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Thursday, April 14, 2016

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Consumer Price Index, Washington-Baltimore – March 2016

Area prices up 0.6 percent since January and 1.0 percent over the year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for Washington-Baltimore increased 0.6 percent over the last two months, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Sheila Watkins noted the rise was led by a 0.6-percent increase in the all items less food and energy index. The energy index and the food index also rose since January, up 1.0 and 0.3 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 increased 1.0 percent, due largely to a 1.7-percent rise in the all items less food and energy index. (See chart 1 and table A.) Since March 2015, the food index rose 1.3 percent, while the energy index fell 9.1 percent. (See table 1.)

  Chart 1. Over-the-year percent change in CPI-U, Washington, D.C., March 2013-March 2016

Food

After declining 0.4 percent from November to January, the food index increased 0.3 percent over the last two months. Prices for food away from home rose 0.6 percent over the last two months; those for food at home inched up 0.1 percent. Higher prices for cakes, cupcakes, and cookies; soups; and breakfast cereal contributed to the increase in the food at home index.

Food prices rose 1.3 percent over the year, as prices for both components also increased. Prices for food away from home advanced 2.1 percent and those for food at home increased 0.6 percent since last March.

Energy

Since January, the energy index, which includes prices for household and transportation fuels, rose 1.0 percent due to increases in both utility (piped) gas service and electricity prices, up 9.9 and 1.3 percent, respectively. Prices for gasoline declined 1.4 percent over the last two months.

Energy prices fell 9.1 percent over the year, led by a 20.9-percent drop in gasoline prices. Utility (piped) gas service prices also declined, dropping 12.6 percent, while electricity prices rose 6.3 percent since last March.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy increased 0.6 percent since January. The increase was due largely to higher prices for shelter (0.9 percent) and apparel (4.4 percent). Moderating the increase in the all items less food and energy index were lower prices for education and communication (-0.7 percent) and household furnishings and operations (-1.1 percent) over the last two months.

Since March 2015, the index for all items less food and energy rose 1.7 percent. The increase was due largely to an over-the-year rise in shelter prices (2.3 percent), as the owners’ equivalent rent of residences index was up 1.9 percent. Higher prices for medical care (3.9 percent) and education and communication (3.7 percent) also contributed to the rise. Lower prices for household furnishings and operations (-2.4 percent), among others, moderated the increase in the all items less food and energy index since last March.

Table A. Washington, D.C. CPI-U 2-month and 12-month percent changes, all items index, not seasonally adjusted
Month 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month

January

0.4 2.7 0.1 1.8 0.4 1.9 -1.0 -0.2 -0.2 1.4

March

1.3 2.8 0.9 1.4 0.6 1.6 1.0 0.2 0.6 1.0

May

0.1 1.8 -0.2 1.2 0.4 2.2 0.6 0.4    

July

-0.2 1.4 0.5 1.9 0.0 1.7 -0.2 0.2    

September

1.3 2.8 0.6 1.2 0.2 1.3 0.5 0.5    

November

-0.7 2.1 -0.2 1.7 -0.4 1.2 -0.3 0.6    

The Consumer Price Index for May 2016 is scheduled to be released on Thursday, June 16, 2016, at 8:30 a.m. (EDT).


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
Jan.
2016
Feb.
2016
Mar.
2016
Mar.
2015
Jan.
2016
Feb.
2016

All items (1)

Jump to page with historical data
155.519   156.493 1.0 0.6  
 

Food and beverages (1)

Jump to page with historical data
156.080   156.506 1.2 0.3  

Food (1)

Jump to page with historical data
157.432   157.971 1.3 0.3  

Food at home

Jump to page with historical data
147.966 148.193 148.146 0.6 0.1 0.0

Food away from home (2)

Jump to page with historical data
166.771   167.780 2.1 0.6  

Alcoholic beverages (2)

Jump to page with historical data
137.112   135.989 -0.2 -0.8  
 

Housing (1)

