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15-1636-PHI Wednesday, August 19, 2015

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Consumer Price Index, Washington-Baltimore – July 2015

Area prices down 0.2 percent since May; up 0.2 percent over the year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for Washington-Baltimore edged down 0.2 percent over the last two months, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Sheila Watkins noted the decline was led by a 0.5-percent decrease in the all items less food and energy index. The food index also decreased 0.5 percent, while the energy index rose 4.2 percent since May. (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 edged up 0.2 percent, due almost entirely to a 1.6-percent rise in the all items less food and energy index. (See chart 1 and table A.) Since July 2014, the food index rose 0.5 percent, while the energy index dropped 14.4 percent. (See table 1.)

 Chart 1. Over-the-year percent change in CPI-U, Washington, D.C., July 2012-July 2015

Food

After increasing 0.4 percent in May, the food index decreased 0.5 percent over the last two months. Prices for food at home declined 0.9 percent as prices were lower for various items including other fresh fruits and ham. Prices for food away from home inched up 0.1 percent.

Food prices rose 0.5 percent over the year due to higher prices for food away from home (2.3 percent). Conversely, prices for food at home declined 1.0 percent since last July.

Energy

The energy index, which includes prices for household and transportation fuels, rose 4.2 percent since May, led by a 9.2-percent increase in electricity prices. Gasoline prices also increased over the last two months, up 4.3 percent, while utility (piped) gas service prices were lower, down 11.6 percent.

Energy prices fell 14.4 percent over the year, led by a 24.1-percent drop in gasoline prices. Utility (piped) gas service prices also declined since July 2014, down 15.6 percent, while electricity prices rose 2.9 percent.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy decreased 0.5 percent since May. The decline was led by a larger-than-usual seasonal decrease in apparel prices, down 10.7 percent—the index’s largest two-month decline since its inception in 1996. Moderating the decline in the all items less food and energy index were higher prices for shelter (0.5 percent) and education and communication (0.8 percent) over the last two months.

Since July 2014, the index for all items less food and energy rose 1.6 percent. The increase was due largely to an over-the-year rise in shelter prices (3.2 percent), as the owners’ equivalent rent of residences index was up 3.4 percent. Lower prices for apparel (-6.9 percent) moderated the increase in the all items less food and energy index since last July.

Table A. Washington, D.C. CPI-U 2-month and 12-month percent changes, all items index, not seasonally adjusted
Month 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month

January

1.0 2.3 0.4 2.7 0.1 1.8 0.4 1.9 -1.0 -0.2

March

1.2 3.0 1.3 2.8 0.9 1.4 0.6 1.6 1.0 0.2

May

1.0 3.9 0.1 1.8 -0.2 1.2 0.4 2.2 0.6 0.4

July

0.1 4.1 -0.2 1.4 0.5 1.9 0.0 1.7 -0.2 0.2

September

-0.1 3.4 1.3 2.8 0.6 1.2 0.2 1.3    

November

-0.1 3.3 -0.7 2.1 -0.2 1.7 -0.4 1.2    

The Consumer Price Index for September 2015 is scheduled to be released on Thursday, October 15, 2015, 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/homch17_a.htm.

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
May
2015
Jun.
2015
Jul.
2015
Jul.
2014
May
2015
Jun.
2015

All items (1)

Jump to page with historical data
155.880   155.546 0.2 -0.2  
 

Food and beverages (1)

Jump to page with historical data
155.349   154.613 0.7 -0.5  

Food (1)

Jump to page with historical data
156.594   155.876 0.5 -0.5  

Food at home

Jump to page with historical data
147.854 147.086 146.488 -1.0 -0.9 -0.4

Food away from home (2)

Jump to page with historical data
164.999   165.118 2.3 0.1  

Alcoholic beverages (2)

Jump to page with historical data
137.398   136.502 2.0 -0.7  
 

Housing (1)

Jump to page with historical data
166.864   168.092 2.3 0.7  

Shelter

Jump to page with historical data
178.613 179.223 179.521 3.2 0.5 0.2

Rent of primary residence (1) (3)

Jump to page with historical data
198.462 199.291 199.663 3.9 0.6 0.2

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

Jump to page with historical data
178.247 179.225 179.723 3.4 0.8 0.3

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

Jump to page with historical data
178.257 179.236 179.730 3.4 0.8 0.3

Fuels and utilities

Jump to page with historical data
177.753   185.806 -0.5 4.5  

Household energy

Jump to page with historical data
168.382 175.838 175.414 -2.2 4.2 -0.2

Gas (piped) and electricity (3)

Jump to page with historical data
160.999 168.700 168.187 -1.2 4.5 -0.3

Electricity (3)

Jump to page with historical data
167.420 181.666 182.748 2.9 9.2 0.6

Utility (piped) gas service (3)

Jump to page with historical data
123.836 113.922 109.428 -15.6 -11.6 -3.9

Household furnishings and operations

Jump to page with historical data
89.772   88.848 -1.7 -1.0  
 

Apparel (1)

Jump to page with historical data
97.189   86.778 -6.9 -10.7  
 

Transportation (1)

