errata

Incorrect prices for prescription drugs were used for the CPI-U and CPI-W indexes from May through August 2016 in a number of areas. Several indexes were affected, including the all items and medical care indexes. A list of the series affected can be found at www.bls.gov/bls/errata/cpi-price-corrections-10182016.htm, and the corrected data are available in the CPI database (www.bls.gov/cpi/data.htm).

News Release Information

16-2044-PHI
Tuesday, October 18, 2016

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Consumer Price Index, Washington-Baltimore – September 2016

Area prices down 0.1 percent since July and up 0.8 percent over the year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for Washington-Baltimore decreased 0.1 percent over the last two months, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Sheila Watkins noted the decline was led by a 1.1-percent decrease in the energy index, and the food index inched down 0.1 percent. The all items less food and energy index was unchanged over the last two months. (Data in this report are not seasonally adjusted. Accordingly, month-to-month changes may reflect the impact of seasonal influences.)

Over the last 12 months, the CPI-U increased 0.8 percent, due mostly to a 1.0-percent rise in the all items less food and energy index. (See chart 1 and table A.) Since September 2015, the food index inched up 0.1 percent, while the energy index edged down 0.2 percent. (See table 1.)

 

Food

After increasing 0.2 percent from May to July, the food index inched down 0.1 percent over the last two months. Prices for food at home decreased 0.3 percent, while those for food away from home were unchanged. Lower prices for apples and pork chops contributed to the two-month decrease in the food at home index.

Food prices inched up 0.1 percent over the year due to higher prices for food away from home (2.5 percent). Conversely, prices for food at home declined 2.0 percent since last September.

Energy

Since July, the energy index, which includes prices for household and transportation fuels, declined 1.1 percent due to lower prices for both utility (piped) gas service (-8.9 percent) and gasoline (-1.1 percent). Prices for electricity increased over the last two months, up 0.5 percent.

Energy prices edged down 0.2 percent over the year, due to a 3.7-percent drop in gasoline prices. Prices increased for both electricity (2.9 percent) and utility (piped) gas service (3.6 percent) since last September.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy was unchanged since July. A seasonal increase in apparel prices (9.0 percent) and higher prices for medical care (0.5 percent) were offset by declines in prices for recreation (-3.7 percent) and new and used motor vehicles, among others. 

Since September 2015, the index for all items less food and energy rose 1.0 percent. The increase was due largely to an over-the-year rise in shelter prices (2.0 percent). Higher prices for apparel (10.8 percent), among others, also contributed to the rise.

Table A. Washington, D.C. CPI-U 2-month and 12-month percent changes, all items index, not seasonally adjusted
Month 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month

January

0.4 2.7 0.1 1.8 0.4 1.9 -1.0 -0.2 -0.2 1.4

March

1.3 2.8 0.9 1.4 0.6 1.6 1.0 0.2 0.6 1.0

May

0.1 1.8 -0.2 1.2 0.4 2.2 0.6 0.4 0.8 1.2

July

-0.2 1.4 0.5 1.9 0.0 1.7 -0.2 0.2 -0.1 1.4

September

1.3 2.8 0.6 1.2 0.2 1.3 0.5 0.5 -0.1 0.8

November

-0.7 2.1 -0.2 1.7 -0.4 1.2 -0.3 0.6    

The Consumer Price Index for October 2016 is scheduled to be released on Thursday, November 17, 2016, at 8:30 a.m. (EDT).


Technical Note

The Consumer Price Index for Washington-Baltimore is published bi-monthly. 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 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 87 urban areas across the country from about 4,000 housing units and approximately 26,000 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.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/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 Washington-Baltimore, D.C.-Md.-Va.-W.Va., Consolidated Metropolitan Statistical Area includes the District of Columbia; Baltimore City and the counties of Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Calvert, Carroll, Charles, Frederick, Harford, Howard, Montgomery, Prince George’s, Queen Anne’s, and Washington in Maryland; the cities of Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church, Fredericksburg, Manassas, and Manassas Park and the counties of Arlington, Clarke, Culpeper, Fairfax, Fauquier, King George, Loudoun, Prince William, Spotsylvania, Stafford, and Warren in Virginia; and the counties of Berkeley and Jefferson in West Virginia.

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.

