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News Release Information

18-1325-PHI
Friday, August 10, 2018

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

Area prices up 0.1 percent since May and 2.5 percent over the year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for Washington-Arlington-Alexandria inched up 0.1 percent from May to July, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Sheila Watkins, the Bureau’s regional commissioner, noted that the recent rise was due mainly to a 0.2-percent increase in the all items less food and energy index. The energy index also rose since May, up 0.6 percent, while the food index declined 0.6 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 2.5 percent, primarily reflecting an increase in the all items less food and energy index, also up 2.5 percent. (See chart 1 and table A.) Since July 2017, the energy index and the food index advanced, up 6.2 and 1.1 percent, respectively. (See table 1.)

Food

After a 0.8-percent increase from March to May, the food index declined 0.6 percent over the last two months. Prices for food at home were down 1.4 percent, while those for food away from home were 0.3 percent higher. Within the food at home component, prices were lower for items such as citrus fruits over the last two months.

Food prices increased 1.1 percent over the year. Prices were higher for both the food away from home and food at home components, up 1.7 and 0.6 percent, respectively, since July 2017.

Energy

Since May, the energy index, which includes prices for household and transportation fuels, advanced 0.6 percent, due to a 4.2-percent increase in electricity prices and a 0.5-percent rise in gasoline prices. Meanwhile, prices for utility (piped) gas were 9.3 percent lower.

Energy prices rose 6.2 percent since July 2017. The advance was due to a 24.1-percent increase in gasoline prices. Prices were lower over the year for utility (piped) gas service, down 23.1 percent—the index’s largest 12-month decline in nearly 9 years. Electricity prices also declined since July 2017, down 2.6 percent.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy edged up 0.2 percent since May. Prices were higher for several categories including shelter (0.4 percent), recreation (2.5 percent), and new and used motor vehicles (1.9 percent). A seasonal decline in apparel prices (-4.0 percent) and lower prices for medical care (-1.3 percent) moderated the rise in the all items less food and energy index from May to July.

Since July 2017, the index for all items less food and energy rose 2.5 percent. The advance was led by higher prices for shelter (2.8 percent); recreation (3.8 percent), household furnishings and operations (4.1 percent), and apparel (5.2 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

0.01.7-0.30.3-0.21.30.00.50.12.5

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 September 2018 is scheduled to be released on Thursday, October 11, 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
May
2018
Jun.
2018
Jul.
2018
Jul.
2017
May
2018
Jun.
2018

All items

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASA0
261.770 262.0162.50.1 

Food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAF
248.848 247.6261.2-0.5 

Food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAF1
253.749 252.1501.1-0.6 

Food at home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAF11
243.487241.408239.9760.6-1.4-0.6

Cereals and bakery products

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAF111
320.241 319.019 -0.4 

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAF112
259.952 258.224 -0.7 

Dairy and related products

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASEFJ
236.950 236.186 -0.3 

Fruits and vegetables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAF113
272.643 256.990 -5.7 

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAF114
204.853 202.099 -1.3 

Other food at home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAF115
199.769 200.214 0.2 

Food away from home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASEFV
267.640 268.5021.70.3 

Alcoholic beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAF116
201.507 204.0392.01.3 

Housing

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAH
271.918 273.1532.10.5 

Shelter

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAH1
328.186329.151329.4362.80.40.1

Rent of primary residence(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASEHA
357.886359.060359.6213.00.50.2

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

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASEHC
334.592336.151336.7612.40.60.2

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

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASEHC01
334.592336.151336.7612.40.60.2

Fuels and utilities

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAH2
229.869 232.025-5.60.9 

Household energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAH21
180.951184.560182.395-7.50.8-1.2

Energy services(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASEHF
185.412189.053186.778-8.00.7-1.2

Electricity(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASEHF01
208.407216.021217.194-2.64.20.5

Utility (piped) gas service(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASEHF02
132.585128.716120.234-23.1-9.3-6.6

Household furnishings and operations

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAH3
105.247 105.9294.10.6 

Apparel

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAA
163.558 156.9465.2-4.0 

Transportation

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAT
219.936 220.6846.10.3 

Private transportation

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAT1
218.387 219.3827.00.5 

New and used motor vehicles(4)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASETA
93.354 95.113 1.9 

New vehicles(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASETA01
198.041 197.667 -0.2 

Used cars and trucks(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASETA02
295.915 301.137 1.8 

Motor fuel

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASETB
262.687268.915263.97624.10.5-1.8

Gasoline (all types)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASETB01
259.884266.063261.17024.10.5-1.8

Gasoline, unleaded regular(5)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASS47014
254.184260.277255.27424.60.4-1.9

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(5)(6)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASS47015
255.406262.452258.43721.01.2-1.5

Gasoline, unleaded premium(5)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASS47016
272.588278.319275.10420.10.9-1.2

Motor vehicle insurance(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASETE
857.600 857.600 0.0 

Medical care

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAM
452.584 446.580-0.1-1.3 

Recreation(4)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAR
114.574 117.4643.82.5 

Education and communication(4)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAE
153.398 154.6001.10.8 

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

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASEEB
1,383.049 1,404.995 1.6 

Other goods and services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAG
406.817 407.7242.10.2 

Commodity and service group

Commodities

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAC
181.680 180.7403.5-0.5 

Commodities less food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASACL11
147.121 146.3335.1-0.5 

Nondurables less food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASANL11
198.288 195.4947.8-1.4 

Durables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAD
100.727 101.3822.10.7 

Services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAS
334.141 335.6122.00.4 

Special aggregate indexes

All items less shelter

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASA0L2
235.018 234.8752.4-0.1 

All items less medical care

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASA0L5
252.762 253.3172.80.2 

Commodities less food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASACL1
149.691 149.0175.0-0.5 

Nondurables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAN
222.810 220.7804.1-0.9 

Nondurables less food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASANL1
198.433 196.0617.4-1.2 

Services less rent of shelter(3)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASASL2RS
352.057 353.8821.20.5 

Services less medical care services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASASL5
322.976 325.1002.30.7 

Energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASA0E
221.053225.911222.4506.20.6-1.5

All items less energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASA0LE
268.202 268.3592.30.1 

All items less food and energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASA0L1E
272.062 272.5382.50.2 

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: Friday, August 10, 2018