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13-2417-PHI

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

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Consumer Price Index, Washington-Baltimore – November 2013

Area Prices Down 0.2 Percent Since September; Up 1.7 Percent Over the Year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) in the Washington-Baltimore area edged down 0.2 percent from September to November, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Sheila Watkins, the Bureau’s regional commissioner, noted that the two-month decline was due mostly to a 4.7-percent decrease in the energy index. The food index also decreased, down 0.4 percent, while the all items less food and energy index rose 0.3 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 increased 1.7 percent, due mostly to a 2.0-percent advance in the all items less food and energy index. (See chart 1 and table A.) The food index and the energy index also rose over the year, each up 0.5 percent. (See table 1.)

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

Food

The food index declined 0.4 percent over the last two months—the largest bimonthly decrease in over three years—as prices for the food at home component fell 1.2 percent. Lower prices for potatoes and citrus fruits, among others, were moderated by higher prices for various items including lettuce and eggs. The food away from home index increased 0.7 percent since September.

Food prices rose 0.5 percent over the year, led by a 1.7-percent advance in food away from home prices. Food at home prices decreased 0.4 percent since last November.

Energy

The energy index, which includes prices for household and transportation fuels, fell 4.7 percent since September, led by a 5.5-percent decline in gasoline prices. Electricity prices also decreased since September, dropping 6.3 percent. Moderating the overall decline in the energy index were higher utility (piped) gas service prices, up 5.0 percent over the last two months.

Energy prices were up 0.5 percent over the year, due almost entirely to a 9.1-percent increase in electricity prices. The utility (piped) gas service index also increased over the year, up 0.3 percent, while gasoline prices declined 4.2 percent.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy edged up 0.3 percent since September, due mostly to higher shelter prices (0.7 percent), particularly those for owners’ equivalent rent of residences (0.8 percent). Moderating the two-month advance in the all items less food and energy index was a 2.0-percent decrease in prices for household furnishings and operations—the largest two-month decline since September 2009. Apparel prices were also lower, down 1.1 percent since September.

Since November 2012, the index for all items less food and energy rose 2.0 percent. The advance was due largely to an over-the-year increase in shelter prices (1.8 percent), particularly owners’ equivalent rent of residences (2.0 percent). Higher prices for medical care, up 4.9 percent, also contributed to the advance. Lower prices for household furnishings and operations (-4.4 percent) and apparel (-1.1 percent) moderated the increase in the all items less food and energy index since last November.

The January 2014 Consumer Price Index for Washington-Baltimore is scheduled to be released on February 20, 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 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 -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-
Sep. 2013 Oct. 2013 Nov. 2013 Nov. 2012 Sep. 2013 Oct. 2013

All items (1)

153.532 - 153.160 1.7 -0.2 -

Food and beverages (1)

151.173 - 150.570 0.7 -0.4 -

Food (1)

152.605 - 152.004 0.5 -0.4 -

Food at home

146.305 145.547 144.496 -0.4 -1.2 -0.7

Food away from home (2)

157.907 - 159.064 1.7 0.7 -

Alcoholic beverages (2)

131.580 - 130.947 4.4 -0.5 -

Housing (1)

161.977 - 162.072 1.6 0.1 -

Shelter

170.434 171.318 171.568 1.8 0.7 0.1

Rent of primary residence (1) (3)

190.144 190.859 190.903 1.6 0.4 0.0

Owners' equivalent rent of residences (3)

171.001 171.820 172.306 2.0 0.8 0.3

Owners' equivalent rent of primary residence (3)

170.990 171.809 172.296 2.0 0.8 0.3

Fuels and utilities

190.112 - 184.412 6.3 -3.0 -

Household energy

185.468 181.610 178.477 6.8 -3.8 -1.7

Energy services (3)

176.697 172.634 169.335 7.1 -4.2 -1.9

Electricity (3)

190.482 183.902 178.429 9.1 -6.3 -3.0

Utility (piped) gas service (3)

118.368 121.462 124.316 0.3 5.0 2.3

Household furnishings and operations

91.654 - 89.850 -4.4 -2.0 -

Apparel (1)

99.525 - 98.387 -1.1 -1.1 -

Transportation (1)

155.046 - 153.276 1.9 -1.1 -

Private transportation

152.862 - 150.736 0.5 -1.4 -

Motor fuel

294.979 284.624 279.094 -4.1 -5.4 -1.9

Gasoline (all types)

294.564 284.085 278.492 -4.2 -5.5 -2.0

Gasoline, unleaded regular (4)

298.406 287.661 281.591 -4.6 -5.6 -2.1

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade (4)

293.361 283.180 278.462 -3.2 -5.1 -1.7

Gasoline, unleaded premium (4)

295.250 285.321 280.937 -2.9 -4.8 -1.5

Medical care (1)

171.986 - 171.819 4.9 -0.1 -

Recreation

116.739 - 116.934 2.0 0.2 -

Education and communication

143.761 - 144.003 1.8 0.2 -

Other goods and services (1)

176.233 - 176.124 0.9 -0.1 -
Commodity and service group            

Commodities

131.392 - 129.800 -0.3 -1.2 -

Commodities less food and beverages

120.265 - 118.197 -0.9 -1.7 -

Nondurables less food and beverages

154.829 - 151.345 -1.2 -2.3 -

Durables

83.833 - 83.165 -0.2 -0.8 -

Services

168.189 - 168.679 2.7 0.3 -
Special aggregate indexes            

All items less medical care (1)

152.390 - 152.006 1.5 -0.3 -

All items less shelter

144.973 - 143.892 1.6 -0.7 -

Commodities less food

120.827 - 118.812 -0.7 -1.7 -

Nondurables

152.249 - 150.222 -0.3 -1.3 -

Nondurables less food

152.881 - 149.611 -0.9 -2.1 -

Services less rent of shelter

166.603 - 166.312 4.0 -0.2 -

Services less medical care services

167.888 - 168.443 2.6 0.3 -

Energy (1)

231.468 224.808 220.657 0.5 -4.7 -1.8

All items less energy

147.693 - 147.936 1.8 0.2 -

All items less food and energy (1)

147.842 - 148.218 2.0 0.3 -

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: December 19, 2013