Department of Labor Logo United States Department of Labor
Dot gov

The .gov means it's official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you're on a federal government site.

Https

The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

News Release Information

16-588-PHI
Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Contacts

Technical information:
Media contact:

Consumer Price Index, Philadelphia-Wilmington-Atlantic City – February 2016

Area prices up 0.3 percent since December and 0.3 percent over the year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for Philadelphia-Wilmington-Atlantic City increased 0.3 percent over the last two months, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Sheila Watkins noted that the recent increase reflected higher prices for all items less food and energy (0.9 percent). Meanwhile, prices for both energy and food decreased since December, down 4.9 percent and 0.3 percent, respectively. (Data in this report are not seasonally adjusted. Accordingly, month-to-month changes may reflect the impact of seasonal influences.)

Over the last 12 months, the CPI-U increased 0.3 percent. (See chart 1 and table A.) A 1.2-percent increase in the all items less food and energy index and a 2.0-percent increase in the food index were moderated by a 12.1-percent drop in the energy index since February 2015. (See table 1.)

Food

Unchanged from October to December, the food index edged down 0.3 percent over the last two months. Prices for food at home declined 0.6 percent, while those for food away from home inched up 0.1 percent since December. Within the food at home component, lower prices for various items including bacon, breakfast sausage, and related products and fresh fish and seafood were moderated by higher prices for carbonated drinks and eggs, among others.

The food index rose 2.0 percent over the year, as prices for both components also increased. Prices for food at home advanced 2.0 percent and those for food away from home increased 2.1 percent since last February.

Energy

The energy index, which includes prices for household and transportation fuels, decreased 4.9 percent since December. This was due mostly to lower prices for gasoline, down 14.2 percent over the last two months. Prices for both electricity and utility (piped) gas service increased since December, up 2.6 and 0.2 percent, respectively.

Energy prices fell 12.1 percent since February 2015, due mostly to a 20.1-percent drop in gasoline prices. Utility (piped) gas service and electricity prices were also lower, down 16.2 and 0.2 percent, respectively, over the year.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy increased 0.9 percent since December, reflecting higher prices for apparel (7.2 percent) and medical care (1.8 percent), among others. Moderating the two-month increase in the all items less food and energy index was a decrease in prices for education and communication (-0.5 percent).

Since February 2015, the index for all items less food and energy rose 1.2 percent. Over-the-year price increases for shelter (0.8 percent), particularly the owners’ equivalent rent of residences component (1.3 percent), and other goods and services (10.3 percent) contributed to the rise. Lower prices for apparel (-3.2 percent) and household furnishings and operations (-1.5 percent), among others, helped to moderate the increase in the all items less food and energy index since last February.

Table A. Philadelphia CPI-U 2-month and 12-month percent changes, all items index, not seasonally adjusted
Month20122013201420152016
2-month12-month2-month12-month2-month12-month2-month12-month2-month12-month

February

0.72.20.71.80.51.0-0.2-0.10.30.3

April

0.82.00.11.10.51.40.50.0  

June

-0.21.30.31.50.61.80.80.2  

August

0.91.40.51.10.01.3-0.5-0.3  

October

0.42.2-0.40.3-0.11.6-0.3-0.5  

December

-0.91.80.11.2-0.80.6-0.6-0.2  

The Consumer Price Index for April 2016 is scheduled to be released Tuesday, May 17, 2016 at 8:30 am (ET).


Technical Note

The Consumer Price Index for Philadelphia-Wilmington-Atlantic City is published bi-monthly. 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 89 percent of the total population and (2) a CPI for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) which covers approximately 28 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 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: (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) (not seasonally adjusted)
Expenditure categoryIndexesPercent change from
 
Historical
data
Dec.
2015
Jan.
2016
Feb.
2016
Feb.
2015
Dec.
2015
Jan.
2016

All items

Jump to page with historical data
242.356 243.1320.30.3 

All items (1967 = 100)

