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News Release Information

19-1816-PHI
Thursday, October 10, 2019

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

Area prices up 0.1 percent since July, up 0.9 percent over the year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for Washington-Arlington-Alexandria inched up 0.1 percent from July to September, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Sheila Watkins, the Bureau’s regional commissioner, noted that the recent increase was due entirely to a 0.5-percent rise in the all items less food and energy index. The energy index and the food index decreased since July, down 4.1 and 0.3 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 0.9 percent, reflecting a 0.8-percent increase in the all items less food and energy index. (See chart 1 and table A.) Since September 2018, the food index and energy index also advanced, up 2.0 and 0.2 percent, respectively. (See table 1.)

Food

Following a 0.6-percent decline from May to July, the food index edged down 0.3 percent over the last two months. Prices for food at home decreased 0.5 percent. Within the food at home component, prices were lower for frozen and freeze dried prepared foods; while prices were higher for eggs and citrus fruits. Food away from home prices decreased over the last two months, down 0.1 percent.

Food prices increased 2.0 percent over the year. Prices were higher for both food at home (2.2 percent) and food away from home (1.8 percent) since September 2018.

Energy

Since July, the energy index, which includes prices for household and transportation fuels, declined 4.1 percent, due to lower prices for gasoline (-7.2 percent) and for utility (piped) gas service (-10.4 percent). Prices were higher for electricity (2.3 percent) over the past two months.

Energy prices edged up 0.2 percent since September 2018, due to higher prices for utility (piped) gas service (90.2 percent). Prices for electricity also increased over the year, up 1.4 percent, while gasoline prices declined 10.3 percent.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.5 percent since July. The advance was led by higher prices for shelter (1.2 percent); apparel (6.1 percent) and education and communication (1.3 percent) were among the indexes that had increases over the last two months. Decreased prices for household furnishings and operations (-3.1 percent), among others, moderated the rise in the all items less food and energy index from July to September.

Since September 2018, the index for all items less food and energy rose 0.8 percent. Prices were higher for shelter (1.0 percent), medical care (3.2 percent), and household furnishings and operations (5.4 percent), among others. Apparel and education and communication prices decreased 6.3 and 2.4 percent, respectively, since September 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

0.60.7-0.30.50.91.70.42.00.10.9

November

-0.40.50.21.10.01.5-0.71.3

The Consumer Price Index for November 2019 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, December 11, 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
Jul.
2019
Aug.
2019
Sep.
2019
Sep.
2018
Jul.
2019
Aug.
2019

All items

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASA0
265.170 265.5000.90.1 

Food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAF
253.097 252.4941.8-0.2 

Food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAF1
258.656 257.8692.0-0.3 

Food at home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAF11
247.149246.699245.9722.2-0.5-0.3

Cereals and bakery products

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAF111
324.293 322.6782.8-0.5 

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAF112
265.394 268.2303.31.1 

Dairy and related products

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASEFJ
237.810 242.6222.42.0 

Fruits and vegetables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAF113
274.063 272.2544.2-0.7 

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAF114
223.883 214.4947.7-4.2 

Other food at home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAF115
197.158 195.551-3.1-0.8 

Food away from home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASEFV
274.167 273.8811.8-0.1 

Alcoholic beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAF116
199.203 200.435-1.00.6 

Housing

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAH
277.925 279.4852.30.6 

Shelter

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAH1
332.426333.438336.3381.01.20.9

Rent of primary residence

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASEHA
365.851368.464368.7662.30.80.1

Owners' equivalent rent of residences(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASEHC
340.111341.055341.8651.40.50.2

Owners' equivalent rent of primary residence(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASEHC01
340.111341.055341.8651.40.50.2

Fuels and utilities

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAH2
241.915 240.20012.0-0.7 

Household energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAH21
188.797191.933187.06313.6-0.9-2.5

Energy services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASEHF
193.522196.714191.63113.8-1.0-2.6

Electricity

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASEHF01
217.307217.318222.3091.42.32.3

Utility (piped) gas service

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASEHF02
138.780147.633124.33290.2-10.4-15.8

Household furnishings and operations

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAH3
112.681 109.2255.4-3.1 

Apparel

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAA
157.230 166.761-6.36.1 

Transportation

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAT
219.883 215.337-1.1-2.1 

Private transportation

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAT1
218.131 212.642-1.7-2.5 

New and used motor vehicles(3)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASETA
95.288 92.9060.2-2.5 

New vehicles(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASETA01
194.686 191.948-2.6-1.4 

Used cars and trucks(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASETA02
304.944 296.7992.9-2.7 

Motor fuel

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASETB
252.909245.321234.972-10.2-7.1-4.2

Gasoline (all types)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASETB01
250.204242.658232.292-10.3-7.2-4.3

Gasoline, unleaded regular(4)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASS47014
244.193236.586226.066-10.7-7.4-4.4

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(4)(5)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASS47015
251.417244.283236.649-7.5-5.9-3.1

Gasoline, unleaded premium(4)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASS47016
266.098260.374252.671-7.0-5.0-3.0

Motor vehicle insurance(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASETE
845.972 859.8190.81.6 

Medical care

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAM
461.061 459.9663.2-0.2 

Recreation(3)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAR
117.384 116.345-1.0-0.9 

Education and communication(3)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAE
150.598 152.548-2.41.3 

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

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASEEB
1,386.766 1,408.443-0.81.6 

Other goods and services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAG
419.337 416.6732.4-0.6 

Commodity and service group

Commodities

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAC
181.460 180.187-1.1-0.7 

Commodities less food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASACL11
145.108 143.615-3.1-1.0 

Nondurables less food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASANL11
193.191 191.276-5.7-1.0 

Durables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAD
100.992 99.9040.5-1.1 

Services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAS
341.164 343.1472.10.6 

Special aggregate indexes

All items less shelter

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASA0L2
238.079 237.0220.9-0.4 

All items less medical care

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASA0L5
255.918 256.3170.70.2 

Commodities less food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASACL1
147.658 146.257-3.0-0.9 

Nondurables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAN
222.252 220.974-1.7-0.6 

Nondurables less food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASANL1
193.559 191.894-5.3-0.9 

Services less rent of shelter(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASASL2RS
362.891 362.4213.4-0.1 

Services less medical care services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASASL5
329.411 331.3831.80.6 

Energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASA0E
221.020219.335211.8960.2-4.1-3.4

All items less energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASA0LE
271.918 273.0091.00.4 

All items less food and energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASA0L1E
275.580 277.0160.80.5 

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: Thursday, October 10, 2019