norfolk, Plymouth and Suffolk Counties and parts of Bristol, Hampden, and Worcester Counties in Massachusetts; parts of Hillsborough, Merrimack, Rockingham, and Strafford Counties in New Hampshire; part of York County in Maine; and part of Windham County in Connecticut.

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

Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U): Indexes and percent changes for selected periods, Boston-Brockton-Nashua, Ma.-N.H.-Maine-Conn., (1982-84=100 unless otherwise noted) (not seasonally adjusted)
Expenditure category Indexes Percent change from
 
Historical
data
Mar.
2015
Apr.
2015
May
2015
May
2014
Mar.
2015
Apr.
2015

All items

Jump to page with historical data
257.013   256.839 0.6 -0.1  

All items (1967 = 100)

Jump to page with historical data
747.015   746.509      
 

Food and beverages

Jump to page with historical data
254.369   254.437 1.6 0.0  

Food

Jump to page with historical data
254.813   254.940 1.7 0.0  

Food at home

Jump to page with historical data
246.775 246.370 245.976 1.5 -0.3 -0.2

Food away from home

Jump to page with historical data
267.776   269.653 2.0 0.7  

Alcoholic beverages

Jump to page with historical data
253.194   252.662 0.7 -0.2  
 

Housing

Jump to page with historical data
258.940   255.605 2.3 -1.3  

Shelter

Jump to page with historical data
299.626 300.903 302.001 3.2 0.8 0.4

Rent of primary residence (1)

Jump to page with historical data
309.395 309.957 311.139 3.3 0.6 0.4

Owners' equivalent rent of residences (1) (2) (3)

Jump to page with historical data
319.459 320.818 321.843 4.0 0.7 0.3

Owners' equivalent rent of primary residence (1) (2) (3)

Jump to page with historical data
319.459 320.818 321.843 4.0 0.7 0.3

Fuels and utilities

Jump to page with historical data
282.995   241.306 -2.9 -14.7  

Household energy

Jump to page with historical data
242.720 237.014 202.045 -3.6 -16.8 -14.8

Energy services (1)

Jump to page with historical data
246.727 246.410 203.852 5.1 -17.4 -17.3

Electricity (1)

Jump to page with historical data
278.362 277.778 242.717 17.6 -12.8 -12.6

Utility (piped) gas service (1)

Jump to page with historical data
182.007 182.185 127.153 -23.3 -30.1 -30.2

Household furnishings and operations

Jump to page with historical data
130.748   129.335 1.2 -1.1  
 

Apparel

Jump to page with historical data
154.746   152.581 5.3 -1.4  
 

Transportation

Jump to page with historical data
187.388   192.761 -9.0 2.9  

Private transportation

Jump to page with historical data
185.906   190.081 -9.4 2.2  

Motor fuel

Jump to page with historical data
206.730 204.333 227.776 -27.4 10.2 11.5

Gasoline (all types)

Jump to page with historical data
204.182 201.836 225.082 -27.4 10.2 11.5

Gasoline, unleaded regular (4)

Jump to page with historical data
200.132 197.509 221.794 -28.1 10.8 12.3

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade (4) (5)

Jump to page with historical data
213.384 212.179 232.594 -26.2 9.0 9.6

Gasoline, unleaded premium (4)

Jump to page with historical data
208.104 206.317 225.290 -25.0 8.3 9.2
 

Medical care

Jump to page with historical data
596.534   599.276 1.8 0.5  
 

Recreation (6)

Jump to page with historical data
116.047   117.594 3.7 1.3  
 

Education and communication (6)

Jump to page with historical data
150.604   150.823 1.8 0.1  
 

Other goods and services

Jump to page with historical data
443.709   445.594 1.5 0.4  
 

Commodity and service group

 

Commodities

Jump to page with historical data
191.245   191.587 -3.0 0.2  

Commodities less food and beverages

Jump to page with historical data
157.898   158.371 -6.3 0.3  

Nondurables less food and beverages

Jump to page with historical data
203.587   205.757 -9.1 1.1  

Durables

Jump to page with historical data
113.164   112.068 -1.2 -1.0  

Services

Jump to page with historical data
316.081   315.409 2.9 -0.2  
 

Special aggregate indexes

 

All items less shelter

Jump to page with historical data
242.916   241.728 -0.6 -0.5  

All items less medical care

Jump to page with historical data
243.756   243.492 0.6 -0.1  

Commodities less food

Jump to page with historical data
161.679   162.109 -5.9 0.3  

Nondurables

Jump to page with historical data
227.849   228.948 -3.4 0.5  

Nondurables less food

Jump to page with historical data
205.991   207.920 -8.2 0.9  

Services less rent of shelter (2)

