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14-1580-PHI

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

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Consumer Price Index, Washington-Baltimore – July 2014

Area Prices Unchanged Since May; Up 1.7 Percent Over the Year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) in the Washington-Baltimore was unchanged from May to July, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Sheila Watkins, the Bureau’s regional commissioner, noted that a 0.2-percent decrease in the food index was offset by a 0.1- percent increase in the energy index. The all items less food and energy index was unchanged over the last two months. (Data in this report are not seasonally adjusted. Accordingly, two-month changes may reflect the impact of seasonal influences.)

Over the last 12 months, the CPI-U rose 1.7 percent, due mostly to a 1.8-percent advance in the all items less food and energy index. (See chart 1 and table A.) The food index also increased since July 2013, up 2.3 percent, while the energy index decreased 0.6 percent. (See table 1.)

Chart 1. 12-month percent change in CPI for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), Washington-Baltimore, July 2011 to July 2014 (not seasonally adjusted)

Food

The food index edged down 0.2 percent over the last two months, following a 1.3-percent increase from March to May. Prices for the food at home component decreased 0.5 percent. Lower prices for various items, including eggs, were nearly offset by higher prices for a number of others, including frozen and freeze dried prepared foods. The food away from home index rose since May, up 0.2 percent.

Food prices rose 2.3 percent over the year. Similarly, prices for both the food at home and food away from home components advanced 2.3 percent since July 2013.

Energy

The energy index, which includes prices for household and transportation fuels, inched up 0.1 percent since May, as higher electricity prices (1.5 percent) were nearly offset by lower utility (piped) gas service prices (-1.7 percent) and gasoline prices (-0.3 percent).

Energy prices decreased 0.6 percent over the year, due to lower electricity prices (-4.2 percent). Higher gasoline prices (1.2 percent) and utility (piped) gas service prices (1.0 percent) moderated the overall decline in the energy index since July 2013.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy was unchanged since May. Higher prices for shelter (0.6 percent) and education and communication (0.7 percent), among others, were offset by declines in prices for apparel (-4.1 percent) and medical care (-0.2 percent). 

Since July 2013, the index for all items less food and energy rose 1.8 percent. The advance was due largely to an over-the-year increase in shelter prices (2.4 percent), as the owners’ equivalent rent of residences index was up 2.1 percent. Higher prices for education and communication (2.2 percent) and medical care (2.3 percent), among other major groups, also contributed to the increase, while prices for household furnishings and operations declined 2.8 percent over the last 12 months.

The September 2014 Consumer Price Index for Washington-Baltimore is scheduled to be released on October 22, 2014, at 8:30 a.m. (ET).

Table A. Washington-Baltimore CPI-U 2-month and 12-month percent changes, all items index (not seasonally adjusted)
Month 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month

January

-0.7 1.0 0.3 2.6 1.0 2.3 0.4 2.7 0.1 1.8 0.4 1.9

March

0.7 0.4 0.4 2.3 1.2 3.0 1.3 2.8 0.9

1.4

0.6

1.6

May

0.5 -0.2 0.2 1.9 1.0 3.9 0.1 1.8 -0.2 1.2 0.4 2.2

July

1.1 -0.9 0.0 0.8 0.1 4.1 -0.2 1.4 0.5 1.9 0.0 1.7

September

0.1 -0.8 0.5 1.3 -0.1 3.4 1.3 2.8 0.6 1.2    

November

-0.2 1.6 0.1 1.6 -0.1 3.3 -0.7 2.1 -0.2 1.7    

 

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 88 percent of the total population and (2) a CPI for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) which covers 29 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/homch17_a.htm.

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 (CMSA) 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:  1-800-877-8339.

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)
Expenditure category Indexes Percent change from-
May 2014 June 2014 July 2014 July 2013 May 2014 June 2014

All items (1)

155.198 - 155.220 1.7 0.0 -

Food and beverages (1)

153.740 - 153.595 2.1 -0.1 -

Food (1)

155.290 - 155.027 2.3 -0.2 -

Food at home

148.619 148.041 147.907 2.3 -0.5 -0.1

Food away from home (2)

161.084 - 161.400 2.3 0.2 -

Alcoholic beverages (2)

132.714 - 133.774 -0.1 0.8 -

Housing (1)

163.189 - 164.235 1.6 0.6 -

Shelter

173.050 173.262 174.014 2.4 0.6 0.4

Rent of primary residence (1) (3)

191.126 191.362 192.252 1.8 0.6 0.5

Owners' equivalent rent of residences (3)

172.490 172.894 173.803 2.1 0.8 0.5

Owners' equivalent rent of primary residence (3)

172.491 172.891 173.807 2.1 0.8 0.5

Fuels and utilities

184.297 - 186.692 -1.4 1.3 -

Household energy

178.336 178.524 179.315 -2.9 0.5 0.4

Energy services (3)

169.018 169.425 170.306 -3.1 0.8 0.5

Electricity (3)

174.998 175.325 177.616 -4.2 1.5 1.3

Utility (piped) gas service (3)

131.936 132.491 129.679 1.0 -1.7 -2.1

Household furnishings and operations

89.811 - 90.427 -2.8 0.7 -

Apparel (1)

97.231 - 93.235 -0.2 -4.1 -

Transportation (1)

159.841 - 157.935 1.8 -1.2 -

Private transportation

157.167 - 156.999 2.0 -0.1 -

Motor fuel

309.591 310.508 308.719 1.4 -0.3 -0.6

Gasoline (all types)

309.187 310.116 308.315 1.2 -0.3 -0.6

Gasoline, unleaded regular (4)

313.419 313.998 311.983 1.0 -0.5 -0.6

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade (4)

306.815 308.417 308.144 2.1 0.4 -0.1

Gasoline, unleaded premium (4)

309.915 311.640 310.390 1.9 0.2 -0.4

Medical care (1)

171.139 - 170.817 2.3 -0.2 -

Recreation

117.553 - 117.566 0.6 0.0 -

Education and communication

145.192 - 146.229 2.2 0.7 -

Other goods and services (1)

179.729 - 181.170 2.1 0.8 -
Commodity and service group            

Commodities

132.599 - 131.932 0.6 -0.5 -

Commodities less food and beverages

120.788 - 119.850 -0.4 -0.8 -

Nondurables less food and beverages

156.667 - 154.981 0.4 -1.1 -

Durables

83.154 - 82.932 -1.6 -0.3 -

Services

170.168 - 170.675 2.3 0.3 -
Special aggregate indexes            

All items less medical care (1)

154.227 - 154.272 1.6 0.0 -

All items less shelter

146.184 - 145.761 1.3 -0.3 -

Commodities less food

121.373 - 120.523 -0.3 -0.7 -

Nondurables

154.414 - 153.533 1.3 -0.6 -

Nondurables less food

154.643 - 153.197 0.4 -0.9 -

Services less rent of shelter

167.807 - 167.766 2.1 0.0 -

Services less medical care services

170.149 - 170.746 2.2 0.4 -

Energy (1)

233.634 234.130 233.826 -0.6 0.1 -0.1

All items less energy

149.338 - 149.350 1.9 0.0 -

All items less food and energy (1)

149.330 - 149.386 1.8 0.0 -

Footnotes
(1) For Washington-Baltimore, indexes on a November 1996=100 base.
(2) For Washington-Baltimore, 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) Special index based on a substantially smaller sample.
- Data not available.
NOTE: Index applies to a month as a whole, not to any specific date.

Last Modified Date: August 19, 2014