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15-1621-BOS Wednesday, August 19, 2015

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

Area prices edged up 0.1 percent over two months; up 0.7 percent from a year ago

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) in the Boston-Brockton-Nashua area edged up 0.1 percent in July, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Deborah A. Brown noted that the two-month increase was mainly due to higher prices for shelter, up 1.0 percent over two months, and to a lesser extent, food prices up 0.6 percent. Lower prices paid by area consumers for energy, down 2.2 percent, and apparel, down 4.6 percent, largely offset this increase. (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 0.7 percent. The increase was largely attributable to higher shelter and food prices, up 4.1 and 2.4 percent, respectively. (See chart 1.) Lower energy prices paid by area consumers, down 18.3 percent, nearly offset the modest increase.

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

 

Food

Food prices were up 0.6 percent since May. A rise in the prices for food away from home (1.3 percent), or restaurant prices, were the main cause of this rise. Grocery store prices, also known as food at home, edged up 0.3 percent and contributed to the increase, albeit to a lesser extent.

From July 2014 to July 2015 the index for food rose 2.4 percent due to higher grocery store prices (+2.2 percent) and higher restaurant prices (+2.7 percent).  

Energy

The energy index was down 2.2 percent over the two months, mainly due to decreases in the prices paid for electricity (-9.2 percent). This decrease was partially offset by higher prices for gasoline, up 2.5 percent from May. Area motorists paid $2.753 per gallon of gasoline in July.

Energy prices were down 18.3 percent from a year ago, attributable to lower gasoline prices, down 25.6 percent. Contributing to the decline were lower prices paid by area consumers for utility (piped) gas, down 23.8 percent from one year ago. Partially offsetting these declines was a 5.6-percent advance in local electricity prices.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy edged up 0.2 percent from May. Increases in the indexes for shelter (+1.0 percent) and medical care (+0.8 percent) led the advance but were offset by decreases in the indexes for apparel (-4.6 percent) and public transportation (-7.9 percent).

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy rose 2.4 percent, with higher shelter costs, rising 4.1 percent from July 2014, being the main cause of this increase. This marked the 49th consecutive annual increase in the local shelter index.

CPI-W

In July, the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) was 256.251. The CPI-W was unchanged over two months and edged up 0.3 percent over the year.

The September 2015 Consumer Price Index for Boston-Brockton-Nashua is scheduled to be released on Thursday, October 15, 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
May
2015
Jun.
2015
Jul.
2015
Jul.
2014
May
2015
Jun.
2015

All items

Jump to page with historical data
256.839   256.999 0.7 0.1  

All items (1967 = 100)

Jump to page with historical data
746.509   746.974      
 

Food and beverages

Jump to page with historical data
254.437   255.875 2.3 0.6  

Food

Jump to page with historical data
254.940   256.546 2.4 0.6  

Food at home

Jump to page with historical data
245.976 247.301 246.598 2.2 0.3 -0.3

Food away from home

Jump to page with historical data
269.653   273.106 2.7 1.3  

Alcoholic beverages

Jump to page with historical data
252.662   252.377 1.5 -0.1  
 

Housing

Jump to page with historical data
255.605   255.879 2.3 0.1  

Shelter

Jump to page with historical data
302.001 303.108 304.993 4.1 1.0 0.6

Rent of primary residence (1)

Jump to page with historical data
311.139 311.924 313.534 3.7 0.8 0.5

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

Jump to page with historical data
321.843 322.887 323.968 4.2 0.7 0.3

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

Jump to page with historical data
321.843 322.887 323.968 4.2 0.7 0.3

Fuels and utilities

Jump to page with historical data
241.306   228.751 -8.2 -5.2  

Household energy

Jump to page with historical data
202.045 203.117 189.276 -9.9 -6.3 -6.8

Energy services (1)

Jump to page with historical data
203.852 205.299 188.961 -3.3 -7.3 -8.0

Electricity (1)

Jump to page with historical data
242.717 244.932 220.402 5.6 -9.2 -10.0

Utility (piped) gas service (1)

Jump to page with historical data
127.153 127.157 126.231 -23.8 -0.7 -0.7

Household furnishings and operations

Jump to page with historical data
129.335   127.470 -0.3 -1.4  
 

Apparel

Jump to page with historical data
152.581   145.541 4.2 -4.6  
 

Transportation

Jump to page with historical data
192.761   192.227 -9.4 -0.3  

Private transportation

Jump to page with historical data
190.081   191.357 -9.2 0.7  

Motor fuel

Jump to page with historical data
227.776 233.878 233.464 -25.6 2.5 -0.2

Gasoline (all types)

