Thursday, March 10, 2022
Prices in the Baltimore-Columbia-Towson area, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), advanced 1.3 percent for the 2 months ending in February 2022, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Alexandra Hall Bovee noted that the February change was smaller than those posted in October and December 2021 (2.3 and 1.8 percent, respectively). The all items less food and energy index accounted for more than half of the overall increase, up 0.9 percent, and it also moderated over the last 2 bi-monthly periods. The energy index and the food index also rose since December, up 5.5 and 2.2 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 9.3 percent, the largest over-the-year increase since September 1981. The over-the-year rise was mostly due to a 7.6-percent increase in the all items less food and energy index, the largest over-the-year increase since the series started in January 1983, as the impact of significantly higher prices for new and used motor vehicles since April 2021 continued. The energy index, led by higher prices for gasoline, and the food index also rose over the year. The 28.9 percent increase for the energy index was the most recent of a full year of consecutive over-the-year increases which peaked in November 2021 with a historic increase of 30.5 percent. (See chart 1 and table 1.)Food
The food index rose from December to February, up 2.2 percent, reflecting an increase for food at home. The 2-month increase of 3.4 percent in the food at home index was the largest since May 2020. There were widespread increases across the items that make up food at home including the other food at home index (5.9 percent); meats, poultry, fish, and eggs (3.8 percent); and nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials (4.1 percent). Food away from home declined 0.1 percent in February, the first decline since February 2021.
Over the year, the food index increased 10.7 percent as prices rose for both food at home (10.5 percent), and food away from home (9.9 percent). Each of these three increases were the largest over-the-year increases for these indexes since they started in January 1999. The increase in the food at home index was led by an 18.1 percent rise in prices for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs - the highest since that series began publication in 2018.Energy
The energy index, which includes prices for household and transportation fuels, increased 5.5 percent since December, led by higher prices for gasoline (5.4 percent). Prices for electricity rose over the past 2 months, up 5.6 percent, while utility (piped) gas service prices increased 2.0 percent.
Over the year, the energy index increased 28.9 percent largely due to higher prices for gasoline (37.9 percent). While this was the 13th consecutive month of over-the-year gasoline price increases, it was still well below the peak of 57.9 percent in May 2021. Prices paid for electricity jumped 18.4 percent, the largest increase for electricity since May 2008. Utility (piped) gas service was up 21.2 percent, the largest increase in nearly 5 years.All items less food and energy
The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.9 percent from December to February. The rise was led by higher prices for shelter (1.2 percent) and recreation (2.0 percent). Within shelter, the index for owners' equivalent rent of residences increased 1.1 percent. The all items less food and energy index increase was partially offset by a drop in the new and used motor vehicles category, down 1.4 percent. Within that category, new vehicle prices declined 1.8 percent while used cars and trucks increased 2.6 percent. The education and communication index was lower (down 1.0 percent) due to the first decline (2.0 percent) in the tuition, other school fees, and childcare index since that index began in 2018.
Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy increased 7.6 percent. Components contributing to the increase included new and used motor vehicles (37.9 percent), primarily due to price increases in new vehicles (38.9 percent) and used cars and trucks (42.7 percent), the new vehicles increase was the largest increase since that series began publication in 2018. Shelter increased by 3.8 percent over-the-year, driven in part by a 3.4 percent increase for owners' equivalent rent of residences.
The Consumer Price Index for April 2022 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, May 11, 2022, at 8:30 a.m. (ET).
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; Telecommunications Relay Service: 7-1-1.
|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: Thursday, March 10, 2022