Image courtesy of the Bureau of Labor Statistics

Consumer prices were up 3.2 percent nationally and 2.8 percent locally for the 12-month period ending with July, and analysts said lower household energy prices have helped push down Greater Boston inflation this summer.

The 3.2 percent increase in the Consumer Price Index for the year through July represents the first acceleration of inflation in 13 months; the index’s reading for June was 3 percent. The 2.8 percent figure for the Greater Boston region was influenced by food prices that were up 5.8 percent year-over-year and energy prices that were down 15.2 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said Thursday. Prices for all items not counting food and energy were up 4 percent locally.

Just looking at the months of June and July in the BLS’s “Boston-Cambridge-Newton” region (which includes Essex, Middlesex, Norfolk, Plymouth, and Suffolk counties in Massachusetts as well as Rockingham and Strafford counties in New Hampshire), consumer prices were down 0.1 percent, which a BLS economist attributed to lower prices for household energy.

Energy prices in the region were down 4.6 percent across the two-month period. Household energy prices were down 8.7 percent while gasoline prices were up 2.8 percent, BLS said. Food prices were up across the board this summer, rising 1.2 percent for groceries, 1.5 percent for food outside the home, and 1.3 percent in total.

The price of shelter in the Greater Boston area was up 0.3 percent across June and July, and motor vehicle prices (new and used) were up 2 percent. Offsetting those increases, BLS said, was a 0.8 percent decline in prices for medical care, a 2.7 percent decrease in apparel prices and an unspecified drop in airline fares.

If food and energy costs are taken out of the equation, Greater Boston prices ticked up 0.1 percent for the two months of June and July, BLS said.

Falling Energy Prices Curb Local Inflation, Feds Say

by State House News Service time to read: 1 min