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20-298-PHI
Thursday, February 13, 2020

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Consumer Price Index, Washington-Arlington-Alexandria – January 2020

Area prices up 0.5 percent since November, 1.6 percent over the year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for Washington-Arlington-Alexandria advanced 0.5 percent from November to January, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Sheila Watkins, the Bureau’s regional commissioner, noted that the recent increase was due largely to a 0.5-percent rise in the all items less food and energy index. The food index and energy index also increased since November, up 0.4 percent and 1.1 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 1.6 percent, reflecting a 1.4-percent increase in the all items less food and energy index. (See chart 1 and table A.) Since January 2019, the energy index and food index also advanced, up 5.8 and 1.2 percent, respectively. (See table 1.)

Food

Following a 0.4-percent increase from September to November, the food index advanced 0.4 percent over the last two months. Prices for food away from home increased 0.7 percent, and those for food at home inched up 0.1 percent. Within the food at home component, prices were higher for nonfrozen noncarbonated juices and drinks, carbonated drinks, and milk, while prices were lower for pork chops and apples, among others.

Food prices increased 1.2 percent over the year. Prices were higher for food away from home (3.0 percent), while those for food at home declined 0.4 percent since January 2019.

Energy

Since November, the energy index, which includes prices for household and transportation fuels, advanced 1.1 percent, due to higher prices for gasoline (1.6 percent) and utility (piped) gas service (4.3 percent). Prices were lower for electricity (-0.3 percent) over the past two months.

Energy prices increased 5.8 percent since January 2019, due to higher prices for gasoline, up 10.8 percent. Over the year, prices also rose for electricity (2.2 percent), while utility (piped) gas prices declined 1.1 percent.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.5 percent since November. The advance was led by higher prices for shelter (0.7 percent) and household furnishings and operations (4.3 percent) over the last two months. Decreased prices for apparel (-2.9 percent), among others, moderated the increase in the all items less food and energy index from November to January.

Since January 2019, the index for all items less food and energy rose 1.4 percent. Prices were higher for shelter (2.3 percent) and medical care (3.5 percent), among others. Apparel prices decreased 7.7 percent since January 2019, the index’s largest 12-month decrease since March 2013.

Table A. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV, CPI-U 2-month and 12-month percent changes, all items index, not seasonally adjusted
Month20162017201820192020
2-month12-month2-month12-month2-month12-month2-month12-month2-month12-month

January

-0.21.50.21.50.92.20.50.80.51.6

March

0.81.10.41.1-0.11.80.71.6

May

0.81.20.00.30.72.50.61.6

July

-0.21.30.00.50.12.5-0.31.2

September

-0.30.50.91.70.42.00.10.9

November

0.21.10.01.5-0.71.3-0.21.5

The Consumer Price Index for March 2020 is scheduled to be released on Friday, April 10, 2020, 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
Nov.
2019
Dec.
2019
Jan.
2020
Jan.
2019
Nov.
2019
Dec.
2019

All items

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASA0
265.026 266.4331.60.5 

Food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAF
253.404 254.6241.00.5 

Food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAF1
258.986 260.0381.20.4 

Food at home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAF11
245.617246.663245.792-0.40.1-0.4

Cereals and bakery products

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAF111
315.444 313.834-3.1-0.5 

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAF112
273.106 267.4552.1-2.1 

Dairy and related products

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASEFJ
238.615 235.751-0.6-1.2 

Fruits and vegetables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAF113
265.779 271.5050.82.2 

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAF114
211.466 215.619-4.52.0 

Other food at home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAF115
199.914 201.0730.20.6 

Food away from home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASEFV
276.898 278.8523.00.7 

Alcoholic beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAF116
199.279 201.676-1.91.2 

Housing

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAH
278.349 281.3192.21.1 

Shelter

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAH1
336.001336.350338.3932.30.70.6

Rent of primary residence

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASEHA
370.738372.209372.7562.80.50.1

Owners' equivalent rent of residences(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASEHC
343.792344.561345.2262.00.40.2

Owners' equivalent rent of primary residence(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASEHC01
343.792344.561345.2262.00.40.2

Fuels and utilities

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAH2
237.468 238.7222.20.5 

Household energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAH21
184.283184.176185.5161.20.70.7

Energy services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASEHF
188.486188.485190.0461.30.80.8

Electricity

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASEHF01
213.401210.641212.7082.2-0.31.0

Utility (piped) gas service

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASEHF02
131.956137.023137.635-1.14.30.4

Household furnishings and operations

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAH3
106.801 111.3971.74.3 

Apparel

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAA
161.295 156.581-7.7-2.9 

Transportation

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAT
215.692 215.8122.90.1 

Private transportation

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAT1
214.574 215.2713.00.3 

New and used motor vehicles(3)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASETA
92.831 93.224-1.10.4 

New vehicles(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASETA01
192.149 195.813-2.41.9 

Used cars and trucks(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASETA02
294.518 292.626-1.1-0.6 

Motor fuel

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASETB
235.383235.403239.13310.61.61.6

Gasoline (all types)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASETB01
232.743232.782236.39510.81.61.6

Gasoline, unleaded regular(4)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASS47014
226.563226.643230.24611.11.61.6

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(4)(5)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASS47015
235.965236.655239.5668.41.51.2

Gasoline, unleaded premium(4)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASS47016
252.876252.322255.5758.71.11.3

Motor vehicle insurance(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASETE
893.216 876.1703.6-1.9 

Medical care

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAM
463.621 467.2223.50.8 

Recreation(3)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAR
116.956 116.019-2.9-0.8 

Education and communication(3)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAE
151.891 152.5602.40.4 

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

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASEEB
1,409.296 1,407.8343.6-0.1 

Other goods and services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAG
415.482 424.0543.02.1 

Commodity and service group

Commodities

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAC
179.358 180.522-0.10.6 

Commodities less food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASACL11
142.120 143.273-0.90.8 

Nondurables less food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASANL11
190.076 190.8720.10.4 

Durables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAD
98.318 99.582-2.21.3 

Services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAS
343.063 344.6412.50.5 

Special aggregate indexes

All items less shelter

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASA0L2
236.498 237.5391.20.4 

All items less medical care

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASA0L5
255.640 256.9431.40.5 

Commodities less food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASACL1
144.767 145.978-0.90.8 

Nondurables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAN
220.798 221.7590.60.4 

Nondurables less food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASANL1
190.698 191.665-0.10.5 

Services less rent of shelter(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASASL2RS
362.662 363.2622.80.2 

Services less medical care services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASASL5
331.016 332.4422.20.4 

Energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASA0E
210.520210.469212.8815.81.11.1

All items less energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASA0LE
272.603 273.9701.30.5 

All items less food and energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASA0L1E
276.332 277.7801.40.5 

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, February 13, 2020