Department of Labor Logo United States Department of Labor
Dot gov

The .gov means it's official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you're on a federal government site.

Https

The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

News Release Information

21-893-PHI
Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Contacts

Technical information:
Media contact:

Consumer Price Index, Baltimore-Columbia-Towson – April 2021

Area prices increased 1.8 percent since February; up 2.9 percent over the year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for Baltimore-Columbia-Towson increased 1.8 percent from February to April, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Alexandra Hall Bovee noted that the recent bi-monthly increase was mostly due to a rise in the all items less food and energy index, up 1.6 percent. The energy index and the food index also rose since February, up 6.1 and 0.8 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 2.9 percent. The over-the-year rise was due to increases in the all items less food and energy index (2.5 percent) and the energy index (16.8 percent). (See chart 1.) The food index inched down 0.2 percent over the year. (See table 1.)

Food

The food index rose from February to April, up 0.8 percent. Prices increased for food away from home, up 1.4 percent since February, and for food at home, up 0.1 percent. Within the food at home component, prices were higher for eggs and breakfast cereal, as well as other dairy and related products.

Over the year, the food index decreased 0.2 percent. Prices declined for food at home (-1.6 percent), while they were higher for food away from home (1.2 percent).

Energy

The energy index, which includes prices for household and transportation fuels, increased 6.1 percent since February, due to higher prices for gasoline (10.2 percent). Prices for electricity and utility (piped) gas service also rose over the past two months, up 1.7 and 2.8 percent, respectively.

Over the year, the energy index increased 16.8 percent, led by higher prices for gasoline (44.8 percent). Prices were also higher for utility (piped) gas service (5.9 percent), while they were lower for electricity (-6.7 percent) since April 2020.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy rose 1.6 percent from February to April. Prices were higher for new and used motor vehicles (9.0 percent) and shelter (0.9 percent), particularly those for lodging away from home (28.6 percent), while they were lower for medical care (-1.3 percent), among others.

The index for all items less food and energy increased 2.5 percent since April 2020, led by higher prices for shelter (2.3 percent), Prices were lower for medical care (-2.0 percent) over the year.

The Consumer Price Index for June 2021 is scheduled to be released Tuesday, July 13, 2021 at 8:30 am (ET).

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic Impact on April 2021 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 April 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 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 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; 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 Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD, Core Based Statistical Area includes Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Harford, Howard, and Queen Anne’s counties, as well as Baltimore City, in Maryland.

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, Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD, (1982-84=100 unless otherwise noted) (not seasonally adjusted)
Expenditure categoryIndexesPercent change from
Historical
data
Feb.
2021
Mar.
2021
Apr.
2021
Apr.
2020
Feb.
2021
Mar.
2021

All items

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESA0
261.917 266.5342.91.8 

Food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAF
273.430 275.4060.10.7 

Food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAF1
272.363 274.460-0.20.8 

Food at home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAF11
242.895239.805243.176-1.60.11.4

Cereals and bakery products

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAF111
291.251 295.617-1.21.5 

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAF112
241.859 240.238-5.1-0.7 

Dairy and related products

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESEFJ
241.471 241.8262.80.1 

Fruits and vegetables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAF113
297.256 299.471-2.10.7 

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAF114
177.625 170.542-1.7-4.0 

Other food at home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAF115
216.808 220.1710.81.6 

Food away from home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESEFV
315.755 320.3281.21.4 

Alcoholic beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAF116
286.261 286.3925.50.0 

Housing(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAH
265.897 268.7572.01.1 

Shelter

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAH1
316.234317.226319.1632.30.90.6

Rent of primary residence

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESEHA
365.863367.261368.527-0.10.70.3

Owners' equivalent rent of residences(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESEHC
335.687336.342336.9262.60.40.2

Owners' equivalent rent of primary residence(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESEHC01
335.687336.342336.9262.60.40.2

Fuels and utilities

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAH2
220.586 224.256-3.11.7 

Household energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAH21
190.276195.294193.889-4.01.9-0.7

Energy services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESEHF
203.396208.199207.157-4.81.8-0.5

Electricity

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESEHF01
187.882192.458191.015-6.71.7-0.7

Utility (piped) gas service

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESEHF02
195.143199.019200.5405.92.80.8

Household furnishings and operations

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAH3
122.315 124.6673.81.9 

Apparel

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAA
124.580 125.9213.81.1 

Transportation

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAT
199.528 213.98611.47.2 

Private transportation

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAT1
203.366 215.60612.96.0 

New and used motor vehicles(3)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESETA
97.727 106.4959.29.0 

New vehicles(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESETA01
190.674 204.5433.07.3 

Used cars and trucks(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESETA02
259.844 291.59020.712.2 

Motor fuel

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESETB
220.834244.844243.23044.410.1-0.7

Gasoline (all types)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESETB01
216.027239.784238.16244.810.2-0.7

Gasoline, unleaded regular(4)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESS47014
217.550242.439240.21046.710.4-0.9

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(4)(5)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESS47015
242.653259.851260.85330.17.50.4

Gasoline, unleaded premium(4)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESS47016
228.292246.728249.70032.39.41.2

Motor vehicle insurance(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESETE
749.862 736.892-8.8-1.7 

Medical care

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAM
480.759 474.622-2.0-1.3 

Recreation

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAR
126.244 126.1800.0-0.1 

Education and communication(3)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAE
154.626 158.0153.32.2 

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

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESEEB
1,268.218 1,270.6581.90.2 

Other goods and services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAG
451.857 454.865 0.7 

Commodity and service group

Commodities

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAC
187.151 194.5696.54.0 

Commodities less food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESACL11
148.297 157.20910.86.0 

Nondurables less food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESANL11
193.128 202.02414.24.6 

Durables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAD
102.798 110.2927.97.3 

Services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAS
334.793 336.6281.00.5 

Special aggregate indexes

All items less shelter

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESA0L2
241.496 246.8853.32.2 

All items less medical care

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESA0L5
250.974 256.1593.42.1 

Commodities less food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESACL1
152.328 161.12410.65.8 

Nondurables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAN
230.226 235.7385.92.4 

Nondurables less food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESANL1
198.306 206.72313.54.2 

Services less rent of shelter(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESASL2RS
368.172 368.439-0.70.1 

Services less medical care services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESASL5
320.463 323.3621.50.9 

Energy(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESA0E
209.539223.892222.35316.86.1-0.7

All items less energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESA0LE
267.845 271.8282.11.5 

All items less food and energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESA0L1E
267.022 271.2972.51.6 

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, May 12, 2021