Jump to page with historical data
146.550   145.268 -8.0 -0.9  

Private transportation

Jump to page with historical data
142.213   143.527 -8.6 0.9  

Motor fuel

Jump to page with historical data
224.802 235.867 234.385 -24.1 4.3 -0.6

Gasoline (all types)

Jump to page with historical data
224.447 235.593 234.136 -24.1 4.3 -0.6

Gasoline, unleaded regular (5)

Jump to page with historical data
225.339 236.632 235.028 -24.7 4.3 -0.7

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade (5)

Jump to page with historical data
228.866 239.360 238.505 -22.6 4.2 -0.4

Gasoline, unleaded premium (5)

Jump to page with historical data
233.323 244.603 244.594 -21.2 4.8 0.0
 

Medical care (1)

Jump to page with historical data
180.135   179.413 5.0 -0.4  
 

Recreation

Jump to page with historical data
119.188   118.484 0.8 -0.6  
 

Education and communication

Jump to page with historical data
148.198   149.394 2.2 0.8  
 

Other goods and services (1)

Jump to page with historical data
178.352   178.687 -1.4 0.2  
 

Commodity and service group

 

Commodities

Jump to page with historical data
127.808   126.252 -4.3 -1.2  

Commodities less food and beverages

Jump to page with historical data
112.658   110.679 -7.7 -1.8  

Nondurables less food and beverages

Jump to page with historical data
141.842   138.923 -10.4 -2.1  

Durables

Jump to page with historical data
81.423   80.379 -3.1 -1.3  

Services

Jump to page with historical data
174.701   175.229 2.7 0.3  
 

Special aggregate indexes

 

All items less shelter

Jump to page with historical data
144.564   143.646 -1.5 -0.6  

All items less medical care (1)

Jump to page with historical data
154.346   154.037 -0.2 -0.2  

Commodities less food

Jump to page with historical data
113.812   111.881 -7.2 -1.7  

Nondurables

Jump to page with historical data
148.161   146.385 -4.7 -1.2  

Nondurables less food

Jump to page with historical data
141.524   138.782 -9.4 -1.9  

Services less rent of shelter

Jump to page with historical data
171.082   171.155 2.0 0.0  

Services less medical care services

Jump to page with historical data
174.143   174.810 2.4 0.4  

Energy (1)

Jump to page with historical data
191.973 200.944 200.072 -14.4 4.2 -0.4

All items less energy

Jump to page with historical data
152.368   151.568 1.5 -0.5  

All items less food and energy (1)

Jump to page with historical data
152.656   151.838 1.6 -0.5  

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, August 19, 2015

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News Release Information

15-1636-PHI Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Contacts

Technical information:
Media contact:

Consumer Price Index, Washington-Baltimore – July 2015

Area prices down 0.2 percent since May; up 0.2 percent over the year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for Washington-Baltimore edged down 0.2 percent over the last two months, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Sheila Watkins noted the decline was led by a 0.5-percent decrease in the all items less food and energy index. The food index also decreased 0.5 percent, while the energy index rose 4.2 percent since May. (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 edged up 0.2 percent, due almost entirely to a 1.6-percent rise in the all items less food and energy index. (See chart 1 and table A.) Since July 2014, the food index rose 0.5 percent, while the energy index dropped 14.4 percent. (See table 1.)

 Chart 1. Over-the-year percent change in CPI-U, Washington, D.C., July 2012-July 2015

Food

After increasing 0.4 percent in May, the food index decreased 0.5 percent over the last two months. Prices for food at home declined 0.9 percent as prices were lower for various items including other fresh fruits and ham. Prices for food away from home inched up 0.1 percent.

Food prices rose 0.5 percent over the year due to higher prices for food away from home (2.3 percent). Conversely, prices for food at home declined 1.0 percent since last July.

Energy

The energy index, which includes prices for household and transportation fuels, rose 4.2 percent since May, led by a 9.2-percent increase in electricity prices. Gasoline prices also increased over the last two months, up 4.3 percent, while utility (piped) gas service prices were lower, down 11.6 percent.

Energy prices fell 14.4 percent over the year, led by a 24.1-percent drop in gasoline prices. Utility (piped) gas service prices also declined since July 2014, down 15.6 percent, while electricity prices rose 2.9 percent.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy decreased 0.5 percent since May. The decline was led by a larger-than-usual seasonal decrease in apparel prices, down 10.7 percent—the index’s largest two-month decline since its inception in 1996. Moderating the decline in the all items less food and energy index were higher prices for shelter (0.5 percent) and education and communication (0.8 percent) over the last two months.

Since July 2014, the index for all items less food and energy rose 1.6 percent. The increase was due largely to an over-the-year rise in shelter prices (3.2 percent), as the owners’ equivalent rent of residences index was up 3.4 percent. Lower prices for apparel (-6.9 percent) moderated the increase in the all items less food and energy index since last July.

