Hey, little grasshoppers, it's costing more to live
The New England Information Office of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has released figures for the Boston Consumer Price Index (CPI) in March 2014. The CPI program produces monthly data on changes in the prices paid by urban consumers for a representative basket of goods and services. Some highlights:
- The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) in the Boston metropolitan area rose 0.7 percent during the two months ending March 2014. The increase in prices was largely attributable to an increase in the shelter index and to a lesser extent higher energy prices.
- Over the last 12 months, the CPI-U increased 1.7 percent in Boston; the national increase was 1.5 percent.
- The all items less food and energy index rose 1.5 percent over the year as the costs for shelter, education and communication, and other goods and services increased locally.
- Local gasoline prices were up since January, as Boston area motorists paid an average of $3.567 per gallon of gasoline in March. This was close to the national average of $3.590; gas prices fell 4.2 percent over the year locally.
- Food prices increased over the year in Boston, up 1.2 percent, as both grocery store (1.4 percent) and restaurant (0.8) prices increased.
- Of the seven metropolitan areas for which inflation measures are available this month, the highest annual rates were recorded in Chicago and Cleveland where prices increased 1.9 percent. Los Angeles and Dallas tied with the lowest rate at 1.0 percent.