News Release Information

17-250-PHI
Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Contacts

Technical information:
Media contact:

Consumer Price Index, Washington-Baltimore – January 2017

Area prices up 0.2 percent since November and 1.7 percent over the year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for Washington-Baltimore edged up 0.2 percent over the last two months, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Sheila Watkins noted the increase was led by a 3.2-percent rise in the energy index. The all items less food and energy index was unchanged over the last two months, while the food index inched up 0.1 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 1.7 percent, due almost entirely to a 1.0-percent increase in the all items less food and energy index and a 12.3-percent increase in the energy index. (See chart 1 and table A.) Since January 2016, the food index increased 1.0 percent. (See table 1.)

Food

After increasing 0.4 percent from September to November, the food index increased 0.1 percent over the last two months. Prices for food at home increased 0.3 percent, while those for food away home inched down 0.1 percent. Higher prices for carbonated drinks and breakfast cereal contributed to the two-month increase in the food at home index.

Food prices increased 1.0 percent over the year due to higher prices for food away from home (3.0 percent). Conversely, prices for food at home declined 0.6 percent since last January.

Energy

Since November, the energy index, which includes prices for household and transportation fuels, increased 3.2 percent, mostly due to higher prices for gasoline (7.3 percent). Prices for utility (piped) gas service decreased over the last two months, down 0.7 percent, while those for electricity were unchanged.

Energy prices rose 12.3 percent over the year. The increase was led by a 23.5-percent jump in gasoline prices, the largest over-the-year increase in this index since October 2011. Prices also increased over the year for utility (piped) gas service (15.9 percent) and electricity (1.6 percent).

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy was unchanged since November. Higher prices for medical care (1.3 percent) and education and communication (0.5 percent), among others, were offset by declines in prices for apparel (-4.1 percent) and recreation (-1.7 percent).

Since January 2016, the index for all items less food and energy rose 1.0 percent. The increase was due largely to an over-the-year rise in shelter prices (1.3 percent). Higher prices for medical care (2.9 percent), among others, also contributed to the rise. Prices declined over the year for recreation (-2.3 percent) and education and communication (-0.9 percent).

Table A. Washington, D.C. CPI-U 2-month and 12-month percent changes, all items index, not seasonally adjusted
Month 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month

January

0.1 1.8 0.4 1.9 -1.0 -0.2 -0.2 1.4 0.2 1.7

March

0.9 1.4 0.6 1.6 1.0 0.2 0.6 1.0    

May

-0.2 1.2 0.4 2.2 0.6 0.4 0.8 1.2    

July

0.5 1.9 0.0 1.7 -0.2 0.2 -0.1 1.4    

September

0.6 1.2 0.2 1.3 0.5 0.5 -0.1 0.8    

November

-0.2 1.7 -0.4 1.2 -0.3 0.6 0.1 1.2    

The Consumer Price Index for March 2017 is scheduled to be released on Friday, April 14, 2017, at 8:30 a.m. (EDT).


Technical Note

The Consumer Price Index for Washington-Baltimore 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 89 percent of the total population and (2) a CPI for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) which covers approximately 28 percent of the total 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 87 urban areas across the country from about 4,000 housing units and approximately 26,000 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 (1982-84) that equals 100.0. An increase of 16.5 percent, for example, is shown as 116.5. This change can also be expressed in dollars as follows: the price of a base period "market basket" of goods and services in the CPI has risen from $10 in 1982-84 to $11.65. For further details see the CPI home page on the Internet at www.bls.gov/cpi and the BLS Handbook of Methods, Chapter 17, The Consumer Price Index, available on the Internet at www.bls.gov/opub/hom/pdf/homch17.pdf.

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-Baltimore, D.C.-Md.-Va.-W.Va., Consolidated Metropolitan Statistical Area includes the District of Columbia; Baltimore City and the counties of Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Calvert, Carroll, Charles, Frederick, Harford, Howard, Montgomery, Prince George’s, Queen Anne’s, and Washington in Maryland; the cities of Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church, Fredericksburg, Manassas, and Manassas Park and the counties of Arlington, Clarke, Culpeper, Fairfax, Fauquier, King George, Loudoun, Prince William, Spotsylvania, Stafford, and Warren in Virginia; and the counties of Berkeley and Jefferson in West Virginia.