Jump to page with historical data
225.082 231.127 230.736 -25.6 2.5 -0.2

Gasoline, unleaded regular (4)

Jump to page with historical data
221.794 228.094 227.134 -26.3 2.4 -0.4

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade (4) (5)

Jump to page with historical data
232.594 237.606 238.273 -24.4 2.4 0.3

Gasoline, unleaded premium (4)

Jump to page with historical data
225.290 230.653 232.459 -22.6 3.2 0.8
 

Medical care

Jump to page with historical data
599.276   604.047 2.5 0.8  
 

Recreation (6)

Jump to page with historical data
117.594   118.063 2.9 0.4  
 

Education and communication (6)

Jump to page with historical data
150.823   151.166 1.9 0.2  
 

Other goods and services

Jump to page with historical data
445.594   447.172 1.5 0.4  
 

Commodity and service group

 

Commodities

Jump to page with historical data
191.587   191.314 -2.7 -0.1  

Commodities less food and beverages

Jump to page with historical data
158.371   157.254 -6.3 -0.7  

Nondurables less food and beverages

Jump to page with historical data
205.757   205.215 -8.7 -0.3  

Durables

Jump to page with historical data
112.068   110.440 -2.0 -1.5  

Services

Jump to page with historical data
315.409   315.986 2.7 0.2  
 

Special aggregate indexes

 

All items less shelter

Jump to page with historical data
241.728   240.764 -1.0 -0.4  

All items less medical care

Jump to page with historical data
243.492   243.506 0.5 0.0  

Commodities less food

Jump to page with historical data
162.109   161.028 -5.9 -0.7  

Nondurables

Jump to page with historical data
228.948   229.405 -2.8 0.2  

Nondurables less food

Jump to page with historical data
207.920   207.404 -7.8 -0.2  

Services less rent of shelter (2)

Jump to page with historical data
347.274   344.764 1.2 -0.7  

Services less medical care services

Jump to page with historical data
295.920   296.396 2.8 0.2  

Energy

Jump to page with historical data
211.791 215.043 207.142 -18.3 -2.2 -3.7

All items less energy

Jump to page with historical data
264.837   265.458 2.4 0.2  

All items less food and energy

Jump to page with historical data
267.318   267.740 2.4 0.2  

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: Wednesday, August 19, 2015

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News Release Information

15-1621-BOS Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Contacts

Technical information:
Media contact:

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

Area prices edged up 0.1 percent over two months; up 0.7 percent from a year ago

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) in the Boston-Brockton-Nashua area edged up 0.1 percent in July, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Deborah A. Brown noted that the two-month increase was mainly due to higher prices for shelter, up 1.0 percent over two months, and to a lesser extent, food prices up 0.6 percent. Lower prices paid by area consumers for energy, down 2.2 percent, and apparel, down 4.6 percent, largely offset this increase. (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 0.7 percent. The increase was largely attributable to higher shelter and food prices, up 4.1 and 2.4 percent, respectively. (See chart 1.) Lower energy prices paid by area consumers, down 18.3 percent, nearly offset the modest increase.

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

 

Food

Food prices were up 0.6 percent since May. A rise in the prices for food away from home (1.3 percent), or restaurant prices, were the main cause of this rise. Grocery store prices, also known as food at home, edged up 0.3 percent and contributed to the increase, albeit to a lesser extent.

From July 2014 to July 2015 the index for food rose 2.4 percent due to higher grocery store prices (+2.2 percent) and higher restaurant prices (+2.7 percent).  

Energy

The energy index was down 2.2 percent over the two months, mainly due to decreases in the prices paid for electricity (-9.2 percent). This decrease was partially offset by higher prices for gasoline, up 2.5 percent from May. Area motorists paid $2.753 per gallon of gasoline in July.

Energy prices were down 18.3 percent from a year ago, attributable to lower gasoline prices, down 25.6 percent. Contributing to the decline were lower prices paid by area consumers for utility (piped) gas, down 23.8 percent from one year ago. Partially offsetting these declines was a 5.6-percent advance in local electricity prices.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy edged up 0.2 percent from May. Increases in the indexes for shelter (+1.0 percent) and medical care (+0.8 percent) led the advance but were offset by decreases in the indexes for apparel (-4.6 percent) and public transportation (-7.9 percent).

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy rose 2.4 percent, with higher shelter costs, rising 4.1 percent from July 2014, being the main cause of this increase. This marked the 49th consecutive annual increase in the local shelter index.

CPI-W

In July, the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) was 256.251. The CPI-W was unchanged over two months and edged up 0.3 percent over the year.

