News Release Information
Tuesday, March 13, 2018
Consumer Price Index, Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington – February 2018
Area prices up 0.4 percent since December; up 0.5 percent over the year
The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington increased 0.4 percent from December to February, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Sheila Watkins noted that higher prices for all items less food and energy (0.3 percent) and energy (2.6 percent) were moderated by lower prices for food (-0.6 percent) since December. (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 0.5 percent. (See chart 1 and table A.) The over-the-year rise was led by increases in the energy index (8.3 percent) and the food index (0.4 percent). Prices for all items less food and energy declined since February 2017, down 0.2 percent. (See table 1.)
Following a 0.2-percent rise from October to December, the food index decreased 0.6 percent over the last two months. Prices were lower for both food at home (-0.9 percent) and food away from home (-0.3 percent) since December. Within the food at home component, prices were lower for various items including breakfast cereal, chicken, and eggs.
Over the year, the food index increased 0.4 percent. Prices for food away from home rose 1.8 percent, while those for food at home decreased 0.5 percent.
The energy index, which includes prices for household and transportation fuels, increased 2.6 percent since December. Higher prices for gasoline, up 6.5 percent since December, were moderated by lower prices for electricity and utility (piped) gas service, down 1.4 and 1.2 percent, respectively, over the last two months.
Over the year, the energy index rose 8.3 percent, led by a 15.3-percent advance in gasoline prices. Prices were also higher for utility (piped) gas service (8.8 percent), while those for electricity declined 2.1 percent over the year.
All items less food and energy
The index for all items less food and energy increased 0.3 percent from December to February, led by higher prices for apparel (11.9 percent) and medical care (0.9 percent). Lower prices for recreation (-3.9 percent), among others, moderated the increase in the all items less food and energy index since December.
Since February 2017, the index for all items less food and energy edged down 0.2 percent. Prices were lower for a number of items including recreation (-5.4 percent), education and communication (-2.8 percent), and household furnishings and operations (-2.7 percent).
The Consumer Price Index for April 2018 is scheduled to be released Thursday, May 10, 2018 at 8:30 am (ET).
Consumer Price Index Geographic Revision for 2018
In January 2018, BLS introduced a new geographic area sample for the Consumer Price Index (CPI). As part of the new sample, the index for this area was renamed. The first indexes using the new structure are published for the first time this month. 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-Camden-Wilmington 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 93 percent of the total population and (2) a CPI for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) which covers approximately 29 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 75 urban areas across the country from about 5,000 housing units and approximately 22,000 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-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD, Core Based Statistical Area includes Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia Counties in Pennsylvania; Burlington, Camden, 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
Cereals and bakery products
Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs
Dairy and related products
Fruits and vegetables
Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials(1)
Other food at home
Food away from home
Rent of primary residence(2)
Fuels and utilities
Utility (piped) gas service(2)
Household furnishings and operations
New and used motor vehicles(5)
Used cars and trucks(1)
Gasoline (all types)
Gasoline, unleaded regular(6)
Gasoline, unleaded premium(6)
Motor vehicle insurance(1)
Education and communication(5)
Tuition, other school fees, and child care(1)
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(3)
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: Tuesday, March 13, 2018