Jump to page with historical data
351.835   347.274 2.5 -1.3  

Services less medical care services

Jump to page with historical data
296.827   295.920 3.0 -0.3  

Energy

Jump to page with historical data
225.327 221.101 211.791 -16.4 -6.0 -4.2

All items less energy

Jump to page with historical data
263.740   264.837 2.2 0.4  

All items less food and energy

Jump to page with historical data
266.022   267.318 2.3 0.5  

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

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

Last Modified Date: Thursday, June 18, 2015

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News Release Information

15-1206-BOS Thursday, June 18, 2015

Contacts

Technical information:
Media contact:

Consumer Price Index, Boston-Brockton-Nashua — May 2015

Area prices edged down 0.1 percent over two months; up 0.6 percent from a year ago

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) in the Boston-Brockton-Nashua area edged down 0.1 percent in May, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Deborah A. Brown noted that the two-month decrease was mainly due to lower prices for energy, down 6.0 percent over two months. Higher prices paid by area consumers for shelter, up 0.8 percent, and recreation, up 1.3 percent, largely offset this decrease. (Data in this report are not seasonally adjusted. Accordingly, bimonthly changes may reflect the impact of seasonal influences.)

Over the last 12 months the Boston CPI-U rose 0.6 percent. The increase was largely attributable to higher shelter prices, up 3.2 percent. (See chart 1.)  Lower energy prices paid by area consumers, down 16.4 percent, nearly offset the modest increase.

 Chart 1.  Over-the-year percent change in CPI-U, Boston-Brockton-Nashua,  May 2012 - May 2015

 

Food

Food prices were unchanged since March. Grocery store prices, also known as food at home, edged down 0.3 percent. A rise in the prices for food away from home (0.7 percent), or restaurant prices, offset this rise.

From May 2014 to May 2015 the index for food rose 1.7 percent mainly due to higher grocery store prices (+1.5 percent) and, to a lesser extent, higher restaurant prices (+2.0 percent).  

Energy

The energy index was down 6.0 percent over the two months, mainly due to decreases in the prices paid for electricity (-12.8 percent) and utility (piped) gas (-30.1 percent). These decreases were partially offset by higher prices for gasoline, up 10.2 percent from March. Area motorists paid $2.685 per gallon of gasoline in May.

Energy prices were down 16.4 percent from a year ago, attributable to lower gasoline prices, down 27.4 percent. Contributing to the decline were lower prices paid by area consumers for utility (piped) gas, down 23.3 percent from one year ago. Partially offsetting these declines was a 17.6-percent advance in local electricity prices.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy was up 0.5 percent from March. Increases in the indexes for shelter (+0.8 percent) and recreation (+1.3 percent) led the advance. 

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy rose 2.3 percent, with higher shelter costs, rising 3.2 percent from May 2014, being the main cause of this increase. This marked the 47th consecutive annual increase in the local shelter index. Contributing to the over-the-year rise in the all items less food and energy index were increases in the prices paid for recreation (+3.7 percent) and apparel (+5.3 percent).

CPI-W

In May, the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) was 256.286. The CPI-W was down 0.3 percent over two months and edged up 0.1 percent over the year.

The May 2015 Consumer Price Index for Boston-Brockton-Nashua is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, August 19, 2015, at 8:30 a.m. (ET).


Technical Note

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 89 percent of the total population and (2) a CPI for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) which covers 28 percent of the total 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 87 urban areas across the country from about 6,000 housing units and approximately 24,000 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 change from a designated reference date (1982-84) that equals 100.0. An increase of 16.5 percent, for example, is shown as 116.5. This change can also be expressed in dollars as follows: the price of a base period "market basket" of goods and services in the CPI has risen from $10 in 1982-84 to $11.65. 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/homch17_a.htm.

In calculating the index, price changes for the various items in each location are averaged together withweights 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-Brockton-Nashua, Mass.-N.H.-Maine-Conn. consolidated area covered in this release is comprised of Essex, Middlesex, Norfolk, Plymouth and Suffolk Counties and parts of Bristol, Hampden, and Worcester Counties in Massachusetts; parts of Hillsborough, Merrimack, Rockingham, and Strafford Counties in New Hampshire; part of York County in Maine; and part of Windham County in Connecticut.

