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19-2038-PHI
Wednesday, November 13, 2019

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Consumer Price Index, Baltimore-Columbia-Towson – October 2019

Area prices increased 0.1 percent since August; up 1.0 percent over the year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for Baltimore-Columbia-Towson inched up 0.1 percent from August to October, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Sheila Watkins noted that the recent two-month increase was due to increases in both the food index (0.2 percent) and energy index (0.3 percent).  The all items less food and energy index was unchanged since 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 1.0 percent. The over-the-year rise was due almost entirely to an increase in the all items less food and energy index (1.9 percent). The food index also rose over the year, up 1.0 percent, while prices for energy decreased, down 8.3 percent. (See table 1.)

Food

The food index edged up 0.2 percent over the last two months. Prices increased for food at home, up 0.3 percent, and food away from home, up 0.1 percent.

Over the year, the food index increased 1.0 percent. Prices rose for food away from home (3.1 percent) while those for food at home declined (-0.8 percent).

Energy

The energy index, which includes prices for household and transportation fuels, increased 0.3 percent since August. Prices were higher for electricity over the last two months, up 5.1 percent, while those for gasoline were lower, down 3.3 percent. Utility (piped) gas service prices also decreased, down 0.3 percent.

Over the year, the energy index declined 8.3 percent. Prices were lower for gasoline (-12.0 percent) and electricity (-4.6 percent) since October 2018, while those for utility (piped) gas service increased 9.2 percent.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy was unchanged from August to October. Higher prices for medical care (2.8 percent) and shelter (0.1 percent) were moderated by lower prices for new and used motor vehicles (-1.5 percent) and household furnishings and operations (-0.8 percent), among others.

The index for all items less food and energy increased 1.9 percent since October 2018, led by higher prices for medical care (14.3 percent) and recreation (5.7 percent). Prices were lower for apparel (-15.0 percent), among others.

The Consumer Price Index for December 2019 is scheduled to be released Tuesday, January 14, 2020 at 8:30 am (ET).


Technical Note

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 population and (2) a CPI for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) which covers approximately 29 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 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 (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 Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD, Core Based Statistical Area includes Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Baltimore City, Carroll, Harford, Howard, and Queen Anne’s Counties in Maryland.

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, Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD, (1982-84=100 unless otherwise noted) (not seasonally adjusted)
Expenditure category Indexes Percent change from
Historical
data
Aug.
2019
Sep.
2019
Oct.
2019
Oct.
2018
Aug.
2019
Sep.
2019

All items

257.455   257.616 1.0 0.1  

Food and beverages

262.635   263.097 1.0 0.2  

Food

261.992   262.568 1.0 0.2  

Food at home

232.020 233.446 232.677 -0.8 0.3 -0.3

Cereals and bakery products

290.367   285.320 -2.7 -1.7  

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

228.113   229.877 0.4 0.8  

Dairy and related products

234.772   238.557 2.8 1.6  

Fruits and vegetables

275.860   281.552 2.9 2.1  

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials(1)

169.434   166.172 -6.8 -1.9  

Other food at home

208.059   208.403 -1.8 0.2  

Food away from home

305.904   306.359 3.1 0.1  

Alcoholic beverages

268.622   267.661 1.2 -0.4  

Housing(1)

260.005   260.818 0.0 0.3  

Shelter

308.804 308.176 309.014 0.0 0.1 0.3

Rent of primary residence

363.560 363.494 363.532 0.9 0.0 0.0

Owners' equivalent rent of residences(2)

323.488 324.267 323.649 1.3 0.0 -0.2

Owners' equivalent rent of primary residence(2)

323.488 324.267 323.649 1.3 0.0 -0.2

Fuels and utilities

214.808   223.087 -3.0 3.9  

Household energy

186.136 184.212 194.389 -3.8 4.4 5.5

Energy services

199.366 197.406 208.408 -3.4 4.5 5.6

Electricity

186.652 186.459 196.137 -4.6 5.1 5.2

Utility (piped) gas service

180.720 164.867 180.178 9.2 -0.3 9.3

Household furnishings and operations

121.797   120.778 2.8 -0.8  

Apparel

124.256   122.678 -15.0 -1.3  

Transportation

202.211   198.690 -2.7 -1.7  

Private transportation

199.938   196.909 -3.2 -1.5  

New and used motor vehicles(3)

96.300   94.856 -2.5 -1.5  

New vehicles(1)

194.261   190.927 -3.8 -1.7  

Used cars and trucks(1)

248.517   239.217 1.9 -3.7  

Motor fuel

223.823 216.013 216.612 -11.9 -3.2 0.3

Gasoline (all types)

219.032 211.141 211.722 -12.0 -3.3 0.3

Gasoline, unleaded regular(4)

220.814 212.684 213.215 -12.5 -3.4 0.2

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(4)(5)

237.014 229.424 230.396 -10.0 -2.8 0.4

Gasoline, unleaded premium(4)

231.123 224.175 225.221 -8.8 -2.6 0.5

Motor vehicle insurance(1)

853.690   853.690 5.4 0.0  

Medical care

474.169   487.569 14.3 2.8  

Recreation

129.907   129.671 5.7 -0.2  

Education and communication(3)

149.157   149.558 3.9 0.3  

Tuition, other school fees, and child care(1)

1,232.067   1,240.153 5.3 0.7  

Other goods and services

425.533   421.060 0.8 -1.1  

Commodity and service group

Commodities

183.272   181.315 -2.5 -1.1  

Commodities less food and beverages

146.882   144.349 -4.4 -1.7  

Nondurables less food and beverages

193.484   189.983 -6.5 -1.8  

Durables

100.559   98.916 -1.9 -1.6  

Services

329.810   331.871 2.8 0.6  

Special aggregate indexes

All items less shelter

238.258   238.399 1.5 0.1  

All items less medical care

246.614   246.083 -0.2 -0.2  

Commodities less food

150.562   148.044 -4.1 -1.7  

Nondurables

225.555   223.743 -2.8 -0.8  

Nondurables less food

197.682   194.312 -6.0 -1.7  

Services less rent of shelter(2)

366.632   371.359 6.2 1.3  

Services less medical care services

315.911   316.596 1.3 0.2  

Energy(1)

209.044 204.100 209.635 -8.3 0.3 2.7

All items less energy

263.008   263.127 1.8 0.0  

All items less food and energy

263.008   263.068 1.9 0.0  

Footnotes
(1) Indexes on a March 1978=100 base.
(2) Indexes on a November 1982=100 base.
(3) Indexes on a December 1997=100 base.
(4) Special index based on a substantially smaller sample.
(5) Indexes on a December 1993=100 base.

 

Last Modified Date: Wednesday, November 13, 2019