For release: Wednesday, December 15, 2010 PLS - 4738
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Consumer Price Index, Washington-Baltimore – November 2010 (PDF)

Prices 0.1 Percent Higher Since September; 1.6 Percent Higher Over the Year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) in the Washington-Baltimore area inched up 0.1 percent from September to November, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Sheila Watkins, the Bureau’s regional commissioner, noted that higher prices for all items less food and energy (0.2 percent) more than offset decreases in the energy (-0.8 percent) and food (-0.1 percent) indexes. The two-month rise in the all items less food and energy index was led by an increase in shelter prices, particularly owners’ equivalent rent of primary residence. (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 1.6 percent. (See chart 1 and table A.) Since November 2009, prices increased for all items less food and energy (1.8 percent), food (1.0 percent), and energy (0.2 percent).

Chart 1. 12-month percent change in CPI for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), Washington-Baltimore, November 2007 to November 2010 (not seasonally adjusted)
12-month percent change in CPI for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), Washington-Baltimore, November 2007 to November 2010 (not seasonally adjusted)
Food

The food index inched down 0.1 percent over the last two months. Food at home prices edged down 0.2 percent since September, while prices for food away from home were unchanged. Within the food at home group, lower prices for other bakery products and processed fruits and vegetables, among others, were partially offset by higher prices for a number of items such as milk and butter and margarine.

The food index advanced 1.0 percent since November 2009. Prices for food away from home rose 2.4 percent over the year, while those for food at home decreased 0.3 percent.

Energy

The energy index, which includes prices for household and transportation fuels, fell 0.8 percent since September. The two-month decline in the energy index was due almost entirely to a seasonal decline in electricity prices (-11.7 percent). Prices were also lower for utility (piped) gas service, down 1.5 percent over the last two months. Moderating the bimonthly decrease in the energy index were higher prices for gasoline, up 7.5 percent.

The energy index edged up 0.2 percent since November 2009 due to a 7.4-percent advance in gasoline prices. Lower prices for electricity (-9.0 percent) and utility (piped) gas service (-5.8 percent) moderated the energy index’s overall increase.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy edged up 0.2 percent from September to November. Within all items less food and energy, price increases were led by an advance in prices for shelter (0.7 percent), particularly owners’ equivalent rent of primary residence (0.9 percent). Partially offsetting this advance were bimonthly declines in the indexes for both apparel and household furnishings and operations, down 2.4 and 1.6 percent, respectively.

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy advanced 1.8 percent. Higher prices for shelter (2.2 percent), particularly owners’ equivalent rent of primary residence (2.3 percent), led the 12-month advance. A 3.1-percent decline in household furnishings and operations prices, among others, helped to moderate the over-the-year increase in the all items less food and energy index.

The January 2011 Consumer Price Index for Washington-Baltimore is scheduled to be released on February 17, 2011, 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 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
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

0.3 3.6 0.7 4.1 0.5 2.9 0.8 4.9 -0.7 1.0 0.3 2.6

March

1.2 3.9 0.4 3.3 1.5 4.1 1.3 4.7 0.7 0.4 0.4 2.3

May

0.7 4.0 1.6 4.2 0.8 3.2 1.1 5.0 0.5 -0.2 0.2 1.9

July

1.1 4.0 1.5 4.6 1.1 2.9 1.7 5.7 1.1 -0.9 0.0 0.8

September

1.4 4.9 -0.4 2.8 0.2 3.4 0.0 5.5 0.1 -0.8 0.5 1.3

November

-1.0 3.7 -0.7 3.1 0.4 4.5 -2.5 2.5 -0.2 1.6 0.1 1.6

 

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 87 percent of the total population and (2) a CPI for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) which covers 32 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 25,000 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, Fairfax, Fauquier, King George, Loudoun, Prince William, Rappahannock, 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; TDD message referral phone number:  1-800-877-8339.

For personal assistance or further information on Consumer Price Indexes, as well as other Bureau products, contact the Mid-Atlantic Information Office at (215) 597-3282 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. ET.

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-
Sep. 2010 Oct. 2010 Nov. 2010 Nov. 2009 Sep. 2010 Oct. 2010

All items (1)

142.738 - 142.915 1.6 0.1 -

Food and beverages (1)

140.704 - 140.436 0.7 -0.2 -

Food (1)

142.062 - 141.961 1.0 -0.1 -

Food at home

135.533 136.631 135.316 -0.3 -0.2 -1.0

Food away from home (2)

147.362 - 147.401 2.4 0.0 -

Alcoholic beverages (2)

121.466 - 119.575 -2.8 -1.6 -

Housing (1)

153.239 - 152.686 1.0 -0.4 -

Shelter

158.193 158.845 159.273 2.2 0.7 0.3

Rent of primary residence (1) (3)

172.782 173.153 173.988 2.5 0.7 0.5

Owners' equivalent rent of residences (3)

158.674 159.588 160.101 2.3 0.9 0.3

Owners' equivalent rent of primary residence (3)

158.669 159.588 160.102 2.3 0.9 0.3

Fuels and utilities

188.592 - 174.181 -4.7 -7.6 -

Household energy

190.110 175.683 172.721 -7.3 -9.1 -1.7

Gas (piped) and electricity (3) (4)

184.118 169.498 165.881 -8.4 -9.9 -2.1

Electricity (3)

192.729 174.125 170.236 -9.0 -11.7 -2.2

Utility (piped) gas service (3)

135.052 135.331 133.021 -5.8 -1.5 -1.7

Household furnishings and operations

98.224 - 96.685 -3.1 -1.6 -

Apparel (1)

93.112 - 90.880 -0.3 -2.4 -

Transportation (1)

134.743 - 137.535 3.7 2.1 -

Private transportation

134.191 - 136.855 3.3 2.0 -

Motor fuel

219.943 230.377 236.508 7.4 7.5 2.7

Gasoline (all types)

219.821 230.195 236.339 7.4 7.5 2.7

Gasoline, unleaded regular (5)

222.830 233.696 240.249 7.7 7.8 2.8

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade (5)

218.386 228.499 233.455 6.6 6.9 2.2

Gasoline, unleaded premium (5)

219.293 228.081 233.782 6.5 6.6 2.5

Medical care (1)

150.096 - 151.716 5.7 1.1 -

Recreation

115.358 - 115.699 -1.9 0.3 -

Education and communication

137.968 - 137.962 2.8 0.0 -

Other goods and services (1)

167.641 - 168.203 1.2 0.3 -
Commodity and service group            

Commodities

122.809 - 123.016 0.8 0.2 -

Commodities less food and beverages

112.692 - 113.147 0.9 0.4 -

Nondurables less food and beverages

136.557 - 138.988 2.3 1.8 -

Durables

86.666 - 85.219 -1.3 -1.7 -

Services

155.922 - 156.076 2.0 0.1 -
Special aggregate indexes            

All items less medical care (1)

142.276 - 142.371 1.3 0.1 -

All items less shelter

134.903 - 134.635 1.2 -0.2 -

Commodities less food

113.187 - 113.534 0.7 0.3 -

Nondurables

138.052 - 139.089 1.4 0.8 -

Nondurables less food

135.385 - 137.433 1.9 1.5 -

Services less rent of shelter

154.297 - 153.345 1.8 -0.6 -

Services less medical care services

156.425 - 156.468 1.7 0.0 -

Energy (1)

199.738 196.954 198.202 0.2 -0.8 0.6

All items less energy

138.207 - 138.481 1.7 0.2 -

All items less food and energy (1)

138.475 - 138.812 1.8 0.2 -

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) In January, 2011, this series will be re-titled Energy services.
(5) 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: December 16, 2010