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14-1744-PHI

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

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Consumer Price Index, Philadelphia-Wilmington-Atlantic City –
August 2014

Area Prices Unchanged Since June; Up 1.3 Percent Over the Year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) in the Philadelphia-Wilmington-Atlantic City area was unchanged from June to August, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Sheila Watkins, the Bureau’s regional commissioner, noted that higher prices for all items less food and energy (0.3 percent) and food (0.4 percent) were offset by lower prices for energy (-3.1 percent) since June. (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 increased 1.3 percent. (See chart 1 and table A.) The rise was led by a 1.4-percent advance in the all items less food and energy index since August 2013. Prices for food also rose over the year, up 3.1 percent, while those for energy declined 1.7 percent. (See table 1.)

Chart 1. 12-month percent change in CPI for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), Philadelphia-Wilmington-Atlantic City, August 2011-August 2014 (non seasonally adjusted)

Food

Following a 1.1-percent rise from April to June, food prices increased 0.4 percent over the last two months. Food at home prices advanced 0.7 percent since June. Within the food at home component, price increases for items such as beverage materials including coffee and tea, as well as pork, were moderated by several price declines including those for other fresh fruits. Food away from home prices also rose since June, inching up 0.1 percent.

Over the year, the food index increased 3.1 percent. Prices for food at home advanced 3.6 percent and those for food away from home rose 2.5 percent.

Energy

Due to a 6.3-percent decline in gasoline prices over the last two months, the energy index, which includes prices for household and transportation fuels, fell 3.1 percent. Moderating the bimonthly decrease were higher prices for electricity and utility (piped) gas service, up 0.5 and 0.3 percent, respectively.

The energy index declined 1.7 percent since last August, due largely to lower prices for gasoline (-4.1 percent). Electricity prices also declined, down 0.6 percent, while those for utility (piped) gas service rose 1.7 percent over the year.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy edged up 0.3 percent from June to August, led by higher prices for shelter (0.4 percent) and medical care (1.0 percent). Partially offsetting these and other bimonthly advances were price declines for household furnishings and operations (-1.7 percent) and recreation (-0.4 percent).

Over the last 12 months, the index for all items less food and energy increased 1.4 percent. This was largely due to higher prices for shelter (2.5 percent). Prices also increased for medical care (3.4 percent) and other goods and services (3.6 percent). Moderating the over-the-year rise in the all items less food and energy index were lower prices for apparel and household furnishings and operations, down 5.3 and 1.8 percent, respectively.

The October 2014 Consumer Price Index for Philadelphia-Wilmington-Atlantic City is scheduled to be released November 20, 2014, at 8:30 a.m. (ET).

 

Table A. Philadelphia-Wilmington-Atlantic City CPI-U 2-month and 12-month percent changes, all items index (not seasonally adjusted)
Month 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month

February

1.0 -0.3 0.8 2.8 1.3 1.9 0.7 2.2 0.7 1.8 0.5 1.0

April

0.6 -0.9 0.4 2.6 1.0 2.5 0.8 2.0 0.1 1.1 0.5 1.4

June

1.0 -2.0 0.3 1.9 0.6 2.8 -0.2 1.3 0.3 1.5 0.6 1.8

August

1.0 -1.0 0.2 1.1 0.7 3.4 0.9 1.4 0.5 1.1 0.0 1.3

October

-0.6 -0.1 0.0 1.7 -0.3 3.0 0.4 2.2 -0.4

0.3

 

 

December

0.0 3.0 -0.2 1.4 -0.5 2.8 -0.9 1.8 0.1 1.2    

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 88 percent of the total population and (2) a CPI for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) which covers 29 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 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:  1-800-877-8339.

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)
Expenditure category Indexes Percent change from-
June 2014 July 2014 Aug. 2014 Aug. 2013 June 2014 July 2014

All items

245.247 - 245.303 1.3 0.0 -

Food and beverages

228.092 - 229.672 3.0 0.7 -

Food

228.173 - 229.181 3.1 0.4 -

Food at home

238.517 238.987 240.241 3.6 0.7 0.5

Food away from home

208.875 - 209.054 2.5 0.1 -

Alcoholic beverages

224.526 - 233.371 1.6 3.9 -

Housing

248.850 - 249.337 2.0 0.2 -

Shelter

302.613 304.362 303.751 2.5 0.4 -0.2

Rent of primary residence (1)

279.938 280.736 281.594 2.5 0.6 0.3

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

308.370 309.070 309.394 2.3 0.3 0.1

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

308.370 309.070 309.394 2.3 0.3 0.1

Fuels and utilities

217.435 - 218.312 1.5 0.4 -

Household energy

186.415 187.761 186.850 0.5 0.2 -0.5

Energy services (1)

191.998 193.819 192.895 0.2 0.5 -0.5

Electricity (1)

192.829 195.262 193.855 -0.6 0.5 -0.7

Utility (piped) gas service (1)

183.508 183.951 184.095 1.7 0.3 0.1

Household furnishings and operations

118.413 - 116.442 -1.8 -1.7 -

Apparel

109.606 - 110.000 -5.3 0.4 -

Transportation

226.026 - 221.429 -0.8 -2.0 -

Private transportation

224.538 - 220.855 0.1 -1.6 -

Motor fuel

325.112 323.090 304.525 -4.0 -6.3 -5.7

Gasoline (all types)

320.647 318.668 300.305 -4.1 -6.3 -5.8

Gasoline, unleaded regular (3)

320.436 318.405 299.757 -4.2 -6.5 -5.9

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade (3) (4)

314.572 313.266 295.860 -3.7 -5.9 -5.6

Gasoline, unleaded premium (3)

304.358 302.482 286.802 -3.3 -5.8 -5.2

Medical care

468.414 - 472.972 3.4 1.0 -

Recreation (5)

125.297 - 124.836 -0.2 -0.4 -

Education and communication (5)

131.665 - 132.464 -0.5 0.6 -

Other goods and services

473.510 - 476.921 3.6 0.7 -
Commodity and service group            

Commodities

185.133 - 183.613 -0.2 -0.8 -

Commodities less food and beverages

160.022 - 157.166 -2.1 -1.8 -

Nondurables less food and beverages

204.382 - 200.772 -1.5 -1.8 -

Durables

110.061 - 108.057 -2.9 -1.8 -

Services

307.322 - 308.821 2.1 0.5 -
Special aggregate indexes            

All items less medical care

235.796 - 235.677 1.2 -0.1 -

All items less shelter

227.401 - 227.018 0.6 -0.2 -

Commodities less food

162.432 - 159.939 -1.9 -1.5 -

Nondurables

218.176 - 216.953 0.6 -0.6 -

Nondurables less food

205.550 - 202.676 -1.3 -1.4 -

Services less rent of shelter (2)

319.354 - 321.307 1.5 0.6 -

Services less medical care services

294.127 - 295.460 1.9 0.5 -

Energy

237.470 237.578 230.176 -1.7 -3.1 -3.1

All items less energy

247.958 - 248.823 1.6 0.3 -

All items less food and energy

253.898 - 254.745 1.4 0.3 -

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) Special index based on a substantially smaller sample.
(4) Indexes on a December 1993=100 base.
(5) Indexes on a December 1997=100 base.
- Data not available.
NOTE: Index applies to a month as a whole, not to any specific date.

 

 

 

 

 

Last Modified Date: September 17, 2014