For release: Wednesday, May 19, 2010 PLS - 4662
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Consumer Price Index, Philadelphia–Wilmington–Atlantic City –
April 2010 (PDF)

Area Prices up 0.4 Percent Since February and 2.6 Percent Over the Year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) in the Philadelphia–Wilmington–Atlantic City area increased 0.4 percent from February to April, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Sheila Watkins, the Bureau’s regional commissioner, attributed the recent advance to increases in the indexes for all items less food and energy (0.3 percent) and energy (2.4 percent); prices for food fell 0.7 percent over the last two months. Within all items less food and energy, prices rose for apparel and recreation. New and used motor vehicles, part of the transportation category, also contributed to the overall two-month advance in the all items less food and energy index. The rise in energy prices since February was due almost entirely to higher gasoline prices. (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 rose 2.6 percent. (See chart 1 and table A.) The index for all items less food and energy increased 1.8 percent since April 2009. The energy index advanced 14.6 percent over the year, largely due to higher gasoline prices.

Chart 1. Over-the-year changes in Consumer Price Indexes (CPI-U), Philadelphia–Wilmington–Atlantic City, April 2007 to April 2010 (not seasonally adjusted)
Over-the-year changes in Consumer Price Indexes (CPI-U), Philadelphia–Wilmington–Atlantic City, April 2007 to April 2010 (not seasonally adjusted)
Food

Food prices declined 0.7 percent since February after two consecutive bimonthly increases totaling 1.8 percent. Both components of the food index—food at home (-0.9 percent) and food away from home (-0.4 percent)—fell over the last two months. Within the food at home group, prices declined for a number of items including carbonated drinks and pork chops. Partially offsetting these decreases were higher prices for other fresh vegetables and uncooked ground beef.

From April 2009 to April 2010, the index for food fell 0.8 percent. (See table 1.)

Energy

The energy index rose 2.4 percent from February to April—its third consecutive bimonthly increase. The recent advance in energy prices was dominated by higher prices for gasoline, up 5.1 percent over the last two months. Utility (piped) gas service prices also rose since February, up 1.7 percent, while electricity prices fell 0.7 percent.

The energy index advanced 14.6 percent since April 2009. In particular, gasoline prices posted a 35.1-percent jump over the year—the latest gain in an index that has not recorded a decrease since October 2009.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy edged up 0.3 percent from February to April. Among the index’s major components, bimonthly increases were recorded in apparel (3.3 percent), recreation (1.1 percent), and medical care (0.1 percent). Prices also advanced for new and used motor vehicles, public transportation (particularly airline fare), and motor vehicle parts and equipment, all components of the transportation index. In contrast, the indexes for education and communication (-0.2 percent) and other goods and services (-0.5 percent) fell over the last two months. Prices for shelter, a component of the housing index, were also lower since February, down 0.1 percent. Within the shelter component, owner’s equivalent rent of residences and rent of primary residence declined 0.4 percent and 0.6 percent, respectively.

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy rose 1.8 percent. Higher prices for both new and used motor vehicles and shelter (1.4 percent) contributed to the 12-month advance. Within shelter, prices for owners’ equivalent rent of residences rose 2.6 percent over the year. Higher prices for apparel (2.9 percent) and education and communication (1.3 percent) also contributed to the overall increase in the all items less food and energy index. A 3.7-percent decline in prices for household furnishings and operations, part of the housing index, helped to moderate the 12-month increase in all items less food and energy. The recreation index also recorded lower prices over the year, down 1.5 percent.

Table A. Philadelphia-Wilmington-Atlantic City CPI-U bimonthly and annual percent changes, all items index (not seasonally adjusted)
Month 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
Bimonthly Annual Bimonthly Annual Bimonthly Annual Bimonthly Annual Bimonthly Annual Bimonthly Annual

February

1.2 4.5 2.0 4.4 0.7 2.0 0.9 3.7 1.0 -0.3 0.8 2.8

April

1.6 4.4 1.2 4.1 1.0 1.7 1.2 3.9 0.6 -0.9 0.4 2.6

June

0.7 3.4 1.1 4.4 0.9 1.6 2.1 5.1 1.0 -2.0

August

0.9 3.8 1.2 4.7 0.7 1.1 0.0 4.4 1.0 -1.0

October

0.4 3.6 -2.2 2.0 0.1 3.5 -1.4 2.8 -0.6 -0.1

December

-1.3 3.6 0.0 3.3 0.0 3.5 -3.1 -0.4 0.0 3.0
CPI-W

In April, the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) was 227.325, up 0.3 percent since February 2010. The CPI-W increased 3.0 percent over the year.

