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News Release Information

18-266-PHI
Wednesday, February 14, 2018

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Consumer Price Index, Washington-Arlington-Alexandria – January 2018

Area prices up 0.9 percent since November; 2.2 percent over the year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for Washington-Arlington-Alexandria increased 0.9 percent from November to January, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Sheila Watkins, the Bureau’s regional commissioner, noted that the recent increase was due largely to a 1.0-percent increase in the all items less food and energy index. The food index and energy index also increased since November, up 0.3 percent and 0.7 percent, respectively. (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 2.2 percent, mainly reflecting a 2.3-percent increase in the all items less food and energy index. (See chart 1 and table A.) Since January 2017, the energy index and food index also increased, up 4.9 and 1.0 percent, respectively. (See table 1.)

Food

The food index increased 0.3 percent over the last two months. Prices for food at home rose 0.3 percent, and those for food away from home were up 0.4 percent. Within the food at home component, prices were higher for various items including snacks, uncooked beef steaks, and chicken.

Food prices increased 1.0 percent over the year. Prices were higher for food away from home (2.2 percent), while prices for food at home inched down 0.1 percent since last January.

Energy

Since November, the energy index, which includes prices for household and transportation fuels, rose 0.7 percent, mainly due to higher prices for gasoline, up 1.0 percent. Prices were also higher for electricity, up 0.5 percent, while prices for utility (piped) gas service decreased 1.1 percent.

Energy prices rose 4.9 percent over the year. The advance was led by a 7.3-percent increase in gasoline prices. Prices also increased over the year for electricity (2.4 percent) and utility (piped) gas service (3.4 percent).

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy increased 1.0 percent since November. Prices were higher for a number of items including recreation (6.7 percent), apparel (6.3 percent), and household furnishings and operations (2.6 percent), among others.

Since January 2017, the index for all items less food and energy rose 2.3 percent. Higher prices for a number of items, including shelter (2.2 percent), recreation (5.8 percent), and apparel (8.2 percent), contributed to the 12-month increase in the all items less food and energy index.

Table A. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV, CPI-U 2-month and 12-month percent changes, all items index, not seasonally adjusted
Month20142015201620172018
2-month12-month2-month12-month2-month12-month2-month12-month2-month12-month

January

0.21.7-1.1-0.2-0.21.50.21.50.92.2

March

0.81.71.20.20.81.10.41.1  

May

0.32.00.70.60.81.20.00.3  

July

0.01.7-0.30.3-0.21.30.00.5  

September

0.11.10.60.7-0.30.50.91.7  

November

-0.31.1-0.40.50.21.10.01.5  

The Consumer Price Index for March 2018 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, April 11, 2018, at 8:30 a.m. (EDT).

Consumer Price Index Geographic Revision for 2018

In January 2018, BLS introduced a new geographic area sample for the Consumer Price Index (CPI). As part of the new sample, Washington DC and Baltimore now have separate indexes. The first indexes using the new structure are published for the first time this month. 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-Arlington-Alexandria 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 94 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 75 urban areas across the country from about 5,000 housing units and approximately 22,000 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-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MA-WV, Core Based Statistical Area includes the District of Columbia; the counties of Calvert, Charles, Frederick, Montgomery, and Prince George’s in Maryland; the cities of Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church, Fredericksburg, Manassas, and Manassas Park and the counties of Arlington, Clarke, Culpeper, Fairfax, Fauquier, Loudoun, Prince William, Rappahannock, Spotsylvania, Stafford, and Warren in Virginia; and the county of 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-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV, (1982-84=100 unless otherwise noted) (not seasonally adjusted)
Expenditure categoryIndexesPercent change from
 
Historical
data
Nov.
2017
Dec.
2017
Jan.
2018
Jan.
2017
Nov.
2017
Dec.
2017

All items

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASA0
257.872 260.2192.20.9 
 

Food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAF
246.085 247.1741.00.4 

Food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAF1
251.061 251.8961.00.3 

Food at home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAF11
239.673238.777240.404-0.10.30.7

