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News Release Information

18-1017-PHI
Tuesday, June 12, 2018

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

Area prices up 0.7 percent since March and 2.5 percent over the year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for Washington-Arlington-Alexandria rose 0.7 percent from March to May, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Sheila Watkins, the Bureau’s regional commissioner, noted that the recent advance was due largely to a 6.2-percent increase in the energy index. The all items less food and energy index and the food index also increased since March, up 0.2 and 0.8 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 2.5 percent, mainly reflecting a 2.3-percent increase in the all items less food and energy index. (See chart 1 and table A.) Since May 2017, the energy index and the food index also increased, up 7.0 and 1.4 percent, respectively. (See table 1.)

Food

After a 0.1-percent decrease from January to March, the food index advanced 0.8 percent over the last two months. Prices for food at home were up 1.2 percent and those for food away from home were 0.4 percent higher. Within the food at home component, prices rose since March for various items including spices, seasonings, condiments, and sauces; chicken; and lettuce.

Food prices increased 1.4 percent over the year. Prices were higher for both the food away from home and food at home components, up 1.4 and 1.3 percent, respectively, since May 2017.

 

Energy

Since March, the energy index, which includes prices for household and transportation fuels, advanced 6.2 percent, due mainly to a 10.7-percent increase in gasoline prices. Prices were also higher for utility (piped) gas service and electricity, up 5.3 and 0.4 percent, respectively, over the last two months.

Energy prices rose 7.0 percent over the year. The advance due almost entirely to an 18.4-percent increase in gasoline prices. Prices for electricity inched up 0.1 percent over the year, while prices for utility (piped) gas service declined 13.1 percent.

 

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy edged up 0.2 percent since March. Prices were higher for several categories including shelter (0.2 percent) and household furnishings and operations (1.7 percent); prices declined for several others including used cars and trucks (-1.1 percent) and medical care (-0.3 percent).

Since May 2017, the index for all items less food and energy rose 2.3 percent. The advance was led by higher prices for shelter (2.2 percent); apparel (4.0 percent), household furnishings and operations (4.1 percent), and recreation (2.7 percent) were among the other indexes that had increases over the year.

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

0.81.71.20.20.81.10.41.1-0.11.8

May

0.32.00.70.60.81.20.00.30.72.5

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 July 2018 is scheduled to be released on Friday, August 10, 2018, at 8:30 a.m. (EDT).


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
Mar.
2018
Apr.
2018
May
2018
May
2017
Mar.
2018
Apr.
2018

All items

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASA0
260.026 261.7702.50.7 

Food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAF
247.101 248.8481.30.7 

Food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAF1
251.712 253.7491.40.8 

Food at home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAF11
240.601241.256243.4871.31.20.9

Cereals and bakery products

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAF111
316.301 320.241 1.2 

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAF112
262.852 259.952 -1.1 

Dairy and related products

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASEFJ
238.366 236.950 -0.6 

Fruits and vegetables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAF113
261.109 272.643 4.4 

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAF114
206.111 204.853 -0.6 

Other food at home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAF115
195.090 199.769 2.4 

Food away from home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASEFV
266.695 267.6401.40.4 

Alcoholic beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAF116
202.640 201.5070.5-0.6 

Housing

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAH
270.687 271.9182.00.5 

Shelter

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAH1
327.426327.843328.1862.20.20.1

Rent of primary residence(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASEHA
356.530357.225357.8862.70.40.2

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

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASEHC
333.317334.144334.5922.00.40.1

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

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASEHC01
333.317334.144334.5922.00.40.1

Fuels and utilities

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAH2
227.149 229.869-2.21.2 

Household energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAH21
178.277179.821180.951-3.01.50.6

Energy services(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASEHF
182.453184.196185.412-3.31.60.7

Electricity(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASEHF01
207.591209.058208.4070.10.4-0.3

Utility (piped) gas service(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASEHF02
125.857128.006132.585-13.15.33.6

Household furnishings and operations

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAH3
103.538 105.2474.11.7 

Apparel

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAA
162.120 163.5584.00.9 

Transportation

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAT
215.146 219.9365.12.2 

Private transportation

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAT1
212.255 218.3875.72.9 

New and used motor vehicles(4)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASETA
93.649 93.354 -0.3 

New vehicles(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASETA01
196.977 198.041 0.5 

Used cars and trucks(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASETA02
299.073 295.915 -1.1 

Motor fuel

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASETB
237.519250.085262.68718.310.65.0

Gasoline (all types)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASETB01
234.822247.399259.88418.410.75.0

Gasoline, unleaded regular(5)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASS47014
229.090241.896254.18418.711.05.1

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(5)(6)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASS47015
234.600243.991255.40616.68.94.7

Gasoline, unleaded premium(5)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASS47016
251.018260.016272.58816.08.64.8

Motor vehicle insurance(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASETE
858.198 857.600 -0.1 

Medical care

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAM
453.974 452.5841.3-0.3 

Recreation(4)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAR
114.923 114.5742.7-0.3 

Education and communication(4)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAE
152.905 153.3981.00.3 

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

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASEEB
1,382.840 1,383.049 0.0 

Other goods and services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAG
404.319 406.8171.90.6 

Commodity and service group

Commodities

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAC
179.236 181.6802.81.4 

Commodities less food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASACL11
144.497 147.1213.81.8 

Nondurables less food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASANL11
192.331 198.2886.53.1 

Durables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAD
100.599 100.7270.40.1 

Services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAS
333.198 334.1412.20.3 

Special aggregate indexes

All items less shelter

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASA0L2
232.901 235.0182.60.9 

All items less medical care

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASA0L5
250.862 252.7622.60.8 

Commodities less food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASACL1
147.189 149.6913.61.7 

Nondurables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAN
218.898 222.8103.61.8 

Nondurables less food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASANL1
193.039 198.4336.02.8 

Services less rent of shelter(3)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASASL2RS
350.863 352.0572.10.3 

Services less medical care services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASASL5
321.922 322.9762.30.3 

Energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASA0E
208.115214.692221.0537.06.23.0

All items less energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASA0LE
267.334 268.2022.20.3 

All items less food and energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASA0L1E
271.402 272.0622.30.2 

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) Indexes on a November 1982=100 base.
(4) Indexes on a December 1997=100 base.
(5) Special index based on a substantially smaller sample.
(6) Indexes on a December 1993=100 base.

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

 

Last Modified Date: Tuesday, June 12, 2018