Web site: www.bls.gov/ro3/ PLS - 4578
For Release:
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Information: Gerald Perrins
(215) 597-3282
Media Contact: Sheila Watkins
(215) 861-5600

Washington-Baltimore Consumer Price Index: AUGUST 2009 (PDF)

Food at Home, Shelter, and Energy Indexes All Rose in August

Prices for food at home, shelter, and energy all rose in the Washington-Baltimore area in August, 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 despite the one-month increases in all three indexes, only shelter prices were higher than their year-ago levels; the shelter index rose 2.1 percent since August 2008, while prices for energy and food at home were 18.8 and 0.5 percent lower, respectively.  (See table 1.)

Food at home prices inched up 0.1 percent in August following a 0.8-percent advance in July.  Higher prices for citrus fruits, processed fish and seafood, and fats and oils, among others, were nearly offset by lower prices for a number of items including other fresh vegetables, other miscellaneous foods, and chicken.

The Washington-Baltimore area food at home index stood at 135.750 on the December 1997=100 base, which means that grocery shoppers in the Washington-Baltimore area would have spent $13.58 last month for a market basket of food items that cost $10.00 in December 1997.

Shelter prices rose 0.3 percent since July due to identical increases in both its published components—owners’ equivalent rent of primary residence and rent of primary residence index (0.4 percent each). These two components had over-the-year increases of 3.3 and 4.0 percent, respectively.

The Washington-Baltimore area shelter index stood at 158.219 on the December 1997=100 base, which means that area residents would have spent $15.82 on various types of shelter that cost $10.00 in December 1997.

Since July, energy prices inched up 0.1 percent as higher gasoline and fuel oil prices were nearly offset by lower electricity and utility (piped) gas service prices.  Gasoline prices advanced for the eighth consecutive month, up 47.0 percent since December and 0.8 since July.  Despite the recent increases, gasoline prices were 31.5 percent below year-ago levels.  Prices for electricity and utility gas were lower over the month, down 0.3 and 1.1 percent, respectively.  Over the year, electricity prices rose 5.3 percent, while utility gas prices dropped 32.8 percent.

The Washington-Baltimore energy index stood at 200.711 on the November 1996=100 base, which means that area energy users would have spent $20.07 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-
June 2009 July 2009 Aug. 2009 Aug. 2008 June 2009 July 2009

All items (1)

- 140.810 - - - -

Food and beverages (1)

- 139.053 - - - -

Food (1)

- 140.368 - - - -

Food at home

134.559 135.620 135.750 -0.5 0.9 0.1

Food away from home (2)

- 143.677 - - - -

Alcoholic beverages (2)

- 120.290 - - - -

Housing (1)

- 153.811 - - - -

Shelter

157.976 157.717 158.219 2.1 0.2 0.3

Rent of primary residence (1) (3)

169.543 169.847 170.457 4.0 0.5 0.4

Owners' equivalent rent of primary residence (3)

157.144 157.018 157.581 3.3 0.3 0.4

Fuels and utilities

- 192.467 - - - -

Household energy

198.244 197.643 196.956 -5.1 -0.6 -0.3

Gas (piped) and electricity (3)

193.401 192.888 192.049 -3.6 -0.7 -0.4

Electricity (3)

205.019 204.075 203.473 5.3 -0.8 -0.3

Utility (piped) gas service (3)

133.272 134.252 132.714 -32.8 -0.4 -1.1

Household furnishings and operations

- 102.268 - - - -

Apparel (1)

- 92.141 - - - -

Transportation (1)

- 127.954 - - - -

Private transportation

- 127.289 - - - -

Motor fuel

209.135 210.631 212.310 -31.6 1.5 0.8

Gasoline (all types)

209.172 210.678 212.336 -31.5 1.5 0.8

Gasoline, unleaded regular (4)

212.232 212.963 215.144 -31.8 1.4 1.0

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade (4)

207.769 210.082 211.336 -31.1 1.7 0.6

Gasoline, unleaded premium (4)

207.496 211.101 211.611 -30.4 2.0 0.2

Medical care (1)

- 142.419 - - - -

Recreation

- 116.684 - - - -

Education and communication

- 131.453 - - - -

Other goods and services (1)

- 162.703 - - - -
Commodity and service group            

Commodities

- 121.043 - - - -

Commodities less food and beverages

- 110.824 - - - -

Nondurables less food and beverages

- 134.424 - - - -

Durables

- 85.077 - - - -

Services

- 153.839 - - - -
Special aggregate indexes            

All items less medical care (1)

- 140.667 - - - -

All items less shelter

- 132.176 - - - -

Commodities less food

- 111.347 - - - -

Nondurables

- 136.196 - - - -

Nondurables less food

- 133.330 - - - -

Services less rent of shelter

- 149.949 - - - -

Services less medical care services

- 154.752 - - - -

Energy (1)

200.143 200.414 200.711 -18.8 0.3 0.1

All items less energy

- 136.125 - - - -

All items less food and energy (1)

- 136.320 - - - -

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