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17-1663-PHI
Wednesday, December 13, 2017

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Consumer Price Index, Washington-Baltimore – November 2017

Area prices down 0.1 percent since September; up 1.6 percent over the year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for Washington-Baltimore inched down 0.1 percent from September to November, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Sheila Watkins, the Bureau’s regional commissioner, noted that the recent decrease was due largely to a 4.2-percent decrease in the energy index. The food index also decreased since September, down 0.1 percent, while the all items less food and energy index edged up 0.3 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 advanced 1.6 percent, mainly reflecting a 1.3-percent increase in the all items less food and energy index. (See chart 1 and table A.) Since November 2016, the energy index and food index also increased, up 5.9 and 1.0 percent, respectively. (See table 1.)

Food

The food index inched down 0.1 percent over the last two months. Prices for food at home declined 0.5 percent, while those for food away from home rose 0.3 percent. Within the food at home component, lower prices for various items including carbonated drinks and bacon, breakfast sausage, and related products were moderated by higher prices for citrus fruits, among others.

Food prices increased 1.0 percent over the year. Prices were higher for both food away from home and food at home since last November, up 1.8 and 0.2 percent, respectively.

Energy

Since September, the energy index, which includes prices for household and transportation fuels, declined 4.2 percent, mainly due to lower prices for gasoline, down 5.8 percent. Prices were also lower for electricity and utility (piped) gas service, 3.9 and 1.7 percent, respectively.

Energy prices rose 5.9 percent over the year. The advance was led by a 13.2-percent increase in gasoline prices. Prices also increased over the year for utility (piped) gas service (3.6 percent), while those for electricity declined (-0.8 percent).

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy edged up 0.3 percent since September. Higher prices for a number of items including medical care (0.5 percent) and education and communication (0.3 percent) were moderated by a seasonal price decrease for apparel (-5.7 percent), among others. 

Since November 2016, the index for all items less food and energy rose 1.3 percent. Higher prices for a number of items, including shelter (1.9 percent) and medical care (2.6 percent), contributed to the 12-month increase in the all items less food and energy index.

Table A. Washington, D.C. CPI-U 2-month and 12-month percent changes, all items index, not seasonally adjusted
Month 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month

January

0.1 1.8 0.4 1.9 -1.0 -0.2 -0.2 1.4 0.2 1.7

March

0.9 1.4 0.6 1.6 1.0 0.2 0.6 1.0 0.3 1.3

May

-0.2 1.2 0.4 2.2 0.6 0.4 0.8 1.2 0.2 0.7

July

0.5 1.9 0.0 1.7 -0.2 0.2 -0.1 1.4 0.0 0.7

September

0.6 1.2 0.2 1.3 0.5 0.5 -0.1 0.8 0.9 1.7

November

-0.2 1.7 -0.4 1.2 -0.3 0.6 0.1 1.2 -0.1 1.6

The Consumer Price Index for January 2018 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, February 14, 2018, at 8:30 a.m. (EDT).

Consumer Price Index Geographic Revision for 2018

In January 2018, BLS will introduce a new geographic area sample for the Consumer Price Index (CPI). As part of the new sample, Washington DC and Baltimore will have separate indexes. The first indexes using the new structure will be published in February 2018. Additional information on the geographic revision is available at: www.bls.gov/cpi/georevision2018.htm.


Technical Note

The Consumer Price Index for Washington-Baltimore 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 89 percent of the total population and (2) a CPI for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) which covers approximately 28 percent of the total 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 87 urban areas across the country from about 4,000 housing units and approximately 26,000 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 (1982-84) that equals 100.0. An increase of 16.5 percent, for example, is shown as 116.5. This change can also be expressed in dollars as follows: the price of a base period "market basket" of goods and services in the CPI has risen from $10 in 1982-84 to $11.65. For further details see the CPI home page on the Internet at www.bls.gov/cpi and the BLS Handbook of Methods, Chapter 17, The Consumer Price Index, available on the Internet at www.bls.gov/opub/hom/pdf/homch17.pdf.

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-Baltimore, D.C.-Md.-Va.-W.Va., Consolidated Metropolitan Statistical Area includes the District of Columbia; Baltimore City and the counties of Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Calvert, Carroll, Charles, Frederick, Harford, Howard, Montgomery, Prince George’s, Queen Anne’s, and Washington in Maryland; the cities of Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church, Fredericksburg, Manassas, and Manassas Park and the counties of Arlington, Clarke, Culpeper, Fairfax, Fauquier, King George, Loudoun, Prince William, Spotsylvania, Stafford, and Warren in Virginia; and the counties of Berkeley and Jefferson in West Virginia.

Information in this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: (202) 691-5200; Federal Relay Service: (800) 877-8339.

