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20-1411-PHI
Tuesday, July 14, 2020

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Consumer Price Index, Baltimore-Columbia-Towson – June 2020

Area prices decreased 0.4 percent since April; up 0.4 percent over the year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for Baltimore-Columbia-Towson declined 0.4 percent from April to June, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Sheila Watkins noted that the recent two-month decrease was due to a decline in the all items less food and energy index, down 0.6 percent. The energy index rose since April, up 1.4 percent, while the food index was unchanged over the period. (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 0.4 percent. The over-the-year rise was due to increases in both the food index (4.7 percent) and the all items less food and energy index (0.6 percent). The energy index dropped over the year, down 9.5 percent. (See table 1.)

Food

The food index was unchanged over the last two months. Prices increased for food at home, up 0.6 percent, while prices for food away from home decreased, down 0.7 percent. Within the food at home component, prices were higher for cheese and related products and uncooked beef steaks, while prices were lower for eggs, among others.

Over the year, the food index increased 4.7 percent. Prices rose for both food at home (6.7 percent) and for food away from home (2.7 percent).

Energy

The energy index, which includes prices for household and transportation fuels, increased 1.4 percent since April, led by higher prices for gasoline (8.3 percent). Prices for utility (piped) gas service also increased over the last two months, up 1.2 percent, while those for electricity were down 4.4 percent.

Over the year, the energy index dropped 9.5 percent. Prices were lower for gasoline, down 20.5 percent. Prices increased for electricity and utility (piped) gas service, up 3.5 and 2.9 percent, respectively, since June 2019.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy declined 0.6 percent from April to June. Lower prices for medical care (-3.7 percent) and new and used motor vehicles (-1.6 percent) were moderated by higher prices for shelter (0.4 percent), among others.

The index for all items less food and energy increased 0.6 percent since June 2019, led by higher prices for medical care (5.8 percent) and education and communication (3.9 percent). Prices were lower for recreation (-2.3 percent) and household furnishings and operations (-2.0 percent).

The Consumer Price Index for August 2020 is scheduled to be released Friday, September 11, 2020 at 8:30 am (ET).

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic Impact on June 2020 Consumer Price Index Data

Data collection by personal visit for the Consumer Price Index (CPI) program has been suspended since March 16, 2020. When possible, data normally collected by personal visit were collected either online or by phone. Additionally, data collection in June was affected by the temporary closing or limited operations of certain types of establishments. These factors resulted in an increase in the number of prices considered temporarily unavailable and imputed.

While the CPI program attempted to collect as much data as possible, many indexes are based on smaller amounts of collected prices than usual, and a small number of indexes that are normally published were not published this month. Additional information is available at www.bls.gov/covid19/effects-of-covid-19-pandemic-on-consumer-price-index.htm.


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
Apr.
2020
May
2020
Jun.
2020
Jun.
2019
Apr.
2020
May
2020

All items

258.978   257.942 0.4 -0.4  

Food and beverages

275.058   274.883 4.5 -0.1  

Food

275.084   275.015 4.7 0.0  

Food at home

247.020 248.988 248.618 6.7 0.6 -0.1

Cereals and bakery products

299.226   309.128 5.8 3.3  

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

253.261   246.797 11.2 -2.6  

Dairy and related products

235.226   241.544 3.0 2.7  

Fruits and vegetables

305.874   288.545 2.1 -5.7  

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials(1)

173.424   180.951 4.5 4.3  

Other food at home

218.429   230.580 9.7 5.6  

Food away from home

316.618   314.300 2.7 -0.7  

Alcoholic beverages

271.382   269.598 0.8 -0.7  

Housing(1)

263.447   263.487 -0.2 0.0  

Shelter

311.927 313.186 313.208 -0.4 0.4 0.0

Rent of primary residence

368.940 366.671 368.177 1.8 -0.2 0.4

Owners' equivalent rent of residences(2)

328.507 329.010 329.526 2.4 0.3 0.2

Owners' equivalent rent of primary residence(2)

328.507 329.010 329.526 2.4 0.3 0.2

Fuels and utilities

231.520   224.101 3.3 -3.2  

Household energy

201.874 200.600 194.538 2.8 -3.6 -3.0

Energy services

217.614 216.782 209.898 3.7 -3.5 -3.2

Electricity

204.730 203.189 195.757 3.5 -4.4 -3.7

Utility (piped) gas service

189.320 192.564 191.590 2.9 1.2 -0.5

Household furnishings and operations

120.061   119.234 -2.0 -0.7  

Apparel

121.279   121.157 2.3 -0.1  

Transportation

192.006   192.896 -5.1 0.5  

Private transportation

190.970   193.047 -3.5 1.1  

New and used motor vehicles(3)

97.507   95.991 0.2 -1.6  

New vehicles(1)

198.504   193.755 0.5 -2.4  

Used cars and trucks(1)

241.500   237.002 -2.4 -1.9  

Motor fuel

168.480 164.093 182.106 -20.5 8.1 11.0

Gasoline (all types)

164.439 160.266 178.131 -20.5 8.3 11.1

Gasoline, unleaded regular(4)

163.687 159.960 178.701 -21.0 9.2 11.7

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(4)(5)

200.449 190.581 202.211 -16.1 0.9 6.1

Gasoline, unleaded premium(4)

188.695 180.680 194.094 -17.3 2.9 7.4

Motor vehicle insurance(1)

808.318   889.669 4.2 10.1  

Medical care

484.502   466.525 5.8 -3.7  

Recreation

126.135   123.437 -2.3 -2.1  

Education and communication(3)

153.021   152.140 3.9 -0.6  

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

1,247.199   1,247.122 3.6 0.0  

Other goods and services

    433.662 3.0    

Commodity and service group

Commodities

182.639   182.352 -0.1 -0.2  

Commodities less food and beverages

141.906   141.595 -2.9 -0.2  

Nondurables less food and beverages

176.888   179.972 -5.9 1.7  

Durables

102.212   100.302 0.0 -1.9  

Services

333.419   331.646 0.7 -0.5  

Special aggregate indexes

All items less shelter

239.111   237.071 1.0 -0.9  

All items less medical care

247.682   247.526 -0.1 -0.1  

Commodities less food

145.711   145.366 -2.8 -0.2  

Nondurables

222.676   224.174 -0.1 0.7  

Nondurables less food

182.136   184.954 -5.4 1.5  

Services less rent of shelter(2)

370.937   364.746 2.1 -1.7  

Services less medical care services

318.615   318.413 0.0 -0.1  

Energy(1)

190.368 187.553 193.035 -9.5 1.4 2.9

All items less energy

266.202   264.859 1.1 -0.5  

All items less food and energy

264.702   263.161 0.6 -0.6  

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: Tuesday, July 14, 2020