Incorrect prices for prescription drugs were used for the CPI-U and CPI-W indexes from May through August 2016 in a number of areas. Several indexes were affected, including the all items and medical care indexes. A list of the series affected can be found at www.bls.gov/bls/errata/cpi-price-corrections-10182016.htm, and the corrected data are available in the CPI database (www.bls.gov/cpi/data.htm).
Tuesday, October 18, 2016
The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for Washington-Baltimore decreased 0.1 percent over the last two months, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Sheila Watkins noted the decline was led by a 1.1-percent decrease in the energy index, and the food index inched down 0.1 percent. The all items less food and energy index was unchanged over the last two months. (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 0.8 percent, due mostly to a 1.0-percent rise in the all items less food and energy index. (See chart 1 and table A.) Since September 2015, the food index inched up 0.1 percent, while the energy index edged down 0.2 percent. (See table 1.)
After increasing 0.2 percent from May to July, the food index inched down 0.1 percent over the last two months. Prices for food at home decreased 0.3 percent, while those for food away from home were unchanged. Lower prices for apples and pork chops contributed to the two-month decrease in the food at home index.
Food prices inched up 0.1 percent over the year due to higher prices for food away from home (2.5 percent). Conversely, prices for food at home declined 2.0 percent since last September.
Since July, the energy index, which includes prices for household and transportation fuels, declined 1.1 percent due to lower prices for both utility (piped) gas service (-8.9 percent) and gasoline (-1.1 percent). Prices for electricity increased over the last two months, up 0.5 percent.
Energy prices edged down 0.2 percent over the year, due to a 3.7-percent drop in gasoline prices. Prices increased for both electricity (2.9 percent) and utility (piped) gas service (3.6 percent) since last September.
The index for all items less food and energy was unchanged since July. A seasonal increase in apparel prices (9.0 percent) and higher prices for medical care (0.5 percent) were offset by declines in prices for recreation (-3.7 percent) and new and used motor vehicles, among others.
Since September 2015, the index for all items less food and energy rose 1.0 percent. The increase was due largely to an over-the-year rise in shelter prices (2.0 percent). Higher prices for apparel (10.8 percent), among others, also contributed to the rise.
The Consumer Price Index for October 2016 is scheduled to be released on Thursday, November 17, 2016, at 8:30 a.m. (EDT).
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/pdf/homch17.pdf.
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.
|Expenditure category||Indexes||Percent change from|
All items (1)
|(R) 157.674||157.572||0.8||(R) -0.1|
Food and beverages (1)
Food at home
Food away from home (2)
Alcoholic beverages (2)
Fuels and utilities
Gas (piped) and electricity (3)
Utility (piped) gas service (3)
Household furnishings and operations
Gasoline (all types)
Gasoline, unleaded regular (5)
Gasoline, unleaded midgrade (5)
Gasoline, unleaded premium (5)
Medical care (1)
|(R) 183.667||184.673||1.9||(R) 0.5|
Education and communication
Other goods and services (1)
Commodity and service group
|(R) 125.468||125.952||-0.6||(R) 0.4|
Commodities less food and beverages
|(R) 108.223||108.984||-1.2||(R) 0.7|
Nondurables less food and beverages
|(R) 136.618||139.551||1.1||(R) 2.1|
|(R) 179.398||178.880||1.5||(R) -0.3|
Special aggregate indexes
All items less shelter
|(R) 145.075||144.880||0.1||(R) -0.1|
All items less medical care (1)
Commodities less food
|(R) 109.554||110.305||-1.1||(R) 0.7|
|(R) 146.470||147.771||0.5||(R) 0.9|
Nondurables less food
|(R) 136.759||139.512||1.2||(R) 2.0|
Services less rent of shelter
|(R) 175.949||174.710||0.9||(R) -0.7|
Services less medical care services
All items less energy
|(R) 154.428||154.437||0.9||(R) 0.0|
All items less food and energy (1)
|(R) 154.759||154.799||1.0||(R) 0.0|
Note: Index applies to a month as a whole, not to any specific date.
Last Modified Date: Tuesday, October 18, 2016