Table 1. Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U): Indexes and percent changes for selected periods, Washington-Baltimore, D.C.-Md.-Va.-W.Va., (December 1997=100 unless otherwise noted) (not seasonally adjusted)
Expenditure category Indexes Percent change from
 
Historical
data
Jul.
2016
Aug.
2016
Sep.
2016
Sep.
2015
Jul.
2016
Aug.
2016

All items (1)

Jump to page with historical data
(R) 157.674   157.572 0.8 (R) -0.1  
 

Food and beverages (1)

Jump to page with historical data
156.941   156.774 0.1 -0.1  

Food (1)

Jump to page with historical data
158.409   158.209 0.1 -0.1  

Food at home

Jump to page with historical data
147.176 146.354 146.767 -2.0 -0.3 0.3

Food away from home (2)

Jump to page with historical data
170.101   170.184 2.5 0.0  

Alcoholic beverages (2)

Jump to page with historical data
136.376   136.666 0.3 0.2  
 

Housing (1)

Jump to page with historical data
171.568   171.416 1.8 -0.1  

Shelter

Jump to page with historical data
183.138 183.268 183.248 2.0 0.1 0.0

Rent of primary residence (1) (3)

Jump to page with historical data
202.104 202.480 202.957 1.6 0.4 0.2

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

Jump to page with historical data
182.552 182.812 183.127 1.9 0.3 0.2

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

Jump to page with historical data
182.540 182.799 183.112 1.9 0.3 0.2

Fuels and utilities

Jump to page with historical data
197.167   195.217 3.2 -1.0  

Household energy

Jump to page with historical data
186.476 183.814 184.166 2.7 -1.2 0.2

Gas (piped) and electricity (3)

Jump to page with historical data
179.995 177.476 177.633 3.0 -1.3 0.1

Electricity (3)

Jump to page with historical data
191.295 190.741 192.310 2.9 0.5 0.8

Utility (piped) gas service (3)

Jump to page with historical data
129.088 121.413 117.652 3.6 -8.9 -3.1

Household furnishings and operations

Jump to page with historical data
87.139   86.746 -2.6 -0.5  
 

Apparel (1)

Jump to page with historical data
100.039   109.060 10.8 9.0  
 

Transportation (1)

Jump to page with historical data
139.239   138.254 -1.0 -0.7  

Private transportation

Jump to page with historical data
137.338   136.632 -0.4 -0.5  

Motor fuel

Jump to page with historical data
193.561 184.703 191.616 -3.8 -1.0 3.7

Gasoline (all types)

Jump to page with historical data
193.509 184.548 191.374 -3.7 -1.1 3.7

Gasoline, unleaded regular (5)

Jump to page with historical data
191.316 182.271 189.246 -4.1 -1.1 3.8

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade (5)

Jump to page with historical data
207.168 199.023 205.392 -2.6 -0.9 3.2

Gasoline, unleaded premium (5)

Jump to page with historical data
214.954 206.503 212.033 -1.5 -1.4 2.7
 

Medical care (1)

Jump to page with historical data
(R) 183.667   184.673 1.9 (R) 0.5  
 

Recreation

Jump to page with historical data
119.188   114.810 -3.4 -3.7  
 

Education and communication

Jump to page with historical data
151.978   151.462 -1.4 -0.3  
 

Other goods and services (1)

Jump to page with historical data
178.098   179.701 0.2 0.9  
 

Commodity and service group

 

Commodities

Jump to page with historical data
(R) 125.468   125.952 -0.6 (R) 0.4  

Commodities less food and beverages

Jump to page with historical data
(R) 108.223   108.984 -1.2 (R) 0.7  

Nondurables less food and beverages

Jump to page with historical data
(R) 136.618   139.551 1.1 (R) 2.1  

Durables

Jump to page with historical data
78.874   78.254 -2.9 -0.8  

Services

Jump to page with historical data
(R) 179.398   178.880 1.5 (R) -0.3  
 

Special aggregate indexes

 

All items less shelter

Jump to page with historical data
(R) 145.075   144.880 0.1 (R) -0.1  

All items less medical care (1)

Jump to page with historical data
156.023   155.843 0.7 -0.1  

Commodities less food

Jump to page with historical data
(R) 109.554   110.305 -1.1 (R) 0.7  

Nondurables

Jump to page with historical data
(R) 146.470   147.771 0.5 (R) 0.9  

Nondurables less food

Jump to page with historical data
(R) 136.759   139.512 1.2 (R) 2.0  

Services less rent of shelter

Jump to page with historical data
(R) 175.949   174.710 0.9 (R) -0.7  

Services less medical care services

Jump to page with historical data
178.840   178.173 1.4 -0.4  

Energy (1)

Jump to page with historical data
189.089 183.852 186.935 -0.2 -1.1 1.7

All items less energy

Jump to page with historical data
(R) 154.428   154.437 0.9 (R) 0.0  

All items less food and energy (1)

Jump to page with historical data
(R) 154.759   154.799 1.0 (R) 0.0  

Footnotes
(1) Indexes on a November 1996=100 base.
(2) Indexes on a November 1997=100 base.
(3) This index series was calculated using a Laspeyres estimator. All other item stratum index series were calculated using a geometric means estimator.
(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) Special index based on a substantially smaller sample.
(R) Revised

Note: Index applies to a month as a whole, not to any specific date.

 

Last Modified Date: Tuesday, October 18, 2016