Friday, January 12, 2018
The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for Philadelphia-Wilmington-Atlantic City inched down 0.1 percent from October to December, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Sheila Watkins noted that lower prices for all items less food and energy (-0.5 percent) were nearly offset by higher prices for energy (3.5 percent) and food (0.2 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 0.8 percent. (See chart 1 and table A.) The over-the-year rise was led by increases in the energy index (7.2 percent) and the food index (1.8 percent). Prices for all items less food and energy also rose since December 2016, up 0.1 percent. (See table 1.)
Following a 0.3-percent rise from August to October, the food index edged up 0.2 percent over the last two months. Prices were higher for food away from home, up 0.4 percent since October. Food at home prices were unchanged over the last two months.
Over the year, the food index increased 1.8 percent. Prices for food away from home rose 2.5 percent, and those for food at home increased 1.3 percent.
The energy index, which includes prices for household and transportation fuels, increased 3.5 percent since October. This was reflected by higher prices for electricity and utility (piped) gas service, up 3.5 and 7.1 percent, respectively, over the last two months. Prices were also higher for gasoline, up 1.8 percent since October.
Over the year, the energy index rose 7.2 percent, led by an 11.4-percent advance in gasoline prices. Prices were also higher for utility (piped) gas service (9.4 percent), while those for electricity declined 0.4 percent over the year.
The index for all items less food and energy decreased 0.5 percent from October to December, led by lower prices for apparel (-10.8 percent). Higher prices for new and used motor vehicles, along with those for medical care (0.8 percent), moderated the decrease in the all items less food and energy index since October.
Since December 2016, the index for all items less food and energy inched up 0.1 percent. This was largely due to higher prices for shelter (1.2 percent). Lower prices for education and communication (-3.4 percent) and apparel (-8.2 percent), among others, moderated the 12-month increase in the all items less food and energy index.
The Consumer Price Index for February 2018 is scheduled to be released Tuesday, March 13, 2018 at 8:30 am (ET).
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 renamed. 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 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: Friday, January 12, 2018