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17-1136-PHI
Friday, August 11, 2017

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Consumer Price Index, Washington-Baltimore – July 2017

Area prices unchanged since May; up 0.7 percent over the year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for Washington-Baltimore was unchanged from May to July, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Sheila Watkins, the Bureau’s regional commissioner, noted that while the all items less food and energy index was unchanged, the energy index (-0.2 percent) and the food index (-0.1 percent) both decreased since May. (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 0.7 percent, due mostly to a 0.6-percent increase in the all items less food and energy index. (See chart 1 and table A.) Since July 2016, the energy index and the food index both increased, up 2.7 and 0.7 percent, respectively. (See table 1.)

Food

After increasing 0.9 percent from March to May, the food index inched down 0.1 percent over the last two months. Prices for food at home decreased 0.1 percent, while those for food away from home were unchanged. Within the food at home component, lower prices for various items including lettuce were moderated by higher prices for fresh fish and seafood and eggs, among others.

Food prices increased 0.7 percent over the year. Higher prices for food away from home, up 2.0 percent, were moderated by lower prices for food at home, down 0.4 percent, since last July.

Energy

Since May, the energy index, which includes prices for household and transportation fuels, edged down 0.2 percent, due mainly to lower prices for gasoline, down 4.1 percent. Higher prices for electricity (3.3 percent) and utility (piped) gas service (2.2 percent) moderated the decrease since May.

Energy prices rose 2.7 percent over the year. The advance was led by a 12.6-percent increase in utility (piped) gas service prices. Prices also increased over the year for gasoline (1.6 percent) and electricity (1.1 percent).

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy was unchanged since May. Lower prices for a number of items, including apparel (-4.7 percent), were moderated by price increases for recreation (1.4 percent) and education and communication (0.7 percent), among others. 

Since July 2016, the index for all items less food and energy rose 0.6 percent. Higher prices for shelter (1.0 percent) and medical care (2.9 percent) contributed to the rise. Prices declined over the year for recreation (-3.2 percent) and education and communication (-1.2 percent), among others.

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 0.3 1.3

May

-0.2 1.2 0.4 2.2 0.6 0.4 0.8 1.2 0.2 0.7

July

0.5 1.9 0.0 1.7 -0.2 0.2 -0.1 1.4 0.0 0.7

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 September 2017 is scheduled to be released on Friday, October 13, 2017, at 8:30 a.m. (EDT).

Consumer Price Index Geographic Revision for 2018

In January 2018, BLS will introduce a new geographic area sample for the Consumer Price Index (CPI). As part of the new sample, Washington DC and Baltimore will have separate indexes. The first indexes using the new structure will be published in February 2018. Additional information on the geographic revision is available at: www.bls.gov/cpi/georevision2018.htm.


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
May
2017
Jun.
2017
Jul.
2017
Jul.
2016
May
2017
Jun.
2017

All items(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SA0
158.844   158.850 0.7 0.0  
 

Food and beverages(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SAF
158.211   158.139 0.8 0.0  

Food(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SAF1
159.651   159.571 0.7 -0.1  

Food at home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SAF11
146.769 146.808 146.597 -0.4 -0.1 -0.1

Food away from home(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SEFV
173.529   173.574 2.0 0.0  

Alcoholic beverages(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SAF116
138.040   138.077 1.2 0.0  
 

Housing(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SAH
172.744   173.451 1.1 0.4  

Shelter

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SAH1
184.672 185.909 184.947 1.0 0.1 -0.5

Rent of primary residence(1)(3)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SEHA
206.961 207.412 207.559 2.7 0.3 0.1

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

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SEHC
184.518 184.826 185.146 1.4 0.3 0.2

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

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SEHC01
184.513 184.821 185.141 1.4 0.3 0.2

Fuels and utilities

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SAH2
198.383   203.299 3.1 2.5  

Household energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SAH21
187.515 191.034 192.932 3.5 2.9 1.0

Gas (piped) and electricity(3)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SEHF
180.504 184.049 186.034 3.4 3.1 1.1

Electricity(3)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SEHF01
187.207 190.390 193.373 1.1 3.3 1.6

Utility (piped) gas service(3)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SEHF02
142.247 146.404 145.413 12.6 2.2 -0.7

Household furnishings and operations

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SAH3
86.527   86.921 -0.3 0.5  
 

Apparel(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SAA
103.849   98.921 -1.1 -4.7  
 

Transportation(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SAT
142.448   141.143 1.4 -0.9  

Private transportation

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SAT1
140.258   138.848 1.1 -1.0  

Motor fuel

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SETB
205.119 202.133 196.693 1.6 -4.1 -2.7

Gasoline (all types)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SETB01
205.015 202.033 196.573 1.6 -4.1 -2.7

Gasoline, unleaded regular(5)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SS47014
203.113 199.985 194.285 1.6 -4.3 -2.9

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(5)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SS47015
217.758 215.073 211.628 2.2 -2.8 -1.6

Gasoline, unleaded premium(5)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SS47016
223.974 222.423 218.726 1.8 -2.3 -1.7
 

Medical care(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SAM
189.005   189.072 2.9 0.0  
 

Recreation

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SAR
113.853   115.431 -3.2 1.4  
 

Education and communication

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SAE
149.019   150.130 -1.2 0.7  
 

Other goods and services(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SAG
178.381   178.177 0.0 -0.1  
 

Commodity and service group

 

Commodities

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SAC
126.205   124.796 -0.5 -1.1  

Commodities less food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SACL11
108.705   106.739 -1.4 -1.8  

Nondurables less food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SANL11
140.065   136.610 0.0 -2.5  

Durables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SAD
77.536   76.683 -2.8 -1.1  

Services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SAS
180.866   181.875 1.4 0.6  
 

Special aggregate indexes

 

All items less shelter

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SA0L2
146.075   145.962 0.6 -0.1  

All items less medical care(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SA0L5
156.903   156.905 0.6 0.0  

Commodities less food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SACL1
110.073   108.157 -1.3 -1.7  

Nondurables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SAN
148.763   147.091 0.4 -1.1  

Nondurables less food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SANL1
140.085   136.871 0.1 -2.3  

Services less rent of shelter

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SASL2RS
177.311   179.088 1.8 1.0  

Services less medical care services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SASL5
179.985   181.104 1.3 0.6  

Energy(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SA0E
194.505 195.310 194.149 2.7 -0.2 -0.6

All items less energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SA0LE
155.358   155.384 0.6 0.0  

All items less food and energy(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SA0L1E
155.649   155.690 0.6 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: Friday, August 11, 2017