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20-77-PHI
Tuesday, January 14, 2020

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

Area prices increased 0.1 percent since October; up 1.8 percent over the year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for Baltimore-Columbia-Towson inched up 0.1 percent from October to December, 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 all items less food and energy index (0.1 percent) and food index (0.6 percent).  The energy index declined since October, down 0.9 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 increased 1.8 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 energy index and food index also rose over the year, up 2.0 and 1.1 percent, respectively. (See table 1.)

Food

The food index advanced 0.6 percent over the last two months. Prices increased for food away from home, up 0.7 percent, and food at home, up 0.4 percent. Within the food at home component, prices were higher for chicken and eggs, while prices were lower for nonfrozen noncarbonated juices and drinks.

Over the year, the food index increased 1.1 percent. Prices rose for food away from home (2.9 percent) while those for food at home declined (-0.4 percent).

Energy

The energy index, which includes prices for household and transportation fuels, decreased 0.9 percent since October. Prices were lower over the last two months for electricity (-2.1 percent); prices for gasoline and utility (piped) gas service also decreased, down 0.2 percent and 0.9 percent, respectively.

Over the year, the energy index rose 2.0 percent. Prices were higher for gasoline, up 9.7 percent, while prices decreased for electricity (-5.6 percent) and utility (piped) gas service (-3.1 percent) since December 2018.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy inched up 0.1 percent from October to December. Higher prices for new and used motor vehicles (2.9 percent) and education and communication (0.9 percent) were moderated by lower prices for medical care (-3.7 percent), among others.

The index for all items less food and energy increased 1.9 percent since December 2018, led by higher prices for medical care (8.8 percent) and recreation (5.4 percent). Prices were lower for apparel (-6.6 percent), among others.

The Consumer Price Index for February 2020 is scheduled to be released Wednesday, March 11, 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
Oct.
2019
Nov.
2019
Dec.
2019
Dec.
2018
Oct.
2019
Nov.
2019

All items

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESA0
257.616 257.8471.80.1 

Food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAF
263.097 264.5021.10.5 

Food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAF1
262.568 264.0791.10.6 

Food at home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAF11
232.677231.054233.690-0.40.41.1

Cereals and bakery products

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAF111
285.320 282.873-2.0-0.9 

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAF112
229.877 230.1235.20.1 

Dairy and related products

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESEFJ
238.557 240.3676.50.8 

Fruits and vegetables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAF113
281.552 281.733-3.50.1 

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAF114
166.172 170.550-4.42.6 

Other food at home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAF115
208.403 209.613-2.70.6 

Food away from home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESEFV
306.359 308.6022.90.7 

Alcoholic beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAF116
267.661 267.7250.90.0 

Housing(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAH
260.818 260.9020.10.0 

Shelter

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAH1
309.014309.328309.3630.30.10.0

Rent of primary residence

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESEHA
363.532365.013365.8021.00.60.2

Owners' equivalent rent of residences(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESEHC
323.649324.910325.8671.60.70.3

Owners' equivalent rent of primary residence(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESEHC01
323.649324.910325.8671.60.70.3

Fuels and utilities

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAH2
223.087 220.383-3.8-1.2 

Household energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAH21
194.389189.200191.118-5.1-1.71.0

Energy services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESEHF
208.408202.397204.227-5.4-2.00.9

Electricity

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESEHF01
196.137189.445191.973-5.6-2.11.3

Utility (piped) gas service

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESEHF02
180.178183.845178.522-3.1-0.9-2.9

Household furnishings and operations

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAH3
120.778 121.4272.70.5 

Apparel

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAA
122.678 123.463-6.60.6 

Transportation

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAT
198.690 201.7873.51.6 

Private transportation

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAT1
196.909 201.3954.12.3 

New and used motor vehicles(3)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESETA
94.856 97.5651.02.9 

New vehicles(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESETA01
190.927 198.1881.13.8 

Used cars and trucks(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESETA02
239.217 237.7700.2-0.6 

Motor fuel

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESETB
216.612216.707216.1019.4-0.2-0.3

Gasoline (all types)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESETB01
211.722211.849211.2869.7-0.2-0.3

Gasoline, unleaded regular(4)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESS47014
213.215213.507212.9159.8-0.1-0.3

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(4)(5)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESS47015
230.396230.170229.5819.2-0.4-0.3

Gasoline, unleaded premium(4)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESS47016
225.221223.947223.5608.7-0.7-0.2

Motor vehicle insurance(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESETE
853.690 908.6858.76.4 

Medical care

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAM
487.569 469.3928.8-3.7 

Recreation

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAR
129.671 131.0395.41.1 

Education and communication(3)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAE
149.558 150.8523.00.9 

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

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESEEB
1,240.153 1,240.1844.10.0 

Other goods and services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAG
421.060 414.238-1.2-1.6 

Commodity and service group

Commodities

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAC
181.315 183.1361.71.0 

Commodities less food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESACL11
144.349 146.1642.11.3 

Nondurables less food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESANL11
189.983 189.6092.6-0.2 

Durables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAD
98.916 101.6801.52.8 

Services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAS
331.871 330.6831.9-0.4 

Special aggregate indexes

All items less shelter

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESA0L2
238.399 238.5812.70.1 

All items less medical care

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESA0L5
246.083 247.2771.20.5 

Commodities less food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESACL1
148.044 149.8352.01.2 

Nondurables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAN
223.743 224.1391.80.2 

Nondurables less food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESANL1
194.312 193.9602.5-0.2 

Services less rent of shelter(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESASL2RS
371.359 367.9653.8-0.9 

Services less medical care services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESASL5
316.596 317.2861.00.2 

Energy(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESA0E
209.635207.016207.6952.0-0.90.3

All items less energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESA0LE
263.127 263.5691.80.2 

All items less food and energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESA0L1E
263.068 263.3711.90.1 

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: Tuesday, January 14, 2020