The September 2015 Consumer Price Index for Boston-Brockton-Nashua is scheduled to be released on Thursday, October 15, 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
May
2015
Jun.
2015
Jul.
2015
Jul.
2014
May
2015
Jun.
2015

All items

Jump to page with historical data
256.839   256.999 0.7 0.1  

All items (1967 = 100)

Jump to page with historical data
746.509   746.974      
 

Food and beverages

Jump to page with historical data
254.437   255.875 2.3 0.6  

Food

Jump to page with historical data
254.940   256.546 2.4 0.6  

Food at home

Jump to page with historical data
245.976 247.301 246.598 2.2 0.3 -0.3

Food away from home

Jump to page with historical data
269.653   273.106 2.7 1.3  

Alcoholic beverages

Jump to page with historical data
252.662   252.377 1.5 -0.1  
 

Housing

Jump to page with historical data
255.605   255.879 2.3 0.1  

Shelter

Jump to page with historical data
302.001 303.108 304.993 4.1 1.0 0.6

Rent of primary residence (1)

Jump to page with historical data
311.139 311.924 313.534 3.7 0.8 0.5

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

Jump to page with historical data
321.843 322.887 323.968 4.2 0.7 0.3

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

Jump to page with historical data
321.843 322.887 323.968 4.2 0.7 0.3

Fuels and utilities

Jump to page with historical data
241.306   228.751 -8.2 -5.2  

Household energy

Jump to page with historical data
202.045 203.117 189.276 -9.9 -6.3 -6.8

Energy services (1)

Jump to page with historical data
203.852 205.299 188.961 -3.3 -7.3 -8.0

Electricity (1)

Jump to page with historical data
242.717 244.932 220.402 5.6 -9.2 -10.0

Utility (piped) gas service (1)

Jump to page with historical data
127.153 127.157 126.231 -23.8 -0.7 -0.7

Household furnishings and operations

Jump to page with historical data
129.335   127.470 -0.3 -1.4  
 

Apparel

Jump to page with historical data
152.581   145.541 4.2 -4.6  
 

Transportation

Jump to page with historical data
192.761   192.227 -9.4 -0.3  

Private transportation

Jump to page with historical data
190.081   191.357 -9.2 0.7  

Motor fuel

Jump to page with historical data
227.776 233.878 233.464 -25.6 2.5 -0.2

Gasoline (all types)

Jump to page with historical data
225.082 231.127 230.736 -25.6 2.5 -0.2

Gasoline, unleaded regular (4)

Jump to page with historical data
221.794 228.094 227.134 -26.3 2.4 -0.4

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade (4) (5)

Jump to page with historical data
232.594 237.606 238.273 -24.4 2.4 0.3

Gasoline, unleaded premium (4)

Jump to page with historical data
225.290 230.653 232.459 -22.6 3.2 0.8
 

Medical care

Jump to page with historical data
599.276   604.047 2.5 0.8  
 

Recreation (6)

Jump to page with historical data
117.594   118.063 2.9 0.4  
 

Education and communication (6)

Jump to page with historical data
150.823   151.166 1.9 0.2  
 

Other goods and services

Jump to page with historical data
445.594   447.172 1.5 0.4  
 

Commodity and service group

 

Commodities

Jump to page with historical data
191.587   191.314 -2.7 -0.1  

Commodities less food and beverages

Jump to page with historical data
158.371   157.254 -6.3 -0.7  

Nondurables less food and beverages

Jump to page with historical data
205.757   205.215 -8.7 -0.3  

Durables

Jump to page with historical data
112.068   110.440 -2.0 -1.5  

Services

Jump to page with historical data
315.409   315.986 2.7 0.2  
 

Special aggregate indexes

 

All items less shelter

Jump to page with historical data
241.728   240.764 -1.0 -0.4  

All items less medical care

Jump to page with historical data
243.492   243.506 0.5 0.0  

Commodities less food

Jump to page with historical data
162.109   161.028 -5.9 -0.7  

Nondurables

Jump to page with historical data
228.948   229.405 -2.8 0.2  

Nondurables less food

Jump to page with historical data
207.920   207.404 -7.8 -0.2  

Services less rent of shelter (2)

Jump to page with historical data
347.274   344.764 1.2 -0.7  

Services less medical care services

Jump to page with historical data
295.920   296.396 2.8 0.2  

Energy

Jump to page with historical data
211.791 215.043 207.142 -18.3 -2.2 -3.7

All items less energy

Jump to page with historical data
264.837   265.458 2.4 0.2  

All items less food and energy

Jump to page with historical data
267.318   267.740 2.4 0.2  

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: Wednesday, August 19, 2015