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12-1457-PHI

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

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Consumer Price Index, Philadelphia-Wilmington-Atlantic City –
June 2012

Area Prices Down 0.2 Percent Since April; Up 1.3 Percent Over the Year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) in the Philadelphia-Wilmington-Atlantic City area edged down 0.2 percent from April to June, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Sheila Watkins, the Bureau’s regional commissioner, noted that the recent decrease was due to a decline  in the energy index, down 6.3 percent. The all items less food and energy index and the food index rose since April, up 0.6 percent each. (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 all items less food and energy index advanced 2.0 percent since June 2011. The food index also increased, up 1.9 percent over the year, while the energy index declined, down 5.2 percent. (See table 1.)

Chart 1. 12-month percent change in CPI for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), Philadelphia-Wilmington-Atlantic City, June 2009 to June 2012 (not seasonally adjusted)

Food

Food prices increased 0.6 percent from April to June. Prices for both food at home and food away from home rose since April, up 0.8 and 0.4 percent, respectively. Within the food at home component, higher prices for various items including citrus fruits and ham were moderated by lower prices for chicken and ice cream and related products, among others.

Over the year, the food index advanced 1.9 percent. Both components of the food index had price increases over the last 12 months—prices for food at home rose 1.7 percent and those for food away from home, 2.2 percent.

Energy

The energy index, which includes prices for household and transportation fuels, fell 6.3 percent from April to June. The recent decline was due almost entirely to an 11.2-percent drop in gasoline prices—the largest two-month decrease in three and a half years. Utility (piped) gas service prices also declined, down 1.9 percent since April. Moderating the recent decline in the energy index was a seasonal increase of 2.3 percent in electricity prices, which typically rise in June as summer rate schedules are introduced, then fall in October.

The energy index fell 5.2 percent since last June, due in part to a 6.6-percent decline in gasoline prices. These were the largest 12-month price decreases since October 2009 for both the energy index and its gasoline component. The utility (piped) gas service component—which has recorded uninterrupted 12-month declines for over three years—also posted lower prices over the last 12 months, down 7.0 percent. Prices for electricity inched up 0.1 percent over the year.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy increased 0.6 percent from April to June. The two-month rise was due largely to higher prices for shelter (0.9 percent), particularly those for lodging away from home. Moderating the overall rise were bimonthly decreases in apparel and recreation prices, down 1.8 and 0.7 percent, respectively.

Since last June, the index for all items less food and energy increased 2.0 percent, due in part to higher prices for shelter (2.2 percent), particularly owners’ equivalent rent of residences (2.4 percent). Price increases were widespread among the other components of the all items less food and energy group including other goods and services (6.6 percent) and apparel (6.4 percent). A 1.6-percent decline in education and communication prices moderated the advance in the all items less food and energy index since June 2011.

The August 2012 Consumer Price Index for Philadelphia-Wilmington-Atlantic City is scheduled to be released September 14, 2012, 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 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
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

0.7 2.0 0.9 3.7 1.0 -0.3 0.8 2.8 1.3 1.9 0.7 2.2

April

1.0 1.7 1.2 3.9 0.6 -0.9 0.4 2.6 1.0 2.5 0.8 2.0

June

0.9 1.6 2.1 5.1 1.0 -2.0 0.3 1.9 0.6 2.8 -0.2 1.3

August

0.7 1.1 0.0 4.4 1.0 -1.0 0.2 1.1 0.7 3.4    

October

0.1 3.5 -1.4 2.8 -0.6 -0.1 0.0 1.7 -0.3 3.0    

December

0.0 3.5 -3.1 -0.4 0.0 3.0 -0.2 1.4 -0.5 2.8    

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 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 (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.

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-
Apr. 2012 May 2012 June 2012 June 2011 Apr. 2012 May 2012

All items

237.782 - 237.405 1.3 -0.2 -

Food and beverages

218.974 - 220.402 1.9 0.7 -

Food

218.642 - 220.055 1.9 0.6 -

Food at home

230.528 230.399 232.369 1.7 0.8 0.9

Food away from home

197.422 - 198.241 2.2 0.4 -

Alcoholic beverages

220.862 - 222.470 2.5 0.7 -

Housing

241.358 - 242.733 1.7 0.6 -

Shelter

289.574 291.776 292.197 2.2 0.9 0.1

Rent of primary residence (1)

267.613 267.667 268.129 2.9 0.2 0.2

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

299.048 298.864 298.391 2.4 -0.2 -0.2

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

299.048 298.864 298.391 2.4 -0.2 -0.2

Fuels and utilities

218.525 - 216.522 -1.9 -0.9 -

Household energy

191.221 190.403 188.945 -2.9 -1.2 -0.8

Energy services (1)

195.411 195.734 197.536 -2.0 1.1 0.9

Electricity (1)

200.731 201.050 205.308 0.1 2.3 2.1

Utility (piped) gas service (1)

177.314 177.638 174.023 -7.0 -1.9 -2.0

Household furnishings and operations

123.481 - 123.380 2.2 -0.1 -

Apparel

112.203 - 110.155 6.4 -1.8 -

Transportation

223.210 - 214.891 -1.3 -3.7 -

Private transportation

221.269 - 212.288 -1.8 -4.1 -

Motor fuel

343.017 328.769 304.583 -6.7 -11.2 -7.4

Gasoline (all types)

338.598 324.501 300.529 -6.6 -11.2 -7.4

Gasoline, unleaded regular (3)

339.866 325.300 300.812 -6.8 -11.5 -7.5

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade (3) (4)

327.735 315.525 293.051 -6.2 -10.6 -7.1

Gasoline, unleaded premium (3)

314.338 303.139 283.673 -5.4 -9.8 -6.4

Medical care

445.985 - 447.176 1.9 0.3 -

Recreation (5)

124.113 - 123.236 0.8 -0.7 -

Education and communication (5)

123.962 - 125.479 -1.6 1.2 -

Other goods and services

442.927 - 450.119 6.6 1.6 -
Commodity and service group            

Commodities

185.698 - 181.886 0.4 -2.1 -

Commodities less food and beverages

164.640 - 158.753 -0.4 -3.6 -

Nondurables less food and beverages

208.647 - 198.388 -1.2 -4.9 -

Durables

114.934 - 114.369 0.8 -0.5 -

Services

292.808 - 295.323 1.7 0.9 -
Special aggregate indexes            

All items less medical care

228.902 - 228.475 1.2 -0.2 -

All items less shelter

222.107 - 220.445 0.7 -0.7 -

Commodities less food

166.881 - 161.168 -0.3 -3.4 -

Nondurables

216.692 - 211.431 0.2 -2.4 -

Nondurables less food

209.544 - 199.832 -1.0 -4.6 -

Services less rent of shelter (2)

302.736 - 305.138 1.2 0.8 -

Services less medical care services

280.471 - 282.976 1.7 0.9 -

Energy

247.134 241.362 231.521 -5.2 -6.3 -4.1

All items less energy

238.392 - 239.809 2.0 0.6 -

All items less food and energy

244.246 - 245.678 2.0 0.6 -

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: August 20, 2012