By Kimberley Donoghue
PBN Web Editor
BOSTON – Prices for consumer goods and services increased in the Northeast at a slower rate over the last 12 months than in the rest of the country.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Price Indexes for All Urban Consumers, which encompasses about 87 percent of the U.S. population, the U.S. city average increased for “all items” 3.4 percent in November 2011 from a year earlier.
In the Northeast, the CPI-U for “all items” increased 3.2 percent and in the Boston-Brockton-Nashua area, it advanced 2.9 percent. The data was not seasonally adjusted.
The BLS does not publish data on Rhode Island. The Boston index – which includes New Bedford – is the most relevant data available.
In the Boston area, the cost of food and beverages jumped 4.3 percent; housing increased 2.6 percent; fuels and utilities surged 6.2 percent; apparel added 3.7 percent; and transportation leapt 6.9 percent.
The Consumer Price Index is a measure of the average change over time in the prices paid by urban consumers for a market basket of consumer goods and services. It is used as an economic indicator, as a deflator of other economic services, and as a means of adjusting dollar values, according to the BLS.