Friday, July 14, 2017
The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) in the Pittsburgh area advanced 2.6 percent from the first half of 2016 to the first half of 2017, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Sheila Watkins, the Bureau’s regional commissioner, noted that the recent advance was due to a 2.5-percent rise in the all items less food and energy index. (See chart 1.) The energy index increased 10.2 percent since the first half of 2016, while the food index declined 0.4 percent.
Food prices decreased 0.4 percent since the first half of 2016. Food at home prices declined 0.5 percent, and those for food away from home inched down 0.1 percent.
The energy index, which includes prices for household and transportation fuels, rose 10.2 percent from the first half of 2016 to the first half of 2017, due mainly to a 16.7-percent increase in gasoline prices. Prices for utility (piped) gas service and electricity also rose over the year, up 15.8 and 1.9 percent, respectively.
Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy rose 2.5 percent. The increase was led by higher prices for shelter, up 3.0 percent. Prices were also higher for several other categories including medical care (8.2 percent), and other goods and services (6.2 percent).
The Consumer Price Index for the second half of 2017 is scheduled to be released in January 2018.
In January 2018, BLS will introduce a new geographic area sample for the Consumer Price Index (CPI). As part of the new sample, the index for this area will be discontinued. The first indexes using the new structure will be published in February 2018. Additional information on the geographic revision is available at: www.bls.gov/cpi/additional-resources/geographic-revision-2018.htm.
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 Pittsburgh, Pa. metropolitan statistical area covered in this release is comprised of Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Washington, and Westmoreland Counties in Pennsylvania.
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|
Food and beverages
Food at home
Food away from home
Rent of primary residence(1)
Fuels and utilities
Utility (piped) gas service(1)
Household furnishings and operations
Gasoline (all types)
Gasoline, unleaded regular(3)
Gasoline, unleaded premium(3)
Education and communication(5)
Other goods and services
Commodity and service group
Commodities less food and beverages
Nondurables less food and beverages
Special aggregate indexes
All items less medical care
All items less shelter
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 6-month period as a whole, not to any specific date.
Last Modified Date: Friday, July 14, 2017