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13-1918-PHI

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

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Consumer Price Index, Philadelphia-Wilmington-Atlantic City –
August 2013

Area Prices Up 0.5 Percent Since June and 1.1 Percent Over the Year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) in the Philadelphia-Wilmington-Atlantic City area increased 0.5 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 increase was due largely to higher prices in the all items less food and energy group, up 0.4 percent. Prices for energy and food also increased over the last two months, up 1.1 and 0.1 percent, respectively. (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 1.1 percent. (See chart 1 and table A.) The rise was due almost entirely to a 1.4-percent advance in the all items less food and energy index since August 2012. Prices for food rose 1.1 percent over the year while those for energy declined 1.2 percent. (See table 1.)

Chart 1. 12-month percent change in CPI for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), Philadelphia-Wilmington-Atlantic City, August 2010 to August 2013 (not seasonally adjusted)

Food

Following a 0.2-percent decrease from April to June, food prices inched up 0.1 percent over the last two months. Prices for food away from home rose 0.7 percent while those for food at home declined 0.4 percent. Within the food at home component, lower prices for various items including carbonated drinks and cakes, cupcakes, and cookies were moderated by higher prices for others such as snacks and bread.

Over the year, the food index advanced 1.1 percent. Both components of the food index had price increases since August 2012—prices for food away from home rose 2.6 percent and those for food at home, 0.1 percent.

Energy

The energy index, which includes prices for household and transportation fuels, rose 1.1 percent over the last two months. Leading the increase were higher gasoline prices, up 2.2 percent from June to August. Utility (piped) gas service prices also rose, inching up 0.1 percent, while electricity prices edged down 0.2 percent since June.

Mainly reflecting a 3.3-percent decrease in gasoline prices, the energy index declined 1.2 percent since last August. Electricity prices were also lower over the year, edging down 0.3 percent. Moderating these declines, utility (piped) gas service prices increased 4.1 percent since August 2012.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.4 percent from June to August, led by a price increase in education and communication (2.8 percent) and a seasonal advance in prices for apparel (4.3 percent). Lower prices for household furnishings and operations (-2.7 percent), among other components, moderated the rise in the all items less food and energy index since June.

Over the last 12 months, the index for all items less food and energy increased 1.4 percent. Prices were higher for a number of components including education and communication, up 5.3 percent—the largest 12-month increase since the inception of this index in 1998—and shelter, up 0.9 percent. Moderating the rise in the all items less food and energy index were lower prices for household furnishings and operations, down 3.3 percent since August 2012.

The October 2013 Consumer Price Index for Philadelphia-Wilmington-Atlantic City is scheduled to be released November 15, 2013, 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 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
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

0.9 3.7 1.0 -0.3 0.8 2.8 1.3 1.9 0.7 2.2 0.7 1.8

April

1.2 3.9 0.6 -0.9 0.4 2.6 1.0 2.5 0.8 2.0 0.1 1.1

June

2.1 5.1 1.0 -2.0 0.3 1.9 0.6 2.8 -0.2 1.3 0.3 1.5

August

0.0 4.4 1.0 -1.0 0.2 1.1 0.7 3.4 0.9 1.4 0.5 1.1

October

-1.4 2.8 -0.6 -0.1 0.0 1.7 -0.3 3.0 0.4 2.2    

December

-3.1 -0.4 0.0 3.0 -0.2 1.4 -0.5 2.8 -0.9 1.8    

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; 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 2013 July 2013 Aug. 2013 Aug. 2012 June 2013 July 2013

All items

240.990 - 242.128 1.1 0.5 -

Food and beverages

222.749 - 222.989 1.2 0.1 -

Food

222.143 - 222.320 1.1 0.1 -

Food at home

232.810 232.740 231.972 0.1 -0.4 -0.3

Food away from home

202.426 - 203.924 2.6 0.7 -

Alcoholic beverages

228.547 - 229.704 3.4 0.5 -

Housing

244.514 - 244.419 0.6 0.0 -

Shelter

295.668 297.802 296.269 0.9 0.2 -0.5

Rent of primary residence (1)

273.525 274.099 274.846 1.9 0.5 0.3

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

301.285 301.897 302.438 0.9 0.4 0.2

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

301.285 301.897 302.438 0.9 0.4 0.2

Fuels and utilities

214.962 - 215.033 1.3 0.0 -

Household energy

185.814 186.204 185.880 0.9 0.0 -0.2

Energy services (1)

192.769 193.128 192.567 0.9 -0.1 -0.3

Electricity (1)

195.364 195.552 194.959 -0.3 -0.2 -0.3

Utility (piped) gas service (1)

180.703 181.423 180.950 4.1 0.1 -0.3

Household furnishings and operations

121.865 - 118.588 -3.3 -2.7 -

Apparel

111.462 - 116.202 -0.9 4.3 -

Transportation

221.636 - 223.150 0.7 0.7 -

Private transportation

219.335 - 220.647 -0.3 0.6 -

Motor fuel

310.262 318.088 317.133 -3.3 2.2 -0.3

Gasoline (all types)

306.197 314.096 313.043 -3.3 2.2 -0.3

Gasoline, unleaded regular (3)

306.087 313.954 312.945 -3.6 2.2 -0.3

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade (3) (4)

300.173 308.136 307.284 -2.3 2.4 -0.3

Gasoline, unleaded premium (3)

290.689 298.185 296.602 -2.1 2.0 -0.5

Medical care

457.408 - 457.284 1.3 0.0 -

Recreation (5)

123.950 - 125.114 1.1 0.9 -

Education and communication (5)

129.570 - 133.136 5.3 2.8 -

Other goods and services

463.531 - 460.247 0.3 -0.7 -
Commodity and service group            

Commodities

182.725 - 183.907 -0.6 0.6 -

Commodities less food and beverages

158.921 - 160.458 -1.6 1.0 -

Nondurables less food and beverages

201.102 - 203.881 -1.4 1.4 -

Durables

111.320 - 111.340 -2.1 0.0 -

Services

301.399 - 302.551 1.9 0.4 -
Special aggregate indexes            

All items less medical care

231.807 - 232.979 1.1 0.5 -

All items less shelter

224.174 - 225.570 1.2 0.6 -

Commodities less food

161.495 - 163.029 -1.4 0.9 -

Nondurables

214.028 - 215.730 -0.2 0.8 -

Nondurables less food

202.710 - 205.416 -1.1 1.3 -

Services less rent of shelter (2)

314.638 - 316.492 3.2 0.6 -

Services less medical care services

288.812 - 289.860 1.9 0.4 -

Energy

231.641 234.774 234.217 -1.2 1.1 -0.2

All items less energy

243.828 - 244.804 1.3 0.4 -

All items less food and energy

250.068 - 251.190 1.4 0.4 -

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 18, 2013