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News Release Information

20-971-PHI
Tuesday, May 12, 2020

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Consumer Price Index, Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington – April 2020

Area prices down 1.3 percent since February; down 0.1 percent over the year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington declined 1.3 percent from February to April, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Sheila Watkins noted that the recent two-month decrease was due largely to a 1.3-percent decline in the all items less food and energy index. The energy index also decreased since February, down 8.7 percent, while the food index rose 2.4 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 inched down 0.1 percent. (See chart 1 and table A.) The over-the-year decrease was led by a decline in the energy index (-16.1 percent). The food index and all items less food and energy index advanced since April 2019, up 4.8 and 0.6 percent, respectively. (See table 1.)

Food

The food index increased 2.4 percent over the last two months. Prices for food at home increased since February, up 3.4 percent, and those for food away from home rose 1.1 percent.

Over the year, the food index increased 4.8 percent. Prices for food at home rose 5.3 percent, and those for food away from home were up 4.3 percent.

Energy

The energy index, which includes prices for household and transportation fuels, decreased 8.7 percent since February. The two-month decline was led by a 15.4-percent decrease in gasoline prices. Prices were also lower for electricity, down 1.3 percent, while those for utility (piped) gas service increased, up 1.3 percent.

Over the year, the energy index decreased 16.1 percent, due to a drop in gasoline prices, down 25.2 percent. Prices were also lower for utility (piped) gas service and electricity, down 8.6 and 2.2 percent, respectively.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy declined 1.3 percent from February to April. Lower prices were led by apparel (-7.9 percent), shelter (-0.2 percent), and recreation (-1.0 percent).

Since April 2019, the index for all items less food and energy increased 0.6 percent. Prices were higher for a number of items including shelter (2.3 percent), medical care (2.3 percent), and recreation (1.7 percent), among others.

Table A. Philadelphia CPI-U 2-month and 12-month percent changes, all items index, not seasonally adjusted
Month20162017201820192020
2-month12-month2-month12-month2-month12-month2-month12-month2-month12-month

February

0.30.30.72.10.40.50.81.51.02.6

April

0.90.60.01.30.91.41.31.9-1.3-0.1

June

0.30.1-0.30.70.21.90.52.1

August

-0.20.40.51.40.31.70.52.3

October

0.61.30.00.80.01.6-0.41.9

December

-0.11.7-0.10.8-0.71.0-0.32.4

The Consumer Price Index for June 2020 is scheduled to be released Tuesday, July 14, 2020 at 8:30 am (ET).

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic Impact on April 2020 Consumer Price Index Data

Data collection by personal visit for the Consumer Price Index (CPI) program has been suspended since March 16, 2020. When possible, data normally collected by personal visit were collected either online or by phone. Additionally, data collection in April was affected by the temporary closing or limited operations of certain types of establishments. These factors resulted in an increase in the number of prices considered temporarily unavailable and imputed. While the CPI program attempted to collect as much data as possible, many indexes are based on smaller amounts of collected prices than usual, and a small number of indexes that are normally published were not published this month. Additional information is available at
www.bls.gov/bls/effects-of-covid-19-pandemic-on-bls-price-indexes.htm#CPI.


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
Feb.
2020
Mar.
2020
Apr.
2020
Apr.
2019
Feb.
2020
Mar.
2020

All items

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSA0
259.694 256.353-0.1-1.3 

All items (1967 = 100)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BAA0
750.243 740.588   

Food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAF
241.721 247.0734.62.2 

Food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAF1
242.456 248.2664.82.4 

Food at home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAF11
244.607246.260252.9205.33.42.7

Cereals and bakery products

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAF111
307.863 327.0348.06.2 

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAF112
273.584 284.2768.43.9 

Dairy and related products

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSEFJ
207.872 217.4148.64.6 

Fruits and vegetables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAF113
270.196 280.5380.83.8 

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAF114
165.201 162.9623.3-1.4 

Other food at home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAF115
223.455 229.3414.02.6 

Food away from home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSEFV
233.956 236.6384.31.1 

Alcoholic beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAF116
228.575 226.8350.9-0.8 

Housing

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAH
270.445 269.4671.3-0.4 

Shelter

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAH1
339.116341.013338.5422.3-0.2-0.7

Rent of primary residence

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSEHA
315.622316.873317.4993.20.60.2

Owners' equivalent rent of residences(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSEHC
346.809347.371348.8402.70.60.4

Owners' equivalent rent of primary residence(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSEHC01
346.809347.371348.8402.70.60.4

Fuels and utilities

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAH2
210.237 203.716-5.3-3.1 

Household energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAH21
169.575166.482163.492-8.4-3.6-1.8

Energy services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSEHF
179.912180.481179.011-4.8-0.5-0.8

Electricity

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSEHF01
180.168180.089177.855-2.2-1.3-1.2

Utility (piped) gas service

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSEHF02
167.409169.328169.586-8.61.30.2

Household furnishings and operations

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAH3
114.859 115.7430.80.8 

Apparel

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAA
112.123 103.217-5.1-7.9 

Transportation

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAT
210.335 195.070-9.4-7.3 

Private transportation

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAT1
208.996 196.799-8.6-5.8 

New and used motor vehicles(3)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSETA
97.894 97.640-1.2-0.3 

New vehicles(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSETA01
177.997 174.320-2.2-2.1 

Used cars and trucks(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSETA02
255.120 257.994-0.61.1 

Motor fuel

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSETB
231.383221.524195.937-25.1-15.3-11.6

Gasoline (all types)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSETB01
228.129218.433192.992-25.2-15.4-11.6

Gasoline, unleaded regular(4)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSS47014
224.925215.045189.323-25.8-15.8-12.0

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(4)(5)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSS47015
235.886228.400207.208-21.0-12.2-9.3

Gasoline, unleaded premium(4)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSS47016
232.245224.477202.850-21.5-12.7-9.6

Motor vehicle insurance(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSETE
741.786 617.242-14.8-16.8 

Medical care

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAM
554.549 552.2192.3-0.4 

Recreation(3)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAR
126.383 125.1391.7-1.0 

Education and communication(3)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAE
133.173 132.9420.8-0.2 

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

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSEEB
1,055.951 1,055.9511.70.0 

Other goods and services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAG
556.761 553.826-0.8-0.5 

Commodity and service group

Commodities

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAC
181.622 178.932-2.1-1.5 

Commodities less food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSACL11
148.797 142.877-6.0-4.0 

Nondurables less food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSANL11
192.361 180.323-8.6-6.3 

Durables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAD
101.990 100.943-2.3-1.0 

Services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAS
338.427 334.4350.9-1.2 

Special aggregate indexes

All items less shelter

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSA0L2
233.483 229.187-1.3-1.8 

All items less medical care

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSA0L5
247.229 243.844-0.3-1.4 

Commodities less food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSACL1
151.736 145.882-5.8-3.9 

Nondurables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAN
218.137 214.557-2.0-1.6 

Nondurables less food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSANL1
194.558 183.075-8.1-5.9 

Services less rent of shelter(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSASL2RS
345.203 337.546-0.6-2.2 

Services less medical care services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSASL5
322.199 318.1420.6-1.3 

Energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSA0E
191.830186.286175.098-16.1-8.7-6.0

All items less energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSA0LE
269.093 266.9301.2-0.8 

All items less food and energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSA0L1E
276.314 272.6080.6-1.3 

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: Tuesday, May 12, 2020