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Friday, June 10, 2022
The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for Washington-Arlington-Alexandria increased 1.5 percent for the 2 months ending in May 2022, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Alexandra Hall Bovee noted that while the May increase was lower than that in March (1.9 percent), it reflected broad-based increases within the all items less food and energy index, up 1.0 percent. The energy index, up 7.9 percent, and the food index, up 1.6 percent, also contributed to the increase. (Data in this report are not seasonally adjusted. Accordingly, bi-monthly changes may reflect seasonal influences.)
Over the last 12 months, the CPI-U was up 7.5 percent, the largest over-the-year increase since January 1982. The rise was due mostly to a 5.7-percent increase in the all items less food and energy index, which moderated slightly after posting a 6.0 percent rise in March. (See chart 1 and table A.) The energy index was up 32.0 percent over the year due mainly to a 49.8 percent advance in gasoline prices. Food prices jumped 8.4 percent, representing the highest 12-month rise since the series started in January 1999. (See table 1.)Food
The food index advanced 1.6 percent over the last 2 months. Prices for food at home increased 2.4 percent, moderating after a 3.4 percent jump in March, while those for food away from home increased 0.4 percent following a 1.5 percent drop in March. Within the food at home component, over a third of the hike was due to the other food at home index, up 3.3 percent, reflecting higher prices for frozen and freeze dried prepared foods as well as candy and chewing gum. Higher prices for chicken helped push the meats, poultry, fish, and eggs index up 3.1 percent and fruits and vegetables, up 1.9 percent, included higher prices for citrus fruits. The dairy and related products index (-0.1 percent) was the only major component to decline since March.
The 8.4 percent over-the-year food price was the highest increase in 23 years. That jump reflected higher prices for both food at home (12.1 percent) – also the highest increase since the series started in January 1999 – and food away from home (4.2 percent) although that was the smallest increase since July 2020. Higher prices for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs, up 13.5 percent; other food at home, up 11.7 percent; and fruits and vegetables, up 10.5 percent, led the general rise in grocery prices.Energy
Since March, the energy index, which includes prices for household and transportation fuels, increased 7.9 percent. Nearly two-thirds of the increase was due to higher gasoline prices, up 9.5 percent, well below the 23.3 percent jump in March. Utility (piped) gas service, up 14.9 percent, and electricity prices, up 1.8 percent, also contributed to the energy index increase.
Energy prices rose 32.0 percent since May 2021. After posting over-the-year declines from March 2020 through January 2021, the index has been consistently higher, and this is the largest increase since September 2005. Higher gasoline prices accounted for three-fourths of the 12-month increase in the energy index and the 49.8 percent jump was the highest since November’s peak of 52.3 percent. Over the year, utility (piped) gas service prices advanced 21.9 percent and electricity prices were up 10.0 percent.All items less food and energy
The index for all items less food and energy rose 1.0 percent since March due to moderating prices for shelter (0.7 percent), medical care (1.5 percent), and new and used motor vehicles (1.4 percent), although public transportation prices rose faster than in March. A decrease in apparel prices (-3.4 percent) offset some of the all items less food and energy index gains.
Since May 2021, the index for all items less food and energy rose 5.7 percent over the year, down from the 6.0 rate in March. Shelter prices accelerated however, up 3.9 percent, the largest 12-month rise since June 2012, as owners’ equivalent rent of residences advanced 3.6 percent and household furnishings and operations was up 10.3 percent. New and used motor vehicles prices moderated to a 16.2 percent increase, down from a series high (25.9 percent) in March, as the used cars and trucks and new vehicles indexes each moderated. The 17.0 percent over-the-year increase in used cars and trucks prices was the smallest increase since March 2021 – it peaked at 41.9 percent in July – and the new vehicles increase was the lowest since July. Medical care advanced 7.4 since May 2021, having accelerated from 0.7 percent a year ago. The increases in the all items less food and energy index were offset by a 1.4 percent decrease in the apparel index, the first decline in over a year.
The July 2022 Consumer Price Index for the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria area is scheduled to be released on August 10, 2022.
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 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; 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: Friday, June 10, 2022