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17-1409-PHI
Friday, October 13, 2017

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Consumer Price Index, Washington-Baltimore – September 2017

Area prices up 0.9 percent since July; up 1.7 percent over the year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for Washington-Baltimore increased 0.9 percent from July to September, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Sheila Watkins, the Bureau’s regional commissioner, noted that the all items less food and energy index and the energy index increased over the last two months, up 0.6 and 5.2 percent, respectively. The food index also increased, up 0.7 percent. (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 advanced 1.7 percent, mainly reflecting a 1.2-percent increase in the all items less food and energy index. (See chart 1 and table A.) Since September 2016, the energy index and the food index both increased, up 9.2 and 1.5 percent, respectively. (See table 1.)

Food

After decreasing 0.1 percent from May to July, the food index rose 0.7 percent over the last two months. Prices for food at home increased 0.7 percent, and those for food away from home rose 0.6 percent. Within the food at home component, higher prices for various items including eggs and processed fish and seafood were moderated by lower prices for bread and potatoes, among others.

Food prices increased 1.5 percent over the year. Prices were higher for both food away from home and food at home since last September, up 2.6 and 0.6 percent, respectively.

Energy

Since July, the energy index, which includes prices for household and transportation fuels, advanced 5.2 percent, due to higher prices for gasoline, up 17.3 percent. Lower prices for utility (piped) gas service (-12.1 percent) and electricity (-1.5 percent) moderated the increase since July.

Energy prices rose 9.2 percent over the year. The advance was led by a 20.5-percent increase in gasoline prices. Prices also increased over the year for utility (piped) gas service (8.7 percent), while those for electricity declined (-1.0 percent).

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.6 percent since July. Higher prices for a number of items, including shelter (0.9 percent) and apparel (10.8 percent), were moderated by price decreases for recreation (-1.3 percent) and new and used motor vehicles, among others.

Since September 2016, the index for all items less food and energy rose 1.2 percent. Higher prices for a number of items, including shelter (1.8 percent) and medical care (2.4 percent), contributed to the 12-month increase in the all items less food and energy index.

Table A. Washington, D.C. CPI-U 2-month and 12-month percent changes, all items index, not seasonally adjusted
Month20132014201520162017
2-month12-month2-month12-month2-month12-month2-month12-month2-month12-month

January

0.11.80.41.9-1.0-0.2-0.21.40.21.7

March

0.91.40.61.61.00.20.61.00.31.3

May

-0.21.20.42.20.60.40.81.20.20.7

July

0.51.90.01.7-0.20.2-0.11.40.00.7

September

0.61.20.21.30.50.5-0.10.80.91.7

November

-0.21.7-0.41.2-0.30.60.11.2  

The Consumer Price Index for November 2017 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, December 13, 2017, at 8:30 a.m. (EDT).

Consumer Price Index Geographic Revision for 2018

In January 2018, BLS will introduce a new geographic area sample for the Consumer Price Index (CPI). As part of the new sample, Washington DC and Baltimore will have separate indexes. The first indexes using the new structure will be published in February 2018. Additional information on the geographic revision is available at: www.bls.gov/cpi/additional-resources/geographic-revision-2018.htm.


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/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.

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.
2017
Aug.
2017
Sep.
2017
Sep.
2016
Jul.
2017
Aug.
2017

All items(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SA0
158.850 160.2931.70.9 
 

Food and beverages(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SAF
158.139 159.0271.40.6 

Food(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SAF1
159.571 160.6221.50.7 

Food at home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SAF11
146.597147.150147.6300.60.70.3

Food away from home(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SEFV
173.574 174.6272.60.6 

Alcoholic beverages(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SAF116
138.077 136.7270.0-1.0 
 

Housing(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SAH
173.451 174.1551.60.4 

Shelter

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SAH1
184.947184.886186.5401.80.90.9

Rent of primary residence(1)(3)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SEHA
207.559207.319208.2882.60.40.5

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

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SEHC
185.146185.032185.6431.40.30.3

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

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SEHC01
185.141185.021185.6341.40.30.3

Fuels and utilities

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SAH2
203.299 197.3321.1-2.9 

Household energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SAH21
192.932191.334185.9451.0-3.6-2.8

Gas (piped) and electricity(3)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SEHF
186.034184.670179.0280.8-3.8-3.1

Electricity(3)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SEHF01
193.373193.284190.471-1.0-1.5-1.5

Utility (piped) gas service(3)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SEHF02
145.413140.676127.8308.7-12.1-9.1

Household furnishings and operations

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SAH3
86.921 86.9900.30.1 
 

Apparel(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SAA
98.921 109.6500.510.8 
 

Transportation(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SAT
141.143 143.8714.11.9 

Private transportation

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SAT1
138.848 142.0784.02.3 

Motor fuel

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SETB
196.693203.522230.52320.317.213.3

Gasoline (all types)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SETB01
196.573203.426230.55820.517.313.3

Gasoline, unleaded regular(5)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SS47014
194.285201.369228.88520.917.813.7

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(5)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SS47015
211.628216.478241.91317.814.311.7

Gasoline, unleaded premium(5)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SS47016
218.726223.895248.15917.013.510.8
 

Medical care(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SAM
189.072 189.1312.40.0 
 

Recreation

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SAR
115.431 113.904-0.8-1.3 
 

Education and communication

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SAE
150.130 151.8190.21.1 
 

Other goods and services(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SAG
178.177 178.513-0.70.2 
 

Commodity and service group

 

Commodities

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SAC
124.796 127.8411.52.4 

Commodities less food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SACL11
106.739 110.6611.53.7 

Nondurables less food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SANL11
136.610 146.9015.37.5 

Durables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SAD
76.683 76.363-2.4-0.4 

Services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SAS
181.875 182.1721.80.2 
 

Special aggregate indexes

 

All items less shelter

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SA0L2
145.962 147.3261.70.9 

All items less medical care(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SA0L5
156.905 158.4461.71.0 

Commodities less food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SACL1
108.157 111.9431.53.5 

Nondurables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SAN
147.091 152.4233.13.6 

Nondurables less food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SANL1
136.871 146.3614.96.9 

Services less rent of shelter

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SASL2RS
179.088 177.9461.9-0.6 

Services less medical care services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SASL5
181.104 181.3861.80.2 

Energy(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SA0E
194.149196.062204.1669.25.24.1

All items less energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SA0LE
155.384 156.3511.20.6 

All items less food and energy(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SA0L1E
155.690 156.6511.20.6 

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: Friday, October 13, 2017