Cereals and bakery products

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAF111
318.004 316.057 -0.6 

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAF112
254.312 255.860 0.6 

Dairy and related products

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASEFJ
231.916 238.316 2.8 

Fruits and vegetables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAF113
271.765 268.441 -1.2 

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAF114
202.559 203.682 0.6 

Other food at home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAF115
195.012 196.129 0.6 

Food away from home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASEFV
266.420 267.3702.20.4 

Alcoholic beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAF116
197.907 201.6000.31.9 
 

Housing

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAH
269.128 270.5482.30.5 

Shelter

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAH1
325.485324.935326.5132.20.30.5

Rent of primary residence(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASEHA
354.752356.302357.1813.40.70.2

Owners' equivalent rent of residences(2)(3)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASEHC
332.198333.605333.8142.00.50.1

Owners' equivalent rent of primary residence(2)(3)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASEHC01
332.198333.605333.8142.00.50.1

Fuels and utilities

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAH2
230.191 230.3982.20.1 

Household energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAH21
181.293181.263181.4712.60.10.1

Energy services(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASEHF
185.635185.735185.8962.60.10.1

Electricity(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASEHF01
208.910209.869209.9772.40.50.1

Utility (piped) gas service(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASEHF02
132.486130.797131.0443.4-1.10.2

Household furnishings and operations

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAH3
101.469 104.1453.02.6 
 

Apparel

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAA
154.720 164.4648.26.3 
 

Transportation

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAT
212.978 212.1732.0-0.4 

Private transportation

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAT1
209.962 211.2672.20.6 

New and used motor vehicles(4)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASETA
92.639 92.400 -0.3 

New vehicles(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASETA01
196.490 198.215 0.9 

Used cars and trucks(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASETA02
287.616 290.881 1.1 

Motor fuel

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASETB
235.101231.847237.5327.41.02.5

Gasoline (all types)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASETB01
232.518229.284234.8707.31.02.4

Gasoline, unleaded regular

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASS47014
226.827223.871229.4437.51.22.5

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(5)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASS47015
231.914228.957233.1747.10.51.8

Gasoline, unleaded premium

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASS47016
248.810243.289248.4246.1-0.22.1

Motor vehicle insurance(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASETE
859.836 866.413 0.8 
 

Medical care

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAM
448.308 449.8671.60.3 
 

Recreation(4)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAR
111.840 119.2835.86.7 
 

Education and communication(4)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAE
155.031 155.486-0.30.3 

Tuition, other school fees, and child care(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASEEB
1,371.008 1,376.457 0.4 
 

Other goods and services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAG
401.098 404.9091.81.0 
 

Commodity and service group

 

Commodities

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAC
176.621 179.3731.31.6 

Commodities less food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASACL11
141.353 144.6531.62.3 

Nondurables less food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASANL11
186.684 192.9214.53.3 

Durables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAD
99.476 100.445-1.41.0 

Services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAS
331.613 333.4402.70.6 
 

Special aggregate indexes

 

All items less shelter

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASA0L2
230.673 233.5202.31.2 

All items less medical care

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASA0L5
248.877 251.2662.31.0 

Commodities less food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASACL1
143.975 147.3031.62.3 

Nondurables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAN
215.501 219.2372.51.7 

Nondurables less food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASANL1
187.471 193.5004.23.2 

Services less rent of shelter

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASASL2RS
349.708 352.5853.10.8 

Services less medical care services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASASL5
320.588 322.4202.80.6 

Energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASA0E
208.555207.216209.9164.90.71.3

All items less energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASA0LE
264.947 267.4002.10.9 

All items less food and energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASA0L1E
268.698 271.4472.31.0 

Footnotes
(1) Indexes on a November 1977=100 base.
(2) This index series was calculated using a Laspeyres estimator. All other item stratum index series were calculated using a geometric means estimator.
(3) 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.
(4) Indexes on a December 1997=100 base.
(5) Indexes on a December 1993=100 base.

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

 

Last Modified Date: Wednesday, February 14, 2018