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    News Release Information

    20-591-BOS
    Friday, April 10, 2020

    Contacts

    Technical information:
    Media contact:

    Consumer Price Index, Boston-Cambridge-Newton — March 2020

    Area prices little changed over two months; up 1.8 percent from a year ago

    The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) in the Boston-Cambridge-Newton area was little changed in March, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner William J. Sibley noted that this was mainly attributable to higher food prices, up 1.7 percent and to a lesser extent, higher all items less food and energy prices, up 0.2 percent. Lower energy prices down 4.1 percent nearly offset the 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 1.8 percent.  The increase was largely attributable to higher shelter costs within all items less food and energy, up 3.6 percent, and, to a lesser extent, higher food costs, up 2.3 percent.  Lower energy prices down 4.4 percent partially offset the increase.   (See chart 1.)

    Food

    Food prices increased 1.7 percent since January, mainly due to higher food at home or grocery store prices, up 2.7 percent. Higher food at home prices were mainly driven by higher prices for fruits and vegetables category, up 5.7 percent.

    Food prices increased 2.3 percent over the year, mainly due to higher grocery store and food away from home or restaurant prices, up 2.0 percent and 2.8 percent, respectively. 

    Energy

    The energy index decreased 4.1 percent over the two months, mainly due to lower gasoline prices, down 4.9 percent. 

    Energy prices decreased 4.4 percent from a year ago, mainly due to lower gasoline prices, down 2.9 percent. 

    All items less food and energy

    The index for all items less food and energy edged up from January (0.2 percent) mainly due to higher apparel costs, up 5.3 percent, and to a lesser extent, shelter costs, up 0.3 percent.  Within shelter, higher costs for owners’ equivalent rent of residences, up 0.3 percent led the increase.  Also contributing to the overall increase was medical care costs, up 1.4 percent.  Lower public transportation costs partially offset the overall increase.

    Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy rose 2.3 percent, with higher shelter costs being the main driver of the increase, up 3.6 percent.  Within shelter, higher costs for owners’ equivalent rent of residences, up 3.8 percent, and to a lesser extent, rent of primary residence, up 2.8 percent, led the increase.  Also contributing to the overall increase in prices within all items less food and energy were higher medical care costs, up 8.2 percent, and, to a lesser extent, higher costs within education and communication, up 3.0 percent.  Lower apparel prices, down, 7.8 percent partially offset the overall increase.

    CPI-W

    In March, the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) was 284.368. The CPI-W remained unchanged over two months and increased 1.8 percent over the year.

    The May 2020 Consumer Price Index for Boston-Cambridge-Newton is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, June 10, 2020, at 8:30 a.m. (ET).

    Coronavirus (COVID-19) Impact on March 2020 Consumer Price Index Data

    The Consumer Price Index (CPI) program suspended data collection by personal visit on March 16, 2020. When possible, data normally collected by personal visit were collected either online or by phone. Additionally, data collection in March was affected by the temporary closing or limited operations of certain types of establishments. These factors resulted in an increase in the number of prices being considered temporarily unavailable and imputed. While the CPI program attempted to collect as much data as possible, many indexes are based on smaller amounts of collected prices than usual, and a small number of indexes that are normally published were not published this month. Additional information is available at www.digitalmonojit.com/bls/effects-of-covid-19-pandemic-on-bls-price-indexes.htm#CPI. Specific information about the impact of COVID-19 on March 2020 CPI data collection is available at http://www.digitalmonojit.com/cpi/additional-resources/covid19-statement-march-2020.htm

     

     


    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 94 percent of the total population and (2) a CPI for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) which covers approximately 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 75 urban areas across the country from about 5,000 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 (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.digitalmonojit.com/cpi and the BLS Handbook of Methods, Chapter 17, The Consumer Price Index, available on the Internet at www.digitalmonojit.com/opub/hom/pdf/homch17.pdf.

    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; Federal Relay Service: 1-800-877-8339. 