Table A. Washington, D.C. CPI-U 2-month and 12-month percent changes, all items index, not seasonally adjusted
Month 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month

January

1.0 2.3 0.4 2.7 0.1 1.8 0.4 1.9 -1.0 -0.2

March

1.2 3.0 1.3 2.8 0.9 1.4 0.6 1.6 1.0 0.2

May

1.0 3.9 0.1 1.8 -0.2 1.2 0.4 2.2 0.6 0.4

July

0.1 4.1 -0.2 1.4 0.5 1.9 0.0 1.7 -0.2 0.2

September

-0.1 3.4 1.3 2.8 0.6 1.2 0.2 1.3    

November

-0.1 3.3 -0.7 2.1 -0.2 1.7 -0.4 1.2    

The Consumer Price Index for September 2015 is scheduled to be released on Thursday, October 15, 2015, 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/homch17_a.htm.

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
May
2015
Jun.
2015
Jul.
2015
Jul.
2014
May
2015
Jun.
2015

All items (1)

Jump to page with historical data
155.880   155.546 0.2 -0.2  
 

Food and beverages (1)

Jump to page with historical data
155.349   154.613 0.7 -0.5  

Food (1)

Jump to page with historical data
156.594   155.876 0.5 -0.5  

Food at home

Jump to page with historical data
147.854 147.086 146.488 -1.0 -0.9 -0.4

Food away from home (2)

Jump to page with historical data
164.999   165.118 2.3 0.1  

Alcoholic beverages (2)

Jump to page with historical data
137.398   136.502 2.0 -0.7  
 

Housing (1)

Jump to page with historical data
166.864   168.092 2.3 0.7  

Shelter

Jump to page with historical data
178.613 179.223 179.521 3.2 0.5 0.2

Rent of primary residence (1) (3)

Jump to page with historical data
198.462 199.291 199.663 3.9 0.6 0.2

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

Jump to page with historical data
178.247 179.225 179.723 3.4 0.8 0.3

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

Jump to page with historical data
178.257 179.236 179.730 3.4 0.8 0.3

Fuels and utilities

Jump to page with historical data
177.753   185.806 -0.5 4.5  

Household energy

Jump to page with historical data
168.382 175.838 175.414 -2.2 4.2 -0.2

Gas (piped) and electricity (3)

Jump to page with historical data
160.999 168.700 168.187 -1.2 4.5 -0.3

Electricity (3)

Jump to page with historical data
167.420 181.666 182.748 2.9 9.2 0.6

Utility (piped) gas service (3)

Jump to page with historical data
123.836 113.922 109.428 -15.6 -11.6 -3.9

Household furnishings and operations

Jump to page with historical data
89.772   88.848 -1.7 -1.0  
 

Apparel (1)

Jump to page with historical data
97.189   86.778 -6.9 -10.7  
 

Transportation (1)

Jump to page with historical data
146.550   145.268 -8.0 -0.9  

Private transportation

Jump to page with historical data
142.213   143.527 -8.6 0.9  

Motor fuel

Jump to page with historical data
224.802 235.867 234.385 -24.1 4.3 -0.6

Gasoline (all types)

Jump to page with historical data
224.447 235.593 234.136 -24.1 4.3 -0.6

Gasoline, unleaded regular (5)

Jump to page with historical data
225.339 236.632 235.028 -24.7 4.3 -0.7

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade (5)

Jump to page with historical data
228.866 239.360 238.505 -22.6 4.2 -0.4

Gasoline, unleaded premium (5)

Jump to page with historical data
233.323 244.603 244.594 -21.2 4.8 0.0
 

Medical care (1)

Jump to page with historical data
180.135   179.413 5.0 -0.4  
 

Recreation

Jump to page with historical data
119.188   118.484 0.8 -0.6  
 

Education and communication

Jump to page with historical data
148.198   149.394 2.2 0.8  
 

Other goods and services (1)

Jump to page with historical data
178.352   178.687 -1.4 0.2  
 

Commodity and service group

 

Commodities

Jump to page with historical data
127.808   126.252 -4.3 -1.2  

Commodities less food and beverages

Jump to page with historical data
112.658   110.679 -7.7 -1.8  

Nondurables less food and beverages

Jump to page with historical data
141.842   138.923 -10.4 -2.1  

Durables

Jump to page with historical data
81.423   80.379 -3.1 -1.3  

Services

Jump to page with historical data
174.701   175.229 2.7 0.3  
 

Special aggregate indexes

 

All items less shelter

Jump to page with historical data
144.564   143.646 -1.5 -0.6  

All items less medical care (1)

Jump to page with historical data
154.346   154.037 -0.2 -0.2  

Commodities less food

Jump to page with historical data
113.812   111.881 -7.2 -1.7  

Nondurables

Jump to page with historical data
148.161   146.385 -4.7 -1.2  

Nondurables less food

Jump to page with historical data
141.524   138.782 -9.4 -1.9  

Services less rent of shelter

Jump to page with historical data
171.082   171.155 2.0 0.0  

Services less medical care services

Jump to page with historical data
174.143   174.810 2.4 0.4  

Energy (1)

Jump to page with historical data
191.973 200.944 200.072 -14.4 4.2 -0.4

All items less energy

Jump to page with historical data
152.368   151.568 1.5 -0.5  

All items less food and energy (1)

Jump to page with historical data
152.656   151.838 1.6 -0.5  

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, August 19, 2015