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News Release Information

22-1662-PHI
Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Contacts Technical information: Media contact:

Consumer Price Index, Washington-Arlington-Alexandria area – July 2022

Area prices were up 1.1 percent over the past 2 months, up 7.5 percent from a year ago

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.

Table A. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV, CPI-U 2-month and 12-month percent changes, all items index, not seasonally adjusted
Month 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month

January

0.9 2.2 0.5 0.8 0.5 1.6 0.7 1.5 0.9 6.0

March

-0.1 1.8 0.7 1.6 -0.4 0.4 0.7 2.6 1.9 7.3

May

0.7 2.5 0.6 1.6 0.1 -0.1 1.3 3.8 1.5 7.5

July

0.1 2.5 -0.3 1.2 0.6 0.8 1.2 4.4 1.1 7.5

September

0.4 2.0 0.1 0.9 0.6 1.2 0.7 4.5

November

-0.7 1.3 -0.2 1.5 0.0 1.4 1.2 5.8

The September 2022 Consumer Price Index for the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria area is scheduled to be released on October 13, 2022.


Technical Note

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.

Table 1. Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U): Indexes and percent changes for selected periods, Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV, (1982-84=100 unless otherwise noted) (not seasonally adjusted)
Expenditure category Indexes Percent change from
Historical
data
May
2022
Jun.
2022
Jul.
2022
Jul.
2021
May
2022
Jun.
2022

All items

296.559   299.937 7.5 1.1  

Food and beverages

287.290   292.743 8.7 1.9  

Food

295.510   301.239 8.9 1.9  

Food at home

282.316 284.086 287.692 12.4 1.9 1.3

Cereals and bakery products

369.378   383.911 15.4 3.9  

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

319.150   312.273 8.5 -2.2  

Dairy and related products

268.838   288.916 18.8 7.5  

Fruits and vegetables

291.366   289.202 8.7 -0.7  

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials(1)

247.974   248.318 10.3 0.1  

Other food at home

231.785   243.045 15.6 4.9  

Food away from home

311.206   317.390 4.8 2.0  

Alcoholic beverages

211.139   213.859 6.7 1.3  

Housing

301.741   305.997 5.7 1.4  

Shelter

357.027 358.180 359.902 4.4 0.8 0.5

Rent of primary residence

384.095 385.497 387.026 2.7 0.8 0.4

Owners' equivalent rent of residences(2)

363.284 365.713 367.182 4.0 1.1 0.4

Owners' equivalent rent of primary residence(2)

363.284 365.713 367.182 4.0 1.1 0.4

Fuels and utilities

269.799   292.226 11.2 8.3  

Household energy

215.560 229.775 236.755 15.2 9.8 3.0

Energy services

218.483 233.291 240.583 14.1 10.1 3.1

Electricity

221.352 233.657 245.105 11.0 10.7 4.9

Utility (piped) gas service

199.079 217.655 216.651 22.0 8.8 -0.5

Household furnishings and operations

127.406   128.182 9.8 0.6  

Apparel

154.652   151.434 0.9 -2.1  

Transportation

272.233   274.897 15.1 1.0  

Private transportation

280.920   285.673 15.9 1.7  

New and used motor vehicles(3)

124.823   127.866 10.8 2.4  

New vehicles(1)

222.495   226.879 8.8 2.0  

Used cars and trucks(1)

450.344   461.374 7.1 2.4  

Motor fuel

422.470 462.805 429.617 48.2 1.7 -7.2

Gasoline (all types)

416.926 457.048 424.170 47.9 1.7 -7.2

Gasoline, unleaded regular(4)

410.040 449.707 416.226 48.5 1.5 -7.4

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(4)(5)

412.523 451.178 425.963 45.0 3.3 -5.6

Gasoline, unleaded premium(4)

422.068 461.007 436.904 43.4 3.5 -5.2

Medical care

534.705   542.333 8.8 1.4  

Recreation(3)

122.920   123.047 3.8 0.1  

Education and communication(3)

161.204   161.663 2.5 0.3  

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

1,504.959   1,513.532 3.9 0.6  

Other goods and services

479.001   481.141 5.8 0.4  

Commodity and service group

Commodities

212.586   215.007 10.7 1.1  

Commodities less food and beverages

173.822   175.026 11.9 0.7  

Nondurables less food and beverages

231.433   231.151 15.9 -0.1  

Durables

121.724   123.558 8.3 1.5  

Services

370.708   374.932 5.6 1.1  

Special aggregate indexes

All items less shelter

271.494   275.055 9.1 1.3  

All items less medical care

285.290   288.464 7.3 1.1  

Commodities less food

175.567   176.820 11.7 0.7  

Nondurables

258.671   261.179 11.9 1.0  

Nondurables less food

229.276   229.219 15.2 0.0  

Services less rent of shelter(2)

398.868   404.932 6.9 1.5  

Services less medical care services

354.127   357.971 5.1 1.1  

Energy

307.641 332.890 324.210 31.4 5.4 -2.6

All items less energy

300.240   302.787 6.1 0.8  

All items less food and energy

302.247   304.283 5.6 0.7  

Footnotes
(1) Indexes on a November 1977=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, August 10, 2022