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News Release Information

19-287-PHI
Wednesday, February 13, 2019

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Consumer Price Index, Washington-Arlington-Alexandria – January 2019

Area prices up 0.5 percent since November, 0.8 percent over the year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for Washington-Arlington-Alexandria increased 0.5 percent from November to January, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Sheila Watkins, the Bureau’s regional commissioner, noted that the recent increase was due mainly to a 0.6-percent rise in the all items less food and energy index. The food index also increased since November, up 1.6 percent, while the energy index declined 3.5 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 0.8 percent, primarily reflecting a 1.0-percent increase in the all items less food and energy index. (See chart 1 and table A.) Since January 2018, the food index also advanced, up 2.0 percent, while the energy index decreased 4.1 percent. (See table 1.)

Food

After a 0.1-percent increase from September to November, the food index rose 1.6 percent over the last two months. Prices for food at home were up 2.8 percent, and those for food away from home inched up 0.1 percent. Within the food at home component, prices were higher for items such as carbonated drinks; canned fruits and vegetables; and pasta, rice, and cornmeal over the last two months.

Food prices increased 2.0 percent over the year. Prices were higher for both food at home (2.7 percent) and food away from home (1.2 percent) since January 2018.

Energy

Since November, the energy index, which includes prices for household and transportation fuels, decreased 3.5 percent, due to an 11.5-percent decrease in gasoline prices. Prices were higher for utility (piped) gas service (21.1 percent) and electricity (0.9 percent).

Energy prices declined 4.1 percent since January 2018. Declines for both gasoline prices (-9.1 percent) and electricity prices (-0.8 percent) led the decrease, while prices for utility (piped) gas service increased 6.2 percent.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy increased 0.6 percent since November. An increase in household furnishings and operations prices (6.2 percent) and recreation prices (3.2 percent) led the increase in the all items less food and energy index. Prices were also higher for apparel (2.2 percent). Prices were lower for education and communication, down 0.7 percent from November to January.

Since January 2018, the index for all items less food and energy rose 1.0 percent. The advance was led by higher prices for shelter (1.3 percent); household furnishings and operations (5.2 percent) and apparel (3.2 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
Month20152016201720182019
2-month12-month2-month12-month2-month12-month2-month12-month2-month12-month

January

-1.1-0.2-0.21.50.21.50.92.20.50.8

March

1.20.20.81.10.41.1-0.11.8

May

0.70.60.81.20.00.30.72.5

July

-0.30.3-0.21.30.00.50.12.5

September

0.60.7-0.30.50.91.70.42.0

November

-0.40.50.21.10.01.5-0.71.3

The Consumer Price Index for March 2019 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, April 10, 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
Nov.
2018
Dec.
2018
Jan.
2019
Jan.
2018
Nov.
2018
Dec.
2018

All items

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASA0
261.120 262.3040.80.5 

Food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAF
248.224 252.1212.01.6 

Food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAF1
252.996 256.9432.01.6 

Food at home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAF11
239.973242.685246.7862.72.81.7

Cereals and bakery products

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAF111
316.939 323.8742.52.2 

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAF112
255.519 261.8272.32.5 

Dairy and related products

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASEFJ
233.161 237.199-0.51.7 

Fruits and vegetables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAF113
263.213 269.2710.32.3 

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAF114
204.193 225.75710.810.6 

Other food at home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAF115
199.176 200.6292.30.7 

Food away from home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASEFV
270.445 270.7091.20.1 

Alcoholic beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAF116
202.159 205.5792.01.7 

Housing

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAH
272.186 275.1971.71.1 

Shelter

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAH1
330.214329.310330.8031.30.20.5

Rent of primary residence

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASEHA
361.400362.426362.7501.60.40.1

Owners' equivalent rent of residences(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASEHC
337.752337.304338.3591.40.20.3

Owners' equivalent rent of primary residence(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASEHC01
337.752337.304338.3591.40.20.3

Fuels and utilities

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAH2
224.116 233.6311.44.2 

Household energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAH21
173.765178.483183.2621.05.52.7

Energy services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASEHF
177.675182.559187.6671.05.62.8

Electricity

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASEHF01
206.331206.736208.230-0.80.90.7

Utility (piped) gas service

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASEHF02
114.885127.722139.1786.221.19.0

Household furnishings and operations

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAH3
103.211 109.5745.26.2 

Apparel

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAA
165.956 169.6743.22.2 

Transportation

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAT
216.747 209.645-1.2-3.3 

Private transportation

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAT1
214.310 208.973-1.1-2.5 

New and used motor vehicles(3)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASETA
93.968 94.2722.00.3 

New vehicles(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASETA01
196.752 200.6751.22.0 

Used cars and trucks(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASETA02
294.430 296.0171.80.5 

Motor fuel

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASETB
244.078225.738216.226-9.0-11.4-4.2

Gasoline (all types)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASETB01
241.155222.903213.410-9.1-11.5-4.3

Gasoline, unleaded regular(4)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASS47014
235.161216.934207.311-9.6-11.8-4.4

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(4)(5)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASS47015
243.624227.870221.012-5.2-9.3-3.0

Gasoline, unleaded premium(4)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASS47016
258.124242.188235.045-5.4-8.9-2.9

Motor vehicle insurance(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASETE
862.279 845.825-2.4-1.9 

Medical care

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAM
450.290 451.5110.40.3 

Recreation(3)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAR
115.723 119.4400.13.2 

Education and communication(3)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAE
150.041 149.002-4.2-0.7 

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

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASEEB
1,359.223 1,359.223-1.30.0 

Other goods and services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAG
411.772 411.7091.70.0 

Commodity and service group

Commodities

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAC
179.184 180.7580.80.9 

Commodities less food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASACL11
143.972 144.544-0.10.4 

Nondurables less food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASANL11
193.781 190.720-1.1-1.6 

Durables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAD
98.751 101.7871.33.1 

Services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAS
335.439 336.1680.80.2 

Special aggregate indexes

All items less shelter

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASA0L2
233.335 234.7440.50.6 

All items less medical care

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASA0L5
252.192 253.3760.80.5 

Commodities less food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASACL1
146.663 147.3390.00.5 

Nondurables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAN
220.189 220.5070.60.1 

Nondurables less food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASANL1
194.336 191.788-0.9-1.3 

Services less rent of shelter(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASASL2RS
352.510 353.4580.20.3 

Services less medical care services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASASL5
324.473 325.1280.80.2 

Energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASA0E
208.559202.878201.242-4.1-3.5-0.8

All items less energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASA0LE
268.494 270.3731.10.7 

All items less food and energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASA0L1E
272.545 274.0581.00.6 

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, February 13, 2019