Table 1. Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U): Indexes and percent changes for selected periods, Washington-Baltimore, D.C.-Md.-Va.-W.Va., (December 1997=100 unless otherwise noted) (not seasonally adjusted)
Expenditure category Indexes Percent change from
 
Historical
data
Sep.
2017
Oct.
2017
Nov.
2017
Nov.
2016
Sep.
2017
Oct.
2017

All items(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SA0
160.293   160.157 1.6 -0.1  
 

Food and beverages(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SAF
159.027   158.820 0.9 -0.1  

Food(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SAF1
160.622   160.390 1.0 -0.1  

Food at home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SAF11
147.630 147.195 146.884 0.2 -0.5 -0.2

Food away from home(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SEFV
174.627   175.092 1.8 0.3  

Alcoholic beverages(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SAF116
136.727   136.856 -0.3 0.1  
 

Housing(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SAH
174.155   173.796 1.7 -0.2  

Shelter

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SAH1
186.540 186.352 186.603 1.9 0.0 0.1

Rent of primary residence(1)(3)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SEHA
208.288 208.836 209.612 3.0 0.6 0.4

Owners' equivalent rent of residences(3)(4)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SEHC
185.643 186.111 186.429 1.5 0.4 0.2

Owners' equivalent rent of primary residence(3)(4)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SEHC01
185.634 186.100 186.417 1.5 0.4 0.2

Fuels and utilities

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SAH2
197.332   192.925 0.7 -2.2  

Household energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SAH21
185.945 184.852 180.450 0.4 -3.0 -2.4

Gas (piped) and electricity(3)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SEHF
179.028 176.751 172.866 0.1 -3.4 -2.2

Electricity(3)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SEHF01
190.471 187.952 183.110 -0.8 -3.9 -2.6

Utility (piped) gas service(3)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SEHF02
127.830 126.472 125.660 3.6 -1.7 -0.6

Household furnishings and operations

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SAH3
86.990   86.859 0.3 -0.2  
 

Apparel(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SAA
109.650   103.351 -1.9 -5.7  
 

Transportation(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SAT
143.871   144.933 4.4 0.7  

Private transportation

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SAT1
142.078   142.681 4.0 0.4  

Motor fuel

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SETB
230.523 214.895 217.391 13.2 -5.7 1.2

Gasoline (all types)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SETB01
230.558 214.669 217.167 13.2 -5.8 1.2

Gasoline, unleaded regular(5)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SS47014
228.885 212.596 215.166 13.5 -6.0 1.2

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(5)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SS47015
241.913 227.544 230.171 11.1 -4.9 1.2

Gasoline, unleaded premium(5)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SS47016
248.159 235.351 237.267 10.6 -4.4 0.8
 

Medical care(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SAM
189.131   190.116 2.6 0.5  
 

Recreation

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SAR
113.904   114.086 -3.0 0.2  
 

Education and communication

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SAE
151.819   152.263 0.1 0.3  
 

Other goods and services(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SAG
178.513   178.446 -0.7 0.0  
 

Commodity and service group

 

Commodities

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SAC
127.841   126.562 0.7 -1.0  

Commodities less food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SACL11
110.661   108.941 0.6 -1.6  

Nondurables less food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SANL11
146.901   141.345 2.4 -3.8  

Durables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SAD
76.363   77.123 -1.3 1.0  

Services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SAS
182.172   182.846 2.0 0.4  
 

Special aggregate indexes

 

All items less shelter

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SA0L2
147.326   147.103 1.4 -0.2  

All items less medical care(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SA0L5
158.446   158.231 1.5 -0.1  

Commodities less food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SACL1
111.943   110.268 0.5 -1.5  

Nondurables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SAN
152.423   149.686 1.6 -1.8  

Nondurables less food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SANL1
146.361   141.196 2.2 -3.5  

Services less rent of shelter

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SASL2RS
177.946   179.283 2.0 0.8  

Services less medical care services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SASL5
181.386   182.028 2.0 0.4  

Energy(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SA0E
204.166 197.025 195.502 5.9 -4.2 -0.8

All items less energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SA0LE
156.351   156.675 1.3 0.2  

All items less food and energy(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA311SA0L1E
156.651   157.058 1.3 0.3  

Footnotes
(1) Indexes on a November 1996=100 base.
(2) Indexes on a November 1997=100 base.
(3) This index series was calculated using a Laspeyres estimator. All other item stratum index series were calculated using a geometric means estimator.
(4) This index series underwent a change in composition in January 2010. The expenditure class now includes weight from secondary residences, and has been re-titled "Owners' equivalent rent of residences." The item stratum "Owners' equivalent rent of primary residence" excludes secondary residences.
(5) Special index based on a substantially smaller sample.

Note: Index applies to a month as a whole, not to any specific date.

 

Last Modified Date: Wednesday, December 13, 2017