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News Release Information

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

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Consumer Price Index, Baltimore-Columbia-Towson – April 2022

Area prices were up 1.6 percent over the past 2 months, up 9.1 percent from a year ago

Prices in the Baltimore-Columbia-Towson area, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), advanced 1.6 percent for the 2 months ending in April 2022, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Alexandra Hall Bovee noted that the April change was largely due to a 1.1 percent increase in the all items less food and energy index. The energy index also rose since February, up 7.4 percent. (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 9.1 percent, mostly due to a 7.1-percent increase in the all items less food and energy index as the impact of significantly higher prices for new and used motor vehicles since April 2021 continued. The energy index and the food index also rose over the year. The 30.5 percent increase for the energy index continued the trend of higher 12-month increases since March 2021 and matched the November 2021 increase, the largest of that period. (See chart 1 and table 1.)


Food prices rose 1.3 percent for the 2 months ending in April. The food at home index was up 2.3 percent, due in large part to higher prices for fruits and vegetables, up 6.0 percent and nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials, up 4.5 percent. The food at home price increases were tempered by other food at home prices decreasing 0.8 percent. The food away from home index decreased 0.7 percent in April 2022 following a 0.1 percent decline in February; prices were up during the previous 5 bi-monthly periods, peaking at 6.3 percent in December.

Over the year, the food index rose 11.3 percent as prices were up for both food at home (13.0 percent), and food away from home (7.6 percent). The 12-month increases for the overall food index as well as food at home were the largest for these indexes since they started in January 1999.  The increase in the food at home index was led by a 20.7 percent rise in prices for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs - the highest since that series began publication in 2018.


The energy index advanced 7.4 percent for the 2 months ending in April (see table 1.) The increase was mainly due to higher prices for gasoline (11.6 percent). Prices for electricity increased 2.6 percent while prices for utility (piped) gas service declined 2.3 percent for the same period.

Energy prices jumped 30.5 percent over the year, largely due to higher prices for gasoline (39.5 percent). While this was the 15th consecutive month when gasoline prices were higher than the year before, it was still well below the peak of 57.9 percent in May 2021. Prices paid for electricity jumped 19.5 percent, the largest 12-month increase for electricity since May 2008. The utility (piped) gas service index was up 15.2 percent during the past year.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy rose 1.1 percent in the latest 2-month period. Higher prices for shelter (2.0 percent) were responsible for most of that rise, driven by increasing prices for lodging away from home and owners’ equivalent rent of residences, up 23.4 percent and 1.1 percent, respectively. Public transportation prices rose while the new and used motor vehicle index was unchanged.  The overall increase was partially offset by lower prices for apparel (-5.8 percent), which typically drop in April, and medical care (-1.5 percent).

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy increased 7.1 percent. Components contributing to the increase included new and used motor vehicles (26.5 percent) and shelter (4.9 percent. The 12-month increase in shelter prices was the largest over-the-year increase for the shelter index since October 2008. A decrease in the apparel index (-2.9 percent) slightly offset the increases throughout the rest of the major components of the all items less food and energy index.

The Consumer Price Index for June 2022 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, July 13, 2022, at 8:30 a.m. (ET).

Technical Note

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 and the CPI section of the BLS Handbook of Methods available on the internet at 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.

Table 1. Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U): Indexes and percent changes for selected periods, Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD, (1982-84=100 unless otherwise noted) (not seasonally adjusted)
Expenditure category Indexes Percent change from

All items

286.243   290.688 9.1 1.6  

Food and beverages

301.349   304.719 10.6 1.1  


301.625   305.462 11.3 1.3  

Food at home

268.414 269.020 274.684 13.0 2.3 2.1

Cereals and bakery products

320.957   330.254 11.7 2.9  

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

285.709   290.066 20.7 1.5  

Dairy and related products

255.699   262.871 8.7 2.8  

Fruits and vegetables

311.853   330.492 10.4 6.0  

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials(1)

184.655   193.023 13.2 4.5  

Other food at home

243.247   241.348 9.6 -0.8  

Food away from home

347.028   344.597 7.6 -0.7  

Alcoholic beverages

293.602   289.919 1.2 -1.3  


280.154   285.464 6.2 1.9  


328.315 330.473 334.945 4.9 2.0 1.4

Rent of primary residence

375.145 376.158 380.335 3.2 1.4 1.1

Owners' equivalent rent of residences(2)

347.138 348.121 350.827 4.1 1.1 0.8

Owners' equivalent rent of primary residence(2)

347.138 348.121 350.827 4.1 1.1 0.8

Fuels and utilities

258.912   265.371 18.3 2.5  

Household energy

227.674 222.486 234.265 20.8 2.9 5.3

Energy services

241.682 233.318 246.008 18.8 1.8 5.4


222.395 216.832 228.261 19.5 2.6 5.3

Utility (piped) gas service

236.463 217.286 230.983 15.2 -2.3 6.3

Household furnishings and operations

132.889   133.354 7.0 0.3  


129.711   122.238 -2.9 -5.8  


260.670   271.552 26.9 4.2  

Private transportation

268.109   275.965 28.0 2.9  

New and used motor vehicles(3)

134.755   134.702 26.5 0.0  

New vehicles(1)

264.932   264.693 29.4 -0.1  

Used cars and trucks(1)

370.791   360.365 23.6 -2.8  

Motor fuel

304.295 348.615 340.330 39.9 11.8 -2.4

Gasoline (all types)

297.814 340.359 332.226 39.5 11.6 -2.4

Gasoline, unleaded regular(4)

302.527 346.262 337.465 40.5 11.5 -2.5

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(4)(5)

313.716 356.488 351.702 34.8 12.1 -1.3

Gasoline, unleaded premium(4)

296.286 334.533 330.431 32.3 11.5 -1.2

Motor vehicle insurance(1)


Medical care

482.000   474.977 0.1 -1.5  


135.089   136.484 8.2 1.0  

Education and communication(3)

158.998   159.343 0.8 0.2  

Tuition, other school fees, and child care(1)

1,294.357   1,300.471 2.3 0.5  

Other goods and services

488.698   489.310 7.6 0.1  

Commodity and service group


220.244   223.430 14.8 1.4  

Commodities less food and beverages

181.567   184.474 17.3 1.6  

Nondurables less food and beverages

220.622   231.343 14.5 4.9  


133.603   132.367 20.0 -0.9  


350.458   356.112 5.8 1.6  

Special aggregate indexes

All items less shelter

271.331   274.867 11.3 1.3  

All items less medical care

276.543   281.574 9.9 1.8  

Commodities less food

185.310   188.129 16.8 1.5  


257.841   265.366 12.6 2.9  

Nondurables less food

224.740   234.814 13.6 4.5  

Services less rent of shelter(2)

389.164   393.427 6.8 1.1  

Services less medical care services

337.205   344.143 6.4 2.1  


270.173 286.842 290.118 30.5 7.4 1.1

All items less energy

289.331   292.464 7.6 1.1  

All items less food and energy

287.384   290.424 7.1 1.1  

(1) Indexes on a March 1978=100 base.
(2) Indexes on a November 1982=100 base.
(3) Indexes on a December 1997=100 base.
(4) Special index based on a substantially smaller sample.
(5) Indexes on a December 1993=100 base.


Last Modified Date: Wednesday, May 11, 2022