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21-1346-PHI
Tuesday, July 13, 2021

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Consumer Price Index, Baltimore-Columbia-Towson – June 2021

Area prices increased 1.1 percent since April; up 4.5 percent over the year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for Baltimore-Columbia-Towson increased 1.1 percent from April to June, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Alexandra Hall Bovee noted that the recent bi-monthly increase was mostly due to a rise in the all items less food and energy index, up 0.9 percent. The energy index and the food index also rose since April, up 5.3 and 0.9 percent, respectively. (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 4.5 percent, the largest over-the-year increase since 2008. The over-the-year rise was due to increases in the all items less food and energy index (4.0 percent) and the energy index (21.3 percent). (See chart 1.) The food index also increased, up 0.7 percent over the year. (See table 1.)

Food

The food index rose from April to June, up 0.9 percent. Prices increased for food at home, up 1.4 percent since April, and for food away from home, up 0.5 percent. Within the food at home component, prices were higher for citrus fruits and rice, pasta, cornmeal, while they decreased for fresh fish and seafood.

Over the year, the food index increased 0.7 percent. Prices rose for food away from home (2.4 percent), while they were lower for food at home (-0.9 percent).

Energy

The energy index, which includes prices for household and transportation fuels, increased 5.3 percent since April, due to higher prices for gasoline (6.5 percent). Prices for electricity and utility (piped) gas service also rose over the past two months, up 4.1 and 2.9 percent, respectively.

Over the year, the energy index increased 21.3 percent, led by higher prices for gasoline (42.4 percent), the highest 12-month increase since May 2008. Prices were also higher for electricity (1.6 percent) and utility (piped) gas service (7.7 percent) since June 2020.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.9 percent from April to June. Prices were higher for new and used motor vehicles (7.4 percent) dominated by an 18.1 percent increase in used cars and truck prices, public transportation (27.1 percent), and shelter (0.4 percent), while they were lower for medical care (-5.0 percent), the largest 2-month decrease since this index started in 1998.

The index for all items less food and energy increased 4.0 percent since June 2020, the largest 12-month increase since 2008. The rise was led by sharply higher prices for new and used motor vehicles (19.1 percent), particularly those for used cars and trucks (45.3 percent). Prices were also higher for shelter (2.4 percent), while they were lower for medical care (-3.3 percent) over the year.

The Consumer Price Index for August 2021 is scheduled to be released Tuesday, September 14, 2021 at 8:30 am (ET).

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic Impact on June 2021 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 measures 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 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; 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 Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD, Core Based Statistical Area includes Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Harford, Howard, and Queen Anne’s counties, as well as Baltimore City, in Maryland.

Information in this release will be made available to individuals with sensory impairments 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.
2021
May
2021
Jun.
2021
Jun.
2020
Apr.
2021
May
2021

All items

266.534   269.598 4.5 1.1  

Food and beverages

275.406   277.793 1.1 0.9  

Food

274.460   277.003 0.7 0.9  

Food at home

243.176 244.532 246.497 -0.9 1.4 0.8

Cereals and bakery products

295.617   299.056 -3.3 1.2  

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

240.238   255.841 3.7 6.5  

Dairy and related products

241.826   240.477 -0.4 -0.6  

Fruits and vegetables

299.471   290.198 0.6 -3.1  

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials(1)

170.542   173.093 -4.3 1.5  

Other food at home

220.171   221.822 -3.8 0.7  

Food away from home

320.328   321.856 2.4 0.5  

Alcoholic beverages

286.392   286.392 6.2 0.0  

Housing(1)

268.757   270.380 2.6 0.6  

Shelter

319.163 318.864 320.577 2.4 0.4 0.5

Rent of primary residence

368.527 363.024 363.471 -1.3 -1.4 0.1

Owners' equivalent rent of residences(2)

336.926 337.719 338.531 2.7 0.5 0.2

Owners' equivalent rent of primary residence(2)

336.926 337.719 338.531 2.7 0.5 0.2

Fuels and utilities

224.256   231.840 3.5 3.4  

Household energy

193.889 202.743 201.357 3.5 3.9 -0.7

Energy services

207.157 217.029 215.253 2.6 3.9 -0.8

Electricity

191.015 201.343 198.863 1.6 4.1 -1.2

Utility (piped) gas service

200.540 203.673 206.366 7.7 2.9 1.3

Household furnishings and operations

124.667   124.344 4.3 -0.3  

Apparel

125.921   126.085 4.1 0.1  

Transportation

213.986   231.285 19.9 8.1  

Private transportation

215.606   228.843 18.5 6.1  

New and used motor vehicles(3)

106.495          

New vehicles(1)

204.543          

Used cars and trucks(1)

291.590   344.433 45.3 18.1  

Motor fuel

243.230 258.417 259.171 42.3 6.6 0.3

Gasoline (all types)

238.162 253.088 253.746 42.4 6.5 0.3

Gasoline, unleaded regular(4)

240.210 256.120 256.405 43.5 6.7 0.1

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(4)(5)

260.853 271.894 275.527 36.3 5.6 1.3

Gasoline, unleaded premium(4)

249.700 258.883 262.094 35.0 5.0 1.2

Motor vehicle insurance(1)

736.892   745.285 -16.2 1.1  

Medical care

474.622   450.915 -3.3 -5.0  

Recreation

126.180   127.309 3.1 0.9  

Education and communication(3)

158.015   155.472 2.2 -1.6  

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

1,270.658   1,272.601 2.0 0.2  

Other goods and services

454.865   456.912 5.4 0.5  

Commodity and service group

Commodities

194.569   198.503 8.9 2.0  

Commodities less food and beverages

157.209   161.478 14.0 2.7  

Nondurables less food and beverages

202.024   204.398 13.6 1.2  

Durables

110.292   114.798 14.5 4.1  

Services

336.628   338.820 2.2 0.7  

Special aggregate indexes

All items less shelter

246.885   250.688 5.7 1.5  

All items less medical care

256.159   260.624 5.3 1.7  

Commodities less food

161.124   165.336 13.7 2.6  

Nondurables

235.738   238.101 6.2 1.0  

Nondurables less food

206.723   208.967 13.0 1.1  

Services less rent of shelter(2)

368.439   371.731 1.9 0.9  

Services less medical care services

323.362   327.845 3.0 1.4  

Energy(1)

222.353 234.486 234.107 21.3 5.3 -0.2

All items less energy

271.828   274.208 3.5 0.9  

All items less food and energy

271.297   273.650 4.0 0.9  

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 13, 2021