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News Release Information

22-1193-PHI
Friday, June 10, 2022

Contacts Technical information: Media contact:

Consumer Price Index, Washington-Arlington-Alexandria area – May 2022

Area prices were up 1.5 percent over the past 2 months, up 7.5 percent from a year ago

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for Washington-Arlington-Alexandria increased 1.5 percent for the 2 months ending in May 2022, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Alexandra Hall Bovee noted that while the May increase was lower than that in March (1.9 percent), it reflected broad-based increases within the all items less food and energy index, up 1.0 percent. The energy index, up 7.9 percent, and the food index, up 1.6 percent, also contributed to the increase. (Data in this report are not seasonally adjusted. Accordingly, bi-monthly changes may reflect seasonal influences.)

Over the last 12 months, the CPI-U was up 7.5 percent, the largest over-the-year increase since January 1982. The rise was due mostly to a 5.7-percent increase in the all items less food and energy index, which moderated slightly after posting a 6.0 percent rise in March. (See chart 1 and table A.) The energy index was up 32.0 percent over the year due mainly to a 49.8 percent advance in gasoline prices. Food prices jumped 8.4 percent, representing the highest 12-month rise since the series started in January 1999. (See table 1.)

Food

The food index advanced 1.6 percent over the last 2 months. Prices for food at home increased 2.4 percent, moderating after a 3.4 percent jump in March, while those for food away from home increased 0.4 percent following a 1.5 percent drop in March. Within the food at home component, over a third of the hike was due to the other food at home index, up 3.3 percent, reflecting higher prices for frozen and freeze dried prepared foods as well as candy and chewing gum. Higher prices for chicken helped push the meats, poultry, fish, and eggs index up 3.1 percent and fruits and vegetables, up 1.9 percent, included higher prices for citrus fruits. The dairy and related products index (-0.1 percent) was the only major component to decline since March.  

The 8.4 percent over-the-year food price was the highest increase in 23 years.  That jump reflected higher prices for both food at home (12.1 percent) – also the highest increase since the series started in January 1999 – and food away from home (4.2 percent) although that was the smallest increase since July 2020. Higher prices for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs, up 13.5 percent; other food at home, up 11.7 percent; and fruits and vegetables, up 10.5 percent, led the general rise in grocery prices.

Energy

Since March, the energy index, which includes prices for household and transportation fuels, increased 7.9 percent. Nearly two-thirds of the increase was due to higher gasoline prices, up 9.5 percent, well below the 23.3 percent jump in March. Utility (piped) gas service, up 14.9 percent, and electricity prices, up 1.8 percent, also contributed to the energy index increase.

Energy prices rose 32.0 percent since May 2021. After posting over-the-year declines from March 2020 through January 2021, the index has been consistently higher, and this is the largest increase since September 2005. Higher gasoline prices accounted for three-fourths of the 12-month increase in the energy index and the 49.8 percent jump was the highest since November’s peak of 52.3 percent. Over the year, utility (piped) gas service prices advanced 21.9 percent and electricity prices were up 10.0 percent.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy rose 1.0 percent since March due to moderating prices for shelter (0.7 percent), medical care (1.5 percent), and new and used motor vehicles (1.4 percent), although public transportation prices rose faster than in March. A decrease in apparel prices (-3.4 percent) offset some of the all items less food and energy index gains.

Since May 2021, the index for all items less food and energy rose 5.7 percent over the year, down from the 6.0 rate in March. Shelter prices accelerated however, up 3.9 percent, the largest 12-month rise since June 2012, as owners’ equivalent rent of residences advanced 3.6 percent and household furnishings and operations was up 10.3 percent. New and used motor vehicles prices moderated to a 16.2 percent increase, down from a series high (25.9 percent) in March, as the used cars and trucks and new vehicles indexes each moderated. The 17.0 percent over-the-year increase in used cars and trucks prices was the smallest increase since March 2021 – it peaked at 41.9 percent in July – and the new vehicles increase was the lowest since July. Medical care advanced 7.4 since May 2021, having accelerated from 0.7 percent a year ago. The increases in the all items less food and energy index were offset by a 1.4 percent decrease in the apparel index, the first decline in over a year.

Table A. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV, CPI-U 2-month and 12-month percent changes, all items index, not seasonally adjusted
Month 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month

January

0.9 2.2 0.5 0.8 0.5 1.6 0.7 1.5 0.9 6.0

March

-0.1 1.8 0.7 1.6 -0.4 0.4 0.7 2.6 1.9 7.3

May

0.7 2.5 0.6 1.6 0.1 -0.1 1.3 3.8 1.5 7.5

July

0.1 2.5 -0.3 1.2 0.6 0.8 1.2 4.4

September

0.4 2.0 0.1 0.9 0.6 1.2 0.7 4.5

November

-0.7 1.3 -0.2 1.5 0.0 1.4 1.2 5.8

The July 2022 Consumer Price Index for the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria area is scheduled to be released on August 10, 2022.


