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20-2134-PHI
Thursday, November 12, 2020

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

Area prices unchanged since August; up 0.8 percent over the year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington was unchanged from August to October, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Acting Regional Commissioner Maureen McDevitt Greene noted that a 0.1-percent rise in the all items less food and energy index was offset by declines in the food index and energy index, down 0.3 and 0.2 percent, respectively. (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 0.8 percent. (See chart 1 and table A.) The over-the-year rise was due to increases in the all items less food and energy (1.1 percent) and the food index (3.3 percent). The energy index declined since October 2019, down 7.9 percent. (See table 1.)

Food

The food index decreased 0.3 percent over the last two months. Prices for food at home decreased since August, down 1.1 percent, while those for food away from home rose 0.7 percent. Within the food at home component, prices were lower for items such as cheese and related products as well as breakfast cereal, while prices were higher for chicken and carbonated drinks.

Over the year, the food index increased 3.3 percent. Prices for food away from home rose 4.9 percent, and those for food at home were up 2.2 percent.

Energy

The energy index, which includes prices for household and transportation fuels, edged down 0.2 percent since August. The two-month decline was due to a 1.9-percent decrease in electricity prices. Prices were higher for gasoline (2.2 percent) and utility (piped) gas service (0.7 percent) since August.

Over the year, the energy index decreased 7.9 percent, led by a decline in gasoline prices, down 8.2 percent. Prices were also lower for utility (piped) gas service and electricity, down 7.5 and 0.8 percent, respectively.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy inched up 0.1 percent from August to October. Higher prices for new and used motor vehicles (3.0 percent) and household furnishings and operations (2.2 percent), among others, were moderated by lower prices for apparel (-3.3 percent) and shelter (-0.3 percent).

Since October 2019, the index for all items less food and energy rose 1.1 percent. Prices were higher for shelter (1.3 percent), including owners’ equivalent rent of residences (2.6 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

0.61.30.00.80.01.6-0.41.90.00.8

December

-0.11.7-0.10.8-0.71.0-0.32.4

The Consumer Price Index for December 2020 is scheduled to be released Wednesday, January 13, 2021 at 8:30 am (ET).

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic Impact on October 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 October 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
Aug.
2020
Sep.
2020
Oct.
2020
Oct.
2019
Aug.
2020
Sep.
2020

All items

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSA0
259.965 259.9790.80.0 

All items (1967 = 100)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BAA0
751.024 751.064   

Food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAF
247.708 247.0513.2-0.3 

Food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAF1
248.538 247.7423.3-0.3 

Food at home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAF11
249.641246.760246.7802.2-1.10.0

Cereals and bakery products

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAF111
326.923 321.0426.2-1.8 

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAF112
276.408 272.3671.2-1.5 

Dairy and related products

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSEFJ
206.977 202.787-2.8-2.0 

Fruits and vegetables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAF113
272.037 282.9032.54.0 

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAF114
170.459 163.6692.4-4.0 

Other food at home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAF115
228.318 222.3922.6-2.6 

Food away from home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSEFV
241.139 242.8284.90.7 

Alcoholic beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAF116
233.059 234.5441.20.6 

Housing

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAH
271.400 271.1970.8-0.1 

Shelter

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAH1
341.300341.697340.4241.3-0.3-0.4

Rent of primary residence

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSEHA
318.309319.145319.7292.20.40.2

Owners' equivalent rent of residences(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSEHC
353.144353.953353.5072.60.1-0.1

Owners' equivalent rent of primary residence(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSEHC01
353.144353.953353.5072.60.1-0.1

Fuels and utilities

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAH2
204.899 202.342-5.0-1.2 

Household energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAH21
164.402162.862161.337-7.4-1.9-0.9

Energy services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSEHF
179.562179.254177.499-3.4-1.1-1.0

Electricity

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSEHF01
180.376179.756176.864-0.8-1.9-1.6

Utility (piped) gas service

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSEHF02
165.887166.266167.062-7.50.70.5

Household furnishings and operations

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAH3
115.948 118.4592.92.2 

Apparel

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAA
107.278 103.780-5.6-3.3 

Transportation

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAT
203.815 206.646-2.51.4 

Private transportation

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAT1
206.790 208.411-0.90.8 

New and used motor vehicles(3)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSETA
100.092 103.1273.93.0 

New vehicles(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSETA01
175.581 178.113-0.61.4 

Used cars and trucks(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSETA02
277.154 286.14612.03.2 

Motor fuel

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSETB
215.549220.271220.157-8.52.1-0.1

Gasoline (all types)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSETB01
212.971217.699217.615-8.22.20.0

Gasoline, unleaded regular(4)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSS47014
209.552214.318214.274-8.32.30.0

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(4)(5)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSS47015
222.765227.771227.030-6.91.9-0.3

Gasoline, unleaded premium(4)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSS47016
219.771223.729223.450-7.51.7-0.1

Motor vehicle insurance(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSETE
709.881 633.992-11.1-10.7 

Medical care

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAM
564.443 560.6242.6-0.7 

Recreation(3)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAR
126.137 125.9983.0-0.1 

Education and communication(3)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAE
133.349 133.6070.70.2 

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

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSEEB
1,048.279 1,053.8420.10.5 

Other goods and services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAG
564.057 568.1612.40.7 

Commodity and service group

Commodities

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAC
182.043 182.6530.60.3 

Commodities less food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSACL11
146.884 147.995-1.00.8 

Nondurables less food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSANL11
185.195 184.866-4.2-0.2 

Durables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAD
103.901 105.8743.11.9 

Services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAS
338.541 337.9430.8-0.2 

Special aggregate indexes

All items less shelter

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSA0L2
233.102 233.4200.60.1 

All items less medical care

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSA0L5
247.092 247.2680.60.1 

Commodities less food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSACL1
149.970 151.097-1.00.8 

Nondurables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAN
217.383 216.890-0.3-0.2 

Nondurables less food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSANL1
188.026 187.796-3.8-0.1 

Services less rent of shelter(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSASL2RS
343.142 342.8260.4-0.1 

Services less medical care services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSASL5
321.440 321.1740.6-0.1 

Energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSA0E
182.794183.528182.517-7.9-0.2-0.6

All items less energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSA0LE
270.214 270.2551.40.0 

All items less food and energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSA0L1E
276.495 276.6961.10.1 

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: Thursday, November 12, 2020