Mid-Atlantic Information Office

For release: Thursday, February 17, 2011 PLS - 4755
Technical Information: (215) 597-3282 • BLSInfoPhiladelphia@bls.govwww.bls.gov/ro3
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Consumer Price Index, Washington-Baltimore – January 2011 (PDF)

Area Prices 1.0 Percent Higher Since November; 2.3 Percent Higher Over the Year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) in the Washington-Baltimore area rose 1.0 percent from November to January, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Sheila Watkins, the Bureau’s regional commissioner, noted increases in the energy (6.0 percent), all items less food and energy (0.4 percent) and food (1.8 percent) indexes. The two-month rise in the energy index was led by an increase in gasoline prices. (Data in this report are not seasonally adjusted. Accordingly, two-month changes may reflect the impact of seasonal influences.)

Over the last 12 months, the CPI-U rose 2.3 percent. (See chart 1 and table A.) Since January 2010, prices increased for all items less food and energy (2.0 percent), energy (4.8 percent), and food (2.6 percent).

Chart 1. 12-month percent change in CPI for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), Washington-Baltimore, January 2008 to January 2011 (not seasonally adjusted)
12-month percent change in CPI for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), Washington-Baltimore, January 2008-January 2011 (not seasonally adjusted)

Food

Since November, the food index advanced 1.8 percent. Over the last two months, food at home prices rose 3.2 percent—the largest bimonthly advance since an identical increase in January 2004. Within the food at home group, higher prices for various items including juices and nonalcoholic drinks, particularly carbonated drinks, were partially offset by lower prices for items such as other pork including roasts and picnics. Prices for food away from home increased 0.2 percent since November.

The food index advanced 2.6 percent since January 2010. Over the year, prices for both food at home and food away from home rose 3.9 and 1.3 percent, respectively.

Energy

The energy index, which includes prices for household and transportation fuels, advanced 6.0 percent since November. The bimonthly increase in the energy index was led by a 9.2-percent rise in gasoline prices. Over the last two months, prices were also higher for electricity (2.0 percent), fuel oil, and utility (piped) gas service (0.5 percent).

The energy index increased 4.8 percent since January 2010 due to a 14.7-percent jump in gasoline prices. Lower prices for electricity (-6.8 percent) and utility (piped) gas service (-7.0 percent) moderated the energy index’s overall increase.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.4 percent from November to January. Within all items less food and energy, price increases were led by an advance in prices for shelter (0.3 percent) and apparel (2.8 percent). Partially offsetting these advances were bimonthly declines in several categories including recreation (-0.8 percent) and household furnishings and operations (-1.0 percent).

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy increased 2.0 percent. Higher prices for shelter (2.5 percent), particularly owners’ equivalent rent of residences (2.5 percent), led the 12-month advance. Lower prices for household furnishings and operations (-3.4 percent) and recreation (-2.5 percent) helped to moderate the over-the-year increase in the all items less food and energy index.

The March 2011 Consumer Price Index for Washington-Baltimore is scheduled to be released on April 15, 2011, at 8:30 a.m. (ET).

Table A. Washington-Baltimore CPI-U 2-month and 12-month percent changes, all items index (not seasonally adjusted)
Month 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month

January

0.7 4.1 0.5 2.9 0.8 4.9 -0.7 1.0 0.3 2.6 1.0 2.3

March

0.4 3.3 1.5 4.1 1.3 4.7 0.7 0.4 0.4 2.3

May

1.6 4.2 0.8 3.2 1.1 5.0 0.5 -0.2 0.2 1.9

July

1.5 4.6 1.1 2.9 1.7 5.7 1.1 -0.9 0.0 0.8

September

-0.4 2.8 0.2 3.4 0.0 5.5 0.1 -0.8 0.5 1.3

November

-0.7 3.1 0.4 4.5 -2.5 2.5 -0.2 1.6 0.1 1.6

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 87 percent of the total population and (2) a CPI for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) which covers 32 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 25,000 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 (CMSA) 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, Fairfax, Fauquier, King George, Loudoun, Prince William, Rappahannock, 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; TDD message referral phone number: 1-800-877-8339.

