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14-89-PHI

Thursday, January 16, 2014

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

Area Prices Up 0.1 Percent Since October; 1.2 Percent Over the Year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) in the Philadelphia-Wilmington-Atlantic City area inched up 0.1 percent from October to December, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Sheila Watkins, the Bureau’s regional commissioner, noted that higher energy prices (2.1 percent) were nearly offset by lower prices for all items less food and energy (-0.1 percent) and food (-0.3 percent). (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 1.2 percent. (See chart 1 and table A.) The rise was due almost entirely to a 1.6-percent advance in the all items less food and energy index since December 2012. Prices for food edged up 0.2 percent over the year, while those for energy decreased 0.7 percent. (See table 1.)

Chart 1. 12-month percent change in CPI for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), Philadelphia-Wilmington-Atlantic City, December 2010-December 2013 (non seasonally adjusted)

Food

Food prices decreased 0.3 percent over the last two months, due to a 0.7-percent decline in food at home prices. Food away from home prices increased 0.3 percent.

Over the year, the food index edged up 0.2 percent. Prices for food away from home rose 2.9 percent, while those for food at home decreased 1.4 percent.

Energy

The energy index, which includes prices for household and transportation fuels, increased 2.1 percent over the last two months. Leading the increase were higher gasoline prices, up 3.9 percent from October to December. Electricity prices also increased, up 1.8 percent, while utility (piped) gas service prices decreased 4.1 percent over the two-month period.

Due mostly to a 5.6-percent decrease in utility (piped) gas service prices, the energy index declined 0.7 percent since last December. Electricity prices were also lower over the year, down 0.7 percent. Moderating these declines, gasoline prices increased 0.5 percent since December 2012.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy inched down 0.1 percent from October to December, due mostly to a seasonal decline in apparel prices (-10.7 percent); prices for household furnishings and operations and medical care were also lower since October, down 1.2 and 0.1 percent, respectively. These decreases were almost offset by higher prices for shelter (0.6 percent), particularly owners’ equivalent rent of residences (0.7 percent).

Over the last 12 months, the index for all items less food and energy increased 1.6 percent. Prices were higher for a number of components including shelter (2.1 percent), particularly owners’ equivalent rent of residences (1.7 percent), and education and communication (3.9 percent). Moderating the rise in the all items less food and energy index were lower prices for household furnishings and operations, down 2.6 percent since December 2012.

The February 2014 Consumer Price Index for Philadelphia-Wilmington-Atlantic City is scheduled to be released March 18, 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 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 -0.4

0.3

December

-3.1 -0.4 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 (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-
Oct. 2013 Nov. 2013 Dec. 2013 Dec. 2012 Oct. 2013 Nov. 2013

All items

241.141 - 241.383 1.2 0.1 -

Food and beverages

224.650 - 223.847 0.2 -0.4 -

Food

224.262 - 223.557 0.2 -0.3 -

Food at home

234.589 226.839 232.927 -1.4 -0.7 2.7

Food away from home

204.933 - 205.497 2.9 0.3 -

Alcoholic beverages

227.274 - 225.057 0.2 -1.0 -

Housing

244.580 - 245.707 1.3 0.5 -

Shelter

296.031 296.497 297.882 2.1 0.6 0.5

Rent of primary residence (1)

277.935 278.221 278.489 2.2 0.2 0.1

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

304.225 304.563 306.233 1.7 0.7 0.5

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

304.225 304.563 306.233 1.7 0.7 0.5

Fuels and utilities

215.984 - 216.920 -0.7 0.4 -

Household energy

186.761 186.122 187.541 -1.6 0.4 0.8

Energy services (1)

192.826 191.772 192.975 -2.1 0.1 0.6

Electricity (1)

198.092 198.511 201.620 -0.7 1.8 1.6

Utility (piped) gas service (1)

174.935 170.703 167.709 -5.6 -4.1 -1.8

Household furnishings and operations

119.681 - 118.210 -2.6 -1.2 -

Apparel

118.745 - 106.086 1.0 -10.7 -

Transportation

214.694 - 218.807 0.4 1.9 -

Private transportation

212.510 - 216.641 0.2 1.9 -

Motor fuel

292.353 292.340 303.708 0.4 3.9 3.9

Gasoline (all types)

288.112 288.125 299.441 0.5 3.9 3.9

Gasoline, unleaded regular (3)

287.400 287.512 299.025 0.3 4.0 4.0

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade (3) (4)

285.183 284.833 295.204 0.9 3.5 3.6

Gasoline, unleaded premium (3)

275.701 275.223 284.938 0.9 3.4 3.5

Medical care

460.134 - 459.586 1.8 -0.1 -

Recreation (5)

124.324 - 124.653 0.8 0.3 -

Education and communication (5)

132.087 - 132.106 3.9 0.0 -

Other goods and services

462.535 - 465.552 0.9 0.7 -
Commodity and service group            

Commodities

182.305 - 180.834 -0.3 -0.8 -

Commodities less food and beverages

157.534 - 155.835 -0.6 -1.1 -

Nondurables less food and beverages

200.032 - 197.368 0.1 -1.3 -

Durables

109.480 - 108.943 -2.3 -0.5 -

Services

302.040 - 303.745 2.0 0.6 -
Special aggregate indexes            

All items less medical care

231.869 - 232.137 1.2 0.1 -

All items less shelter

224.238 - 223.803 0.7 -0.2 -

Commodities less food

160.105 - 158.385 -0.6 -1.1 -

Nondurables

214.254 - 212.368 0.2 -0.9 -

Nondurables less food

201.629 - 198.981 0.1 -1.3 -

Services less rent of shelter (2)

315.652 - 317.189 1.9 0.5 -

Services less medical care services

289.291 - 290.898 2.0 0.6 -

Energy

225.632 225.225 230.313 -0.7 2.1 2.3

All items less energy

244.706 - 244.427 1.4 -0.1 -

All items less food and energy

250.744 - 250.534 1.6 -0.1 -

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: January 17, 2014