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20-2262-PHI
Thursday, December 10, 2020

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

Area prices unchanged since September, up 1.4 percent over the year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for Washington-Arlington-Alexandria was unchanged from September to November, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Maureen McDevitt Greene, the Bureau’s acting regional commissioner, noted that the recent increase in the all items less food and energy index, up 0.3 percent, was offset by decreases in the food index and the energy index, down 0.9 and 2.0 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 1.4 percent, due largely to a 1.4-percent rise in the all items less food and energy index. (See chart 1 and table A.) Since November 2019, the food index also increased, up 4.0 percent, while the energy index decreased 7.4 percent. (See table 1.)

Food

Following a 1.3-percent increase from July to September, the food index decreased 0.9 percent over the last two months. Prices for food at home declined 2.4 percent, while those for food away from home rose 0.6 percent. Within the food at home component, prices were lower for bacon, breakfast sausage, and related products, as well as citrus fruits, while prices were higher for bread, eggs, and breakfast cereal, among others.

Food prices increased 4.0 percent over the year. Prices were higher for both food away from home (6.0 percent) and for food at home (1.9 percent) since November 2019.

Energy

Since September, the energy index, which includes prices for household and transportation fuels, declined 2.0 percent, due largely to lower prices for electricity (-4.3 percent). Prices were also lower for gasoline (-1.9 percent), while those for utility (piped) gas were higher (3.4 percent) over the past two months.

Energy prices decreased 7.4 percent since November 2019, due mostly to a drop in gasoline prices, down 11.4 percent. Over the year, prices also declined for electricity, down 5.5 percent, while prices were higher for utility (piped) gas service, up 2.2 percent.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy increased 0.3 percent since September. The advance was led by higher prices for shelter (0.4 percent) and recreation (1.1 percent) over the last two months. Lower prices for several categories, including apparel (-3.7 percent), moderated the increase in the all items less food and energy index from September to November.

Since November 2019, the index for all items less food and energy rose 1.4 percent. Prices were higher for shelter (2.2 percent) and medical care (7.1 percent), among others. Prices decreased for apparel (-8.1 percent) and recreation (-3.7 percent) since November 2019.

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

0.81.10.41.1-0.11.80.71.6-0.40.4

May

0.81.20.00.30.72.50.61.60.1-0.1

July

-0.21.30.00.50.12.5-0.31.20.60.8

September

-0.30.50.91.70.42.00.10.90.61.2

November

0.21.10.01.5-0.71.3-0.21.50.01.4

The Consumer Price Index for January 2021 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, February 10, 2021, at 8:30 a.m. (EDT).

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic Impact on November 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 November 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 (CPI) is a measures 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 U.S. population and (2) a CPI for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) which covers approximately 29 percent of the total U.S. 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 6,000 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; for most of the CPI-U the reference base is 1982-84 equals 100. An increase of 7 percent from the reference base, for example, is shown as 107.000.  Alternatively, that relationship can also be expressed as the price of a base period market basket of goods and services rising from $100 to $107. For further details see the CPI home page on the Internet at www.bls.gov/cpi and the CPI section of the BLS Handbook of Methods available on the internet at www.bls.gov/opub/hom/cpi/.

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 individuals with sensory impairments 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
Sep.
2020
Oct.
2020
Nov.
2020
Nov.
2019
Sep.
2020
Oct.
2020

All items

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASA0
268.788 268.7001.40.0 

Food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAF
264.518 262.1223.4-0.9 

Food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAF1
271.655 269.2604.0-0.9 

Food at home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAF11
256.472253.882250.2671.9-2.4-1.4

Cereals and bakery products

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAF111
330.632 328.9884.3-0.5 

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAF112
276.737 274.3810.5-0.9 

Dairy and related products

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASEFJ
250.878 240.8460.9-4.0 

Fruits and vegetables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAF113
267.089 252.036-5.2-5.6 

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAF114
222.330 216.4822.4-2.6 

Other food at home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAF115
219.001 214.8687.5-1.9 

Food away from home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASEFV
291.645 293.4646.00.6 

Alcoholic beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAF116
197.647 195.339-2.0-1.2 

Housing

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAH
283.829 283.7621.90.0 

Shelter

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAH1
341.944342.475343.3412.20.40.3

Rent of primary residence

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASEHA
380.032380.030378.4482.1-0.4-0.4

Owners' equivalent rent of residences(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASEHC
350.731351.357352.1722.40.40.2

Owners' equivalent rent of primary residence(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASEHC01
350.731351.357352.1722.40.40.2

Fuels and utilities

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAH2
236.399 232.302-2.2-1.7 

Household energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAH21
181.675183.469177.647-3.6-2.2-3.2

Energy services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASEHF
185.935188.091181.918-3.5-2.2-3.3

Electricity

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASEHF01
210.697211.632201.702-5.5-4.3-4.7

Utility (piped) gas service

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASEHF02
130.466134.418134.8412.23.40.3

Household furnishings and operations

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAH3
112.592 110.2383.2-2.1 

Apparel

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAA
153.947 148.295-8.1-3.7 

Transportation

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAT
208.563 210.196-2.50.8 

Private transportation

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAT1
212.133 211.772-1.3-0.2 

New and used motor vehicles(3)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASETA
96.380 97.2364.70.9 

New vehicles(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASETA01
192.465 193.1410.50.4 

Used cars and trucks(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASETA02
328.334 327.54111.2-0.2 

Motor fuel

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASETB
212.512214.523208.588-11.4-1.8-2.8

Gasoline (all types)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASETB01
210.211212.235206.155-11.4-1.9-2.9

Gasoline, unleaded regular(4)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASS47014
203.785206.019199.945-11.7-1.9-2.9

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(4)(5)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASS47015
223.073224.743219.730-6.9-1.5-2.2

Gasoline, unleaded premium(4)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASS47016
235.387235.453229.896-9.1-2.3-2.4

Motor vehicle insurance(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASETE
810.380 820.365-8.21.2 

Medical care

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAM
494.879 496.3407.10.3 

Recreation(3)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAR
111.468 112.653-3.71.1 

Education and communication(3)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAE
155.960 156.0412.70.1 

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

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASEEB
1,436.779 1,437.0882.00.0 

Other goods and services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAG
428.164 434.7814.61.5 

Commodity and service group

Commodities

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAC
182.996 181.2811.1-0.9 

Commodities less food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASACL11
142.214 140.842-0.9-1.0 

Nondurables less food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASANL11
185.125 182.117-4.2-1.6 

Durables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAD
101.452 101.2082.9-0.2 

Services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAS
346.690 348.4541.60.5 

Special aggregate indexes

All items less shelter

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASA0L2
239.448 238.8581.0-0.2 

All items less medical care

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASA0L5
258.108 257.9470.9-0.1 

Commodities less food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASACL1
144.770 143.353-1.0-1.0 

Nondurables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASAN
224.418 221.7830.4-1.2 

Nondurables less food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASANL1
186.133 183.216-3.9-1.6 

Services less rent of shelter(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASASL2RS
363.170 365.5980.80.7 

Services less medical care services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASASL5
331.661 333.5130.80.6 

Energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASA0E
199.010200.937194.942-7.4-2.0-3.0

All items less energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASA0LE
277.434 277.6081.80.1 

All items less food and energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ASA0L1E
279.564 280.2721.40.3 

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, December 10, 2020