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20-442-PHI
Wednesday, March 11, 2020

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Consumer Price Index, Baltimore-Columbia-Towson – February 2020

Area prices increased 0.5 percent since December; up 1.8 percent over the year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for Baltimore-Columbia-Towson advanced 0.5 percent from December to February, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Sheila Watkins noted that the recent two-month increase was due largely to the all items less food and energy index, up 0.5 percent. The food index and energy index also rose since December, up 0.5 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 increased 1.8 percent. The over-the-year rise was due largely to an increase in the all items less food and energy index (1.9 percent). The food index and energy index also rose over the year, up 1.2 and 1.9 percent, respectively. (See table 1.)

Food

The food index advanced 0.5 percent over the last two months. Prices increased for food away from home, up 0.8 percent, and food at home, up 0.2 percent. Within the food at home component, prices were higher for breakfast cereal, among others, while prices were lower for chicken and milk.

Over the year, the food index increased 1.2 percent. Prices rose for food away from home (3.7 percent) while those for food at home declined (-1.0 percent).

Energy

The energy index, which includes prices for household and transportation fuels, increased 0.9 percent since December. Prices were higher over the last two months for electricity (5.9 percent); prices for utility (piped) gas service also increased, up 9.1 percent, while those for gasoline were down 4.3 percent.

Over the year, the energy index rose 1.9 percent. Prices were higher for gasoline, up 4.7 percent, and utility (piped) gas service, up 6.6 percent. Prices decreased for electricity (-1.8 percent) since February 2019.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.5 percent from December to February. Higher prices for apparel (9.1 percent) and shelter (0.4 percent) were moderated by lower prices for medical care (-2.6 percent), among others.

The index for all items less food and energy increased 1.9 percent since February 2019, led by higher prices for shelter (1.1 percent), medical care (3.6 percent), and education and communication (3.2 percent). Prices were lower for new and used motor vehicles (-1.5 percent).

The Consumer Price Index for April 2020 is scheduled to be released Tuesday, May 12, 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
Dec.
2019
Jan.
2020
Feb.
2020
Feb.
2019
Dec.
2019
Jan.
2020

All items

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESA0
257.847 259.1211.80.5 

Food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAF
264.502 265.7631.20.5 

Food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAF1
264.079 265.3511.20.5 

Food at home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAF11
233.690235.435234.132-1.00.2-0.6

Cereals and bakery products

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAF111
282.873 288.334-1.91.9 

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAF112
230.123 232.0502.60.8 

Dairy and related products

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESEFJ
240.367 234.6380.7-2.4 

Fruits and vegetables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAF113
281.733 277.825-3.8-1.4 

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAF114
170.550 172.116-5.20.9 

Other food at home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAF115
209.613 211.1140.20.7 

Food away from home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESEFV
308.602 311.0103.70.8 

Alcoholic beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAF116
267.725 268.8041.10.4 

Housing(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAH
260.902 262.8910.90.8 

Shelter

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAH1
309.363310.450310.6361.10.40.1

Rent of primary residence

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESEHA
365.802366.411367.0441.50.30.2

Owners' equivalent rent of residences(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESEHC
325.867327.118326.9852.20.30.0

Owners' equivalent rent of primary residence(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESEHC01
325.867327.118326.9852.20.30.0

Fuels and utilities

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAH2
220.383 232.431-0.15.5 

Household energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAH21
191.118195.155203.091-0.96.34.1

Energy services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESEHF
204.227208.675217.325-0.96.44.1

Electricity

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESEHF01
191.973194.755203.372-1.85.94.4

Utility (piped) gas service

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESEHF02
178.522189.738194.7556.69.12.6

Household furnishings and operations

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAH3
121.427 121.3490.9-0.1 

Apparel

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAA
123.463 134.7242.59.1 

Transportation

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAT
201.787 202.3022.90.3 

Private transportation

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAT1
201.395 198.8491.7-1.3 

New and used motor vehicles(3)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESETA
97.565 96.955-1.5-0.6 

New vehicles(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESETA01
198.188 196.453-1.9-0.9 

Used cars and trucks(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESETA02
237.770 238.809-0.60.4 

Motor fuel

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESETB
216.101220.057206.6904.4-4.4-6.1

Gasoline (all types)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESETB01
211.286215.180202.1104.7-4.3-6.1

Gasoline, unleaded regular(4)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESS47014
212.915216.881203.4804.7-4.4-6.2

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(4)(5)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESS47015
229.581234.268222.5715.0-3.1-5.0

Gasoline, unleaded premium(4)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESS47016
223.560227.214214.9624.0-3.8-5.4

Motor vehicle insurance(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESETE
908.685 908.6859.10.0 

Medical care

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAM
469.392 457.2983.6-2.6 

Recreation

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAR
131.039 129.1142.1-1.5 

Education and communication(3)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAE
150.852 152.0483.20.8 

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

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESEEB
1,240.184 1,247.1584.30.6 

Other goods and services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAG
414.238 430.6622.64.0 

Commodity and service group

Commodities

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAC
183.136 184.0871.00.5 

Commodities less food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESACL11
146.164 146.9620.90.5 

Nondurables less food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESANL11
189.609 192.3563.11.4 

Durables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAD
101.680 101.402-1.2-0.3 

Services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAS
330.683 332.2722.30.5 

Special aggregate indexes

All items less shelter

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESA0L2
238.581 239.8692.30.5 

All items less medical care

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESA0L5
247.277 249.2501.70.8 

Commodities less food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESACL1
149.835 150.6440.90.5 

Nondurables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAN
224.139 226.1532.10.9 

Nondurables less food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESANL1
193.960 196.6173.01.4 

Services less rent of shelter(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESASL2RS
367.965 369.9953.60.6 

Services less medical care services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESASL5
317.286 320.0632.00.9 

Energy(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESA0E
207.695211.786209.5681.90.9-1.0

All items less energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESA0LE
263.569 264.8031.80.5 

All items less food and energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESA0L1E
263.371 264.5981.90.5 

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: Wednesday, March 11, 2020