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21-64-PHI
Wednesday, January 13, 2021

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

Area prices unchanged since October; up 1.1 percent over the year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington was unchanged from October to December, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Acting Regional Commissioner Frank Waligorski noted that rises in both the energy index (3.7 percent) and the food index (0.9 percent) were offset by a decline in the all items less food and energy index, down 0.4 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 rose 1.1 percent. (See chart 1 and table A.) The over-the-year rise was due to increases in the all items less food and energy index (0.9 percent) and the food index (4.2 percent). The energy index declined since December 2019, down 3.3 percent. (See table 1.)

Food

The food index increased 0.9 percent over the last 2 months. Prices for food away from home increased 1.2 percent since October, and those for food at home rose 0.7 percent. Within the food at home component, prices were higher for items such as breakfast cereal and milk, while prices were lower for chicken and other uncooked poultry including turkey.

Over the year, the food index increased 4.2 percent. Prices for food away from home rose 5.4 percent, and those for food at home were up 3.2 percent.

Energy

The energy index, which includes prices for household and transportation fuels, increased 3.7 percent since October. The 2-month increase was due to a 5.2-percent rise in gasoline prices. Prices were also higher for electricity (1.2 percent), while those for utility (piped) gas service decreased 0.2 percent since October.

Over the year, the energy index decreased 3.3 percent, led by a decline in gasoline prices, down 2.8 percent. Prices were also lower for utility (piped) gas service and electricity, down 2.4 and 0.3 percent, respectively.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy declined 0.4 percent from October to December. Lower prices for new and used motor vehicles (-3.2 percent) and shelter (-0.5 percent), among others, were moderated by higher prices for household furnishings and operations (5.7 percent) and other goods and services (1.4 percent).

Since December 2019, the index for all items less food and energy rose 0.9 percent. Prices were higher for household furnishings and operations (9.5 percent) and shelter (1.4 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

0.61.30.00.80.01.6-0.41.90.00.8

December

-0.11.7-0.10.8-0.71.0-0.32.40.01.1

The Consumer Price Index for February 2021 is scheduled to be released Wednesday, March 10, 2021 at 8:30 am (ET).

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic Impact on December 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 December 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
Oct.
2020
Nov.
2020
Dec.
2020
Dec.
2019
Oct.
2020
Nov.
2020

All items

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSA0
259.979 259.9911.10.0 

All items (1967 = 100)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BAA0
751.064 751.098   

Food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAF
247.051 249.1814.20.9 

Food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAF1
247.742 250.0284.20.9 

Food at home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAF11
246.780248.246248.5633.20.70.1

Cereals and bakery products

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAF111
321.042 323.8275.80.9 

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAF112
272.367 269.2721.0-1.1 

Dairy and related products

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSEFJ
202.787 207.173-0.32.2 

Fruits and vegetables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAF113
282.903 287.7866.61.7 

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAF114
163.669 163.5822.0-0.1 

Other food at home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAF115
222.392 225.2443.01.3 

Food away from home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSEFV
242.828 245.6585.41.2 

Alcoholic beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAF116
234.544 234.2403.6-0.1 

Housing

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAH
271.197 272.5422.00.5 

Shelter

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAH1
340.424340.651338.7851.4-0.5-0.5

Rent of primary residence

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSEHA
319.729320.052319.4591.7-0.1-0.2

Owners' equivalent rent of residences(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSEHC
353.507353.558351.0321.6-0.7-0.7

Owners' equivalent rent of primary residence(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSEHC01
353.507353.558351.0321.6-0.7-0.7

Fuels and utilities

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAH2
202.342 206.317-1.82.0 

Household energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAH21
161.337162.040165.433-3.52.52.1

Energy services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSEHF
177.499177.567178.909-1.00.80.8

Electricity

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSEHF01
176.864176.285179.036-0.31.21.6

Utility (piped) gas service

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSEHF02
167.062168.508166.746-2.4-0.2-1.0

Household furnishings and operations

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAH3
118.459 125.2649.55.7 

Apparel

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAA
103.780 104.8574.91.0 

Transportation

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAT
206.646 203.212-3.8-1.7 

Private transportation

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAT1
208.411 206.816-1.8-0.8 

New and used motor vehicles(3)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSETA
103.127 99.8131.5-3.2 

New vehicles(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSETA01
178.113 178.2690.20.1 

Used cars and trucks(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSETA02
286.146 279.54510.1-2.3 

Motor fuel

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSETB
220.157217.678231.620-3.15.26.4

Gasoline (all types)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSETB01
217.615215.124228.858-2.85.26.4

Gasoline, unleaded regular(4)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSS47014
214.274211.654225.129-3.15.16.4

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(4)(5)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSS47015
227.030226.593242.613-0.36.97.1

Gasoline, unleaded premium(4)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSS47016
223.450221.847236.041-1.15.66.4

Motor vehicle insurance(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSETE
633.992 649.834-10.82.5 

Medical care

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAM
560.624 554.9000.8-1.0 

Recreation(3)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAR
125.998 124.668-1.3-1.1 

Education and communication(3)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAE
133.607 133.260-0.3-0.3 

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

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSEEB
1,053.842 1,055.2630.30.1 

Other goods and services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAG
568.161 575.9793.61.4 

Commodity and service group

Commodities

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAC
182.653 185.2163.11.4 

Commodities less food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSACL11
147.995 150.6282.41.8 

Nondurables less food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSANL11
184.866 186.539-1.30.9 

Durables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAD
105.874 108.8687.02.8 

Services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAS
337.943 335.3340.0-0.8 

Special aggregate indexes

All items less shelter

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSA0L2
233.420 233.9941.00.2 

All items less medical care

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSA0L5
247.268 247.5221.10.1 

Commodities less food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSACL1
151.097 153.6742.41.7 

Nondurables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAN
216.890 218.8001.70.9 

Nondurables less food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSANL1
187.796 189.362-1.00.8 

Services less rent of shelter(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSASL2RS
342.826 339.162-1.4-1.1 

Services less medical care services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSASL5
321.174 318.666-0.2-0.8 

Energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSA0E
182.517182.064189.281-3.33.74.0

All items less energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSA0LE
270.255 269.6521.4-0.2 

All items less food and energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSA0L1E
276.696 275.5350.9-0.4 

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: Wednesday, January 13, 2021