Tuesday, July 13, 2021
The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for Baltimore-Columbia-Towson increased 1.1 percent from April to June, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Alexandra Hall Bovee noted that the recent bi-monthly increase was mostly due to a rise in the all items less food and energy index, up 0.9 percent. The energy index and the food index also rose since April, up 5.3 and 0.9 percent, respectively. (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 increased 4.5 percent, the largest over-the-year increase since 2008. The over-the-year rise was due to increases in the all items less food and energy index (4.0 percent) and the energy index (21.3 percent). (See chart 1.) The food index also increased, up 0.7 percent over the year. (See table 1.)
The food index rose from April to June, up 0.9 percent. Prices increased for food at home, up 1.4 percent since April, and for food away from home, up 0.5 percent. Within the food at home component, prices were higher for citrus fruits and rice, pasta, cornmeal, while they decreased for fresh fish and seafood.
Over the year, the food index increased 0.7 percent. Prices rose for food away from home (2.4 percent), while they were lower for food at home (-0.9 percent).
The energy index, which includes prices for household and transportation fuels, increased 5.3 percent since April, due to higher prices for gasoline (6.5 percent). Prices for electricity and utility (piped) gas service also rose over the past two months, up 4.1 and 2.9 percent, respectively.
Over the year, the energy index increased 21.3 percent, led by higher prices for gasoline (42.4 percent), the highest 12-month increase since May 2008. Prices were also higher for electricity (1.6 percent) and utility (piped) gas service (7.7 percent) since June 2020.
The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.9 percent from April to June. Prices were higher for new and used motor vehicles (7.4 percent) dominated by an 18.1 percent increase in used cars and truck prices, public transportation (27.1 percent), and shelter (0.4 percent), while they were lower for medical care (-5.0 percent), the largest 2-month decrease since this index started in 1998.
The index for all items less food and energy increased 4.0 percent since June 2020, the largest 12-month increase since 2008. The rise was led by sharply higher prices for new and used motor vehicles (19.1 percent), particularly those for used cars and trucks (45.3 percent). Prices were also higher for shelter (2.4 percent), while they were lower for medical care (-3.3 percent) over the year.
The Consumer Price Index for August 2021 is scheduled to be released Tuesday, September 14, 2021 at 8:30 am (ET).
Data collection by personal visit for the Consumer Price Index (CPI) program has been suspended since March 16, 2020. When possible, data normally collected by personal visit were collected either online or by phone. Additionally, data collection in June was affected by the temporary closing or limited operations of certain types of establishments. These factors resulted in an increase in the number of prices considered temporarily unavailable and imputed.
While the CPI program attempted to collect as much data as possible, many indexes are based on smaller amounts of collected prices than usual, and a small number of indexes that are normally published were not published this month. Additional information is available at www.bls.gov/covid19/effects-of-covid-19-pandemic-on-consumer-price-index.htm.
The Consumer Price Index for Baltimore-Columbia-Towson is published bi-monthly. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) is a measures 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 93 percent of the total U.S. population and (2) a CPI for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) which covers approximately 29 percent of the total U.S. 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; for most of the CPI-U the reference base is 1982-84 equals 100. An increase of 7 percent from the reference base, for example, is shown as 107.000. Alternatively, that relationship can also be expressed as the price of a base period market basket of goods and services rising from $100 to $107. For further details see the CPI home page on the internet at www.bls.gov/cpi and the CPI section of the BLS Handbook of Methods available on the internet at www.bls.gov/opub/hom/cpi/. 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 Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD, Core Based Statistical Area includes Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Harford, Howard, and Queen Anne’s counties, as well as Baltimore City, in Maryland.
Information in this release will be made available to individuals with sensory impairments upon request. Voice phone: (202) 691-5200; Federal Relay Service: (800) 877-8339.
|Expenditure category||Indexes||Percent change from|
Food and beverages
Food at home
Cereals and bakery products
Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs
Dairy and related products
Fruits and vegetables
Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials(1)
Other food at home
Food away from home
Rent of primary residence
Owners' equivalent rent of residences(2)
Owners' equivalent rent of primary residence(2)
Fuels and utilities
Utility (piped) gas service
Household furnishings and operations
New and used motor vehicles(3)
Used cars and trucks(1)
Gasoline (all types)
Gasoline, unleaded regular(4)
Gasoline, unleaded premium(4)
Motor vehicle insurance(1)
Education and communication(3)
Tuition, other school fees, and child care(1)
Other goods and services
Commodity and service group
Commodities less food and beverages
Nondurables less food and beverages
Special aggregate indexes
All items less shelter
All items less medical care
Commodities less food
Nondurables less food
Services less rent of shelter(2)
Services less medical care services
All items less energy
All items less food and energy
Last Modified Date: Tuesday, July 13, 2021