Wednesday, August 10, 2022
The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for Washington-Arlington-Alexandria increased 1.1 percent for the 2 months ending in July 2022, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Alexandra Hall Bovee noted that this continued a moderating pace of increase after the recent peak of 1.9 percent in March. The most recent rise was largely due to increases in shelter and new and used motor vehicle prices. Energy prices had the smallest 2-month increase since February, 5.4 percent. (Data in this report are not seasonally adjusted. Accordingly, bi-monthly changes may reflect seasonal influences.)
Over the last 12 months, the CPI-U was up 7.5 percent, the same as in May. The rise was due mostly to a 5.6-percent increase in the all items less food and energy index, which moderated slightly after posting a 6.0 percent rise in March. (See chart 1 and table A.) The energy index was up 31.4 percent over the year due mainly to a 47.9-percent advance in gasoline prices. Food prices increased 8.9 percent, representing the highest 12-month increase since the series started in January 1999. (See table 1.)Food
The food index advanced 1.9 percent over the last 2 months. Prices for food at home increased 1.9 percent, while those for food away from home increased 2.0 percent, the most in almost 2 years. Within the food at home component, most of the increase was due to the other food at home index, which set a series high since it started in 2018, up 4.9 percent, reflecting, among other increases, higher prices for spices, seasonings, condiments, sauces as well as snacks. The dairy and related products index was up 7.5 percent, while cereal and bakery products prices were 3.9 percent higher. Food index gains were tempered by the meats, poultry, fish, and eggs index decreasing 2.2 percent – the first decline in over a year, due to lower priced chicken and uncooked ground beef – and fruits and vegetables prices fell 0.7 percent, as citrus fruit prices dropped.
Over-the-year, food prices increased 8.9 percent and have consistently accelerated since July 2021. The food index rise reflects higher prices for both food at home (12.4 percent – a series record) and food away from home (4.8 percent). Other food at home, up 15.6 percent; meats, poultry, fish, and eggs, up 8.5 percent but the smallest increase in a year; and cereals and bakery products, up 15.4 percent, contributed to the general rise in grocery prices.Energy
In July, the energy index increased 5.4 percent, a more moderate advance than those posted since March. The electricity index led the general rise, up 10.7 percent; that index has consistently increased in July over its 25-year history, although this was below the historic average, it was the largest since July 2015. Both the 8.8 percent increase in utility (piped) gas service and the 1.7 percent advance in gasoline were below the increases posted earlier in 2022.
Energy prices rose 31.4 percent since July 2021, continuing a trend of double-digit increases since March 2021. Higher gasoline prices (up 47.9 percent) accounted for over seventy percent of the 12-month increase in the energy index, although that was down from a series high of 61.3 percent. Over the year, electricity prices were up 11.0 percent, the largest increase since May 2009. Utility (piped) gas service prices advanced 22.0 percent and fuel oil prices were also up.All items less food and energy
The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.7 percent since May due to increasing prices for shelter (0.8 percent), new and used motor vehicles (2.4 percent), and medical care (1.4 percent). The increase in the shelter index was predominantly due to the index for owners’ equivalent rent of residences advancing 1.1 percent, the most since 2014. Partly offsetting the all items less food and energy index gains were lower apparel prices, down 2.1 percent; they have dropped every July in the 25-year history of the series, but the average of those declines is more than twice as much as this year’s.
Since July 2021, the index for all items less food and energy rose 5.6 percent over the year, down from the 6.0 rate in March and 5.7 percent in May. Shelter prices grew by 4.4 percent, the largest 12-month rise since 2007, as the owners’ equivalent rent of residences index advanced 4.0 percent and household furnishings and operations prices were up 9.8 percent. New and used motor vehicles prices moderated to a 10.8-percent increase, down from a series high 25.9 percent in March. Prices for new vehicles increased by 8.8 percent over-the-year which was the lowest annual increase since July 2021. Used cars and trucks increased 7.1 percent, the smallest price increase of the last 2 years. Medical care prices advanced 8.8 percent since July 2021, the highest 12-month increase in over 14 years.
The September 2022 Consumer Price Index for the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria area is scheduled to be released on October 13, 2022.
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 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 6,000 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 Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MA-WV, Core Based Statistical Area includes the District of Columbia; the counties of Calvert, Charles, Frederick, Montgomery, and Prince George’s in Maryland; the cities of Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church, Fredericksburg, Manassas, and Manassas Park and the counties of Arlington, Clarke, Culpeper, Fairfax, Fauquier, Loudoun, Prince William, Rappahannock, Spotsylvania, Stafford, and Warren in Virginia; and the county of Jefferson in West Virginia.
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)
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: Wednesday, August 10, 2022