TECHNICAL NOTE

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) is a measure of the average change in prices over time of goods and services purchased by households. The Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes CPIs for two population groups:  (1) the CPI for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W), which covers households of wage earners and clerical workers that comprise approximately 32 percent of the total population and (2) the CPI for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), which covers approximately 87 percent of the total population and includes in addition to wage earners and clerical worker households, 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 CPIs are based on prices of food, clothing, shelter, and fuels, transportation fares, charges for doctors' and dentists' services, drugs, and other goods and services that people buy for day-to-day living. In calculating indexes, price changes for the various items in each location are averaged together with weights, which represent their importance in the spending of the appropriate population group. Prices are collected each month from housing units and 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. Prices of most goods and services are obtained by personal visits or telephone calls from the Bureau's trained representatives.

The index measures price change from a designated reference period. For the CPI-U and CPI-W, the reference base is 1982-84 equals 100.0. An increase of 16.5 percent from the reference base, 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-U has risen from $10 in 1982-84 to $11.65.

It is important to note that area indexes do not measure differences in the level of prices among cities; they only measure the average change in prices for each area since the base period. Additional information on the CPI survey can be found at www.bls.gov/cpi.

The Philadelphia-Wilmington-Atlantic City, Pa.-N.J.-Del.-Md., Consolidated Metropolitan Statistical Area (CMSA), 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; 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, Philadelphia-Wilmington-Atlantic City, Pa.-N.J.-Del.-Md. (1982-84=100 unless otherwise noted)
Expenditure category Indexes Percent change from-
Feb. 2010 Mar. 2010 Apr. 2010 Apr. 2009 Feb. 2010 Mar. 2010

All items

226.529 - 227.432 2.6 0.4 -

Food and beverages

207.753 - 206.533 -0.8 -0.6 -

Food

207.668 - 206.270 -0.8 -0.7 -

Food at home

217.509 213.847 215.561 -1.6 -0.9 0.8

Food away from home

189.199 - 188.480 0.3 -0.4 -

Alcoholic beverages

206.532 - 207.587 -1.1 0.5 -

Housing

234.104 - 233.890 1.2 -0.1 -

Shelter

280.970 280.336 280.593 1.4 -0.1 0.1

Rent of primary residence (1)

260.230 259.235 258.593 0.7 -0.6 -0.2

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

289.627 288.303 288.509 2.6 -0.4 0.1

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

289.627 288.303 288.509 2.6 -0.4 0.1

Fuels and utilities

210.871 - 210.960 3.4 0.0 -

Household energy

188.384 188.779 188.469 2.6 0.0 -0.2

Gas (piped) and electricity (1)

202.161 202.699 202.132 -0.5 0.0 -0.3

Electricity (1)

200.614 199.559 199.246 2.4 -0.7 -0.2

Utility (piped) gas service (1)

201.134 205.709 204.510 -7.1 1.7 -0.6

Household furnishings and operations

120.133 - 120.206 -3.7 0.1 -

Apparel

105.611 - 109.085 2.9 3.3 -

Transportation

191.487 - 196.024 13.6 2.4 -

Private transportation

189.500 - 193.960 13.9 2.4 -

Motor fuel

235.175 242.140 247.258 34.6 5.1 2.1

Gasoline (all types)

231.842 238.671 243.687 35.1 5.1 2.1

Gasoline, unleaded regular (4)

231.414 238.756 243.889 36.0 5.4 2.1

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade (4) (5)

228.464 232.627 237.166 32.9 3.8 2.0

Gasoline, unleaded premium (4)

221.680 226.597 230.774 31.8 4.1 1.8

Medical care

428.144 - 428.747 0.5 0.1 -

Recreation (6)

120.299 - 121.604 -1.5 1.1 -

Education and communication (6)

130.085 - 129.783 1.3 -0.2 -

Other goods and services

419.535 - 417.410 1.6 -0.5 -
Commodity and service group            

Commodities

169.317 - 170.833 4.2 0.9 -

Commodities less food and beverages

146.726 - 149.231 7.3 1.7 -

Nondurables less food and beverages

178.648 - 182.256 9.5 2.0 -

Durables

111.167 - 112.451 3.6 1.2 -

Services

285.533 - 285.925 1.7 0.1 -
Special aggregate indexes            

All items less medical care

217.966 - 218.869 2.7 0.4 -

All items less shelter

209.501 - 210.945 3.3 0.7 -

Commodities less food

148.983 - 151.457 6.9 1.7 -

Nondurables

194.448 - 196.035 4.4 0.8 -

Nondurables less food

180.253 - 183.733 8.8 1.9 -

Services less rent of shelter (2)

297.022 - 298.358 2.0 0.4 -

Services less medical care services

273.994 - 274.404 1.8 0.1 -

Energy

204.493 207.475 209.311 14.6 2.4 0.9

All items less energy

230.658 - 231.130 1.5 0.2 -

All items less food and energy

236.942 - 237.721 1.8 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) 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.
- Data not available.
NOTE: Index applies to a month as a whole, not to any specific date.

 

Last Modified Date: June 1, 2010