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Tuesday, December 13, 2022
Prices in the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria area, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), increased 0.3 percent for the 2 months ending in November 2022, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. This followed a 0.2-percent decrease in September, the first decline in the index since March 2020. Regional Commissioner Alexandra Hall Bovee noted that the November rise was moderated by declines throughout the energy components. While energy prices decreased by 2.8 percent, the all items less food and energy index (+0.3 percent) and the food index (+1.6 percent) 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 index was up 5.6 percent, continuing to moderate after peak 12-month increases of 7.5 percent in May and July 2022. The all items less food and energy index rose 4.9 percent. (See chart 1 and table A.) Food prices were up 7.0 percent over the year, while the energy index increased 11.2 percent over the year, the smallest price increase since March 2021. (See table 1.)Food
The food index rose 1.6 percent over the last 2 months, on par with increases earlier in the year but up from the 0.6 percent decline in September. Prices for food away from home were up 2.1 percent (the most since September 2020), while prices for food at home were up 1.3 percent in November; this was the third consecutive period where the food away from home index increased more than grocery prices did. The food at home component was mainly influenced by higher prices for fruits and vegetables, rising 3.5 percent over the period (the highest increase since January 2021). Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials prices were up 2.8 percent after a 4.2-percent decline in September; the cereals and bakery products index increased by 2.0 percent after a similar 4.0 percent decline in September. The food at home rise was slightly offset by declines in the other food at home index (-0.3 percent), and the dairy and related products index (-0.1 percent), which both had recent peak increases in July (4.9 percent for other food at home and 7.5 percent for dairy and related products).
Over-the-year, food prices increased 7.0 percent; 12-month price increases in the food index ranged from 6.2 to 8.9 percent in 2022. The rise was primarily due to higher prices for food at home (up 8.7 percent), which were down from the series high 12.4-percent increase in July. Prices were higher than a year before throughout all the grocery categories. In contrast, the 12-month increase in the food away from home index was 5.1 percent, rising after the index moderated from 6.2 percent in January to 3.5 percent in September.Energy
In November, the energy index decreased 2.8 percent, after a 10.0 percent decline in September. Prices were lower throughout all major energy categories. The utility (piped) gas service index was down 12.8 percent, contributing the most to the overall index decline. The electricity index generally declines in November and was down 1.9 percent (the first decline in 2022), and the gasoline index decreased 0.9 percent over the 2-month period.
Energy prices rose 11.2 percent over the year, the smallest rise in a trend of over 20-percent increases since May 2021. The electricity index increase of 19.1 percent was the highest 12-month rise since the series began in 1999. The gasoline index was up 7.1 percent compared with increases of 45.6 to 49.8 from March through July. The index for utility (piped) gas service rose 4.2 percent over the year following a peak of 34.4 percent in September. Both of these indexes had the smallest increases after trends of double-digit rises since March 2021.All items less food and energy
The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.3 percent in November, the lowest increase since March 2021. The rise was driven by a 1.1-percent increase in the shelter index (the highest since September 2019). Within shelter, the index for owners’ equivalent rent of residences was up 1.3 percent (the greatest increase since November 2014), and rent of primary residence was up 2.0 percent, (a series high since it began in 1998). The other goods and services index increased 2.6 percent over the 2 month period. These price increases were partially offset by lower prices for apparel (-4.3 percent), used cars and trucks (-4.9 percent), household furnishings and operations (-1.2 percent), and lodging away from home. In the past 10 years, the indexes for apparel and household furnishing and operations have declined on average during the month of November.
Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy increased 4.9 percent; increases in the index ranged from 4.8 to 6.0 percent this year. Components contributing to the rise were the shelter index (+4.3 percent), the medical care index (+7.0 percent), and household furnishings and operations (+9.0 percent). Within shelter, prices for owners’ equivalent rent of residences increased 4.0 percent, in line with the 3.6 and 4.0-percent 12-month increases in the index since May. Higher prices for medical care services contributed the most to the rise in the medical care index.
The January 2022 Consumer Price Index for the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria area is scheduled to be released on February 14, 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)
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: Tuesday, December 13, 2022