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18-1965-PHI
Wednesday, December 12, 2018

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

Area prices down 0.7 percent since September, up 1.3 percent over the year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for Washington-Arlington-Alexandria decreased 0.7 percent from September to November, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Sheila Watkins, the Bureau’s regional commissioner, noted that the recent decline was due almost entirely to a 0.8-percent decrease in the all items less food and energy index. The energy index also declined since September, down 1.4 percent, while the food index inched up 0.1 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 1.3 percent, primarily reflecting a 1.4-percent increase in the all items less food and energy index. (See chart 1 and table A.) Since November 2017, the food index also advanced, up 0.8 percent, while the energy index was unchanged. (See table 1.)

Food

After a 0.2-percent increase from July to September, the food index inched up 0.1 percent over the last two months. Prices for food away from home were up 0.5 percent, while those for food at home were 0.3 percent lower. Within the food at home component, prices were lower for items such as carbonated drinks, uncooked beef steaks, and citrus fruits over the last two months.

Food prices increased 0.8 percent over the year. Prices were higher for both food away from home (1.5 percent) and food at home (0.1 percent) since November 2017.

Energy

Since September, the energy index, which includes prices for household and transportation fuels, decreased 1.4 percent, due mostly to a 6.9-percent decrease in gasoline prices. Prices also decreased for electricity (-5.9 percent). Meanwhile, prices for utility (piped) gas service were 75.8 percent higher.

Energy prices were unchanged since November 2017. Declines for both utility (piped) gas service prices (-13.3 percent) and electricity prices (-1.2 percent) were moderated by an increase in gasoline prices (3.7 percent).

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy decreased 0.8 percent since September. A seasonal decrease in apparel prices (-6.7 percent) and lower prices for shelter (-0.8 percent) led the decline in the all items less food and energy index. Prices were also lower for education and communication (-4.0 percent). Prices were higher in several categories, including new and used motor vehicles (1.3 percent) and medical care (1.0 percent), among others.

Since November 2017, the index for all items less food and energy rose 1.4 percent. The advance was led by higher prices for shelter (1.5 percent); apparel (7.3 percent) and recreation (3.5 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

-0.31.1-0.40.50.21.10.01.5-0.71.3

The Consumer Price Index for January 2019 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, February 13, 2019, 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
Sep.
2018
Oct.
2018
Nov.
2018
Nov.
2017
Sep.
2018
Oct.
2018

All items

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASA0
263.056 261.1201.3-0.7 

Food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAF
248.062 248.2240.90.1 

Food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAF1
252.779 252.9960.80.1 

Food at home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAF11
240.627242.282239.9730.1-0.3-1.0

Cereals and bakery products

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAF111
314.023 316.939-0.30.9 

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAF112
259.563 255.5190.5-1.6 

Dairy and related products

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASEFJ
236.961 233.1610.5-1.6 

Fruits and vegetables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAF113
261.176 263.213-3.10.8 

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAF114
199.162 204.1930.82.5 

Other food at home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAF115
201.763 199.1762.1-1.3 

Food away from home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASEFV
269.106 270.4451.50.5 

Alcoholic beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAF116
202.540 202.1592.1-0.2 

Housing

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAH
273.218 272.1861.1-0.4 

Shelter

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAH1
333.000331.000330.2141.5-0.8-0.2

Rent of primary residence

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASEHA
360.382360.902361.4001.90.30.1

Owners' equivalent rent of residences(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASEHC
337.187337.319337.7521.70.20.1

Owners' equivalent rent of primary residence(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASEHC01
337.187337.319337.7521.70.20.1

Fuels and utilities

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAH2
214.382 224.116-2.64.5 

Household energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAH21
164.618176.787173.765-4.25.6-1.7

Energy services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASEHF
168.369180.938177.675-4.35.5-1.8

Electricity

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASEHF01
219.205218.632206.331-1.2-5.9-5.6

Utility (piped) gas service

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASEHF02
65.352101.354114.885-13.375.813.4

Household furnishings and operations

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAH3
103.605 103.2111.7-0.4 

Apparel

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAA
177.968 165.9567.3-6.7 

Transportation

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAT
217.636 216.7471.8-0.4 

Private transportation

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAT1
216.328 214.3102.1-0.9 

New and used motor vehicles(3)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASETA
92.749 93.9681.41.3 

New vehicles(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASETA01
197.043 196.7520.1-0.1 

Used cars and trucks(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASETA02
288.395 294.4302.42.1 

Motor fuel

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASETB
261.727262.519244.0783.8-6.7-7.0

Gasoline (all types)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASETB01
258.900259.606241.1553.7-6.9-7.1

Gasoline, unleaded regular(4)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASS47014
253.169253.788235.1613.7-7.1-7.3

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(4)(5)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASS47015
255.897257.301243.6245.0-4.8-5.3

Gasoline, unleaded premium(4)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASS47016
271.674272.929258.1243.7-5.0-5.4

Motor vehicle insurance(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASETE
852.769 862.2790.31.1 

Medical care

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAM
445.882 450.2900.41.0 

Recreation(3)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAR
117.486 115.7233.5-1.5 

Education and communication(3)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAE
156.267 150.041-3.2-4.0 

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

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASEEB
1,420.218 1,359.223-0.9-4.3 

Other goods and services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAG
406.715 411.7722.71.2 

Commodity and service group

Commodities

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAC
182.283 179.1841.5-1.7 

Commodities less food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASACL11
148.259 143.9721.9-2.9 

Nondurables less food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASANL11
202.839 193.7813.8-4.5 

Durables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAD
99.424 98.751-0.7-0.7 

Services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAS
336.083 335.4391.2-0.2 

Special aggregate indexes

All items less shelter

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASA0L2
234.934 233.3351.2-0.7 

All items less medical care

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASA0L5
254.443 252.1921.3-0.9 

Commodities less food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASACL1
150.830 146.6631.9-2.8 

Nondurables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAN
224.769 220.1892.2-2.0 

Nondurables less food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASANL1
202.703 194.3363.7-4.1 

Services less rent of shelter(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASASL2RS
350.405 352.5100.80.6 

Services less medical care services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASASL5
325.639 324.4731.2-0.4 

Energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASA0E
211.437218.636208.5590.0-1.4-4.6

All items less energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASA0LE
270.377 268.4941.3-0.7 

All items less food and energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASA0L1E
274.817 272.5451.4-0.8 

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: Wednesday, December 12, 2018