Information in this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals 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, Washington-Baltimore, D.C.-Md.-Va.-W.Va., (December 1997=100 unless otherwise noted) (not seasonally adjusted)
Expenditure category Indexes Percent change from
 
Historical
data
Nov.
2016
Dec.
2016
Jan.
2017
Jan.
2016
Nov.
2016
Dec.
2016

All items(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SA0
157.706   158.086 1.7 0.2  
 

Food and beverages(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SAF
157.403   157.668 1.0 0.2  

Food(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SAF1
158.843   159.046 1.0 0.1  

Food at home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SAF11
146.545 145.012 147.034 -0.6 0.3 1.4

Food away from home(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SEFV
171.955   171.768 3.0 -0.1  

Alcoholic beverages(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SAF116
137.224   138.342 0.9 0.8  
 

Housing(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SAH
170.965   170.882 1.4 0.0  

Shelter

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SAH1
183.115 183.006 182.886 1.3 -0.1 -0.1

Rent of primary residence(1)(3)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SEHA
203.513 203.675 204.086 2.0 0.3 0.2

Owners' equivalent rent of residences(3)(4)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SEHC
183.627 183.369 183.427 1.4 -0.1 0.0

Owners' equivalent rent of primary residence(3)(4)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SEHC01
183.609 183.354 183.412 1.4 -0.1 0.0

Fuels and utilities

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SAH2
191.569   191.883 4.4 0.2  

Household energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SAH21
179.715 178.531 179.885 4.5 0.1 0.8

Gas (piped) and electricity(3)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SEHF
172.731 171.327 172.482 4.1 -0.1 0.7

Electricity(3)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SEHF01
184.512 184.516 184.502 1.6 0.0 0.0

Utility (piped) gas service(3)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SEHF02
121.290 116.149 120.405 15.9 -0.7 3.7

Household furnishings and operations

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SAH3
86.566   86.954 -1.4 0.4  
 

Apparel(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SAA
105.392   101.113 5.5 -4.1  
 

Transportation(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SAT
138.868   141.729 4.6 2.1  

Private transportation

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SAT1
137.215   140.399 5.6 2.3  

Motor fuel

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SETB
192.060 196.286 205.968 23.5 7.2 4.9

Gasoline (all types)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SETB01
191.862 196.128 205.786 23.5 7.3 4.9

Gasoline, unleaded regular(5)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SS47014
189.513 194.069 203.950 24.6 7.6 5.1

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(5)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SS47015
207.116 209.668 217.392 19.8 5.0 3.7

Gasoline, unleaded premium(5)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SS47016
214.490 216.394 224.467 19.2 4.7 3.7
 

Medical care(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SAM
185.330   187.735 2.9 1.3  
 

Recreation

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SAR
117.556   115.517 -2.3 -1.7  
 

Education and communication

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SAE
152.106   152.832 -0.9 0.5  
 

Other goods and services(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SAG
179.628   177.455 -0.8 -1.2  
 

Commodity and service group

 

Commodities

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SAC
125.686   126.497 1.9 0.6  

Commodities less food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SACL11
108.328   109.358 2.5 1.0  

Nondurables less food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SANL11
138.065   139.495 6.5 1.0  

Durables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SAD
78.168   78.842 -1.4 0.9  

Services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SAS
179.297   179.371 1.5 0.0  
 

Special aggregate indexes

 

All items less shelter

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SA0L2
145.131   145.776 1.8 0.4  

All items less medical care(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SA0L5
155.941   156.180 1.5 0.2  

Commodities less food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SACL1
109.681   110.719 2.4 0.9  

Nondurables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SAN
147.395   148.210 3.4 0.6  

Nondurables less food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SANL1
138.166   139.576 6.1 1.0  

Services less rent of shelter

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SASL2RS
175.725   176.134 1.7 0.2  

Services less medical care services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SASL5
178.477   178.452 1.4 0.0  

Energy(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SA0E
184.530 185.600 190.418 12.3 3.2 2.6

All items less energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SA0LE
154.707   154.787 1.0 0.1  

All items less food and energy(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SA0L1E
155.017   155.080 1.0 0.0  

Footnotes
(1) Indexes on a November 1996=100 base.
(2) Indexes on a November 1997=100 base.
(3) This index series was calculated using a Laspeyres estimator. All other item stratum index series were calculated using a geometric means estimator.
(4) This index series underwent a change in composition in January 2010. The expenditure class now includes weight from secondary residences, and has been re-titled "Owners' equivalent rent of residences." The item stratum "Owners' equivalent rent of primary residence" excludes secondary residences.
(5) Special index based on a substantially smaller sample.

Note: Index applies to a month as a whole, not to any specific date.

 

Last Modified Date: Wednesday, February 15, 2017