For personal assistance or further information on Consumer Price Indexes, as well as other Bureau products, contact the Mid-Atlantic Information Office at (215) 597-3282 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. ET.

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)
Expenditure category Indexes Percent change from-
Nov. 2010 Dec. 2010 Jan. 2011 Jan. 2010 Nov. 2010 Dec. 2010

All items (1)

142.915 - 144.327 2.3 1.0 -

Food and beverages (1)

140.436 - 143.053 2.5 1.9 -

Food (1)

141.961 - 144.485 2.6 1.8 -

Food at home

135.316 136.350 139.673 3.9 3.2 2.4

Food away from home (2)

147.401 - 147.665 1.3 0.2 -

Alcoholic beverages (2)

119.575 - 122.994 0.7 2.9 -

Housing (1)

152.686 - 153.243 1.3 0.4 -

Shelter

159.273 159.438 159.827 2.5 0.3 0.2

Rent of primary residence (1) (3)

173.988 174.457 174.913 2.4 0.5 0.3

Owners' equivalent rent of residences (3)

160.101 160.346 160.431 2.5 0.2 0.1

Owners' equivalent rent of primary residence (3)

160.102 160.346 160.430 2.5 0.2 0.1

Fuels and utilities

174.181 - 177.361 -3.8 1.8 -

Household energy

172.721 172.919 176.446 -5.7 2.2 2.0

Energy services (3) (4)

165.881 165.492 168.661 -6.8 1.7 1.9

Electricity (3)

170.236 170.322 173.564 -6.8 2.0 1.9

Utility (piped) gas service (3)

133.021 131.089 133.665 -7.0 0.5 2.0

Household furnishings and operations

96.685 - 95.733 -3.4 -1.0 -

Apparel (1)

90.880 - 93.460 4.8 2.8 -

Transportation (1)

137.535 - 141.461 5.6 2.9 -

Private transportation

136.855 - 141.077 5.1 3.1 -

Motor fuel

236.508 249.377 258.188 14.7 9.2 3.5

Gasoline (all types)

236.339 249.373 258.088 14.7 9.2 3.5

Gasoline, unleaded regular (5)

240.249 253.791 262.505 14.9 9.3 3.4

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade (5)

233.455 246.135 255.089 14.2 9.3 3.6

Gasoline, unleaded premium (5)

233.782 245.572 254.377 13.9 8.8 3.6

Medical care (1)

151.716 - 153.378 4.4 1.1 -

Recreation

115.699 - 114.755 -2.5 -0.8 -

Education and communication

137.962 - 137.539 1.9 -0.3 -

Other goods and services (1)

168.203 - 169.330 1.5 0.7 -
Commodity and service group

Commodities

123.016 - 125.513 2.6 2.0 -

Commodities less food and beverages

113.147 - 115.567 2.7 2.1 -

Nondurables less food and beverages

138.988 - 144.470 5.7 3.9 -

Durables

85.219 - 84.641 -2.0 -0.7 -

Services

156.076 - 156.702 2.1 0.4 -
Special aggregate indexes

All items less medical care (1)

142.371 - 143.769 2.1 1.0 -

All items less shelter

134.635 - 136.469 2.1 1.4 -

Commodities less food

113.534 - 116.003 2.6 2.2 -

Nondurables

139.089 - 143.077 4.1 2.9 -

Nondurables less food

137.433 - 142.737 5.3 3.9 -

Services less rent of shelter

153.345 - 154.067 1.6 0.5 -

Services less medical care services

156.468 - 156.988 1.9 0.3 -

Energy (1)

198.202 204.176 210.039 4.8 6.0 2.9

All items less energy

138.481 - 139.281 2.1 0.6 -

All items less food and energy (1)

138.812 - 139.337 2.0 0.4 -

Footnotes
(1) For Washington-Baltimore, indexes on a November 1996=100 base.
(2) For Washington-Baltimore, 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 was formerly titled Gas (piped) and electricity.
(5) Special index based on a substantially smaller sample.
- Data not available.
NOTE: Index applies to a month as a whole, not to any specific date.

Last Modified Date: February 23, 2011

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