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PLS — 4510
For Release:
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
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Media Contact:

Sheila Watkins
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Washington-Baltimore Consumer Price Index: February 2009 (PDF)

Food at Home, Energy, and Shelter Prices Rise

Prices for food at home, shelter, and energy in the Washington-Baltimore area all rose in February, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor reported today. Sheila Watkins, the Bureau’s regional commissioner, noted that food at home prices advanced 3.9 percent and shelter prices increased 3.0 percent over the year, while energy prices dropped 13.6 percent since last February. (See table 1.)

The food at home index edged up 0.2 percent in February. The recent increase reflected higher prices for a number of items including bananas and salad dressing, while lower prices for fresh fish and seafood, pork, and uncooked ground beef, among others, moderated the overall advance.

The Washington-Baltimore area food at home index stood at 137.620 on the December 1997=100 base, which means that grocery shoppers in the Washington-Baltimore area would have spent $13.76 last month for a market basket of food items that cost $10.00 in December 1997.

The shelter index increased 0.3 percent since January, due largely to higher prices for other lodging away from home, including hotels and motels. The rent of primary residence index also increased in February, up 0.3 percent, while the owners’ equivalent rent of primary residence index was unchanged over the month. Over the last 12 months, the rent of primary residence index advanced 5.1 percent and the owners’ equivalent rent of primary residence index rose 2.9 percent.

The Washington-Baltimore area shelter index stood at 154.867 on the December 1997=100 base, which means that area residents would have spent $15.49 on various types of shelter that cost $10.00 in December 1997.

Following six consecutive months of decline totaling 34.2 percent, energy prices rose 2.6 percent in February. The one-month increase was dominated by a 9.4-percent jump in gasoline prices. Despite the recent advance, gasoline prices were 35.4 percent below year-ago levels. Electricity prices were also higher in February, edging up 0.2 percent over the month to a level 12.5 percent higher than a year ago. Moderating the increase in energy prices, the utility (piped) gas service index fell 5.8 percent since January. Utility gas prices were also lower over the year, declining 5.2 percent.

The Washington-Baltimore energy index stood at 177.267 on the November 1996=100 base, which means that area energy users would have spent $17.73 for a group of energy items that cost $10.00 in November 1996.

The Washington-Baltimore, D.C.-Md.-Va.-W.Va., Consolidated Metropolitan Statistical Area (CMSA) includes the District of Columbia; Baltimore City and the counties of Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Calvert, Carroll, Charles, Frederick, Harford, Howard, Montgomery, Prince George’s, Queen Anne’s, and Washington in Maryland; the cities of Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church, Fredericksburg, Manassas, and Manassas Park and the counties of Arlington, Clarke, Fairfax, Fauquier, King George, Loudoun, Prince William, Rappahannock, Spotsylvania, Stafford, and Warren in Virginia; and the counties of Berkeley and Jefferson in West Virginia.

Table 1. Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U): Indexes and percent changes for selected periods, Washington-Baltimore, D.C.-Md.-Va.-W.Va. (December 1997=100 unless otherwise noted)
Expenditure category Indexes Percent change from-
Dec. 2008 Jan. 2009 Feb. 2009 Feb. 2008 Dec. 2008 Jan. 2009

All items (1)

- 137.598 - - - -

Food and beverages (1)

- 139.710 - - - -

Food (1)

- 140.988 - - - -

Food at home

137.193 137.387 137.620 3.9 0.3 0.2

Food away from home (2)

- 143.007 - - - -

Alcoholic beverages (2)

- 121.289 - - - -

Housing (1)

- 150.681 - - - -

Shelter

153.437 154.345 154.867 3.0 0.9 0.3

Rent of primary residence (1) (3)

166.005 166.619 167.135 5.1 0.7 0.3

Owners' equivalent rent of primary residence (3)

153.807 153.944 153.892 2.9 0.1 0.0

Fuels and utilities

- 190.319 - - - -

Household energy

199.029 195.981 194.055 7.6 -2.5 -1.0

Gas (piped) and electricity (3)

192.887 190.004 188.009 8.4 -2.5 -1.0

Electricity (3)

189.979 189.285 189.743 12.5 -0.1 0.2

Utility (piped) gas service (3)

181.294 171.426 161.463 -5.2 -10.9 -5.8

Household furnishings and operations

- 99.950 - - - -

Apparel (1)

- 91.152 - - - -

Transportation (1)

- 115.756 - - - -

Private transportation

- 114.558 - - - -

Motor fuel

144.776 145.923 159.466 -35.3 10.1 9.3

Gasoline (all types)

144.433 145.644 159.290 -35.4 10.3 9.4

Gasoline, unleaded regular (4)

143.880 145.639 159.616 -36.4 10.9 9.6

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade (4)

147.566 147.945 161.313 -33.6 9.3 9.0

Gasoline,unleaded premium (4)

149.896 150.438 163.440 -32.1 9.0 8.6

Medical care (1)

- 142.198 - - - -

Recreation

- 117.129 - - - -

Education and communication

- 131.247 - - - -

Other goods and services (1)

- 158.830 - - - -
Commodity and service group            

Commodities

- 117.011 - - - -

Commodities less food and beverages

- 104.170 - - - -

Nondurables less food and beverages

- 121.170 - - - -

Durables

- 85.190 - - - -

Services

- 151.162 - - - -
Special aggregate indexes            

All items less medical care (1)

- 137.303 - - - -

All items less shelter

- 129.039 - - - -

Commodities less food

- 105.064 - - - -

Nondurables

- 130.278 - - - -

Nondurables less food

- 121.370 - - - -

Services less rent of shelter

- 148.193 - - - -

Services less medical care services

- 151.937 - - - -

Energy (1)

174.072 172.793 177.267 -13.6 1.8 2.6

All items less energy

- 134.464 - - - -

All items less food and energy (1)

- 134.285 - - - -

Footnotes
1 For Washington-Baltimore, index is on a November 1996=100 base.
2 For Washington-Baltimore, index is on a November 1997=100 base.
3 This index series was calculated using a Laspeyres estimator. All other item stratum index series were calculated using a geometric means estimator.
4 Special index based on a substantially smaller sample.
- Data not available.
NOTE: Index applies to a month as a whole, not to any specific date.

 

 

Last Modified Date: September 23, 2009