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Thursday, November 10, 2022
Prices in the Baltimore-Columbia-Towson area, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), increased 0.7 percent for the 2 months ending in October 2022, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Alexandra Hall Bovee noted this increase reflected increases in a range of categories including electricity, food at home, and shelter, although declines in other indexes, such as gasoline, medical care, and used cars and trucks, held down the overall increase. The all items less food and energy index increased 0.6 percent and the food index increased 2.2 percent. The energy index continued to decrease, down 0.8 percent in October after dropping 9.8 percent in August. (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 8.4 percent – the smallest increase of 2022. It was mostly due to a 7.0 percent increase in the all items less food and energy index, which moderated following a record 8.8 percent rise in August. Higher prices for shelter and new and used motor vehicles contributed to the increase. The energy index rose 16.4 percent – the smallest over-the-year increase in over a year and a half -- and the food index set a series high, advancing 12.9 percent in October. (See chart 1 and table 1.)Food
Food prices rose 2.2 percent for the 2 months ending in October as both grocery prices (up 2.5 percent) and food away from home prices (up 1.6 percent) rose. Within the food at home index, nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials advanced 8.4 percent in October – marking a series high since the index started in 2018. The other food at home index increased 3.2 percent, the smallest increase so far in 2022. Fruits and vegetables and dairy and related products prices increased 3.0 and 2.7 percent, respectively, while those for cereals and bakery products decreased 1.0 percent – marking the first decrease since December 2020. The food away from home index advanced 1.6 percent, up from its advance of 0.7 percent in August.
Over the year, the food index rose 12.9 percent, the largest increase since the index started in 1999. This increase was driven by the food at home index advancing 13.8 percent and food away from home prices increasing 9.6 percent. The food at home increase was led by the other food at home and nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials indexes, up 18.1 percent and 21.4 percent, respectively; each were the largest increases since these indexes began in 2018. The other grocery categories also increased.Energy
The energy index decreased 0.8 percent for the 2 months ending in October (see table 1.) The decrease was mainly due to lower gasoline prices, down 5.7 percent following a 20.5 percent drop in August, and a decline in the utility (piped) gas service index, down 16.1 percent (the largest decrease since April 2015). Nearly offsetting those declines were higher electricity prices, up 8.8 percent – the largest bi-monthly increase since April 2010.
Energy prices increased 16.4 percent over the year, much lower than the recent peak of 40.7 percent in June 2022. The increase was largely due to higher prices for electricity (20.5 percent – the largest increase in over 11 years), gasoline (12.5 percent – well below the June 2022 peak of 64.6 percent) and utility (piped) gas service (4.7 percent which moderated following a 36.1 percent increase in August 2022).All items less food and energy
The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.6 percent in the latest 2-month period due in part to higher prices for shelter (0.5 percent), household furnishings and operations (1.8 percent) and higher public transportation prices. The shelter index increased primarily due to owners' equivalent rent of residences advancing 0.6 percent as well as a rise in the lodging away from home index. The 1.8 percent increase in the household furnishings and operations index moderated after a 5.2 percent increase in August. These increases were partially offset by medical care prices falling 1.8 percent since August, driven by lower medical care service prices. A decline in the index for new and used motor vehicles (-0.2 percent) was due to used cars and truck prices falling 6.5 percent which also tempered the overall increase of the all items less food and energy index.
Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy increased 7.0 percent as shelter prices were up 6.3 percent due in part to the owners’ equivalent rent of residences index advancing 5.8 percent and rent of primary residence increasing 6.0 percent; lodging away from home prices also were higher. The household furnishings and operations index rose 11.8 percent over the year, the largest over the year increase since this index started in 1999. The new and used motor vehicle index experienced its smallest increase since April 2021, advancing just 10.7 percent as prices continued to moderate after the peak of 37.9 percent in February; the October 12-month increase was largely due to higher prices for new vehicles, up 12.4 percent.
The December 2022 Consumer Price Index for the Baltimore-Columbia-Towson area is scheduled to be released on January 12, 2023.
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)
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: Thursday, November 10, 2022