Jump to page with historical data
168.587   169.966 1.9 0.8  

Shelter

Jump to page with historical data
180.545 181.232 182.138 2.3 0.9 0.5

Rent of primary residence (1) (3)

Jump to page with historical data
200.173 200.100 200.947 1.6 0.4 0.4

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

Jump to page with historical data
180.808 181.081 181.501 1.9 0.4 0.2

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

Jump to page with historical data
180.799 181.073 181.490 1.9 0.4 0.2

Fuels and utilities

Jump to page with historical data
183.726   187.463 2.4 2.0  

Household energy

Jump to page with historical data
172.076 174.102 176.685 1.2 2.7 1.5

Gas (piped) and electricity (3)

Jump to page with historical data
165.696 167.752 170.322 1.9 2.8 1.5

Electricity (3)

Jump to page with historical data
181.515 182.987 183.905 6.3 1.3 0.5

Utility (piped) gas service (3)

Jump to page with historical data
103.862 107.309 114.162 -12.6 9.9 6.4

Household furnishings and operations

Jump to page with historical data
88.203   87.209 -2.4 -1.1  
 

Apparel (1)

Jump to page with historical data
95.831   100.029 -1.1 4.4  
 

Transportation (1)

Jump to page with historical data
135.458   135.805 -4.5 0.3  

Private transportation

Jump to page with historical data
132.919   133.611 -4.4 0.5  

Motor fuel

Jump to page with historical data
166.830 154.640 164.492 -21.0 -1.4 6.4

Gasoline (all types)

Jump to page with historical data
166.603 154.386 164.345 -20.9 -1.4 6.5

Gasoline, unleaded regular (5)

Jump to page with historical data
163.625 150.680 161.480 -22.2 -1.3 7.2

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade (5)

Jump to page with historical data
181.428 170.720 179.213 -16.3 -1.2 5.0

Gasoline, unleaded premium (5)

Jump to page with historical data
188.259 178.829 185.272 -15.5 -1.6 3.6
 

Medical care (1)

Jump to page with historical data
182.506   183.828 3.9 0.7  
 

Recreation

Jump to page with historical data
118.290   120.453 1.6 1.8  
 

Education and communication

Jump to page with historical data
154.163   153.058 3.7 -0.7  
 

Other goods and services (1)

Jump to page with historical data
178.837   177.702 0.5 -0.6  
 

Commodity and service group

 

Commodities

Jump to page with historical data
124.144   124.742 -1.6 0.5  

Commodities less food and beverages

Jump to page with historical data
106.728   107.387 -3.5 0.6  

Nondurables less food and beverages

Jump to page with historical data
131.027   132.062 -5.5 0.8  

Durables

Jump to page with historical data
79.989   80.348 -0.6 0.4  

Services

Jump to page with historical data
176.669   177.903 2.3 0.7  
 

Special aggregate indexes

 

All items less shelter

Jump to page with historical data
143.132   143.825 0.2 0.5  

All items less medical care (1)

Jump to page with historical data
153.797   154.747 0.7 0.6  

Commodities less food

Jump to page with historical data
108.118   108.727 -3.3 0.6  

Nondurables

Jump to page with historical data
143.376   144.088 -1.9 0.5  

Nondurables less food

Jump to page with historical data
131.603   132.489 -5.0 0.7  

Services less rent of shelter

Jump to page with historical data
173.124   173.962 2.2 0.5  

Services less medical care services

Jump to page with historical data
176.053   177.282 2.1 0.7  

Energy (1)

Jump to page with historical data
169.582 165.687 171.291 -9.1 1.0 3.4

All items less energy

Jump to page with historical data
153.228   154.153 1.7 0.6  

All items less food and energy (1)

Jump to page with historical data
153.520   154.506 1.7 0.6  

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: Thursday, April 14, 2016

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News Release Information

16-792-PHI
Thursday, April 14, 2016

Contacts

Technical information:
Media contact:

