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News Release Information

18-405-PHI
Tuesday, March 13, 2018

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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.)

Food

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.

Energy

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).

Table A. Philadelphia CPI-U 2-month and 12-month percent changes, all items index, not seasonally adjusted
Month20142015201620172018
2-month12-month2-month12-month2-month12-month2-month12-month2-month12-month

February

0.51.0-0.2-0.10.30.30.72.10.40.5

April

0.51.40.50.00.90.60.01.3

June

0.61.80.80.20.30.1-0.30.7

August

0.01.3-0.5-0.3-0.20.40.51.4

October

-0.11.6-0.3-0.50.61.30.00.8

December

-0.80.6-0.6-0.2-0.11.7-0.10.8

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.


Technical Note

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.

Table 1. Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U): Indexes and percent changes for selected periods, Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD, (1982-84=100 unless otherwise noted) (not seasonally adjusted)
Expenditure categoryIndexesPercent change from
Historical
data
Dec.
2017
Jan.
2018
Feb.
2018
Feb.
2017
Dec.
2017
Jan.
2018

All items

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSA0
248.617 249.5670.50.4 

All items (1967 = 100)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BAA0
718.240 720.985   

Food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAF
233.891 232.6770.3-0.5 

Food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAF1
234.078 232.5630.4-0.6 

Food at home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAF11
239.043236.617236.928-0.5-0.90.1

Cereals and bakery products

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAF111
301.509 295.321 -2.1 

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAF112
261.224 261.061 -0.1 

Dairy and related products

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSEFJ
201.122 198.142 -1.5 

Fruits and vegetables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAF113
282.546 275.316 -2.6 

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAF114
152.256 151.651 -0.4 

Other food at home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAF115
218.378 219.330 0.4 

Food away from home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSEFV
221.804 221.1361.8-0.3 

Alcoholic beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAF116
228.725 231.852-0.71.4 

Housing

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAH
256.561 256.7831.10.1 

Shelter

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAH1
319.756318.605320.0801.30.10.5

Rent of primary residence(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSEHA
298.183298.528299.1292.20.30.2

Owners' equivalent rent of residences(2)(3)(4)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSEHC
327.825327.967328.6001.30.20.2

Owners' equivalent rent of primary residence(2)(3)(4)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSEHC01
327.825327.967328.6001.30.20.2

Fuels and utilities

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAH2
206.856 205.7872.9-0.5 

Household energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAH21
171.926170.827170.9173.0-0.60.1

Energy services(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSEHF
181.176177.819178.8191.2-1.30.6

Electricity(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSEHF01
184.437180.729181.906-2.1-1.40.7

Utility (piped) gas service(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSEHF02
164.791162.181162.8468.8-1.20.4

Household furnishings and operations

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAH3
109.325 110.267-2.70.9 

Apparel

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAA
101.223 113.272-0.911.9 

Transportation

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAT
208.271 210.9972.11.3 

Private transportation

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAT1
207.831 209.9932.41.0 

New and used motor vehicles(5)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSETA
95.018 94.777 -0.3 

New vehicles(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSETA01
176.334 175.204 -0.6 

Used cars and trucks(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSETA02
250.399 253.046 1.1 

Motor fuel

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSETB
236.495249.213251.70015.36.41.0

Gasoline (all types)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSETB01
233.093245.559248.18315.36.51.1

Gasoline, unleaded regular(6)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSS47014
229.884242.631245.20715.76.71.1

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(6)(7)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSS47015
239.850250.000250.76412.74.60.3

Gasoline, unleaded premium(6)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSS47016
236.999246.599249.70213.25.41.3

Motor vehicle insurance(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSETE
813.326 752.183 -7.5 

Medical care

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAM
514.200 518.6152.00.9 

Recreation(5)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAR
122.355 117.524-5.4-3.9 

Education and communication(5)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAE
130.003 130.157-2.80.1 

Tuition, other school fees, and child care(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSEEB
1,026.062 1,029.802 0.4 

Other goods and services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAG
538.332 538.0650.90.0 

Commodity and service group

Commodities

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAC
176.379 179.5021.71.8 

Commodities less food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSACL11
144.784 149.1792.43.0 

Nondurables less food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSANL11
185.740 195.1265.25.1 

Durables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAD
100.252 100.157-1.8-0.1 

Services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAS
321.884 321.019-0.1-0.3 

Special aggregate indexes

All items less shelter

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSA0L2
225.333 226.5390.10.5 

All items less medical care

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSA0L5
237.436 238.2330.30.3 

Commodities less food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSACL1
147.782 152.1842.33.0 

Nondurables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAN
210.949 216.0112.92.4 

Nondurables less food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSANL1
188.236 197.3704.84.9 

Services less rent of shelter(3)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSASL2RS
331.296 329.325-1.4-0.6 

Services less medical care services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSASL5
307.524 306.405-0.2-0.4 

Energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSA0E
195.141199.227200.2158.32.60.5

All items less energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSA0LE
256.403 256.869-0.10.2 

All items less food and energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSA0L1E
262.820 263.583-0.20.3 

Footnotes
(1) Indexes on a December 1977=100 base
(2) This index series was calculated using a Laspeyres estimator. All other item stratum index series were calculated using a geometric means estimator.
(3) Indexes on a December 1982=100 base.
(4) 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.
(5) Indexes on a December 1997=100 base.
(6) Special index based on a substantially smaller sample.
(7) Indexes on a December 1993=100 base.

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

 

Last Modified Date: Tuesday, March 13, 2018