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News Release Information

18-1663-PHI
Thursday, October 11, 2018

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

Area prices up 0.4 percent since July and 2.0 percent over the year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for Washington-Arlington-Alexandria increased 0.4 percent from July to September, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Sheila Watkins, the Bureau’s regional commissioner, noted that the recent rise was due almost entirely to a 0.8-percent increase in the all items less food and energy index. The food index also rose since July, up 0.2 percent, while the energy index declined 5.0 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 2.0 percent, primarily reflecting a 2.7-percent increase in the all items less food and energy index. (See chart 1 and table A.) Since September 2017, the food index also advanced, up 0.5 percent, while the energy index declined 3.0 percent. (See table 1.)

Food

After a 0.6-percent decrease from May to July, the food index edged up 0.2 percent over the last two months. Prices for food at home were up 0.3 percent, and those for food away from home were 0.2 percent higher. Within the food at home component, prices were higher for items such as citrus fruits, apples, and lettuce over the last two months.

Food prices increased 0.5 percent over the year. Prices were higher for food away from home (1.3 percent), while those for food at home were down 0.2 percent since September 2017.

Energy

Since July, the energy index, which includes prices for household and transportation fuels, decreased 5.0 percent, due to a 45.6-percent decrease in utility (piped) gas service prices. Prices also decreased for gasoline (-0.9 percent). Meanwhile, prices for electricity were 0.9 percent higher.

Energy prices decreased 3.0 percent since September 2017. Declines for both utility (piped) gas service prices (-51.4 percent) and electricity prices (-0.4 percent) were moderated by an increase in gasoline prices (5.8 percent).

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.8 percent since July. A seasonal increase in apparel prices (13.4 percent) and higher prices for shelter (1.1 percent) led the advance in the all items less food and energy index. Prices were lower for several categories including new and used motor vehicles (-2.5 percent) and household furnishings and operations (-2.2 percent).

Since September 2017, the index for all items less food and energy rose 2.7 percent. The advance was led by higher prices for shelter (2.6 percent); apparel (7.5 percent) and recreation (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

0.11.10.60.7-0.30.50.91.70.42.0

November

-0.31.1-0.40.50.21.10.01.5

The Consumer Price Index for November 2018 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, December 12, 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
Jul.
2018
Aug.
2018
Sep.
2018
Sep.
2017
Jul.
2018
Aug.
2018

All items

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASA0
262.016 263.0562.00.4 

Food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAF
247.626 248.0620.60.2 

Food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAF1
252.150 252.7790.50.2 

Food at home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAF11
239.976240.293240.627-0.20.30.1

Cereals and bakery products

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAF111
319.019 314.023 -1.6 

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAF112
258.224 259.563 0.5 

Dairy and related products

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASEFJ
236.186 236.961 0.3 

Fruits and vegetables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAF113
256.990 261.176 1.6 

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAF114
202.099 199.162 -1.5 

Other food at home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAF115
200.214 201.763 0.8 

Food away from home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASEFV
268.502 269.1061.30.2 

Alcoholic beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAF116
204.039 202.5402.2-0.7 

Housing

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAH
273.153 273.2181.40.0 

Shelter

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAH1
329.436329.575333.0002.61.11.0

Rent of primary residence

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASEHA
359.621360.318360.3822.50.20.0

Owners' equivalent rent of residences(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASEHC
336.761337.216337.1872.00.10.0

Owners' equivalent rent of primary residence(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASEHC01
336.761337.216337.1872.00.10.0

Fuels and utilities

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAH2
232.025 214.382-9.6-7.6 

Household energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAH21
182.395186.269164.618-12.6-9.7-11.6

Energy services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASEHF
186.778190.886168.369-13.2-9.9-11.8

Electricity

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASEHF01
217.194218.325219.205-0.40.90.4

Utility (piped) gas service

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASEHF02
120.234129.57865.352-51.4-45.6-49.6

Household furnishings and operations

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAH3
105.929 103.6051.6-2.2 

Apparel

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAA
156.946 177.9687.513.4 

Transportation

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAT
220.684 217.6363.4-1.4 

Private transportation

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAT1
219.382 216.3284.0-1.4 

New and used motor vehicles(3)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASETA
95.113 92.749 -2.5 

New vehicles(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASETA01
197.667 197.043 -0.3 

Used cars and trucks(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASETA02
301.137 288.395 -4.2 

Motor fuel

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASETB
263.976263.053261.7275.8-0.9-0.5

Gasoline (all types)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASETB01
261.170260.238258.9005.8-0.9-0.5

Gasoline, unleaded regular(4)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASS47014
255.274254.449253.1695.9-0.8-0.5

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(4)(5)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASS47015
258.437257.037255.8975.4-1.0-0.4

Gasoline, unleaded premium(4)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASS47016
275.104273.412271.6745.0-1.2-0.6

Motor vehicle insurance(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASETE
857.600 852.769 -0.6 

Medical care

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAM
446.580 445.8820.0-0.2 

Recreation(3)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAR
117.464 117.4865.20.0 

Education and communication(3)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAE
154.600 156.2671.11.1 

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

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASEEB
1,404.995 1,420.218 1.1 

Other goods and services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAG
407.724 406.7151.5-0.2 

Commodity and service group

Commodities

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAC
180.740 182.2832.10.9 

Commodities less food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASACL11
146.333 148.2593.21.3 

Nondurables less food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASANL11
195.494 202.8394.33.8 

Durables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAD
101.382 99.4240.8-1.9 

Services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAS
335.612 336.0831.90.1 

Special aggregate indexes

All items less shelter

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASA0L2
234.875 234.9341.70.0 

All items less medical care

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASA0L5
253.317 254.4432.20.4 

Commodities less food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASACL1
149.017 150.8303.11.2 

Nondurables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAN
220.780 224.7692.31.8 

Nondurables less food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASANL1
196.061 202.7034.13.4 

Services less rent of shelter(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASASL2RS
353.882 350.4051.1-1.0 

Services less medical care services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASASL5
325.100 325.6392.20.2 

Energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASA0E
222.450224.208211.437-3.0-5.0-5.7

All items less energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASA0LE
268.359 270.3772.40.8 

All items less food and energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASA0L1E
272.538 274.8172.70.8 

Footnotes
(1) Indexes on a November 1977=100 base.
(2) Indexes on a November 1982=100 base.
(3) Indexes on a December 1997=100 base.
(4) Special index based on a substantially smaller sample.
(5) Indexes on a December 1993=100 base.

 

Last Modified Date: Thursday, October 11, 2018