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21-1672-PHI
Tuesday, September 14, 2021

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

Area prices increased 0.5 percent since June; up 4.5 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 Alexandra Hall Bovee noted that the recent bi-monthly increase was led by a rise in the all items less food and energy index, up 0.3 percent, due almost entirely to a 4.2-percent increase in medical care. Transportation prices, which had large increases in April and June, had only a modest increase in August. The food index and the energy index rose since June, both up 1.6 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 4.5 percent. The over-the-year rise was due to increases in the all items less food and energy index (3.5 percent) and the energy index (20.5 percent). (See chart 1.) The food index also increased, up 3.9 percent over the year. (See table 1.)

Food

The food index rose from June to August, up 1.6 percent. Prices increased for food at home, up 2.4 percent since June, and for food away from home, up 0.8 percent. Within the food at home component, prices were higher for frozen and freeze dried prepared foods as well as fresh fish and seafood.

Over the year, the food index increased 3.9 percent. Prices rose for food away from home (3.6 percent), and for food at home (4.1 percent). The 4.1-percent increase in food at home was the largest 12-month increase since November 2020.

Energy

The energy index, which includes prices for household and transportation fuels, increased 1.6 percent since June, due to higher prices for gasoline (2.4 percent). Prices for utility (piped) gas service also rose over the past two months, up 5.3 percent, while those for electricity inched down 0.1 percent.

Over the year, the energy index increased 20.5 percent, led by higher prices for gasoline (34.9 percent). Prices were also higher for electricity (5.0 percent) and utility (piped) gas service (12.5 percent) since August 2020.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.3 percent from June to August. Prices were higher for medical care (4.2 percent), the highest 2-month rise since April 2020. Education and communication (2.3 percent) and shelter (0.3 percent) also rose. Prices were lower for public transportation and new vehicles (-0.9 percent).

The index for all items less food and energy increased 3.5 percent since August 2020. The rise was led by higher prices for new and used motor vehicles (14.7 percent), particularly those for used cars and trucks (32.3 percent). Prices were also higher for shelter (2.3 percent), while they were lower for medical care (-1.6 percent) over the year.

The Consumer Price Index for October 2021 is scheduled to be released Wednesday, November 10, 2021 at 8:30 am (ET).

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic Impact on August 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 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 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
Jun.
2021
Jul.
2021
Aug.
2021
Aug.
2020
Jun.
2021
Jul.
2021

All items

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESA0
269.598 271.0674.50.5 

Food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAF
277.793 282.1594.11.6 

Food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAF1
277.003 281.5003.91.6 

Food at home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAF11
246.497248.222252.4774.12.41.7

Cereals and bakery products

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAF111
299.056 300.6531.80.5 

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAF112
255.841 268.32414.44.9 

Dairy and related products

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESEFJ
240.477 248.9284.33.5 

Fruits and vegetables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAF113
290.198 294.5891.11.5 

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAF114
173.093 170.323-5.9-1.6 

Other food at home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAF115
221.822 228.1032.32.8 

Food away from home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESEFV
321.856 324.4133.60.8 

Alcoholic beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAF116
286.392 288.7357.10.8 

Housing(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAH
270.380 271.3112.80.3 

Shelter

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAH1
320.577321.555321.5632.30.30.0

Rent of primary residence

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESEHA
363.471366.093367.576-0.71.10.4

Owners' equivalent rent of residences(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESEHC
338.531339.639339.9122.60.40.1

Owners' equivalent rent of primary residence(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESEHC01
338.531339.639339.9122.60.40.1

Fuels and utilities

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAH2
231.840 234.1306.51.0 

Household energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAH21
201.357202.886202.8507.10.70.0

Energy services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESEHF
215.253216.679216.9916.30.80.1

Electricity

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESEHF01
198.863199.467198.6965.0-0.1-0.4

Utility (piped) gas service

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESEHF02
206.366211.474217.32212.55.32.8

Household furnishings and operations

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAH3
124.344 124.4974.20.1 

Apparel

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAA
126.085 124.1805.2-1.5 

Transportation

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAT
231.285 226.09014.6-2.2 

Private transportation

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAT1
228.843 228.86914.60.0 

New and used motor vehicles(3)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESETA
  113.14114.7  

New vehicles(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESETA01
  206.4046.5  

Used cars and trucks(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESETA02
344.433 343.13132.3-0.4 

Motor fuel

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESETB
259.171262.799265.22334.82.30.9

Gasoline (all types)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESETB01
253.746257.386259.75034.92.40.9

Gasoline, unleaded regular(4)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESS47014
256.405260.280262.70335.72.50.9

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(4)(5)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESS47015
275.527277.768280.44528.31.81.0

Gasoline, unleaded premium(4)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESS47016
262.094264.564266.72529.21.80.8

Motor vehicle insurance(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESETE
745.285 745.285-18.50.0 

Medical care

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAM
450.915 469.718-1.64.2 

Recreation

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAR
127.309 128.9301.81.3 

Education and communication(3)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAE
155.472 158.9994.12.3 

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

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESEEB
1,272.601 1,312.4704.43.1 

Other goods and services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAG
456.912 457.2055.00.1 

Commodity and service group

Commodities

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAC
198.503 199.5888.80.5 

Commodities less food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESACL11
161.478 161.38611.8-0.1 

Nondurables less food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESANL11
204.398 204.96711.20.3 

Durables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAD
114.798 114.39912.4-0.3 

Services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAS
338.820 340.6632.20.5 

Special aggregate indexes

All items less shelter

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESA0L2
250.688 252.3805.80.7 

All items less medical care

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESA0L5
260.624 261.1925.10.2 

Commodities less food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESACL1
165.336 165.29411.70.0 

Nondurables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESAN
238.101 240.4877.11.0 

Nondurables less food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESANL1
208.967 209.63410.80.3 

Services less rent of shelter(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESASL2RS
371.731 374.8442.00.8 

Services less medical care services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESASL5
327.845 327.8792.70.0 

Energy(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESA0E
234.107236.691237.84720.51.60.5

All items less energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESA0LE
274.208 275.5033.60.5 

All items less food and energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS35ESA0L1E
273.650 274.4463.50.3 

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: Tuesday, September 14, 2021