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19-84-PHI
Friday, January 11, 2019

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Consumer Price Index, Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington – December 2018

Area prices were down 0.7 percent since October; up 1.0 percent over the year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington decreased 0.7 percent from October to December, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Sheila Watkins noted that the recent two-month decline reflected a 6.7-percent decrease in the energy index. The all items less food and energy index also decreased since October, down 0.2 percent, while the food index edged up 0.3 percent. (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 1.0 percent. (See chart 1 and table A.) The over-the-year rise was led by an increase in the all items less food and energy index (1.3 percent); the food index also advanced (0.7 percent). Prices for energy decreased since December 2017, down 1.8 percent. (See table 1.)

Food

The food index increased 0.3 percent over the last two months. Prices rose for both food at home and food away from home, up 0.4 and 0.1 percent, respectively. Within the food at home component, prices were higher for various items including fresh fish and seafood and tomatoes, while prices were lower for items including uncooked ground beef and milk.

Over the year, the food index increased 0.7 percent. Prices for food away from home rose 1.9 percent, while those for food at home inched down 0.1 percent.

Energy

The energy index, which includes prices for household and transportation fuels, decreased 6.7 percent due to a 14.2-percent drop in gasoline prices since October. Prices were higher over the last two months for utility (piped) gas service (2.4 percent) and electricity (0.7 percent).

Over the year, the energy index declined 1.8 percent, due to price decreases for electricity (-4.7 percent) and gasoline (-3.3 percent). Prices were higher for utility (piped) gas service (5.0 percent) since December 2017.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy edged down 0.2 percent from October to December. Lower prices for apparel (-6.1 percent) and shelter (-0.5 percent), were moderated by higher prices for recreation (2.7 percent) and medical care (0.9 percent), among others.

Since December 2017, the index for all items less food and energy increased 1.3 percent. Prices were higher for a number of items including shelter (1.9 percent), medical care (3.4 percent), and new and used motor vehicles (3.2 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

0.51.40.50.00.90.60.01.30.91.4

June

0.61.80.80.20.30.1-0.30.70.21.9

August

0.01.3-0.5-0.3-0.20.40.51.40.31.7

October

-0.11.6-0.3-0.50.61.30.00.80.01.6

December

-0.80.6-0.6-0.2-0.11.7-0.10.8-0.71.0

The Consumer Price Index for February 2019 is scheduled to be released Tuesday, March 12, 2019 at 8:30 am (ET).


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
Oct.
2018
Nov.
2018
Dec.
2018
Dec.
2017
Oct.
2018
Nov.
2018

All items

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSA0
253.040 251.1481.0-0.7 

All items (1967 = 100)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BAA0
731.020 725.552   

Food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAF
234.970 235.2940.60.1 

Food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAF1
235.027 235.7180.70.3 

Food at home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAF11
237.833237.630238.792-0.10.40.5

Cereals and bakery products

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAF111
300.917 304.7541.11.3 

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAF112
264.789 263.4640.9-0.5 

Dairy and related products

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSEFJ
198.127 197.729-1.7-0.2 

Fruits and vegetables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAF113
271.611 277.402-1.82.1 

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAF114
156.917 157.8013.60.6 

Other food at home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAF115
216.165 215.157-1.5-0.5 

Food away from home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSEFV
225.639 225.9531.90.1 

Alcoholic beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAF116
231.652 226.670-0.9-2.2 

Housing

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAH
262.087 261.3301.9-0.3 

Shelter

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAH1
327.249324.087325.7291.9-0.50.5

Rent of primary residence

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSEHA
304.156304.293306.1152.70.60.6

Owners' equivalent rent of residences(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSEHC
333.824333.962335.7532.40.60.5

Owners' equivalent rent of primary residence(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSEHC01
333.824333.962335.7532.40.60.5

Fuels and utilities

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAH2
206.714 207.4200.30.3 

Household energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAH21
170.467171.916170.747-0.70.2-0.7

Energy services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSEHF
176.826178.673179.151-1.11.30.3

Electricity

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSEHF01
174.678176.805175.825-4.70.7-0.6

Utility (piped) gas service

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSEHF02
168.980170.283172.9595.02.41.6

Household furnishings and operations

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAH3
113.362 113.8974.20.5 

Apparel

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAA
107.717 101.165-0.1-6.1 

Transportation

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAT
215.768 206.030-1.1-4.5 

Private transportation

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAT1
214.992 206.321-0.7-4.0 

New and used motor vehicles(3)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSETA
97.405 98.0823.20.7 

New vehicles(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSETA01
178.463 177.9650.9-0.3 

Used cars and trucks(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSETA02
250.706 253.4751.21.1 

Motor fuel

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSETB
266.561242.629229.111-3.1-14.0-5.6

Gasoline (all types)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSETB01
262.743238.846225.441-3.3-14.2-5.6

Gasoline, unleaded regular(4)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSS47014
259.647235.308221.855-3.5-14.6-5.7

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(4)(5)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSS47015
265.511245.867232.831-2.9-12.3-5.3

Gasoline, unleaded premium(4)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSS47016
263.923244.807232.905-1.7-11.8-4.9

Motor vehicle insurance(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSETE
724.451 724.451-10.90.0 

Medical care

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAM
526.709 531.5333.40.9 

Recreation(3)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAR
117.734 120.886-1.22.7 

Education and communication(3)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAE
130.650 130.6220.50.0 

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

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSEEB
1,028.013 1,035.6490.90.7 

Other goods and services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAG
536.893 540.4630.40.7 

Commodity and service group

Commodities

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAC
180.960 176.5340.1-2.4 

Commodities less food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSACL11
150.253 144.501-0.2-3.8 

Nondurables less food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSANL11
196.100 184.464-0.7-5.9 

Durables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAD
101.239 100.8210.6-0.4 

Services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAS
326.377 326.5661.50.1 

Special aggregate indexes

All items less shelter

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSA0L2
228.652 226.5860.6-0.9 

All items less medical care

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSA0L5
241.510 239.3100.8-0.9 

Commodities less food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSACL1
153.239 147.458-0.2-3.8 

Nondurables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAN
217.575 210.792-0.1-3.1 

Nondurables less food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSANL1
198.294 186.921-0.7-5.7 

Services less rent of shelter(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSASL2RS
332.748 334.8131.10.6 

Services less medical care services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSASL5
311.561 311.4321.30.0 

Energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSA0E
205.507197.434191.642-1.8-6.7-2.9

All items less energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSA0LE
260.147 259.6651.3-0.2 

All items less food and energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSA0L1E
267.021 266.3601.3-0.2 

Footnotes
(1) Indexes on a December 1977=100 base
(2) Indexes on a December 1982=100 base.
(3) Indexes on a December 1997=100 base.
(4) Special index based on a substantially smaller sample.
(5) Indexes on a December 1993=100 base.

 

Last Modified Date: Friday, January 11, 2019