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Thursday, May 15, 2014

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

Area Prices Up 0.5 Percent Since February; 1.4 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 February to April, 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 (0.3 percent). The energy and food indexes also rose since February, up 1.4 and 0.8 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 1.4 percent.(See chart 1 and table A.) The rise was due mostly to a 1.3-percent advance in the all items less food and energy index since April 2013. Prices for energy and food also rose over the year, up 1.9 and 1.3 percent, respectively. (See table 1.)

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

Food

Food prices increased 0.8 percent over the last two months, due almost entirely to a 1.4-percent advance in food at home prices. Within the food at home component, price increases for various items including beef and veal, as well as pork, were moderated by price declines in snacks and fresh fish and seafood. Food away from home prices also rose, inching up 0.1 percent.

Over the year, the food index increased 1.3 percent. Prices for food away from home advanced 2.5 percent and those for food at home rose 0.6 percent.

Energy

Due largely to a 4.1-percent advance in gasoline prices over the last two months, the energy index, which includes prices for household and transportation fuels, increased 1.4 percent. Utility (piped) gas service prices also advanced since February, jumping 9.2 percent—the index’s largest bimonthly increase in nearly six years. Electricity prices declined, down 3.4 percent.

The energy index increased 1.9 percent since last April. Prices were higher for gasoline (5.2 percent) and utility (piped) gas service (1.5 percent), while those for electricity declined (-3.7 percent) over the year.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy edged up 0.3 percent from February to April, led by price advances for medical care (0.9 percent) and household furnishings and operations (1.5 percent). Partially offsetting these bimonthly advances were price declines for recreation (-0.5 percent) and apparel (-0.4 percent), among others.

Over the last 12 months, the index for all items less food and energy increased 1.3 percent. This was largely due to higher prices for shelter (2.0 percent), as the particularly owners’ equivalent rent of residences component rose 2.2 percent. Price increases were widespread among other components including education and communication and medical care (1.6 percent each). Moderating the rise in the all items less food and energy index were lower prices for household furnishings and operations, down 2.8 percent over the year.

The June 2014 Consumer Price Index for Philadelphia-Wilmington-Atlantic City is scheduled to be released July 22, 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 0.5 1.4

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-
Feb. 2014 Mar. 2014 Apr. 2014 Apr. 2013 Feb. 2014 Mar. 2014

All items

242.584 - 243.694 1.4 0.5 -

Food and beverages

224.431 - 225.722 1.1 0.6 -

Food

223.931 - 225.676 1.3 0.8 -

Food at home

232.416 234.605 235.576 0.6 1.4 0.4

Food away from home

206.841 - 206.956 2.5 0.1 -

Alcoholic beverages

228.301 - 223.802 -1.9 -2.0 -

Housing

246.055 - 246.034 1.4 0.0 -

Shelter

298.362 298.862 298.301 2.0 0.0 -0.2

Rent of primary residence (1)

278.592 278.931 278.601 2.2 0.0 -0.1

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

306.922 307.302 307.256 2.2 0.1 0.0

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

306.922 307.302 307.256 2.2 0.1 0.0

Fuels and utilities

219.888 - 217.828 0.0 -0.9 -

Household energy

189.091 188.416 186.904 -1.2 -1.2 -0.8

Energy services (1)

191.181 191.508 191.451 -2.1 0.1 0.0

Electricity (1)

198.872 193.138 192.083 -3.7 -3.4 -0.5

Utility (piped) gas service (1)

168.024 181.323 183.403 1.5 9.2 1.1

Household furnishings and operations

116.070 - 117.800 -2.8 1.5 -

Apparel

116.145 - 115.653 0.8 -0.4 -

Transportation

218.857 - 224.700 1.9 2.7 -

Private transportation

217.740 - 222.814 2.2 2.3 -

Motor fuel

308.287 315.643 320.700 5.2 4.0 1.6

Gasoline (all types)

303.816 311.138 316.217 5.2 4.1 1.6

Gasoline, unleaded regular (3)

303.345 310.844 315.966 5.2 4.2 1.6

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade (3) (4)

299.725 306.522 311.216 5.5 3.8 1.5

Gasoline, unleaded premium (3)

289.328 295.214 299.871 4.9 3.6 1.6

Medical care

460.820 - 464.749 1.6 0.9 -

Recreation (5)

125.667 - 125.019 1.1 -0.5 -

Education and communication (5)

132.195 - 132.055 1.6 -0.1 -

Other goods and services

469.499 - 469.600 1.1 0.0 -
Commodity and service group            

Commodities

183.344 - 185.040 0.8 0.9 -

Commodities less food and beverages

159.126 - 160.948 0.7 1.1 -

Nondurables less food and beverages

203.670 - 205.470 1.8 0.9 -

Durables

108.988 - 110.800 -1.4 1.7 -

Services

303.782 - 304.387 1.6 0.2 -
Special aggregate indexes            

All items less medical care

233.332 - 234.329 1.4 0.4 -

All items less shelter

225.323 - 226.934 1.0 0.7 -

Commodities less food

161.681 - 163.309 0.6 1.0 -

Nondurables

216.072 - 217.657 1.4 0.7 -

Nondurables less food

205.103 - 206.530 1.5 0.7 -

Services less rent of shelter (2)

316.674 - 318.114 1.2 0.5 -

Services less medical care services

290.941 - 291.408 1.6 0.2 -

Energy

232.977 235.254 236.157 1.9 1.4 0.4

All items less energy

245.475 - 246.366 1.3 0.4 -

All items less food and energy

251.717 - 252.458 1.3 0.3 -

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: May 16, 2014