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News Release Information

19-2038-PHI
Wednesday, November 13, 2019

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

Area prices increased 0.1 percent since August; up 1.0 percent over the year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for Baltimore-Columbia-Towson inched up 0.1 percent from August to October, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Sheila Watkins noted that the recent two-month increase was due to increases in both the food index (0.2 percent) and energy index (0.3 percent).  The all items less food and energy index was unchanged since August. (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 1.0 percent. The over-the-year rise was due almost entirely to an increase in the all items less food and energy index (1.9 percent). The food index also rose over the year, up 1.0 percent, while prices for energy decreased, down 8.3 percent. (See table 1.)

Food

The food index edged up 0.2 percent over the last two months. Prices increased for food at home, up 0.3 percent, and food away from home, up 0.1 percent.

Over the year, the food index increased 1.0 percent. Prices rose for food away from home (3.1 percent) while those for food at home declined (-0.8 percent).

Energy

The energy index, which includes prices for household and transportation fuels, increased 0.3 percent since August. Prices were higher for electricity over the last two months, up 5.1 percent, while those for gasoline were lower, down 3.3 percent. Utility (piped) gas service prices also decreased, down 0.3 percent.

Over the year, the energy index declined 8.3 percent. Prices were lower for gasoline (-12.0 percent) and electricity (-4.6 percent) since October 2018, while those for utility (piped) gas service increased 9.2 percent.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy was unchanged from August to October. Higher prices for medical care (2.8 percent) and shelter (0.1 percent) were moderated by lower prices for new and used motor vehicles (-1.5 percent) and household furnishings and operations (-0.8 percent), among others.

The index for all items less food and energy increased 1.9 percent since October 2018, led by higher prices for medical care (14.3 percent) and recreation (5.7 percent). Prices were lower for apparel (-15.0 percent), among others.

The Consumer Price Index for December 2019 is scheduled to be released Tuesday, January 14, 2020 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
Aug.
2019
Sep.
2019
Oct.
2019
Oct.
2018
Aug.
2019
Sep.
2019

All items

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESA0
257.455 257.6161.00.1 

Food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAF
262.635 263.0971.00.2 

Food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAF1
261.992 262.5681.00.2 

Food at home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAF11
232.020233.446232.677-0.80.3-0.3

Cereals and bakery products

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAF111
290.367 285.320-2.7-1.7 

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAF112
228.113 229.8770.40.8 

Dairy and related products

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESEFJ
234.772 238.5572.81.6 

Fruits and vegetables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAF113
275.860 281.5522.92.1 

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAF114
169.434 166.172-6.8-1.9 

Other food at home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAF115
208.059 208.403-1.80.2 

Food away from home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESEFV
305.904 306.3593.10.1 

Alcoholic beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAF116
268.622 267.6611.2-0.4 

Housing(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAH
260.005 260.8180.00.3 

Shelter

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAH1
308.804308.176309.0140.00.10.3

Rent of primary residence

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESEHA
363.560363.494363.5320.90.00.0

Owners' equivalent rent of residences(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESEHC
323.488324.267323.6491.30.0-0.2

Owners' equivalent rent of primary residence(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESEHC01
323.488324.267323.6491.30.0-0.2

Fuels and utilities

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAH2
214.808 223.087-3.03.9 

Household energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAH21
186.136184.212194.389-3.84.45.5

Energy services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESEHF
199.366197.406208.408-3.44.55.6

Electricity

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESEHF01
186.652186.459196.137-4.65.15.2

Utility (piped) gas service

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESEHF02
180.720164.867180.1789.2-0.39.3

Household furnishings and operations

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAH3
121.797 120.7782.8-0.8 

Apparel

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAA
124.256 122.678-15.0-1.3 

Transportation

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAT
202.211 198.690-2.7-1.7 

Private transportation

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAT1
199.938 196.909-3.2-1.5 

New and used motor vehicles(3)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESETA
96.300 94.856-2.5-1.5 

New vehicles(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESETA01
194.261 190.927-3.8-1.7 

Used cars and trucks(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESETA02
248.517 239.2171.9-3.7 

Motor fuel

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESETB
223.823216.013216.612-11.9-3.20.3

Gasoline (all types)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESETB01
219.032211.141211.722-12.0-3.30.3

Gasoline, unleaded regular(4)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESS47014
220.814212.684213.215-12.5-3.40.2

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(4)(5)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESS47015
237.014229.424230.396-10.0-2.80.4

Gasoline, unleaded premium(4)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESS47016
231.123224.175225.221-8.8-2.60.5

Motor vehicle insurance(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESETE
853.690 853.6905.40.0 

Medical care

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAM
474.169 487.56914.32.8 

Recreation

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAR
129.907 129.6715.7-0.2 

Education and communication(3)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAE
149.157 149.5583.90.3 

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

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESEEB
1,232.067 1,240.1535.30.7 

Other goods and services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAG
425.533 421.0600.8-1.1 

Commodity and service group

Commodities

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAC
183.272 181.315-2.5-1.1 

Commodities less food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESACL11
146.882 144.349-4.4-1.7 

Nondurables less food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESANL11
193.484 189.983-6.5-1.8 

Durables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAD
100.559 98.916-1.9-1.6 

Services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAS
329.810 331.8712.80.6 

Special aggregate indexes

All items less shelter

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESA0L2
238.258 238.3991.50.1 

All items less medical care

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESA0L5
246.614 246.083-0.2-0.2 

Commodities less food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESACL1
150.562 148.044-4.1-1.7 

Nondurables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAN
225.555 223.743-2.8-0.8 

Nondurables less food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESANL1
197.682 194.312-6.0-1.7 

Services less rent of shelter(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESASL2RS
366.632 371.3596.21.3 

Services less medical care services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESASL5
315.911 316.5961.30.2 

Energy(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESA0E
209.044204.100209.635-8.30.32.7

All items less energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESA0LE
263.008 263.1271.80.0 

All items less food and energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESA0L1E
263.008 263.0681.90.0 

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: Wednesday, November 13, 2019