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19-2174-PHI
Wednesday, December 11, 2019

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Consumer Price Index, Washington-Arlington-Alexandria – November 2019

Area prices down 0.2 percent since September, up 1.5 percent over the year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for Washington-Arlington-Alexandria edged down 0.2 percent from September to November, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Sheila Watkins, the Bureau’s regional commissioner, noted that the recent decrease was due almost entirely to a 0.2-percent drop in the all items less food and energy index. The energy index also decreased since September, down 0.6 percent, while the food index increased 0.4 percent. (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 advanced 1.5 percent, reflecting a 1.4-percent increase in the all items less food and energy index. (See chart 1 and table A.) Since November 2018, the food index and energy index also advanced, up 2.4 and 0.9 percent, respectively. (See table 1.)

Food

Following a 0.3-percent decline from July to September, the food index increased 0.4 percent over the last two months. Prices for food away from home increased 1.1 percent, while those for food at home inched down 0.1 percent. Within the food at home component, prices were lower for carbonated drinks, while prices were higher for frozen and freeze dried prepared foods, among others.

Food prices increased 2.4 percent over the year. Prices were higher for both food at home and food away from home; each increased 2.4 percent since November 2018.

Energy

Since September, the energy index, which includes prices for household and transportation fuels, declined 0.6 percent, due to lower prices for electricity (-4.0 percent). Prices were higher for utility (piped) gas service (6.1 percent) and gasoline (0.2 percent) over the past two months.

Energy prices increased 0.9 percent since November 2018, due to higher prices for utility (piped) gas service (14.9 percent) and electricity (3.4 percent). Over the year, gasoline prices declined 3.5 percent.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy edged down 0.2 percent since September. The decline was led by lower prices for apparel (-3.3 percent), shelter (-0.1 percent), and education and communication (-0.4 percent) over the last two months. Increased prices for medical care (0.8 percent), among others, moderated the drop in the all items less food and energy index from September to November.

Since November 2018, the index for all items less food and energy rose 1.4 percent. Prices were higher for shelter (1.8 percent) and medical care (3.0 percent), among others. Apparel prices decreased 2.8 percent since November 2018.

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 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month

January

-1.1 -0.2 -0.2 1.5 0.2 1.5 0.9 2.2 0.5 0.8

March

1.2 0.2 0.8 1.1 0.4 1.1 -0.1 1.8 0.7 1.6

May

0.7 0.6 0.8 1.2 0.0 0.3 0.7 2.5 0.6 1.6

July

-0.3 0.3 -0.2 1.3 0.0 0.5 0.1 2.5 -0.3 1.2

September

0.6 0.7 -0.3 0.5 0.9 1.7 0.4 2.0 0.1 0.9

November

-0.4 0.5 0.2 1.1 0.0 1.5 -0.7 1.3 -0.2 1.5

The Consumer Price Index for January 2020 is scheduled to be released on Thursday, February 13, 2020, at 8:30 a.m. (EDT).


Technical Note

The Consumer Price Index for Washington-Arlington-Alexandria 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 94 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 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 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 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-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV, (1982-84=100 unless otherwise noted) (not seasonally adjusted)
Expenditure category Indexes Percent change from
Historical
data
Sep.
2019
Oct.
2019
Nov.
2019
Nov.
2018
Sep.
2019
Oct.
2019

All items

265.500   265.026 1.5 -0.2  

Food and beverages

252.494   253.404 2.1 0.4  

Food

257.869   258.986 2.4 0.4  

Food at home

245.972 246.053 245.617 2.4 -0.1 -0.2

Cereals and bakery products

322.678   315.444 -0.5 -2.2  

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

268.230   273.106 6.9 1.8  

Dairy and related products

242.622   238.615 2.3 -1.7  

Fruits and vegetables

272.254   265.779 1.0 -2.4  

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials(1)

214.494   211.466 3.6 -1.4  

Other food at home

195.551   199.914 0.4 2.2  

Food away from home

273.881   276.898 2.4 1.1  

Alcoholic beverages

200.435   199.279 -1.4 -0.6  

Housing

279.485   278.349 2.3 -0.4  

Shelter

336.338 335.266 336.001 1.8 -0.1 0.2

Rent of primary residence

368.766 369.559 370.738 2.6 0.5 0.3

Owners' equivalent rent of residences(2)

341.865 342.696 343.792 1.8 0.6 0.3

Owners' equivalent rent of primary residence(2)

341.865 342.696 343.792 1.8 0.6 0.3

Fuels and utilities

240.200   237.468 6.0 -1.1  

Household energy

187.063 186.916 184.283 6.1 -1.5 -1.4

Energy services

191.631 191.491 188.486 6.1 -1.6 -1.6

Electricity

222.309 218.610 213.401 3.4 -4.0 -2.4

Utility (piped) gas service

124.332 130.739 131.956 14.9 6.1 0.9

Household furnishings and operations

109.225   106.801 3.5 -2.2  

Apparel

166.761   161.295 -2.8 -3.3  

Transportation

215.337   215.692 -0.5 0.2  

Private transportation

212.642   214.574 0.1 0.9  

New and used motor vehicles(3)

92.906   92.831 -1.2 -0.1  

New vehicles(1)

191.948   192.149 -2.3 0.1  

Used cars and trucks(1)

296.799   294.518 0.0 -0.8  

Motor fuel

234.972 237.768 235.383 -3.6 0.2 -1.0

Gasoline (all types)

232.292 235.061 232.743 -3.5 0.2 -1.0

Gasoline, unleaded regular(4)

226.066 228.826 226.563 -3.7 0.2 -1.0

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(4)(5)

236.649 238.628 235.965 -3.1 -0.3 -1.1

Gasoline, unleaded premium(4)

252.671 255.243 252.876 -2.0 0.1 -0.9

Motor vehicle insurance(1)

859.819   893.216 3.6 3.9  

Medical care

459.966   463.621 3.0 0.8  

Recreation(3)

116.345   116.956 1.1 0.5  

Education and communication(3)

152.548   151.891 1.2 -0.4  

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

1,408.443   1,409.296 3.7 0.1  

Other goods and services

416.673   415.482 0.9 -0.3  

Commodity and service group

Commodities

180.187   179.358 0.1 -0.5  

Commodities less food and beverages

143.615   142.120 -1.3 -1.0  

Nondurables less food and beverages

191.276   190.076 -1.9 -0.6  

Durables

99.904   98.318 -0.4 -1.6  

Services

343.147   343.063 2.3 0.0  

Special aggregate indexes

All items less shelter

237.022   236.498 1.4 -0.2  

All items less medical care

256.317   255.640 1.4 -0.3  

Commodities less food

146.257   144.767 -1.3 -1.0  

Nondurables

220.974   220.798 0.3 -0.1  

Nondurables less food

191.894   190.698 -1.9 -0.6  

Services less rent of shelter(2)

362.421   362.662 2.9 0.1  

Services less medical care services

331.383   331.016 2.0 -0.1  

Energy

211.896 213.083 210.520 0.9 -0.6 -1.2

All items less energy

273.009   272.603 1.5 -0.1  

All items less food and energy

277.016   276.332 1.4 -0.2  

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: Wednesday, December 11, 2019