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Pittsburgh Area Consumer Price Index: Second Half 2009 (PDF)
Local Prices up 0.3 Percent Over the Year
Retail prices in the Pittsburgh area, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), rose 0.3 percent from the second half of 2008 to the second half of 2009, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Sheila Watkins, the Bureau’s regional commissioner, noted that while advances in the food and beverages index led the way, most major categories of the Pittsburgh CPI-U had over-the-year increases in the second half of 2009. Prices were lower in only the transportation and housing categories. (See chart 1 and table 1.)
Chart 1. Over-the-year percent changes ended in the second half of 2009 for the major categories of the CPI-U for the Pittsburgh area, not seasonally adjusted
The food and beverages index rose 1.8 percent since the second half of 2008 due primarily to a 3.7-percent advance in food away from home prices. Both of these indexes have experienced uninterrupted 12-month increases since semiannual publication began in the first half of 1984. Higher prices for alcoholic beverages (2.6 percent) also contributed to the increase in the food and beverages index, while lower prices for food at home (-0.3 percent) moderated the overall advance.
The other goods and services index, which includes tobacco and smoking products, personal care products and services, and personal services such as legal, funeral, and laundry and dry cleaning services, was 7.4 percent higher than a year ago—the largest over-the-year advance since the second half of 2002.
Medical care prices rose 3.7 percent over the last 12 months. This index has experienced continuous 12-month increases since semiannual publication began in the first half of 1984.
Education and communication prices increased 2.9 percent from their year-ago levels. The recreation index advanced 2.0 percent since the second half of 2008. The apparel index rose 0.4 percent over the year.
The remaining indexes had lower prices from the second half of 2008 to the second half of 2009. The transportation index decreased 3.5 percent over the year. Lower gasoline prices, down 13.9 percent over the year, were almost entirely responsible for the overall decline.
The housing index declined 0.6 percent from its year-ago level, due to a 12.5-percent decrease in prices for fuels and utilities. Utility (piped) gas service prices dropped 34.5 percent during this period–the largest 12-month decline since semiannual publication began in the first half of 1984. Moderating the decline in the fuels and utilities index were higher prices for electricity, which rose 2.0 percent over the year. Partially offsetting the decline in the housing index were higher prices for shelter, up 1.8 percent over the last 12 months as owners’ equivalent rent of primary residence and rent of primary residence rose 2.5 and 0.8 percent, respectively. Household furnishings and operations prices also advanced over the year, up 1.8 percent.
The energy index, which reflects pricing for gasoline and household fuels, dropped 15.7 percent over the year. Lower prices for utility (piped) gas service and gasoline dominated the over-the-year decline in energy prices.
The CPI-U for the Pittsburgh area stood at 213.774 on the 1982-84=100 reference base, which means that a market basket of goods and services which averaged $100.00 in the 1982-84 period would have cost $213.77 in the second half of 2009.
The Pittsburgh, Pa., Metropolitan Statistical Area includes Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Washington, and Westmoreland Counties.
The relative importance of a component of the CPI is its expenditure or value weight expressed as a percentage of all items within an area. Relative importance ratios show approximately how the index population distributes expenditures when the value weights are collected and represent an estimate of how consumers would distribute their expenditures as prices change over time. Relative importance ratios cannot be used as estimates of current spending patterns or as indicators of changing consumer expenditures in the intervals between weight revisions because consumption patterns are influenced by factors—including income, variations in climate, family size, and availability of new and different kinds of goods and services—other than price change. (See table A.)
Last Modified Date: June 8, 2010