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Wednesday, July 13, 2022
Prices in the Baltimore-Columbia-Towson area, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), advanced 2.6 percent for the 2 months ending in June 2022, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Alexandra Hall Bovee noted that this was the largest such increase in almost 15 years and was largely due to a 1.7 percent increase in the all items less food and energy index. The energy index rose 13.5 percent since April, while the food index increased 1.8 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 10.6 percent, the largest over-the-year increase since January 1981. It was mostly due to a series-high 7.9-percent increase in the all items less food and energy index due in part to significantly higher prices for shelter. The energy index and the food index also rose over the year. (See chart 1 and table 1.)Food
Food prices rose 1.8 percent for the 2 months ending in June. The food at home index was up 2.0 percent, the largest such increase in the more than 24-year history of that series. Among the rising grocery prices was a 5.9 percent increase for other food at home and 6.1 percent for cereal and bakery products. The food at home price increase was tempered by lower prices for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs (-1.8 percent) as well as fruits and vegetables (-1.9 percent). The food away from home index increased 1.6 percent in June 2022 following declines in February and April.
Over the year, the food index rose 12.3 percent as prices were up for both food at home (13.6 percent), and food away from home (8.8 percent); this was the largest 12-month increase in the history of the series which began in 1999. The food at home index was led by a 15.2 percent rise in prices for other food at home - the highest since that series began publication in 2018. Other than the meats, poultry, fish, and eggs index, each of the major grocery categories increased more than at any time since they began in 2018.Energy
The energy index advanced 13.5 percent for the 2 months ending in June (see table 1.) The increase was mainly due to higher prices for gasoline (25.7 percent). Prices for electricity decreased 5.3 percent, the first decline in nearly a year, while prices for utility (piped) gas service increased 16.3 percent for the same period, the highest rise in nearly 6 years.
Energy prices jumped 40.7 percent over the year, largely due to higher prices for gasoline (64.6 percent – the largest 12-month rise since the series began in 1999). Prices paid for electricity were up 8.7 percent, although that was the smallest such increase in 2022. The utility (piped) gas service index was up 30.2 percent during the past year, the largest increase in over 5 years.All items less food and energy
The index for all items less food and energy rose 1.7 percent in the latest 2-month period. Higher prices for shelter (2.3 percent) contributed to the increase as the indexes for owners’ equivalent rent of residences and rent of primary residence both rose, up 2.2 percent and 2.8 percent, respectively. The new and used motor vehicle index rose 3.4 percent, the first increase this calendar year; higher prices for new vehicles (up 2.4 percent) contributed to the increase. Small declines were noted in the indexes for recreation, other goods and services, and household furnishings and operations.
Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy increased 7.9 percent and accounted for over 60 percent of the increase in the all items index. Components contributing to the rise included shelter (6.9 percent) and new and used motor vehicles (21.8 percent). The 12-month increase in shelter prices is the largest over-the-year increase for the shelter index since January 2007 while the new and used motor vehicles rise was the smallest since August. An increase in the medical care index (6.8 percent) also contributed to the general rise although several of the other categories posted more moderate increases compared with their trends of the past year
The August 2022 Consumer Price Index for the Baltimore-Columbia-Towson area is scheduled to be released on September 13, 2022.
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 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; Telecommunications Relay Service: 7-1-1.
|Expenditure category||Indexes||Percent change from|
Food and beverages
Food at home
Cereals and bakery products
Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs
Dairy and related products
Fruits and vegetables
Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials(1)
Other food at home
Food away from home
Rent of primary residence
Owners' equivalent rent of residences(2)
Owners' equivalent rent of primary residence(2)
Fuels and utilities
Utility (piped) gas service
Household furnishings and operations
New and used motor vehicles(3)
Used cars and trucks(1)
Gasoline (all types)
Gasoline, unleaded regular(4)
Gasoline, unleaded premium(4)
Motor vehicle insurance(1)
Education and communication(3)
Tuition, other school fees, and child care(1)
Other goods and services
Commodity and service group
Commodities less food and beverages
Nondurables less food and beverages
Special aggregate indexes
All items less shelter
All items less medical care
Commodities less food
Nondurables less food
Services less rent of shelter(2)
Services less medical care services
All items less energy
All items less food and energy
Last Modified Date: Wednesday, July 13, 2022