Department of Labor Logo United States Department of Labor
Dot gov

The .gov means it's official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you're on a federal government site.

Https

The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

News Release Information

15-2039-PHI
Thursday, October 15, 2015

Contacts

Technical information:
Media contact:

Consumer Price Index, Washington-Baltimore – September 2015

Area prices up 0.5 percent since July and 0.5 percent over the year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for Washington-Baltimore increased 0.5 percent over the last two months, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Sheila Watkins noted the rise was led by a 0.9-percent increase in the all items less food and energy index. The food index increased, up 1.4 percent, while the energy index declined 6.3 percent since July. (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 0.5 percent, due largely to a 1.9-percent rise in the all items less food and energy index. (See chart 1 and table A.) Since September 2014, the food index rose 2.0 percent, while the energy index dropped 16.6 percent. (See table 1.)

Food

After decreasing 0.5 percent from May to July, the food index increased 1.4 percent over the last two months. Higher prices for other fresh fruits and citrus fruits, among other items, contributed to the 2.2-percent increase in the food at home index. The food away from home index also rose since July, up 0.5 percent.

Food prices rose 2.0 percent over the year, as prices for both components also increased. Prices for food away from home advanced 2.6 percent and those for food at home increased 1.5 percent since last September.

Energy

Since July, a 6.3-percent decline in the energy index, which includes prices for household and transportation fuels, was led by a 15.1-percent decrease in gasoline prices. Electricity and utility (piped) gas service prices were higher over the last two months, up 2.3 and 3.8 percent, respectively.

Energy prices fell 16.6 percent over the year, led by a 30.0-percent drop in gasoline prices. Utility (piped) gas service prices also declined since September 2014, down 4.8 percent, while electricity prices rose 1.2 percent.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy increased 0.9 percent since July, due in large part to a 13.4-percent seasonal increase in apparel prices—the component’s largest two-month increase in 10 years. Higher prices for education and communication (2.8 percent) and medical care (1.0 percent) also contributed to the recent advance.

Since September 2014, the index for all items less food and energy rose 1.9 percent. The increase was due largely to an over-the-year rise in prices for shelter (2.6 percent), as well as those for medical care (5.9 percent). Lower prices for apparel (-4.3 percent) moderated the increase in the all items less food and energy index since last September.

 

Table A. Washington, D.C. CPI-U 2-month and 12-month percent changes, all items index, not seasonally adjusted
Month20112012201320142015
2-month12-month2-month12-month2-month12-month2-month12-month2-month12-month

January

1.02.30.42.70.11.80.41.9-1.0-0.2

March

1.23.01.32.80.91.40.61.61.00.2

May

1.03.90.11.8-0.21.20.42.20.60.4

July

0.14.1-0.21.40.51.90.01.7-0.20.2

September

-0.13.41.32.80.61.20.21.30.50.5

November

-0.13.3-0.72.1-0.21.7-0.41.2  

The Consumer Price Index for November 2015 is scheduled to be released on Tuesday, December 15, 2015, 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/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 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 categoryIndexesPercent change from
 
Historical
data
Jul.
2015
Aug.
2015
Sep.
2015
Sep.
2014
Jul.
2015
Aug.
2015

All items (1)

Jump to page with historical data
155.546 156.2780.50.5 
 

Food and beverages (1)

Jump to page with historical data
154.613 156.6162.11.3 

Food (1)

Jump to page with historical data
155.876 158.0942.01.4 

Food at home

Jump to page with historical data
146.488147.656149.7511.52.21.4

Food away from home (2)

Jump to page with historical data
165.118 165.9692.60.5 

Alcoholic beverages (2)

Jump to page with historical data
136.502 136.2222.8-0.2 
 

Housing (1)

Jump to page with historical data
168.092 168.4622.00.2 

Shelter

Jump to page with historical data
179.521179.468179.5782.60.00.1

Rent of primary residence (1) (3)

Jump to page with historical data
199.663199.999199.7953.00.1-0.1

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

Jump to page with historical data
179.723179.567179.7782.50.00.1

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

Jump to page with historical data
179.730179.564179.7702.50.00.1

Fuels and utilities

Jump to page with historical data
185.806 189.1410.41.8 

Household energy

Jump to page with historical data
175.414177.175179.365-1.12.31.2

Gas (piped) and electricity (3)

Jump to page with historical data
168.187170.151172.5100.02.61.4

Electricity (3)

Jump to page with historical data
182.748184.109186.9301.22.31.5

Utility (piped) gas service (3)

Jump to page with historical data
109.428112.667113.547-4.83.80.8

Household furnishings and operations

Jump to page with historical data
88.848 89.073-0.90.3 
 

Apparel (1)

Jump to page with historical data
86.778 98.415-4.313.4 
 

Transportation (1)

Jump to page with historical data
145.268 139.696-9.0-3.8 

Private transportation

Jump to page with historical data
143.527 137.180-10.0-4.4 

Motor fuel

Jump to page with historical data
234.385220.006199.105-30.0-15.1-9.5

Gasoline (all types)

Jump to page with historical data
234.136219.764198.812-30.0-15.1-9.5

Gasoline, unleaded regular (5)

Jump to page with historical data
235.028219.327197.280-31.2-16.1-10.1

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade (5)

Jump to page with historical data
238.505228.074210.807-26.0-11.6-7.6

Gasoline, unleaded premium (5)

Jump to page with historical data
244.594234.140215.348-25.5-12.0-8.0
 

Medical care (1)

Jump to page with historical data
179.413 181.2315.91.0 
 

Recreation

Jump to page with historical data
118.484 118.8401.60.3 
 

Education and communication

Jump to page with historical data
149.394 153.6373.52.8 
 

Other goods and services (1)

Jump to page with historical data
178.687 179.394-0.10.4 
 

Commodity and service group

 

Commodities

Jump to page with historical data
126.252 126.701-3.80.4 

Commodities less food and beverages

Jump to page with historical data
110.679 110.309-7.8-0.3 

Nondurables less food and beverages

Jump to page with historical data
138.923 137.967-10.6-0.7 

Durables

Jump to page with historical data
80.379 80.554-3.10.2 

Services

Jump to page with historical data
175.229 176.1562.80.5 
 

Special aggregate indexes

 

All items less shelter

Jump to page with historical data
143.646 144.693-0.70.7 

All items less medical care (1)

Jump to page with historical data
154.037 154.6970.10.4 

Commodities less food

Jump to page with historical data
111.881 111.514-7.2-0.3 

Nondurables

Jump to page with historical data
146.385 146.964-4.00.4 

Nondurables less food

Jump to page with historical data
138.782 137.885-9.6-0.6 

Services less rent of shelter

Jump to page with historical data
171.155 173.1183.11.1 

Services less medical care services

Jump to page with historical data
174.810 175.6502.40.5 

Energy (1)

Jump to page with historical data
200.072194.988187.384-16.6-6.3-3.9

All items less energy

Jump to page with historical data
151.568 153.0401.91.0 

All items less food and energy (1)

Jump to page with historical data
151.838 153.1991.90.9 

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.
 

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

 

Last Modified Date: Thursday, October 15, 2015