    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
    Jan.
    2020
    Feb.
    2020
    Mar.
    2020
    Mar.
    2019
    Jan.
    2020
    Feb.
    2020

    All items

    285.181   285.544 1.8 0.1  

    All items (1967 = 100)

    828.885   829.940      

    Food and beverages

    272.010   276.001 2.3 1.5  

    Food

    273.800   278.502 2.3 1.7  

    Food at home

    255.070 259.914 262.069 2.0 2.7 0.8

    Cereal and bakery products

    298.315   307.226 0.6 3.0  

    Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

    259.386   263.672 4.2 1.7  

    Dairy and related products

    284.306   288.207 2.0 1.4  

    Fruits and vegetables

    325.557   344.076 -0.5 5.7  

    Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials(1)

    166.393   167.698 0.0 0.8  

    Other food at home

    205.235   210.754 4.4 2.7  

    Food away from home

    306.598   307.221 2.8 0.2  

    Alcoholic beverages

    256.173   252.768 2.4 -1.3  

    Housing

    299.489   299.526 2.8 0.0  

    Shelter

    355.029 356.552 356.239 3.6 0.3 -0.1

    Rent of primary residence(2)

    368.015 368.169 367.496 2.8 -0.1 -0.2

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

    379.229 379.875 380.553 3.8 0.3 0.2

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

    379.229 379.875 380.553 3.8 0.3 0.2

    Fuels and utilities

    305.656   296.581 -4.5 -3.0  

    Household energy

    258.711 254.570 249.266 -5.5 -3.7 -2.1

    Energy services(2)

    273.616 271.991 273.424 -1.5 -0.1 0.5

    Electricity(2)

    312.677 309.899 312.350 -1.1 -0.1 0.8

    Utility (piped) gas service(2)

    199.773 199.773 199.773 -2.4 0.0 0.0

    Household furnishings and operations

    130.559   130.569 3.9 0.0  

    Apparel

    129.316   136.220 -7.8 5.3  

    Transportation

    192.241   186.954 -3.3 -2.8  

    Private transportation

    193.330   190.475 -2.1 -1.5  

    New and used motor vehicles(5)

    105.369          

    New Vehicles(1)

    220.052          

    Used cars and trucks(1)

    311.192   320.588 0.1 3.0  

    Motor fuel

    223.300 218.103 212.385 -2.9 -4.9 -2.6

    Gasoline (all types)

    220.711 215.603 209.953 -2.9 -4.9 -2.6

    Gasoline, unleaded regular(6)

    213.570 208.264 202.771 -3.2 -5.1 -2.6

    Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(6)(7)

    236.923 235.470 231.014 0.5 -2.5 -1.9

    Gasoline, unleaded premium(6)

    235.483 232.167 226.075 -1.2 -4.0 -2.6

    Motor vehicle insurance(1)

               

    Medical care

    703.603   713.316 8.2 1.4  

    Recreation(5)

    123.000   122.892 -1.4 -0.1  

    Education and communication(5)

    170.780   170.337 3.0 -0.3  

    Tuition, other fees, and child care(1)

    1,398.308   1,398.308 3.7 0.0  

    Other goods and services

    512.043   513.228 2.6 0.2  

    Commodity and service group

    Commodities

    192.467   192.525 -0.6 0.0  

    Commodities less food and beverages

    151.395   149.849 -2.8 -1.0  

    Nondurables less food and beverages

    195.641   192.606 -5.2 -1.6  

    Durables

    108.668   108.310 0.7 -0.3  

    Services

    368.670   369.304 3.0 0.2  

    Special aggregate indexes

    All items less shelter

    259.784   259.778 0.7 0.0  

    All items less medical care

    269.316   269.356 1.4 0.0  

    Commodities less food

    155.571   153.955 -2.5 -1.0  

    Nondurables

    232.817   233.166 -1.0 0.1  

    Nondurables less food

    199.108   196.062 -4.5 -1.5  

    Services less rent of shelter(3)

    401.880   401.738 2.1 0.0  

    Services less medical care services

    344.832   344.620 2.2 -0.1  

    Energy

    241.489 236.936 231.503 -4.4 -4.1 -2.3

    All items less energy

    293.324   294.501 2.3 0.4  

    All items less food and energy

    297.564   298.174 2.3 0.2  

    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, April 10, 2020

    光棍天堂影院1111
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