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20-1747-PHI
Friday, September 11, 2020

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

Area prices increased 0.5 percent since June; up 0.7 percent over the year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for Baltimore-Columbia-Towson increased 0.5 percent from June to August, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Sheila Watkins noted that the recent two-month increase was mostly due to a rise in the all items less food and energy index, up 0.7 percent. The energy index also rose since June, up 2.3 percent, while the food index decreased 1.5 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 0.7 percent. The over-the-year rise was due to increases in the all items less food and energy index (0.8 percent) and the food index (3.4 percent). (See chart 1.) The energy index dropped over the year, down 5.6 percent. (See table 1.)

Food

The food index declined over the last two months, down 1.5 percent. Prices decreased for both food at home (-2.5 percent) and for food away from home (-0.4 percent) since June. Within the food at home component, prices were lower for uncooked ground beef and eggs, while prices were higher for milk, among others.

Over the year, the food index increased 3.4 percent. Prices rose for both food at home (4.5 percent) and for food away from home (2.3 percent).

Energy

The energy index, which includes prices for household and transportation fuels, increased 2.3 percent since June, led by higher prices for gasoline (8.1 percent). Prices for utility (piped) gas service also increased over the last two months, up 0.8 percent, while those for electricity declined 3.4 percent.

Over the year, the energy index decreased 5.6 percent. Prices were lower for gasoline, dropping 12.1 percent. Prices increased for electricity and utility (piped) gas service, up 1.3 and 6.9 percent, respectively, since August 2019.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy increased 0.7 percent from June to August. Higher prices for new and used motor vehicles (2.8 percent) and medical care (2.3 percent), among others, were moderated by lower prices for apparel (-2.5 percent).

The index for all items less food and energy increased 0.8 percent since August 2019, led by higher prices for shelter (1.8 percent) and new and used motor vehicles (2.5 percent). Prices were lower for recreation (-2.5 percent) and apparel (-5.0 percent).

The Consumer Price Index for October 2020 is scheduled to be released Thursday, November 12, 2020 at 8:30 am (ET).

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic Impact on August 2020 Consumer Price Index Data

Data collection by personal visit for the Consumer Price Index (CPI) program has been suspended since March 16, 2020. When possible, data normally collected by personal visit were collected either online or by phone. Additionally, data collection in August was affected by the temporary closing or limited operations of certain types of establishments. These factors resulted in an increase in the number of prices considered temporarily unavailable and imputed.

While the CPI program attempted to collect as much data as possible, many indexes are based on smaller amounts of collected prices than usual, and a small number of indexes that are normally published were not published this month. Additional information is available at www.bls.gov/covid19/effects-of-covid-19-pandemic-on-consumer-price-index.htm.


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
Jun.
2020
Jul.
2020
Aug.
2020
Aug.
2019
Jun.
2020
Jul.
2020

All items

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESA0
257.942 259.3360.70.5 

Food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAF
274.883 271.0713.2-1.4 

Food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAF1
275.015 270.9603.4-1.5 

Food at home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAF11
248.618245.646242.4184.5-2.5-1.3

Cereals and bakery products

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAF111
309.128 295.2561.7-4.5 

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAF112
246.797 234.4642.8-5.0 

Dairy and related products

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESEFJ
241.544 238.7771.7-1.1 

Fruits and vegetables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAF113
288.545 291.4945.71.0 

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAF114
180.951 180.9356.80.0 

Other food at home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAF115
230.580 222.9777.2-3.3 

Food away from home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESEFV
314.300 313.0842.3-0.4 

Alcoholic beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAF116
269.598 269.5010.30.0 

Housing(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAH
263.487 263.8851.50.2 

Shelter

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAH1
313.208313.897314.2731.80.30.1

Rent of primary residence

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESEHA
368.177369.797370.3281.90.60.1

Owners' equivalent rent of residences(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESEHC
329.526330.489331.1992.40.50.2

Owners' equivalent rent of primary residence(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESEHC01
329.526330.489331.1992.40.50.2

Fuels and utilities

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAH2
224.101 219.7872.3-1.9 

Household energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAH21
194.538195.569189.4391.8-2.6-3.1

Energy services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESEHF
209.898211.136204.2132.4-2.7-3.3

Electricity

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESEHF01
195.757197.596189.1591.3-3.4-4.3

Utility (piped) gas service

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESEHF02
191.590189.130193.1866.90.82.1

Household furnishings and operations

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAH3
119.234 119.499-1.90.2 

Apparel

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAA
121.157 118.075-5.0-2.5 

Transportation

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAT
192.896 197.236-2.52.2 

Private transportation

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAT1
193.047 199.637-0.23.4 

New and used motor vehicles(3)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESETA
95.991 98.6732.52.8 

New vehicles(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESETA01
193.755 193.817-0.20.0 

Used cars and trucks(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESETA02
237.002 259.4354.49.5 

Motor fuel

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESETB
182.106195.114196.798-12.18.10.9

Gasoline (all types)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESETB01
178.131190.995192.609-12.18.10.8

Gasoline, unleaded regular(4)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESS47014
178.701191.979193.607-12.38.30.8

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(4)(5)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESS47015
202.211217.304218.554-7.88.10.6

Gasoline, unleaded premium(4)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESS47016
194.094204.587206.379-10.76.30.9

Motor vehicle insurance(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESETE
889.669 914.0967.12.7 

Medical care

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAM
466.525 477.4120.72.3 

Recreation

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAR
123.437 126.692-2.52.6 

Education and communication(3)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAE
152.140 152.7512.40.4 

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

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESEEB
1,247.122 1,257.2342.00.8 

Other goods and services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAG
433.662 435.2472.30.4 

Commodity and service group

Commodities

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAC
182.352 183.4420.10.6 

Commodities less food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESACL11
141.595 144.310-1.81.9 

Nondurables less food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESANL11
179.972 184.382-4.72.5 

Durables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAD
100.302 101.7591.21.5 

Services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAS
331.646 333.3361.10.5 

Special aggregate indexes

All items less shelter

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESA0L2
237.071 238.6220.20.7 

All items less medical care

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESA0L5
247.526 248.4280.70.4 

Commodities less food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESACL1
145.366 148.043-1.71.8 

Nondurables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAN
224.174 224.608-0.40.2 

Nondurables less food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESANL1
184.954 189.117-4.32.3 

Services less rent of shelter(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESASL2RS
364.746 367.3880.20.7 

Services less medical care services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESASL5
318.413 319.1481.00.2 

Energy(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESA0E
193.035199.903197.423-5.62.3-1.2

All items less energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESA0LE
264.859 266.0201.10.4 

All items less food and energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESA0L1E
263.161 265.1320.80.7 

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: Friday, September 11, 2020