Consumer Price Index, Washington-Baltimore – March 2016

Area prices up 0.6 percent since January and 1.0 percent over the year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for Washington-Baltimore increased 0.6 percent over the last two months, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Sheila Watkins noted the rise was led by a 0.6-percent increase in the all items less food and energy index. The energy index and the food index also rose since January, up 1.0 and 0.3 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 increased 1.0 percent, due largely to a 1.7-percent rise in the all items less food and energy index. (See chart 1 and table A.) Since March 2015, the food index rose 1.3 percent, while the energy index fell 9.1 percent. (See table 1.)

  Chart 1. Over-the-year percent change in CPI-U, Washington, D.C., March 2013-March 2016

Food

After declining 0.4 percent from November to January, the food index increased 0.3 percent over the last two months. Prices for food away from home rose 0.6 percent over the last two months; those for food at home inched up 0.1 percent. Higher prices for cakes, cupcakes, and cookies; soups; and breakfast cereal contributed to the increase in the food at home index.

Food prices rose 1.3 percent over the year, as prices for both components also increased. Prices for food away from home advanced 2.1 percent and those for food at home increased 0.6 percent since last March.

Energy

Since January, the energy index, which includes prices for household and transportation fuels, rose 1.0 percent due to increases in both utility (piped) gas service and electricity prices, up 9.9 and 1.3 percent, respectively. Prices for gasoline declined 1.4 percent over the last two months.

Energy prices fell 9.1 percent over the year, led by a 20.9-percent drop in gasoline prices. Utility (piped) gas service prices also declined, dropping 12.6 percent, while electricity prices rose 6.3 percent since last March.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy increased 0.6 percent since January. The increase was due largely to higher prices for shelter (0.9 percent) and apparel (4.4 percent). Moderating the increase in the all items less food and energy index were lower prices for education and communication (-0.7 percent) and household furnishings and operations (-1.1 percent) over the last two months.

Since March 2015, the index for all items less food and energy rose 1.7 percent. The increase was due largely to an over-the-year rise in shelter prices (2.3 percent), as the owners’ equivalent rent of residences index was up 1.9 percent. Higher prices for medical care (3.9 percent) and education and communication (3.7 percent) also contributed to the rise. Lower prices for household furnishings and operations (-2.4 percent), among others, moderated the increase in the all items less food and energy index since last March.

Table A. Washington, D.C. CPI-U 2-month and 12-month percent changes, all items index, not seasonally adjusted
Month 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month

January

0.4 2.7 0.1 1.8 0.4 1.9 -1.0 -0.2 -0.2 1.4

March

1.3 2.8 0.9 1.4 0.6 1.6 1.0 0.2 0.6 1.0

May

0.1 1.8 -0.2 1.2 0.4 2.2 0.6 0.4    

July

-0.2 1.4 0.5 1.9 0.0 1.7 -0.2 0.2    

September

1.3 2.8 0.6 1.2 0.2 1.3 0.5 0.5    

November

-0.7 2.1 -0.2 1.7 -0.4 1.2 -0.3 0.6    

The Consumer Price Index for May 2016 is scheduled to be released on Thursday, June 16, 2016, at 8:30 a.m. (EDT).


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
Jan.
2016
Feb.
2016
Mar.
2016
Mar.
2015
Jan.
2016
Feb.
2016

All items (1)

Jump to page with historical data
155.519   156.493 1.0 0.6  
 

Food and beverages (1)

Jump to page with historical data
156.080   156.506 1.2 0.3  

Food (1)

Jump to page with historical data
157.432   157.971 1.3 0.3  

Food at home

Jump to page with historical data
147.966 148.193 148.146 0.6 0.1 0.0

Food away from home (2)

Jump to page with historical data
166.771   167.780 2.1 0.6  

Alcoholic beverages (2)

