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20-1745-PHI
Friday, September 11, 2020

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

Area prices up 0.8 percent since June; up 0.4 percent over the year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington increased 0.8 percent from June to August, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Sheila Watkins noted that the recent two-month increase reflected a 0.8-percent rise in the all items less food and energy index. The energy index also increased since June, up 2.9 percent, while the food index declined 0.5 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 rose 0.4 percent. (See chart 1 and table A.) The over-the-year rise was due to increases in the all items less food and energy (0.8 percent) and the food index (3.9 percent). The energy index declined since August 2019, down 9.8 percent. (See table 1.)

Food

The food index decreased 0.5 percent over the last two months. Prices for food at home decreased since June, down 2.0 percent, while those for food away from home rose 1.3 percent. Within the food at home component, prices were lower for items such as breakfast cereal and cheese and related products, while prices were higher for carbonated drinks and processed fish and seafood.

Over the year, the food index increased 3.9 percent. Prices for food away from home rose 4.9 percent, and those for food at home were up 3.2 percent.

Energy

The energy index, which includes prices for household and transportation fuels, rose 2.9 percent since June. The two-month rise was due to a 5.6-percent increase in gasoline prices. Prices were lower for electricity, down 0.4 percent, while those for utility (piped) gas service were unchanged.

Over the year, the energy index decreased 9.8 percent, led by a drop in gasoline prices, down 13.7 percent. Prices were also lower for utility (piped) gas service and electricity, down 9.3 and 0.8 percent, respectively.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy increased 0.8 percent from June to August. Higher prices were led by apparel (6.2 percent), medical care (1.3 percent), and shelter (0.2 percent), among others.

Since August 2019, the index for all items less food and energy increased 0.8 percent. Prices were higher for a number of items including shelter (1.9 percent) and medical care (3.4 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

0.30.1-0.30.70.21.90.52.10.60.1

August

-0.20.40.51.40.31.70.52.30.80.4

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 October 2020 is scheduled to be released Thursday, November 12, 2020 at 8:30 am (ET).

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic Impact on August 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 August 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/covid19/effects-of-covid-19-pandemic-on-consumer-price-index.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
Jun.
2020
Jul.
2020
Aug.
2020
Aug.
2019
Jun.
2020
Jul.
2020

All items

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSA0
257.983 259.9650.40.8 

All items (1967 = 100)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BAA0
745.298 751.024   

Food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAF
249.143 247.7083.9-0.6 

Food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAF1
249.912 248.5383.9-0.5 

Food at home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAF11
254.671251.468249.6413.2-2.0-0.7

Cereals and bakery products

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAF111
333.041 326.9235.5-1.8 

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAF112
297.807 276.4084.4-7.2 

Dairy and related products

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSEFJ
210.964 206.9771.9-1.9 

Fruits and vegetables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAF113
277.844 272.0370.5-2.1 

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAF114
167.259 170.4594.01.9 

Other food at home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAF115
225.407 228.3183.01.3 

Food away from home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSEFV
238.118 241.1394.91.3 

Alcoholic beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAF116
235.409 233.0593.0-1.0 

Housing

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAH
270.497 271.4000.90.3 

Shelter

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAH1
340.467341.176341.3001.90.20.0

Rent of primary residence

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSEHA
316.667317.276318.3092.20.50.3

Owners' equivalent rent of residences(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSEHC
351.601352.352353.1442.90.40.2

Owners' equivalent rent of primary residence(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSEHC01
351.601352.352353.1442.90.40.2

Fuels and utilities

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAH2
202.892 204.899-4.31.0 

Household energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAH21
162.727164.592164.402-6.51.0-0.1

Energy services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSEHF
180.030180.563179.562-3.9-0.3-0.6

Electricity

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSEHF01
181.037181.809180.376-0.8-0.4-0.8

Utility (piped) gas service

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSEHF02
165.909165.896165.887-9.30.00.0

Household furnishings and operations

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAH3
115.511 115.948-2.30.4 

Apparel

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAA
100.976 107.278-3.16.2 

Transportation

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAT
200.284 203.815-5.51.8 

Private transportation

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAT1
201.663 206.790-3.92.5 

New and used motor vehicles(3)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSETA
97.625 100.092-1.32.5 

New vehicles(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSETA01
174.854 175.581-1.70.4 

Used cars and trucks(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSETA02
253.189 277.1544.49.5 

Motor fuel

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSETB
204.322215.591215.549-13.85.50.0

Gasoline (all types)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSETB01
201.645212.913212.971-13.75.60.0

Gasoline, unleaded regular(4)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSS47014
197.968209.372209.552-14.05.90.1

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(4)(5)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSS47015
212.952223.761222.765-11.94.6-0.4

Gasoline, unleaded premium(4)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSS47016
211.291220.515219.771-12.34.0-0.3

Motor vehicle insurance(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSETE
692.479 709.881-2.02.5 

Medical care

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAM
556.977 564.4433.41.3 

Recreation(3)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAR
125.300 126.1370.50.7 

Education and communication(3)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAE
132.397 133.3491.00.7 

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

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSEEB
1,055.577 1,048.2790.3-0.7 

Other goods and services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAG
552.226 564.0571.02.1 

Commodity and service group

Commodities

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAC
179.290 182.043-0.71.5 

Commodities less food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSACL11
142.508 146.884-3.33.1 

Nondurables less food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSANL11
178.514 185.195-5.23.7 

Durables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAD
101.604 103.901-0.92.3 

Services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAS
337.363 338.5410.90.3 

Special aggregate indexes

All items less shelter

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSA0L2
230.722 233.102-0.41.0 

All items less medical care

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSA0L5
245.342 247.0920.10.7 

Commodities less food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSACL1
145.734 149.970-3.12.9 

Nondurables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAN
214.641 217.383-0.61.3 

Nondurables less food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSANL1
181.836 188.026-4.73.4 

Services less rent of shelter(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSASL2RS
341.586 343.142-0.20.5 

Services less medical care services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSASL5
320.882 321.4400.50.2 

Energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSA0E
177.655182.930182.794-9.82.9-0.1

All items less energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSA0LE
268.496 270.2141.20.6 

All items less food and energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSA0L1E
274.171 276.4950.80.8 

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, September 11, 2020