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News Release Information

19-1508-PHI
Tuesday, August 13, 2019

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

Area prices down 0.3 percent since May, up 1.2 percent over the year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for Washington-Arlington-Alexandria decreased 0.3 percent from May to July, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Sheila Watkins, the Bureau’s regional commissioner, noted that the recent decrease was due mainly to a 0.2-percent decline in the all items less food and energy index. The food index and the energy index also decreased since May, down 0.6 and 0.9 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 1.2 percent, primarily reflecting a 1.1-percent increase in the all items less food and energy index. (See chart 1 and table A.) Since July 2018, the food index also advanced, up 2.6 percent, while the energy index decreased 0.6 percent. (See table 1.)

Food

After a 0.7-percent increase from March to May, the food index declined 0.6 percent over the last two months. Prices for food at home decreased 1.2 percent. Within the food at home component, prices were lower for processed fish and seafood, and frozen fruits and vegetables; while prices were higher for chicken and spices, seasonings, condiments, and sauces. Food away from home prices increased over the last two months, edging up 0.3 percent.

Food prices increased 2.6 percent over the year. Prices were higher for both food at home (3.0 percent) and food away from home (2.1 percent) since July 2018.

Energy

Since May, the energy index, which includes prices for household and transportation fuels, declined 0.9 percent, due to lower prices for gasoline (-3.4 percent) and for utility (piped) gas service (-1.5 percent). Prices were higher for electricity (3.5 percent) over the past two months.

Energy prices decreased 0.6 percent since July 2018, due to lower prices for gasoline (-4.2 percent). Prices increased for both utility (piped) gas service prices (15.4 percent) and electricity prices (0.1 percent) over the year.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy decreased 0.2 percent since May. Decreases in prices for apparel (-7.8 percent) and new vehicles (-2.0 percent) led the decline. Increased prices for household furnishings and operations (2.3 percent), among others, moderated the decrease in the all items less food and energy index from May to July.

Since July 2018, the index for all items less food and energy rose 1.1 percent. The advance was led by higher prices for shelter (0.9 percent); household furnishings and operations (6.4 percent) and medical care (3.2 percent) were among the indexes that had increases over the year. Education and communication prices were down 2.6 percent since July 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

-0.30.3-0.21.30.00.50.12.5-0.31.2

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 September 2019 is scheduled to be released on Thursday, October 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
May
2019
Jun.
2019
Jul.
2019
Jul.
2018
May
2019
Jun.
2019

All items

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASA0
265.967 265.1701.2-0.3 

Food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAF
254.663 253.0972.2-0.6 

Food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAF1
260.090 258.6562.6-0.6 

Food at home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAF11
250.262245.619247.1493.0-1.20.6

Cereals and bakery products

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAF111
323.442 324.2931.70.3 

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAF112
271.907 265.3942.8-2.4 

Dairy and related products

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASEFJ
232.835 237.8100.72.1 

Fruits and vegetables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAF113
282.810 274.0636.6-3.1 

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAF114
215.845 223.88310.83.7 

Other food at home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAF115
203.695 197.158-1.5-3.2 

Food away from home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASEFV
273.439 274.1672.10.3 

Alcoholic beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAF116
202.096 199.203-2.4-1.4 

Housing

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAH
277.060 277.9251.70.3 

Shelter

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAH1
332.978333.308332.4260.9-0.2-0.3

Rent of primary residence

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASEHA
364.882364.476365.8511.70.30.4

Owners' equivalent rent of residences(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASEHC
339.457339.629340.1111.00.20.1

Owners' equivalent rent of primary residence(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASEHC01
339.457339.629340.1111.00.20.1

Fuels and utilities

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAH2
236.197 241.9154.32.4 

Household energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAH21
184.988190.096188.7973.52.1-0.7

Energy services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASEHF
189.508194.839193.5223.62.1-0.7

Electricity

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASEHF01
210.044218.356217.3070.13.5-0.5

Utility (piped) gas service

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASEHF02
140.964140.515138.78015.4-1.5-1.2

Household furnishings and operations

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAH3
110.116 112.6816.42.3 

Apparel

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAA
170.495 157.2300.2-7.8 

Transportation

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAT
220.493 219.883-0.4-0.3 

Private transportation

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAT1
219.071 218.131-0.6-0.4 

New and used motor vehicles(3)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASETA
94.838 95.2880.20.5 

New vehicles(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASETA01
198.691 194.686-1.5-2.0 

Used cars and trucks(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASETA02
297.790 304.9441.32.4 

Motor fuel

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASETB
261.803251.296252.909-4.2-3.40.6

Gasoline (all types)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASETB01
259.057248.622250.204-4.2-3.40.6

Gasoline, unleaded regular(4)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASS47014
253.050242.485244.193-4.3-3.50.7

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(4)(5)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASS47015
258.297248.682251.417-2.7-2.71.1

Gasoline, unleaded premium(4)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASS47016
273.918266.365266.098-3.3-2.9-0.1

Motor vehicle insurance(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASETE
841.671 845.972-1.40.5 

Medical care

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAM
457.446 461.0613.20.8 

Recreation(3)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAR
118.326 117.384-0.1-0.8 

Education and communication(3)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAE
150.851 150.598-2.6-0.2 

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

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASEEB
1,379.467 1,386.766-1.30.5 

Other goods and services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAG
417.688 419.3372.80.4 

Commodity and service group

Commodities

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAC
184.526 181.4600.4-1.7 

Commodities less food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASACL11
148.652 145.108-0.8-2.4 

Nondurables less food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASANL11
200.917 193.191-1.2-3.8 

Durables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAD
101.384 100.992-0.4-0.4 

Services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAS
339.568 341.1641.70.5 

Special aggregate indexes

All items less shelter

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASA0L2
238.967 238.0791.4-0.4 

All items less medical care

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASA0L5
256.932 255.9181.0-0.4 

Commodities less food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASACL1
151.195 147.658-0.9-2.3 

Nondurables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAN
226.985 222.2520.7-2.1 

Nondurables less food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASANL1
200.899 193.559-1.3-3.7 

Services less rent of shelter(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASASL2RS
358.500 362.8912.51.2 

Services less medical care services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASASL5
328.040 329.4111.30.4 

Energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASA0E
222.920221.017221.020-0.6-0.90.0

All items less energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASA0LE
272.636 271.9181.3-0.3 

All items less food and energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASA0L1E
276.171 275.5801.1-0.2 

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: Tuesday, August 13, 2019