For release: Thursday, September 15, 2011 PLS-4822

Technical information: (215) 597-3282 • BLSInfoPhiladelphia@bls.govwww.bls.gov/ro3
Media contact: (215) 861-5600 • BLSMediaPhiladelphia@bls.gov

Consumer Price Index, Philadelphia-Wilmington-Atlantic City –
August 2011 (PDF)

Area Prices Rose 0.7 Percent Since June and 3.4 Percent Over the Year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) in the Philadelphia-Wilmington-Atlantic City area rose 0.7 percent from June to August, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Sheila Watkins, the Bureau’s regional commissioner, noted that the recent advance was due almost entirely to a 0.9-percent increase in the all items less food and energy index. The food index also rose, up 0.6 percent, while the energy index declined 0.4 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 3.4 percent. (See chart 1 and table A.) Since August 2010, energy prices advanced 17.5 percent; prices were also higher for both all items less food and energy (1.6 percent) and food (4.8 percent) over the year. (See table 1.)

Chart 1. 12-month percent change in CPI for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), Philadelphia-Wilmington-Atlantic City, August 2008 to August 2011 (not seasonally adjusted)

Food

Following a 1.9-percent increase from April to June, food prices rose 0.6 percent over the last two months. Both food away from home and food at home prices advanced since June, up 0.9 and 0.5 percent, respectively. Within the food at home component, higher prices for various items including pork and carbonated drinks were partially offset by lower prices for tomatoes and sugar and sweets, among others.

Over the year, the food index advanced 4.8 percent, the largest 12-month increase since June 2007. Both components of the food index had price increases over the last 12 months—prices for food at home rose 5.8 percent and those for food away from home, 3.4 percent.

Energy

The energy index, which includes prices for household and transportation fuels, decreased 0.4 percent from June to August. The recent decline primarily reflected lower prices for gasoline, down 2.3 percent in the two-month period. Prices for utility (piped) gas service also fell, inching down 0.1 percent. Mostly offsetting these decreases was an advance in electricity prices, up 3.7 percent since June.

The energy index rose 17.5 percent since last August, dominated by a 35.9-percent jump in gasoline prices. The index for utility (piped) gas service—which has recorded uninterrupted 12-month declines for over two years—fell 2.4 percent over the year. Electricity prices were unchanged since August 2010.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.9 percent from June to August, the largest two-month increase in two years. The recent rise was led by a seasonal advance in apparel prices (6.6 percent) as well as higher prices for shelter (0.6 percent), particularly owners’ equivalent rent of residences (0.6 percent).

Since last August, the index for all items less food and energy increased 1.6 percent, led by higher prices for shelter (2.0 percent) and apparel (6.3 percent). Price decreases for education and communication (-1.9 percent) and recreation (-1.2 percent) helped to moderate the over-the-year rise in the all items less food and energy index.

The October 2011 Consumer Price Index for Philadelphia-Wilmington-Atlantic City is scheduled to be released on November 16, 2011, 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 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

February

2.0 4.4 0.7 2.0 0.9 3.7 1.0 -0.3 0.8 2.8 1.3 1.9

April

1.2 4.1 1.0 1.7 1.2 3.9 0.6 -0.9 0.4 2.6 1.0 2.5

June

1.1 4.4 0.9 1.6 2.1 5.1 1.0 -2.0 0.3 1.9 0.6 2.8

August

1.2 4.7 0.7 1.1 0.0 4.4 1.0 -1.0 0.2 1.1 0.7 3.4

October

-2.2 2.0 0.1 3.5 -1.4 2.8 -0.6 -0.1 0.0 1.7    

December

0.0 3.3 0.0 3.5 -3.1 -0.4 0.0 3.0 -0.2 1.4    

 

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 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 (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-
June 2011 July 2011 Aug. 2011 Aug. 2010 June 2011 July 2011

All items

234.463 - 236.196 3.4 0.7 -

Food and beverages

216.203 - 217.590 4.9 0.6 -

Food

215.944 - 217.310 4.8 0.6 -

Food at home

228.555 227.390 229.589 5.8 0.5 1.0

Food away from home

194.020 - 195.717 3.4 0.9 -

Alcoholic beverages

217.085 - 218.724 6.1 0.8 -

Housing

238.751 - 240.734 2.0 0.8 -

Shelter

285.806 288.855 287.578 2.0 0.6 -0.4

Rent of primary residence (1)

260.511 261.127 262.862 0.9 0.9 0.7

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

291.267 291.755 293.082 1.1 0.6 0.5

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

291.267 291.755 293.082 1.1 0.6 0.5

Fuels and utilities

220.672 - 224.713 3.5 1.8 -

Household energy

194.652 197.304 198.218 2.7 1.8 0.5

Energy services (1) (3)

201.465 205.757 206.862 -0.6 2.7 0.5

Electricity (1)

205.195 211.168 212.704 0.0 3.7 0.7

Utility (piped) gas service (1)

187.037 186.951 186.933 -2.4 -0.1 0.0

Household furnishings and operations

120.760 - 122.080 -0.4 1.1 -

Apparel

103.552 - 110.434 6.3 6.6 -

Transportation

217.814 - 216.524 11.7 -0.6 -

Private transportation

216.259 - 214.693 12.8 -0.7 -

Motor fuel

326.325 324.315 318.644 35.8 -2.4 -1.7

Gasoline (all types)

321.743 319.803 314.183 35.9 -2.3 -1.8

Gasoline, unleaded regular (4)

322.678 320.880 315.090 36.4 -2.4 -1.8

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade (4) (5)

312.468 309.637 304.839 34.2 -2.4 -1.5

Gasoline, unleaded premium (4)

299.769 297.787 293.098 32.7 -2.2 -1.6

Medical care

438.765 - 435.789 0.7 -0.7 -

Recreation (6)

122.202 - 122.283 -1.2 0.1 -

Education and communication (6)

127.466 - 129.138 -1.9 1.3 -

Other goods and services

422.126 - 434.163 2.6 2.9 -
Commodity and service group            

Commodities

181.207 - 182.137 7.4 0.5 -

Commodities less food and beverages

159.404 - 160.115 8.7 0.4 -

Nondurables less food and beverages

200.771 - 201.430 12.7 0.3 -

Durables

113.428 - 114.193 1.7 0.7 -

Services

290.244 - 292.753 1.3 0.9 -
Special aggregate indexes            

All items less medical care

225.733 - 227.590 3.5 0.8 -

All items less shelter

218.874 - 220.630 4.1 0.8 -

Commodities less food

161.654 - 162.393 8.6 0.5 -

Nondurables

211.061 - 212.046 9.1 0.5 -

Nondurables less food

201.804 - 202.514 12.3 0.4 -

Services less rent of shelter (2)

301.617 - 305.053 0.5 1.1 -

Services less medical care services

278.302 - 280.859 1.2 0.9 -

Energy

244.177 244.956 243.260 17.5 -0.4 -0.7

All items less energy

235.096 - 237.138 2.0 0.9 -

All items less food and energy

240.806 - 242.981 1.6 0.9 -

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 was formerly titled Gas (piped) and electricity.
(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: September 16, 2011