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

Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U): Indexes and percent changes for selected periods, Boston-Brockton-Nashua, Ma.-N.H.-Maine-Conn., (1982-84=100 unless otherwise noted) (not seasonally adjusted)
Expenditure category Indexes Percent change from
 
Historical
data
Mar.
2015
Apr.
2015
May
2015
May
2014
Mar.
2015
Apr.
2015

All items

Jump to page with historical data
257.013   256.839 0.6 -0.1  

All items (1967 = 100)

Jump to page with historical data
747.015   746.509      
 

Food and beverages

Jump to page with historical data
254.369   254.437 1.6 0.0  

Food

Jump to page with historical data
254.813   254.940 1.7 0.0  

Food at home

Jump to page with historical data
246.775 246.370 245.976 1.5 -0.3 -0.2

Food away from home

Jump to page with historical data
267.776   269.653 2.0 0.7  

Alcoholic beverages

Jump to page with historical data
253.194   252.662 0.7 -0.2  
 

Housing

Jump to page with historical data
258.940   255.605 2.3 -1.3  

Shelter

Jump to page with historical data
299.626 300.903 302.001 3.2 0.8 0.4

Rent of primary residence (1)

Jump to page with historical data
309.395 309.957 311.139 3.3 0.6 0.4

Owners' equivalent rent of residences (1) (2) (3)

Jump to page with historical data
319.459 320.818 321.843 4.0 0.7 0.3

Owners' equivalent rent of primary residence (1) (2) (3)

Jump to page with historical data
319.459 320.818 321.843 4.0 0.7 0.3

Fuels and utilities

Jump to page with historical data
282.995   241.306 -2.9 -14.7  

Household energy

Jump to page with historical data
242.720 237.014 202.045 -3.6 -16.8 -14.8

Energy services (1)

Jump to page with historical data
246.727 246.410 203.852 5.1 -17.4 -17.3

Electricity (1)

Jump to page with historical data
278.362 277.778 242.717 17.6 -12.8 -12.6

Utility (piped) gas service (1)

Jump to page with historical data
182.007 182.185 127.153 -23.3 -30.1 -30.2

Household furnishings and operations

Jump to page with historical data
130.748   129.335 1.2 -1.1  
 

Apparel

Jump to page with historical data
154.746   152.581 5.3 -1.4  
 

Transportation

Jump to page with historical data
187.388   192.761 -9.0 2.9  

Private transportation

Jump to page with historical data
185.906   190.081 -9.4 2.2  

Motor fuel

Jump to page with historical data
206.730 204.333 227.776 -27.4 10.2 11.5

Gasoline (all types)

Jump to page with historical data
204.182 201.836 225.082 -27.4 10.2 11.5

Gasoline, unleaded regular (4)

Jump to page with historical data
200.132 197.509 221.794 -28.1 10.8 12.3

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade (4) (5)

Jump to page with historical data
213.384 212.179 232.594 -26.2 9.0 9.6

Gasoline, unleaded premium (4)

Jump to page with historical data
208.104 206.317 225.290 -25.0 8.3 9.2
 

Medical care

Jump to page with historical data
596.534   599.276 1.8 0.5  
 

Recreation (6)

Jump to page with historical data
116.047   117.594 3.7 1.3  
 

Education and communication (6)

Jump to page with historical data
150.604   150.823 1.8 0.1  
 

Other goods and services

Jump to page with historical data
443.709   445.594 1.5 0.4  
 

Commodity and service group

 

Commodities

Jump to page with historical data
191.245   191.587 -3.0 0.2  

Commodities less food and beverages

Jump to page with historical data
157.898   158.371 -6.3 0.3  

Nondurables less food and beverages

Jump to page with historical data
203.587   205.757 -9.1 1.1  

Durables

Jump to page with historical data
113.164   112.068 -1.2 -1.0  

Services

Jump to page with historical data
316.081   315.409 2.9 -0.2  
 

Special aggregate indexes

 

All items less shelter

Jump to page with historical data
242.916   241.728 -0.6 -0.5  

All items less medical care

Jump to page with historical data
243.756   243.492 0.6 -0.1  

Commodities less food

Jump to page with historical data
161.679   162.109 -5.9 0.3  

Nondurables

Jump to page with historical data
227.849   228.948 -3.4 0.5  

Nondurables less food

Jump to page with historical data
205.991   207.920 -8.2 0.9  

Services less rent of shelter (2)

Jump to page with historical data
351.835   347.274 2.5 -1.3  

Services less medical care services

Jump to page with historical data
296.827   295.920 3.0 -0.3  

Energy

Jump to page with historical data
225.327 221.101 211.791 -16.4 -6.0 -4.2

All items less energy

Jump to page with historical data
263.740   264.837 2.2 0.4  

All items less food and energy

Jump to page with historical data
266.022   267.318 2.3 0.5  

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

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

Last Modified Date: Thursday, June 18, 2015