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19-823-PHI
Friday, May 10, 2019

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Consumer Price Index, Baltimore-Columbia-Towson – April 2019

Area prices up 1.7 percent since February; up 2.6 percent over the year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for Baltimore-Columbia-Towson increased 1.7 percent from February to April, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Sheila Watkins noted that the recent two-month increase was due largely to a 1.1-percent rise in the all items less food and energy index. The energy index and food index also increased since February, up 10.6 and 0.4 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 increased 2.6 percent. The over-the-year rise was due almost entirely to an increase in the all items less food and energy index (2.9 percent). The food index also rose over the year, up 2.3 percent, while prices for energy decreased, down 0.2 percent. (See table 1.)

Food

The food index increased 0.4 percent over the last two months. Prices rose for food away from home, up 2.3 percent, while prices were lower for food at home, down 1.2 percent. Within the food at home component, prices were lower for various items including tomatoes, while prices were higher for items including snacks and milk, among others.

Over the year, the food index increased 2.3 percent. Prices rose for food away from home (5.3 percent), while they edged down for food at home (-0.2 percent).

Energy

The energy index, which includes prices for household and transportation fuels, increased 10.6 percent, due almost entirely to a 21.2-percent rise in gasoline prices since February, the largest two month increase in this index in eight years. Prices were also higher over the last two months for electricity, up 1.6 percent, while those for utility (piped) gas service decreased 4.1 percent.

Over the year, the energy index declined 0.2 percent. Prices were lower for gasoline (-0.3 percent) and utility (piped) gas service (-5.0 percent) since April 2018, while those for electricity increased 0.6 percent.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy increased 1.1 percent from February to April. Higher prices for medical care (7.5 percent) and recreation (2.8 percent) were moderated by lower prices for apparel (-6.8 percent), among others.

The index for all items less food and energy increased 2.9 percent since April 2018, led by higher prices for medical care, up 12.9 percent, the largest over-the-year increase for this index. Prices also rose over the year for shelter (2.6 percent), but were lower for apparel (-8.7 percent).

The Consumer Price Index for June 2019 is scheduled to be released Thursday, July 11, 2019 at 8:30 am (ET).


Technical Note

The Consumer Price Index for Baltimore-Columbia-Towson 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 93 percent of the total population and (2) a CPI for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) which covers approximately 29 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 Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD, Core Based Statistical Area includes Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Baltimore City, Carroll, Harford, Howard, and Queen Anne’s Counties in Maryland.

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, Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD, (1982-84=100 unless otherwise noted) (not seasonally adjusted)
Expenditure categoryIndexesPercent change from
Historical
data
Feb.
2019
Mar.
2019
Apr.
2019
Apr.
2018
Feb.
2019
Mar.
2019

All items

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESA0
254.433 258.8162.61.7 

Food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAF
262.572 263.6982.50.4 

Food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAF1
262.149 263.1662.30.4 

Food at home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAF11
236.383235.362233.468-0.2-1.2-0.8

Cereals and bakery products

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAF111
293.843 289.296-1.0-1.5 

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAF112
226.106 224.266-2.3-0.8 

Dairy and related products

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESEFJ
233.095 229.537-0.1-1.5 

Fruits and vegetables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAF113
288.740 288.3423.3-0.1 

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAF114
181.643 176.082-0.4-3.1 

Other food at home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAF115
210.725 208.123-0.5-1.2 

Food away from home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESEFV
299.884 306.6735.32.3 

Alcoholic beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAF116
265.813 268.2914.90.9 

Housing(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAH
260.455 261.5532.40.4 

Shelter

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAH1
307.214308.700308.1132.60.3-0.2

Rent of primary residence

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESEHA
361.731361.637361.3644.0-0.1-0.1

Owners' equivalent rent of residences(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESEHC
320.084321.021321.1882.60.30.1

Owners' equivalent rent of primary residence(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESEHC01
320.084321.021321.1882.60.30.1

Fuels and utilities

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAH2
232.675 234.6210.40.8 

Household energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAH21
204.914204.445206.744-0.20.91.1

Energy services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESEHF
219.240218.579221.6820.01.11.4

Electricity

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESEHF01
207.139207.050210.5530.61.61.7

Utility (piped) gas service

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESEHF02
182.613177.475175.172-5.0-4.1-1.3

Household furnishings and operations

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAH3
120.272 121.7642.11.2 

Apparel

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAA
131.439 122.489-8.7-6.8 

Transportation

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAT
196.540 206.9580.05.3 

Private transportation

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAT1
195.459 205.1920.15.0 

New and used motor vehicles(3)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESETA
98.412 98.698-1.30.3 

New vehicles(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESETA01
200.318 200.337-1.10.0 

Used cars and trucks(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESETA02
240.164 242.8821.01.1 

Motor fuel

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESETB
197.888220.114239.138-0.220.88.6

Gasoline (all types)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESETB01
193.075215.160234.063-0.321.28.8

Gasoline, unleaded regular(4)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESS47014
194.253217.591236.660-0.421.88.8

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(4)(5)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESS47015
211.960230.341250.5641.318.28.8

Gasoline, unleaded premium(4)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESS47016
206.664221.529241.3970.216.89.0

Motor vehicle insurance(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESETE
832.794 856.8794.02.9 

Medical care

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAM
441.386 474.39112.97.5 

Recreation

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAR
126.507 130.0666.12.8 

Education and communication(3)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAE
147.269 145.7601.2-1.0 

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

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESEEB
1,195.793 1,195.7933.60.0 

Other goods and services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAG
419.797 425.5362.51.4 

Commodity and service group

Commodities

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAC
182.263 186.0460.62.1 

Commodities less food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESACL11
145.664 149.965-0.33.0 

Nondurables less food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESANL11
186.575 197.019-0.95.6 

Durables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAD
102.643 102.9600.30.3 

Services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAS
324.915 329.9363.71.5 

Special aggregate indexes

All items less shelter

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESA0L2
234.552 240.5542.62.6 

All items less medical care

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESA0L5
245.141 248.0371.71.2 

Commodities less food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESACL1
149.301 153.593-0.12.9 

Nondurables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAN
221.554 228.0510.82.9 

Nondurables less food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESANL1
190.983 201.016-0.55.3 

Services less rent of shelter(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESASL2RS
357.008 367.9704.93.1 

Services less medical care services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESASL5
313.792 316.0312.50.7 

Energy(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESA0E
205.564216.579227.395-0.210.65.0

All items less energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESA0LE
260.019 262.7342.91.0 

All items less food and energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESA0L1E
259.613 262.5472.91.1 

Footnotes
(1) Indexes on a March 1978=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: Friday, May 10, 2019