Jump to page with historical data
700.153 702.393   
 

Food and beverages

Jump to page with historical data
233.378 233.4661.90.0 

Food

Jump to page with historical data
233.752 233.0702.0-0.3 

Food at home

Jump to page with historical data
244.977244.694243.5832.0-0.6-0.5

Food away from home

Jump to page with historical data
213.285 213.5522.10.1 

Alcoholic beverages

Jump to page with historical data
226.018 235.1360.34.0 
 

Housing

Jump to page with historical data
248.974 249.542-0.10.2 

Shelter

Jump to page with historical data
308.915308.916309.4640.80.20.2

Rent of primary residence (1)

Jump to page with historical data
288.295288.600288.7460.20.20.1

Owners' equivalent rent of residences (1) (2) (3)

Jump to page with historical data
317.682318.152318.4591.30.20.1

Owners' equivalent rent of primary residence (1) (2) (3)

Jump to page with historical data
317.682318.152318.4591.30.20.1

Fuels and utilities

Jump to page with historical data
197.644 199.079-5.20.7 

Household energy

Jump to page with historical data
164.211166.531165.632-7.10.9-0.5

Gas (piped) and electricity (1)

Jump to page with historical data
176.937180.728180.333-4.91.9-0.2

Electricity (1)

Jump to page with historical data
190.407196.095195.412-0.22.6-0.3

Utility (piped) gas service (1)

Jump to page with historical data
141.896141.961142.122-16.20.20.1

Household furnishings and operations

Jump to page with historical data
113.523 113.496-1.50.0 
 

Apparel

Jump to page with historical data
102.026 109.401-3.27.2 
 

Transportation

Jump to page with historical data
196.131 193.887-2.8-1.1 

Private transportation

Jump to page with historical data
195.185 191.655-2.9-1.8 

Motor fuel

Jump to page with historical data
189.696176.667162.778-20.2-14.2-7.9

Gasoline (all types)

Jump to page with historical data
187.087174.255160.516-20.1-14.2-7.9

Gasoline, unleaded regular (4)

Jump to page with historical data
183.854170.889156.871-21.2-14.7-8.2

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade (4) (5)

Jump to page with historical data
195.073182.288169.973-17.0-12.9-6.8

Gasoline, unleaded premium (4)

Jump to page with historical data
193.853182.990171.690-14.0-11.4-6.2
 

Medical care

Jump to page with historical data
489.480 498.0902.41.8 
 

Recreation (6)

Jump to page with historical data
123.357 123.9870.10.5 
 

Education and communication (6)

Jump to page with historical data
134.427 133.7290.8-0.5 
 

Other goods and services

Jump to page with historical data
502.938 508.12910.31.0 
 

Commodity and service group

 

Commodities

Jump to page with historical data
172.518 172.197-2.1-0.2 

Commodities less food and beverages

Jump to page with historical data
139.812 139.348-4.9-0.3 

Nondurables less food and beverages

Jump to page with historical data
172.022 169.714-6.5-1.3 

Durables

Jump to page with historical data
103.074 104.215-2.21.1 

Services

Jump to page with historical data
313.248 315.0481.50.6 
 

Special aggregate indexes

 

All items less shelter

Jump to page with historical data
220.708 221.5800.00.4 

All items less medical care

Jump to page with historical data
231.986 232.4120.10.2 

Commodities less food

Jump to page with historical data
142.861 142.682-4.6-0.1 

Nondurables

Jump to page with historical data
203.045 201.795-2.1-0.6 

Nondurables less food

Jump to page with historical data
175.192 173.577-6.0-0.9 

Services less rent of shelter (2)

Jump to page with historical data
324.847 328.0822.31.0 

Services less medical care services

Jump to page with historical data
299.494 300.7751.40.4 

Energy

Jump to page with historical data
173.634170.552165.074-12.1-4.9-3.2

All items less energy

Jump to page with historical data
251.757 253.5571.30.7 

All items less food and energy

Jump to page with historical data
257.405 259.6381.20.9 

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) This index series underwent a change in composition in January 2010. The expenditure class now includes weight from secondary residences, and has been re-titled "Owners' equivalent rent of residences." The item stratum "Owners' equivalent rent of primary residence" excludes secondary residences.
(4) Special index based on a substantially smaller sample.
(5) Indexes on a December 1993=100 base.
(6) Indexes on a December 1997=100 base.

Note: Index applies to a month as a whole, not to any specific date.

 

Last Modified Date: Wednesday, March 16, 2016