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13-1691-PHI

Thursday, August 15, 2013

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Consumer Price Index, Washington-Baltimore – July 2013

Area Prices Up 0.5 Percent Since May and 1.9 Percent Over the Year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) in the Washington-Baltimore area rose 0.5 percent from May to July, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Sheila Watkins, the Bureau’s regional commissioner, noted that the two-month advance primarily reflected a 4.4-percent increase in the energy index. The all items less food and energy index edged up 0.2 percent, while the food index decreased 0.3 percent. (Data in this report are not seasonally adjusted. Accordingly, two-month changes may reflect the impact of seasonal influences.)

Over the last 12 months, the CPI-U rose 1.9 percent, due mostly to a 1.7-percent advance in the all items less food and energy index. (See chart 1 and table A.) Both the energy index and the food index also increased over the year, up 3.8 and 1.5 percent, respectively. (See table 1.)

Chart 1. 12-month percent change in CPI for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), Washington-Baltimore, July 2010 to July 2013 (not seasonally adjusted)

Food

The food index declined 0.3 percent from May to July. Prices for the food at home component decreased 0.6 percent, led by lower prices for frozen and freeze dried prepared foods and processed fish and seafood. Moderating the decline in the food index was a 0.2-percent increase in prices for food away from home, particularly limited service meals and snacks.

Food prices rose 1.5 percent over the year. Prices for food away from home advanced 2.3 percent and those for food at home, 0.9 percent since last July.

Energy

The energy index, which includes prices for household and transportation fuels, rose 4.4 percent since May, due mostly to a 12.2-percent seasonal jump in electricity prices—the largest two-month increase in over three years. Gasoline prices also increased since May, up 1.9 percent, while utility (piped) gas service prices fell 5.3 percent.

Energy prices rose 3.8 percent over the year—the largest 12-month advance since February 2012—led by a 5.2-percent increase in gasoline prices. Both the electricity and utility (piped) gas service indexes also increased over the year, up 2.1 and 2.9 percent, respectively.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy edged up 0.2 percent since May, due in part to higher prices for education and communication and medical care (0.8 percent each). Moderating the price increases in the all items less food and energy group was a smaller-than-usual seasonal decrease in apparel prices, down 1.9 percent

Since July 2012, the index for all items less food and energy rose 1.7 percent. The advance was due largely to an over-the-year increase in shelter prices (1.6 percent), particularly those for owners’ equivalent rent of residences (2.1 percent). Higher prices for medical care (3.3 percent), among other components, also contributed to the 12-month increase in the all items less food and energy index.

The September 2013 Consumer Price Index for Washington-Baltimore is scheduled to be released on October 16, 2013, at 8:30 a.m. (ET).

Table A. Washington-Baltimore CPI-U 2-month and 12-month percent changes, all items index (not seasonally adjusted)
Month 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month

January

0.8 4.9 -0.7 1.0 0.3 2.6 1.0 2.3 0.4 2.7 0.1 1.8

March

1.3 4.7 0.7 0.4 0.4 2.3 1.2 3.0 1.3 2.8 0.9

1.4

May

1.1 5.0 0.5 -0.2 0.2 1.9 1.0 3.9 0.1 1.8 -0.2 1.2

July

1.7 5.7 1.1 -0.9 0.0 0.8 0.1 4.1 -0.2 1.4 0.5 1.9

September

0.0 5.5 0.1 -0.8 0.5 1.3 -0.1 3.4 1.3 2.8    

November

-2.5 2.5 -0.2 1.6 0.1 1.6 -0.1 3.3 -0.7 2.1    

 

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 88 percent of the total population and (2) a CPI for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) which covers 29 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 87 urban areas across the country from about 4,000 housing units and approximately 26,000 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/homch17_a.htm.

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-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, Culpeper, Fairfax, Fauquier, King George, Loudoun, Prince William, Spotsylvania, Stafford, and Warren in Virginia; and the counties of Berkeley and 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:  1-800-877-8339.

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-
May 2013 June 2013 July 2013 July 2012 May 2013 June 2013

All items (1)

151.908 - 152.657 1.9 0.5 -

Food and beverages (1)

150.491 - 150.387 1.7 -0.1 -

Food (1)

151.968 - 151.561 1.5 -0.3 -

Food at home

145.550 145.445 144.617 0.9 -0.6 -0.6

Food away from home (2)

157.457 - 157.818 2.3 0.2 -

Alcoholic beverages (2)

130.369 - 133.845 4.7 2.7 -

Housing (1)

160.555 - 161.697 1.5 0.7 -

Shelter

169.862 169.795 169.882 1.6 0.0 0.1

Rent of primary residence (1) (3)

188.140 188.711 188.926 2.3 0.4 0.1

Owners' equivalent rent of residences (3)

169.692 170.066 170.201 2.1 0.3 0.1

Owners' equivalent rent of primary residence (3)

169.683 170.056 170.191 2.1 0.3 0.1

Fuels and utilities

177.289 - 189.428 2.9 6.8 -

Household energy

171.330 182.389 184.664 2.2 7.8 1.2

Energy services (3)

162.627 173.359 175.687 2.3 8.0 1.3

Electricity (3)

165.219 179.757 185.333 2.1 12.2 3.1

Utility (piped) gas service (3)

135.622 134.967 128.425 2.9 -5.3 -4.8

Household furnishings and operations

92.616 - 92.985 -0.9 0.4 -

Apparel (1)

95.197 - 93.434 -0.7 -1.9 -

Transportation (1)

154.002 - 155.071 3.2 0.7 -

Private transportation

152.598 - 153.947 2.7 0.9 -

Motor fuel

298.826 300.116 304.606 5.1 1.9 1.5

Gasoline (all types)

298.889 300.097 304.606 5.2 1.9 1.5

Gasoline, unleaded regular (4)

302.943 304.330 308.966 4.8 2.0 1.5

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade (4)

296.541 297.779 301.860 5.7 1.8 1.4

Gasoline, unleaded premium (4)

299.865 300.193 304.651 6.9 1.6 1.5

Medical care (1)

165.615 - 166.963 3.3 0.8 -

Recreation

116.553 - 116.882 2.5 0.3 -

Education and communication

141.931 - 143.053 0.9 0.8 -

Other goods and services (1)

176.349 - 177.525 2.1 0.7 -
Commodity and service group            

Commodities

130.892 - 131.133 1.4 0.2 -

Commodities less food and beverages

119.861 - 120.272 1.2 0.3 -

Nondurables less food and beverages

153.775 - 154.364 2.3 0.4 -

Durables

84.054 - 84.283 -0.7 0.3 -

Services

165.782 - 166.884 2.1 0.7 -
Special aggregate indexes            

All items less medical care (1)

151.060 - 151.772 1.8 0.5 -

All items less shelter

142.858 - 143.948 2.0 0.8 -

Commodities less food

120.393 - 120.919 1.4 0.4 -

Nondurables

151.385 - 151.625 2.0 0.2 -

Nondurables less food

151.816 - 152.616 2.5 0.5 -

Services less rent of shelter

161.996 - 164.389 2.8 1.5 -

Services less medical care services

165.826 - 166.990 2.1 0.7 -

Energy (1)

225.345 232.016 235.237 3.8 4.4 1.4

All items less energy

146.346 - 146.553 1.7 0.1 -

All items less food and energy (1)

146.375 - 146.679 1.7 0.2 -

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) 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: August 22, 2013