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19-996-PHI
Wednesday, June 12, 2019

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

Area prices up 0.6 percent since March, 1.6 percent over the year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for Washington-Arlington-Alexandria increased 0.6 percent from March to May, 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 5.8-percent rise in the energy index. The all items less food and energy index and the food index also increased since March, up 0.3 and 0.7 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 advanced 1.6 percent, primarily reflecting a 1.5-percent increase in the all items less food and energy index. (See chart 1 and table A.) Since May 2018, the food index and the energy index also advanced, up 2.5 and 0.8 percent, respectively. (See table 1.)

Food

After a 0.5-percent increase from January to March, the food index rose 0.7 percent over the last two months. Prices for food at home advanced 1.1 percent. Within the food at home component, prices were higher for canned fruits and vegetables, uncooked beef steaks, and lettuce; prices were lower for chicken and eggs. Food away from home prices also increased over the last two months, edging up 0.2 percent.

Food prices increased 2.5 percent over the year. Prices were higher for both food at home (2.8 percent) and food away from home (2.2 percent) since May 2018.

Energy

Since March, the energy index, which includes prices for household and transportation fuels, advanced 5.8 percent, due almost entirely to a 12.0-percent increase in gasoline prices. Prices were also higher for utility (piped) gas service (1.3 percent), but were lower for electricity (-1.0 percent) over the past two months.

Energy prices rose 0.8 percent since May 2018. Increases in both utility (piped) gas service prices (6.3 percent) and electricity prices (0.8 percent) were moderated by slightly lower prices for gasoline (-0.3 percent).

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy increased 0.3 percent since March. Increases in prices for education and communication (1.5 percent) and apparel (2.1 percent) led the advance. A decrease in prices for recreation (-0.9 percent) moderated the increase in the all items less food and energy index from March to May.

Since May 2018, the index for all items less food and energy rose 1.5 percent. The advance was led by higher prices for shelter (1.5 percent); household furnishings and operations (4.6 percent), apparel (4.2 percent) and recreation (3.3 percent) were among the indexes that had increases over the year. Education and communication prices were down 1.7 percent since May 2018.

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

1.20.20.81.10.41.1-0.11.80.71.6

May

0.70.60.81.20.00.30.72.50.61.6

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 July 2019 is scheduled to be released on Tuesday, August 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
Mar.
2019
Apr.
2019
May
2019
May
2018
Mar.
2019
Apr.
2019

All items

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASA0
264.257 265.9671.60.6 

Food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAF
253.071 254.6632.30.6 

Food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAF1
258.260 260.0902.50.7 

Food at home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAF11
247.462245.982250.2622.81.11.7

Cereals and bakery products

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAF111
323.483 323.4421.00.0 

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAF112
260.408 271.9074.64.4 

Dairy and related products

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASEFJ
231.555 232.835-1.70.6 

Fruits and vegetables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAF113
277.873 282.8103.71.8 

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAF114
216.871 215.8455.4-0.5 

Other food at home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAF115
204.959 203.6952.0-0.6 

Food away from home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASEFV
272.855 273.4392.20.2 

Alcoholic beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAF116
202.878 202.0960.3-0.4 

Housing

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAH
277.236 277.0601.9-0.1 

Shelter

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAH1
332.881332.956332.9781.50.00.0

Rent of primary residence

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASEHA
363.442364.022364.8822.00.40.2

Owners' equivalent rent of residences(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASEHC
338.728339.657339.4571.50.2-0.1

Owners' equivalent rent of primary residence(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASEHC01
338.728339.657339.4571.50.2-0.1

Fuels and utilities

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAH2
236.620 236.1972.8-0.2 

Household energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAH21
185.705186.075184.9882.2-0.4-0.6

Energy services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASEHF
190.336190.594189.5082.2-0.4-0.6

Electricity

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASEHF01
212.259210.840210.0440.8-1.0-0.4

Utility (piped) gas service

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASEHF02
139.197142.522140.9646.31.3-1.1

Household furnishings and operations

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAH3
110.871 110.1164.6-0.7 

Apparel

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAA
167.026 170.4954.22.1 

Transportation

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAT
214.389 220.4930.32.8 

Private transportation

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAT1
213.577 219.0710.32.6 

New and used motor vehicles(3)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASETA
94.892 94.8381.6-0.1 

New vehicles(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASETA01
199.836 198.6910.3-0.6 

Used cars and trucks(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASETA02
300.166 297.7900.6-0.8 

Motor fuel

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASETB
234.003254.930261.803-0.311.92.7

Gasoline (all types)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASETB01
231.203252.163259.057-0.312.02.7

Gasoline, unleaded regular(4)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASS47014
225.222246.061253.050-0.412.42.8

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(4)(5)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASS47015
236.622254.173258.2971.19.21.6

Gasoline, unleaded premium(4)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASS47016
248.990268.402273.9180.510.02.1

Motor vehicle insurance(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASETE
845.825 841.671-1.9-0.5 

Medical care

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAM
456.233 457.4461.10.3 

Recreation(3)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAR
119.388 118.3263.3-0.9 

Education and communication(3)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAE
148.590 150.851-1.71.5 

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

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASEEB
1,362.448 1,379.467-0.31.2 

Other goods and services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAG
416.659 417.6882.70.2 

Commodity and service group

Commodities

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAC
181.747 184.5261.61.5 

Commodities less food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASACL11
145.509 148.6521.02.2 

Nondurables less food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASANL11
193.240 200.9171.34.0 

Durables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAD
101.607 101.3840.7-0.2 

Services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAS
339.041 339.5681.60.2 

Special aggregate indexes

All items less shelter

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASA0L2
236.641 238.9671.71.0 

All items less medical care

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASA0L5
255.196 256.9321.60.7 

Commodities less food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASACL1
148.178 151.1951.02.0 

Nondurables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAN
222.264 226.9851.92.1 

Nondurables less food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASANL1
193.895 200.8991.23.6 

Services less rent of shelter(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASASL2RS
357.410 358.5001.80.3 

Services less medical care services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASASL5
327.669 328.0401.60.1 

Energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASA0E
210.692220.408222.9200.85.81.1

All items less energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASA0LE
271.749 272.6361.70.3 

All items less food and energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASA0L1E
275.451 276.1711.50.3 

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, June 12, 2019