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16-1879-PHI
Friday, September 16, 2016

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Consumer Price Index, Philadelphia-Wilmington-Atlantic City – August 2016

Area prices down 0.2 percent since June and up 0.3 percent over the year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for Philadelphia-Wilmington-Atlantic City decreased 0.2 percent over the last two months, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Sheila Watkins noted that the recent decrease reflected lower prices for energy (-3.5 percent). The food index edged up 0.2 percent since June, while the all items less food and energy index was unchanged.  (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 0.3 percent. (See chart 1 and table A.) A 1.3-percent increase in the all items less food and energy index was partially offset by an 8.4-percent drop in the energy index since August 2015. Food prices also decreased over the year, down 0.4 percent. (See table 1.)

Food

After increasing 0.2 percent from April to June, the food index again edged up 0.2 percent over the last two months. Prices for food away from home increased 0.4 percent, and those for food at home inched up 0.1 percent since June.

The food index decreased 0.4 percent over the year. Prices for food at home declined 2.0 percent, while those for food away from home increased 2.0 percent since last August.

Energy

The energy index, which includes prices for household and transportation fuels, decreased 3.5 percent since June. This was due mostly to lower prices for gasoline, down 8.2 percent over the last two months. Prices for electricity also decreased since June, down 0.3 percent, while those for utility (piped) gas service increased, up 0.1 percent.

Energy prices fell 8.4 percent since August 2015, due largely to a 15.2-percent drop in gasoline prices. Electricity and utility (piped) gas service prices were also lower over the year, down 1.6 and 4.7 percent, respectively.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy was unchanged from June to August. Higher prices for shelter (0.4 percent), among others, were offset by several price declines including decreases in household furnishings and operations prices (-3.3 percent) and recreation prices (-0.9 percent).

Since August 2015, the index for all items less food and energy rose 1.3 percent. Over-the-year price increases for shelter (1.3 percent) and medical care (4.2 percent) contributed to the rise. Lower prices for recreation (-1.8 percent), among others, helped to moderate the increase in the all items less food and energy index since last August.

Table A. Philadelphia 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

February

0.7 2.2 0.7 1.8 0.5 1.0 -0.2 -0.1 0.3 0.3

April

0.8 2.0 0.1 1.1 0.5 1.4 0.5 0.0 0.9 0.6

June

-0.2 1.3 0.3 1.5 0.6 1.8 0.8 0.2 0.3 0.1

August

0.9 1.4 0.5 1.1 0.0 1.3 -0.5 -0.3 -0.2 0.3

October

0.4 2.2 -0.4 0.3 -0.1 1.6 -0.3 -0.5    

December

-0.9 1.8 0.1 1.2 -0.8 0.6 -0.6 -0.2    

The Consumer Price Index for October 2016 is scheduled to be released Thursday, November 17, 2016 at 8:30 am (ET).


Technical Note

The Consumer Price Index for Philadelphia-Wilmington-Atlantic City 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 Philadelphia-Wilmington-Atlantic City, Pa.-N.J.-Del.-Md., Consolidated Metropolitan Statistical Area includes Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia Counties in Pennsylvania; Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester, and Salem Counties in New Jersey; New Castle County in Delaware; and Cecil County in Maryland.

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, Philadelphia-Wilmington-Atlantic City, Pa.-N.J.-Del.-Md., (1982-84=100 unless otherwise noted) (not seasonally adjusted)
Expenditure category Indexes Percent change from
 
Historical
data
Jun.
2016
Jul.
2016
Aug.
2016
Aug.
2015
Jun.
2016
Jul.
2016

All items

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245.980   245.367 0.3 -0.2  

All items (1967 = 100)

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710.623   708.852      
 

Food and beverages

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231.574   232.117 -0.2 0.2  

Food

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231.356   231.905 -0.4 0.2  

Food at home

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239.034 240.893 239.374 -2.0 0.1 -0.6

Food away from home

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215.596   216.406 2.0 0.4  

Alcoholic beverages

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231.172   231.635 2.0 0.2  
 

Housing

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251.724   251.788 0.7 0.0  

Shelter

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311.558 311.803 312.794 1.3 0.4 0.3

Rent of primary residence (1)

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290.258 290.691 291.502 1.1 0.4 0.3

Owners' equivalent rent of residences (1) (2) (3)

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320.517 320.823 321.601 1.3 0.3 0.2

Owners' equivalent rent of primary residence (1) (2) (3)

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320.517 320.823 321.601 1.3 0.3 0.2

Fuels and utilities

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200.748   200.691 -2.3 0.0  

Household energy

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167.357 167.940 166.710 -3.3 -0.4 -0.7

Gas (piped) and electricity (1)

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180.599 181.460 180.239 -2.4 -0.2 -0.7

Electricity (1)

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192.870 194.042 192.226 -1.6 -0.3 -0.9

Utility (piped) gas service (1)

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147.568 147.807 147.754 -4.7 0.1 0.0

Household furnishings and operations

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116.677   112.772 -1.0 -3.3  
 

Apparel

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108.985   109.611 2.3 0.6  
 

Transportation

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203.654   198.639 -3.0 -2.5  

Private transportation

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200.824   196.881 -3.2 -2.0  

Motor fuel

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206.859 195.179 190.007 -15.1 -8.1 -2.6

Gasoline (all types)

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204.082 192.503 187.347 -15.2 -8.2 -2.7

Gasoline, unleaded regular (4)

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201.027 189.286 183.829 -15.9 -8.6 -2.9

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade (4) (5)

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211.069 200.393 196.458 -11.9 -6.9 -2.0

Gasoline, unleaded premium (4)

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208.826 198.804 195.666 -11.7 -6.3 -1.6
 

Medical care

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511.229   512.543 4.2 0.3  
 

Recreation (6)

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122.821   121.703 -1.8 -0.9  
 

Education and communication (6)

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133.014   133.611 0.2 0.4  
 

Other goods and services

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514.410   523.008 2.9 1.7  
 

Commodity and service group

 

Commodities

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176.061   174.320 -1.5 -1.0  

Commodities less food and beverages

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145.264   142.720 -2.6 -1.8  

Nondurables less food and beverages

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180.844   177.841 -2.7 -1.7  

Durables

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105.290   103.305 -2.1 -1.9  

Services

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317.053   317.452 1.3 0.1  
 

Special aggregate indexes

 

All items less shelter

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224.753   223.435 -0.2 -0.6  

All items less medical care

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234.807   234.105 0.0 -0.3  

Commodities less food

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148.322   145.859 -2.4 -1.7  

Nondurables

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207.150   205.720 -1.3 -0.7  

Nondurables less food

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183.787   180.996 -2.3 -1.5  

Services less rent of shelter (2)

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330.012   329.475 1.3 -0.2  

Services less medical care services

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302.579   302.947 1.2 0.1  

Energy

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181.727 177.991 175.369 -8.4 -3.5 -1.5

All items less energy

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254.922   254.931 1.1 0.0  

All items less food and energy

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261.529   261.448 1.3 0.0  

Footnotes
(1) This index series was calculated using a Laspeyres estimator. All other item stratum index series were calculated using a geometric means estimator.
(2) Indexes on a December 1982=100 base.
(3) 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.
(4) Special index based on a substantially smaller sample.
(5) Indexes on a December 1993=100 base.
(6) Indexes on a December 1997=100 base.

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

 

Last Modified Date: Friday, September 16, 2016