Wednesday, July 12, 2023
Prices in the Baltimore-Columbia-Towson area, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), increased 0.2 percent for the 2 months ending in June 2023, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Alexandra Hall Bovee noted the rise was due to the all items less food and energy index, up 0.5 percent, led by increases for shelter as well as new and used motor vehicles. The energy index and food index decreased 1.8 percent and 0.8 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 continued the trend of moderating increases, rising 2.8 percent in June, after peaking at 10.6 percent last June. The June increase was mostly due to a 4.2-percent increase in the all items less food and energy index which also has continued to moderate since the 8.8 percent peak in August 2022. The food index increased 4.4 percent since April, the smallest increase in over a year and a half. Energy index prices decreased 11.9 percent, the largest decline in over 3 years. (See chart 1 and table 1.)Food
Food prices decreased for the first time in 2 years, down 0.8 percent for the 2 months ending in June. Food at home prices contributed to the decrease, down 1.4 percent due to prices for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs (-3.0 percent), fruits and vegetables (-1.6 percent), and dairy and related products (-2.0 percent) all decreasing. Other food at home prices declined 0.6 percent and nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials prices were down 1.3 percent. Offsetting the decreases were cereals and bakery products rising 0.8 percent and prices for food away from home increasing 0.2 percent.
Over the year, food index prices continued to moderate, up just 4.4 percent, well below the series-record 12.9 percent increase in October. The food at home index increased 2.7 percent. The other food at home index rose 7.5 percent, down from 14.4 percent in April. Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials advanced 8.4 percent — breaking 7 consecutive published months of double-digit price increases. The dairy and related products index rose 2.4 percent. Cereals and bakery product prices continued to moderate, up 1.7 percent – the smallest gain since August 2020. Prices for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs continued to moderate as well since December, increasing just 1.9 percent. The increases were offset by a 4.4 percent decrease in fruits and vegetables prices. Food away from home prices rose 7.4 percent.Energy
The energy index has generally moderated after peaking with a 13.5 percent increase in June 2022; it was down 1.8 percent for the 2 months ending in June (see table 1). The decrease was mainly due to lower gasoline prices, down 2.5 percent. The electricity index fell 0.4 percent and the utility (piped) gas service index was down 0.8 percent – the smallest price decrease since 2023 began.
From June 2022 to June 2023 the energy index decreased 11.9 percent over the year, well below the peak of 40.7 percent in June 2022. The decrease was largely due to falling prices for gasoline, down 29.4 percent — the largest price decline in over two and a half years. Utility (piped) gas service prices also contributed to the overall energy index decrease, down 26.2 percent, the largest decline since December 2009. The 25.3 percent increase in the electricity index offset the broad decline in energy components.All items less food and energy
The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.5 percent in the latest 2-month period due in large part to higher prices for shelter (also up 0.5 percent), new and used motor vehicles (up 1.1 percent), and other goods and services (up 2.1 percent). Within shelter, prices increased for owners' equivalent rent of residences (up 0.5 percent) and rent of primary residence (up 0.7 percent). Lodging away from home prices fell. Within the new and used motor vehicles index, prices for used cars and trucks increased 4.3 percent — while new vehicle prices increased 0.3 percent. Offsetting the overall increase were lower prices for apparel (down 2.0 percent), medical care (down 0.1 percent), and public transportation.
Over-the-year, the all items less food and energy rose 4.2 percent. Shelter prices were up 3.9 percent —continuing to moderate from the February historic high for the series of 7.2 percent. The shelter increase was largely due to a 4.6-percent rise in the owners’ equivalent rent of residences index and a 5.1 percent increase in rent of primary residence. Lodging away from home prices fell while household furnishings and operation prices increased 8.0 percent in the same period. Medical care prices moderated after increasing 8.9 percent in April, rising 7.3 percent over the year in June due to higher prices for medical care commodities and medical care services. New and used motor vehicle prices rose 1.4 percent due to new vehicle prices, up 3.8 percent in June. Used cars and trucks prices countered the overall increase, down 5.1 percent — marking the fourth consecutive published decline.
The August 2023 Consumer Price Index for the Baltimore-Columbia-Towson area is scheduled to be released on September 13, 2023.
The Consumer Price Index for Baltimore-Columbia-Towson is published bi-monthly. 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 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)
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, July 12, 2023