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13-2102-PHI

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

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Consumer Price Index, Washington-Baltimore – September 2013

Area Prices Up 0.6 Percent Since July and 1.2 Percent Over the Year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) in the Washington-Baltimore area rose 0.6 percent from July to September, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Sheila Watkins, the Bureau’s regional commissioner, noted that the two-month advance was due mostly to a 0.8-percent increase in the all items less food and energy index. The food index also increased, up 0.7 percent, while the energy index decreased 1.6 percent. (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 1.2 percent, due mostly to a 1.6-percent advance in the all items less food and energy index. (See chart 1 and table A.) The food index also increased over the year, up 1.3 percent, while the energy index declined, down 2.7 percent. (See table 1.)

Chart 1. 12-month percent change in CPI for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), Washington-Baltimore, September 2010 to September 2013 (not seasonally adjusted)

Food

After edging down 0.3 percent from May to July, the food index rose 0.7 percent over the last two months. Prices for the food at home component increased 1.2 percent, led by higher prices for cakes, cupcakes, and cookies. The food away from home index also increased since July, inching up 0.1 percent.

Food prices rose 1.3 percent over the year as prices for both components also increased. Food at home prices advanced 1.2 percent and food away from home prices increased 1.3 percent since last September.

Energy

The energy index, which includes prices for household and transportation fuels, decreased 1.6 percent since July, led by a 3.3-percent decline in gasoline prices. Utility (piped) gas service prices also decreased since July, falling 7.8 percent. Moderating the overall decline in the energy index were higher electricity prices, up 2.8 percent over the last two months.

Energy prices fell 2.7 percent over the year, due almost entirely to an 8.0-percent drop in gasoline prices. The utility (piped) gas service index also decreased over the year, down 1.2 percent, while electricity prices rose 6.6 percent.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy increased 0.8 percent since July, due in part to higher prices for apparel (6.5 percent) and medical care (3.0 percent). Moderating the two-month advance in the all items less food and energy index was a 1.4-percent decrease in prices for household furnishings and operations.

Since September 2012, the index for all items less food and energy rose 1.6 percent. The advance was due largely to an over-the-year increase in shelter prices (1.2 percent), particularly owners’ equivalent rent of residences (1.7 percent). Higher prices for medical care, up 6.0 percent—the largest 12-month increase since March 2008—also contributed to the advance. Lower prices for apparel (-3.9 percent) and household furnishings and operations (-2.0 percent) moderated the increase in the all items less food and energy index since last September.

The November 2013 Consumer Price Index for Washington-Baltimore is scheduled to be released on December 17, 2013, 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 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
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

0.8 4.9 -0.7 1.0 0.3 2.6 1.0 2.3 0.4 2.7 0.1 1.8

March

1.3 4.7 0.7 0.4 0.4 2.3 1.2 3.0 1.3 2.8 0.9

1.4

May

1.1 5.0 0.5 -0.2 0.2 1.9 1.0 3.9 0.1 1.8 -0.2 1.2

July

1.7 5.7 1.1 -0.9 0.0 0.8 0.1 4.1 -0.2 1.4 0.5 1.9

September

0.0 5.5 0.1 -0.8 0.5 1.3 -0.1 3.4 1.3 2.8 0.6 1.2

November

-2.5 2.5 -0.2 1.6 0.1 1.6 -0.1 3.3 -0.7 2.1    

 

Federal Government Shutdown

The release of these data occurs two weeks later than originally scheduled because of the recent partial Federal government shutdown. Data collection for the estimates in this release had been completed prior to the shutdown in accordance with our normal schedule. However, the processing of the estimates and the production of the Consumer Price Index news release were delayed due to the shutdown.

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-
July 2013 Aug. 2013 Sep. 2013 Sep. 2012 July 2013 Aug. 2013

All items (1)

152.657 - 153.532 1.2 0.6 -

Food and beverages (1)

150.387 - 151.173 1.5 0.5 -

Food (1)

151.561 - 152.605 1.3 0.7 -

Food at home

144.617 145.871 146.305 1.2 1.2 0.3

Food away from home (2)

157.818 - 157.907 1.3 0.1 -

Alcoholic beverages (2)

133.845 - 131.580 5.2 -1.7 -

Housing (1)

161.697 - 161.977 1.2 0.2 -

Shelter

169.882 170.211 170.434 1.2 0.3 0.1

Rent of primary residence (1) (3)

188.926 189.600 190.144 2.0 0.6 0.3

Owners' equivalent rent of residences (3)

170.201 170.723 171.001 1.7 0.5 0.2

Owners' equivalent rent of primary residence (3)

170.191 170.713 170.990 1.7 0.5 0.2

Fuels and utilities

189.428 - 190.112 4.7 0.4 -

Household energy

184.664 183.505 185.468 4.8 0.4 1.1

Energy services (3)

175.687 174.504 176.697 5.0 0.6 1.3

Electricity (3)

185.333 189.343 190.482 6.6 2.8 0.6

Utility (piped) gas service (3)

128.425 113.663 118.368 -1.2 -7.8 4.1

Household furnishings and operations

92.985 - 91.654 -2.0 -1.4 -

Apparel (1)

93.434 - 99.525 -3.9 6.5 -

Transportation (1)

155.071 - 155.046 0.2 0.0 -

Private transportation

153.947 - 152.862 -1.1 -0.7 -

Motor fuel

304.606 303.915 294.979 -7.9 -3.2 -2.9

Gasoline (all types)

304.606 303.755 294.564 -8.0 -3.3 -3.0

Gasoline, unleaded regular (4)

308.966 307.951 298.406 -8.5 -3.4 -3.1

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade (4)

301.860 302.360 293.361 -6.9 -2.8 -3.0

Gasoline, unleaded premium (4)

304.651 303.281 295.250 -6.2 -3.1 -2.6

Medical care (1)

166.963 - 171.986 6.0 3.0 -

Recreation

116.882 - 116.739 1.7 -0.1 -

Education and communication

143.053 - 143.761 0.4 0.5 -

Other goods and services (1)

177.525 - 176.233 1.8 -0.7 -
Commodity and service group            

Commodities

131.133 - 131.392 -0.7 0.2 -

Commodities less food and beverages

120.272 - 120.265 -2.0 0.0 -

Nondurables less food and beverages

154.364 - 154.829 -3.3 0.3 -

Durables

84.283 - 83.833 0.3 -0.5 -

Services

166.884 - 168.189 2.2 0.8 -
Special aggregate indexes            

All items less medical care (1)

151.772 - 152.390 0.9 0.4 -

All items less shelter

143.948 - 144.973 1.2 0.7 -

Commodities less food

120.919 - 120.827 -1.7 -0.1 -

Nondurables

151.625 - 152.249 -0.9 0.4 -

Nondurables less food

152.616 - 152.881 -2.8 0.2 -

Services less rent of shelter

164.389 - 166.603 3.6 1.3 -

Services less medical care services

166.990 - 167.888 1.9 0.5 -

Energy (1)

235.237 234.294 231.468 -2.7 -1.6 -1.2

All items less energy

146.553 - 147.693 1.6 0.8 -

All items less food and energy (1)

146.679 - 147.842 1.6 0.8 -

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: October 31, 2013