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14-461-PHI

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

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Consumer Price Index, Philadelphia-Wilmington-Atlantic City –
February 2014

Area Prices Up 0.5 Percent Since December; 1.0 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 December to February, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Sheila Watkins, the Bureau’s regional commissioner, noted that the recent increase was led by higher prices for all items less food and energy (0.5 percent). The energy and food indexes also rose since December, up 1.2 and 0.2 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 1.0 percent. (See chart 1 and table A.) The rise was due almost entirely to a 1.5-percent advance in the all items less food and energy index since February 2013. Prices for food rose 0.4 percent over the year, while those for energy decreased 1.6 percent. (See table 1.)

Chart 1. 12-month percent change in CPI for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), Philadelphia-Wilmington-Atlantic City, February 2011-February 2014 (non seasonally adjusted)

Food

Food prices edged up 0.2 percent over the last two months, due to a 0.7-percent increase in food away from home prices. Food at home prices edged down 0.2 percent since December.

Over the year, the food index increased 0.4 percent. Prices for food away from home rose 2.6 percent, while those for food at home decreased 1.2 percent.

Energy

Due almost entirely to a 1.5-percent advance in gasoline prices over the last two months, the energy index, which includes prices for household and transportation fuels, increased 1.2 percent. Utility (piped) gas service prices also rose since December, up 0.2 percent, while electricity prices declined, down 1.4 percent.

The energy index declined 1.6 percent since last February. Prices were lower for gasoline (-5.1 percent) and utility (piped) gas service (-5.0 percent), while those for electricity rose (3.4 percent) over the year.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy increased 0.5 percent from December to February, due mostly to a seasonal increase in apparel prices (9.5 percent). Prices were also higher for shelter, particularly those for owners’ equivalent rent of residences, each edging up 0.2 percent. These and other bimonthly advances were partially offset by lower prices for household furnishings and operations, down 1.8 percent since December.

Over the last 12 months, the index for all items less food and energy increased 1.5 percent. Prices were higher for a number of components including shelter (2.2 percent), particularly owners’ equivalent rent of residences (2.0 percent), and apparel (6.6 percent). Moderating the rise in the all items less food and energy index were lower prices for household furnishings and operations, down 4.6 percent over the year—the index’s largest 12-month decline in four years.

The April 2014 Consumer Price Index for Philadelphia-Wilmington-Atlantic City is scheduled to be released May 15, 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 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
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

1.0 -0.3 0.8 2.8 1.3 1.9 0.7 2.2 0.7 1.8 0.5 1.0

April

0.6 -0.9 0.4 2.6 1.0 2.5 0.8 2.0 0.1 1.1    

June

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

August

1.0 -1.0 0.2 1.1 0.7 3.4 0.9 1.4 0.5 1.1    

October

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

0.3

 

 

December

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-
Dec. 2013 Jan. 2014 Feb. 2014 Feb. 2013 Dec. 2013 Jan. 2014

All items

241.383 - 242.584 1.0 0.5 -

Food and beverages

223.847 - 224.431 0.5 0.3 -

Food

223.557 - 223.931 0.4 0.2 -

Food at home

232.927 231.659 232.416 -1.2 -0.2 0.3

Food away from home

205.497 - 206.841 2.6 0.7 -

Alcoholic beverages

225.057 - 228.301 1.7 1.4 -

Housing

245.707 - 246.055 1.7 0.1 -

Shelter

297.882 298.031 298.362 2.2 0.2 0.1

Rent of primary residence (1)

278.489 278.703 278.592 2.2 0.0 0.0

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

306.233 306.539 306.922 2.0 0.2 0.1

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

306.233 306.539 306.922 2.0 0.2 0.1

Fuels and utilities

216.920 - 219.888 2.8 1.4 -

Household energy

187.541 188.143 189.091 1.9 0.8 0.5

Energy services (1)

192.975 192.498 191.181 1.0 -0.9 -0.7

Electricity (1)

201.620 198.457 198.872 3.4 -1.4 0.2

Utility (piped) gas service (1)

167.709 173.006 168.024 -5.0 0.2 -2.9

Household furnishings and operations

118.210 - 116.070 -4.6 -1.8 -

Apparel

106.086 - 116.145 6.6 9.5 -

Transportation

218.807 - 218.857 -2.4 0.0 -

Private transportation

216.641 - 217.740 -2.2 0.5 -

Motor fuel

303.708 305.967 308.287 -5.0 1.5 0.8

Gasoline (all types)

299.441 301.637 303.816 -5.1 1.5 0.7

Gasoline, unleaded regular (3)

299.025 301.194 303.345 -5.4 1.4 0.7

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade (3) (4)

295.204 297.599 299.725 -4.1 1.5 0.7

Gasoline, unleaded premium (3)

284.938 287.062 289.328 -4.2 1.5 0.8

Medical care

459.586 - 460.820 1.2 0.3 -

Recreation (5)

124.653 - 125.667 1.6 0.8 -

Education and communication (5)

132.106 - 132.195 1.4 0.1 -

Other goods and services

465.552 - 469.499 1.6 0.8 -
Commodity and service group            

Commodities

180.834 - 183.344 -0.6 1.4 -

Commodities less food and beverages

155.835 - 159.126 -1.1 2.1 -

Nondurables less food and beverages

197.368 - 203.670 -0.3 3.2 -

Durables

108.943 - 108.988 -2.5 0.0 -

Services

303.745 - 303.782 1.8 0.0 -
Special aggregate indexes            

All items less medical care

232.137 - 233.332 1.0 0.5 -

All items less shelter

223.803 - 225.323 0.4 0.7 -

Commodities less food

158.385 - 161.681 -1.0 2.1 -

Nondurables

212.368 - 216.072 -0.1 1.7 -

Nondurables less food

198.981 - 205.103 -0.3 3.1 -

Services less rent of shelter (2)

317.189 - 316.674 1.4 -0.2 -

Services less medical care services

290.898 - 290.941 1.8 0.0 -

Energy

230.313 231.524 232.977 -1.6 1.2 0.6

All items less energy

244.427 - 245.475 1.3 0.4 -

All items less food and energy

250.534 - 251.717 1.5 0.5 -

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: March 19, 2014