News Release Information
Wednesday, January 18, 2017
Consumer Price Index, Philadelphia-Wilmington-Atlantic City – December 2016
Area prices down 0.1 percent since October and up 1.7 percent over the year
The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for Philadelphia-Wilmington-Atlantic City inched down 0.1 percent over the last two months, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Sheila Watkins noted that the recent decrease was led by a decline in the all items less food and energy index (-0.3 percent); the food index also declined (-0.8 percent). Meanwhile, the energy index advanced 2.4 percent since October. (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 1.7 percent. (See chart 1 and table A.) The advance was due mostly to a 2.0-percent increase in the all items less food and energy index. The energy index rose 4.9 percent, while the food index declined 1.6 percent over the year. (See table 1.)
After recording no change from August to October, the food index declined 0.8 percent since October. Prices were lower for food at home, down 1.5 percent, while those for food away from home inched up 0.1 percent over the last two months.
The food index decreased 1.6 percent over the year. Prices for food at home declined 3.6 percent, while those for food away from home increased 1.5 percent since last December.
The energy index, which includes prices for household and transportation fuels, advanced 2.4 percent since October. This was due largely to higher prices for gasoline, up 6.7 percent over the last two months. Prices for utility (piped) gas service also increased since October, up 1.8 percent, while those for electricity declined, down 1.5 percent.
Over the year, the energy index rose 4.9 percent, led by an 11.9-percent advance in gasoline prices. This was the largest over-the-year increase for each of these indexes since February 2012. Prices were also higher for utility (piped) gas service (6.2 percent), while those for electricity declined 2.8 percent over the year.
All items less food and energy
The index for all items less food and energy declined 0.3 percent from October to December. A seasonal decrease in apparel prices (-7.1 percent) and lower medical care prices (-2.4 percent) were the main contributors to the two-month decline. Higher prices for shelter (0.6 percent) moderated the decrease in the all items less food and energy index since October.
Since December 2015, the index for all items less food and energy rose 2.0 percent. Prices were higher for a number of indexes including shelter (2.3 percent), apparel (8.1 percent), and medical care (2.3 percent). Lower prices for recreation (-0.5 percent), among others, moderated the 12-month increase in the all items less food and energy index.
The Consumer Price Index for February 2017 is scheduled to be released Wednesday, March 15, 2017 at 8:30 am (ET).
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/pdf/homch17.pdf.
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.
|Expenditure category||Indexes||Percent change from|
All items (1967 = 100)
Food and beverages
Food at home
Food away from home
Rent of primary residence(1)
Fuels and utilities
Gas (piped) and electricity(1)
Utility (piped) gas service(1)
Household furnishings and operations
Gasoline (all types)
Gasoline, unleaded regular(4)
Gasoline, unleaded premium(4)
Education and communication(6)
Other goods and services
Commodity and service group
Commodities less food and beverages
Nondurables less food and beverages
Special aggregate indexes
All items less shelter
All items less medical care
Commodities less food
Nondurables less food
Services less rent of shelter(2)
Services less medical care services
All items less energy
All items less food and energy
Note: Index applies to a month as a whole, not to any specific date.
Last Modified Date: Wednesday, January 18, 2017