Technical Note

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 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 6,000 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 Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MA-WV, Core Based Statistical Area includes the District of Columbia; the counties of Calvert, Charles, Frederick, Montgomery, and Prince George’s in Maryland; the cities of Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church, Fredericksburg, Manassas, and Manassas Park and the counties of Arlington, Clarke, Culpeper, Fairfax, Fauquier, Loudoun, Prince William, Rappahannock, Spotsylvania, Stafford, and Warren in Virginia; and the county of Jefferson in West Virginia.

Information in this release will be made available to individuals with sensory impairments upon request. Voice phone: (202) 691-5200; Telecommunications Relay Service: 7-1-1.

Table 1. Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U): Indexes and percent changes for selected periods, Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV, (1982-84=100 unless otherwise noted) (not seasonally adjusted)
Expenditure category Indexes Percent change from
Historical
data
Mar.
2022
Apr.
2022
May
2022
May
2021
Mar.
2022
Apr.
2022

All items

292.227   296.559 7.5 1.5  

Food and beverages

282.973   287.290 8.1 1.5  

Food

290.945   295.510 8.4 1.6  

Food at home

275.734 280.560 282.316 12.1 2.4 0.6

Cereals and bakery products

362.487   369.378 14.7 1.9  

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

309.689   319.150 13.5 3.1  

Dairy and related products

269.076   268.838 8.9 -0.1  

Fruits and vegetables

285.994   291.366 10.5 1.9  

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials(1)

241.745   247.974 13.5 2.6  

Other food at home

224.295   231.785 11.7 3.3  

Food away from home

309.828   311.206 4.2 0.4  

Alcoholic beverages

209.290   211.139 4.9 0.9  

Housing

299.173   301.741 5.4 0.9  

Shelter

354.604 355.432 357.027 3.9 0.7 0.4

Rent of primary residence

381.529 382.783 384.095 2.0 0.7 0.3

Owners' equivalent rent of residences(2)

361.884 362.667 363.284 3.6 0.4 0.2

Owners' equivalent rent of primary residence(2)

361.884 362.667 363.284 3.6 0.4 0.2

Fuels and utilities

258.005   269.799 10.4 4.6  

Household energy

203.599 209.025 215.560 14.4 5.9 3.1

Energy services

206.688 211.684 218.483 13.3 5.7 3.2

Electricity

217.366 216.988 221.352 10.0 1.8 2.0

Utility (piped) gas service

173.331 188.130 199.079 21.9 14.9 5.8

Household furnishings and operations

127.765   127.406 10.3 -0.3  

Apparel

160.063   154.652 -1.4 -3.4  

Transportation

259.648   272.233 17.9 4.8  

Private transportation

270.658   280.920 19.1 3.8  

New and used motor vehicles(3)

123.039   124.823 16.2 1.4  

New vehicles(1)

219.582   222.495 9.4 1.3  

Used cars and trucks(1)

450.712   450.344 17.0 -0.1  

Motor fuel

385.173 381.933 422.470 50.2 9.7 10.6

Gasoline (all types)

380.597 377.111 416.926 49.8 9.5 10.6

Gasoline, unleaded regular(4)

374.011 370.044 410.040 50.8 9.6 10.8

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(4)(5)

378.075 379.569 412.523 44.9 9.1 8.7

Gasoline, unleaded premium(4)

387.758 388.332 422.068 42.5 8.8 8.7

Motor vehicle insurance(1)

           

Medical care

526.961   534.705 7.4 1.5  

Recreation(3)

121.941   122.920 4.1 0.8  

Education and communication(3)

161.195   161.204 2.6 0.0  

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

1,505.055   1,504.959 3.9 0.0  

Other goods and services

466.406   479.001 8.3 2.7  

Commodity and service group

Commodities

209.927   212.586 11.2 1.3  

Commodities less food and beverages

171.904   173.822 13.1 1.1  

Nondurables less food and beverages

226.459   231.433 15.7 2.2  

Durables

121.653   121.724 11.1 0.1  

Services

364.831   370.708 5.4 1.6  

Special aggregate indexes

All items less shelter

266.431   271.494 9.4 1.9  

All items less medical care

281.120   285.290 7.5 1.5  

Commodities less food

173.644   175.567 12.7 1.1  

Nondurables

254.015   258.671 11.6 1.8  

Nondurables less food

224.549   229.276 14.8 2.1  

Services less rent of shelter(2)

388.384   398.868 6.9 2.7  

Services less medical care services

348.657   354.127 5.1 1.6  

Energy

285.059 287.285 307.641 32.0 7.9 7.1

All items less energy

297.062   300.240 6.2 1.1  

All items less food and energy

299.284   302.247 5.7 1.0  

Footnotes
(1) Indexes on a November 1977=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: Friday, June 10, 2022