Jump to page with historical data
137.112   135.989 -0.2 -0.8  
 

Housing (1)

Jump to page with historical data
168.587   169.966 1.9 0.8  

Shelter

Jump to page with historical data
180.545 181.232 182.138 2.3 0.9 0.5

Rent of primary residence (1) (3)

Jump to page with historical data
200.173 200.100 200.947 1.6 0.4 0.4

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

Jump to page with historical data
180.808 181.081 181.501 1.9 0.4 0.2

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

Jump to page with historical data
180.799 181.073 181.490 1.9 0.4 0.2

Fuels and utilities

Jump to page with historical data
183.726   187.463 2.4 2.0  

Household energy

Jump to page with historical data
172.076 174.102 176.685 1.2 2.7 1.5

Gas (piped) and electricity (3)

Jump to page with historical data
165.696 167.752 170.322 1.9 2.8 1.5

Electricity (3)

Jump to page with historical data
181.515 182.987 183.905 6.3 1.3 0.5

Utility (piped) gas service (3)

Jump to page with historical data
103.862 107.309 114.162 -12.6 9.9 6.4

Household furnishings and operations

Jump to page with historical data
88.203   87.209 -2.4 -1.1  
 

Apparel (1)

Jump to page with historical data
95.831   100.029 -1.1 4.4  
 

Transportation (1)

Jump to page with historical data
135.458   135.805 -4.5 0.3  

Private transportation

Jump to page with historical data
132.919   133.611 -4.4 0.5  

Motor fuel

Jump to page with historical data
166.830 154.640 164.492 -21.0 -1.4 6.4

Gasoline (all types)

Jump to page with historical data
166.603 154.386 164.345 -20.9 -1.4 6.5

Gasoline, unleaded regular (5)

Jump to page with historical data
163.625 150.680 161.480 -22.2 -1.3 7.2

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade (5)

Jump to page with historical data
181.428 170.720 179.213 -16.3 -1.2 5.0

Gasoline, unleaded premium (5)

Jump to page with historical data
188.259 178.829 185.272 -15.5 -1.6 3.6
 

Medical care (1)

Jump to page with historical data
182.506   183.828 3.9 0.7  
 

Recreation

Jump to page with historical data
118.290   120.453 1.6 1.8  
 

Education and communication

Jump to page with historical data
154.163   153.058 3.7 -0.7  
 

Other goods and services (1)

Jump to page with historical data
178.837   177.702 0.5 -0.6  
 

Commodity and service group

 

Commodities

Jump to page with historical data
124.144   124.742 -1.6 0.5  

Commodities less food and beverages

Jump to page with historical data
106.728   107.387 -3.5 0.6  

Nondurables less food and beverages

Jump to page with historical data
131.027   132.062 -5.5 0.8  

Durables

Jump to page with historical data
79.989   80.348 -0.6 0.4  

Services

Jump to page with historical data
176.669   177.903 2.3 0.7  
 

Special aggregate indexes

 

All items less shelter

Jump to page with historical data
143.132   143.825 0.2 0.5  

All items less medical care (1)

Jump to page with historical data
153.797   154.747 0.7 0.6  

Commodities less food

Jump to page with historical data
108.118   108.727 -3.3 0.6  

Nondurables

Jump to page with historical data
143.376   144.088 -1.9 0.5  

Nondurables less food

Jump to page with historical data
131.603   132.489 -5.0 0.7  

Services less rent of shelter

Jump to page with historical data
173.124   173.962 2.2 0.5  

Services less medical care services

Jump to page with historical data
176.053   177.282 2.1 0.7  

Energy (1)

Jump to page with historical data
169.582 165.687 171.291 -9.1 1.0 3.4

All items less energy

Jump to page with historical data
153.228   154.153 1.7 0.6  

All items less food and energy (1)

Jump to page with historical data
153.520   154.506 1.7 0.6  

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: Thursday, April 14, 2016