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

Food at Home, Energy, and Shelter Indexes All Fell in December

Prices for food at home, energy, and shelter all fell in the Washington-Baltimore area in December as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Sheila Watkins, the Bureau’s regional commissioner, noted that despite the one-month decreases in all three indexes, only food at home prices were lower than their year-ago levels. The food at home index decreased 3.1 percent since December 2008, while prices for energy and shelter were 12.4 and 1.4 percent higher, respectively. (See table 1.)

Food at home prices fell 2.0 percent in December following a 0.5-percent rise in November. Lower prices for ham and uncooked beef roasts, among others, were partially offset by higher prices for a number of items including milk; pork chops; and rice, pasta, cornmeal.

The Washington-Baltimore area food at home index stood at 132.918 on the December 1997=100 base, which means that grocery shoppers in the Washington-Baltimore area would have spent $13.29 last month for a market basket of food items that cost $10.00 in December 1997.

Following a 2.5-percent increase in November, energy prices fell 1.1 percent in December. Lower prices for gasoline, utility (piped) gas service, and electricity all contributed to the recent one-month decline in the energy index. Gasoline prices fell 1.2 percent in December but jumped 50.5 percent over the year—the largest 12-month increase since September 2005. Utility (piped) gas service and electricity prices also decreased over the month, down 4.7 and 0.3 percent, respectively. Over the year, utility (piped) gas service prices dropped 25.8 percent—the 11th consecutive over-the-year decline. Electricity prices fell 1.9 percent from their year-ago levels—the largest 12-month decrease since an identical decline in October 2002.

The Washington-Baltimore energy index stood at 195.612 on the November 1996=100 base, which means that area energy users would have spent $19.56 for a group of energy items that cost $10.00 in November 1996.

Shelter prices declined 0.2 percent since November. Lower prices for owners’ equivalent rent of primary residence (- 0.1 percent) were nearly offset by an advance in rent of primary residence prices (0.6 percent). These two components had over-the-year increases of 1.6 and 2.8 percent, respectively.

The Washington-Baltimore area shelter index stood at 155.521 on the December 1997=100 base, which means that area residents would have spent $15.55 on various types of shelter that cost $10.00 in December 1997.

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-
Oct. 2009 Nov. 2009 Dec. 2009 Dec. 2008 Oct. 2009 Nov. 2009

All items (1)

- 140.718 - - - -

Food and beverages (1)

- 139.445 - - - -

Food (1)

- 140.521 - - - -

Food at home

134.994 135.677 132.918 -3.1 -1.5 -2.0

Food away from home (2)

- 143.935 - - - -

Alcoholic beverages (2)

- 123.039 - - - -

Housing (1)

- 151.131 - - - -

Shelter

156.901 155.796 155.521 1.4 -0.9 -0.2

Rent of primary residence (1) (3)

170.148 169.718 170.660 2.8 0.3 0.6

Owners' equivalent rent of primary residence (3) (4)

156.918 156.481 156.267 1.6 -0.4 -0.1

Fuels and utilities

- 182.861 - - - -

Household energy

188.700 186.385 184.428 -7.3 -2.3 -1.0

Gas (piped) and electricity (3)

183.667 181.025 178.949 -7.2 -2.6 -1.1

Electricity (3)

191.921 186.971 186.323 -1.9 -2.9 -0.3

Utility (piped) gas service (3)

135.838 141.191 134.581 -25.8 -0.9 -4.7

Household furnishings and operations

- 99.777 - - - -

Apparel (1)

- 91.123 - - - -

Transportation (1)

- 132.639 - - - -

Private transportation

- 132.542 - - - -

Motor fuel

205.236 220.126 217.413 50.2 5.9 -1.2

Gasoline (all types)

205.200 220.122 217.397 50.5 5.9 -1.2

Gasoline, unleaded regular (5)

207.761 223.006 220.128 53.0 6.0 -1.3

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade (5)

204.049 219.087 216.556 46.8 6.1 -1.2

Gasoline, unleaded premium (5)

205.031 219.479 217.010 44.8 5.8 -1.1

Medical care (1)

- 143.507 - - - -

Recreation

- 117.913 - - - -

Education and communication

- 134.204 - - - -

Other goods and services (1)

- 166.181 - - - -
Commodity and service group            

Commodities

- 122.061 - - - -

Commodities less food and beverages

- 112.193 - - - -

Nondurables less food and beverages

- 135.907 - - - -

Durables

- 86.307 - - - -

Services

- 153.021 - - - -
Special aggregate indexes            

All items less medical care (1)

- 140.515 - - - -

All items less shelter

- 133.080 - - - -

Commodities less food

- 112.784 - - - -

Nondurables

- 137.102 - - - -

Nondurables less food

- 134.932 - - - -

Services less rent of shelter

- 150.699 - - - -

Services less medical care services

- 153.828 - - - -

Energy (1)

193.050 197.856 195.612 12.4 1.3 -1.1

All items less energy

- 136.189 - - - -

All items less food and energy (1)

- 136.370 - - - -

Footnotes
(1) For Washington-Baltimore, indexes on a November 1996=100 base.
(2) For Washington-Baltimore, indexes 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) This index series will undergo a change in composition in January, 2010. The expenditure class will include weight from secondary residences, and will be re-titled Owners' equivalent rent of residences. The item stratum Owners' equivalent rent of primary residences, which prior to January, 2010 is identical to the EC, will be published as well.
(5) 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: January 19, 2010