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21-429-PHI
Wednesday, March 10, 2021

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Consumer Price Index, Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington – February 2021

Area prices up 0.8 percent since December; up 1.0 percent over the year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington increased 0.8 percent from December to February, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Acting Regional Commissioner Frank Waligorski noted that the recent increase was due to increases in the all items less food and energy index (0.9 percent) and the energy index (5.3 percent), while the food index decreased, down 1.6 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 1.0 percent. (See chart 1 and table A.) The over-the-year rise was due largely to an increase in the all items less food and energy index (0.6 percent). The energy index and the food index also increased since February 2020, up 3.9 and 1.4 percent, respectively. (See table 1.)

Food

The food index decreased 1.6 percent over the last 2 months. Prices for food at home declined 2.0 percent since December, and those for food away from home were down 1.2 percent. Within the food at home component, prices were lower for items such as cheese and related products and carbonated drinks, while prices were higher for bread as well as flour and prepared flour mixes.

Over the year, the food index increased 1.4 percent. Prices for food away from home rose 3.7 percent, while those for food at home were down 0.4 percent.

Energy

The energy index, which includes prices for household and transportation fuels, increased 5.3 percent since December. The 2-month increase was due to a 9.2-percent rise in gasoline prices. Prices were also higher for electricity (0.5 percent) and for utility (piped) gas service (0.3 percent) since December.

Over the year, the energy index increased 3.9 percent, led by an increase in gasoline prices, up 9.6 percent. Prices were lower for electricity and utility (piped) gas service, down 0.1 percent each.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy increased 0.9 percent from December to February. Higher prices for medical care (4.0 percent) and apparel (3.4 percent), among others, were moderated by lower prices for household furnishings and operations (-0.5 percent).

Since February 2020, the index for all items less food and energy rose 0.6 percent. Prices were higher for household furnishings and operations (8.5 percent) and medical care (4.0 percent), among others.

Table A. Philadelphia CPI-U 2-month and 12-month percent changes, all items index, not seasonally adjusted
Month20172018201920202021
2-month12-month2-month12-month2-month12-month2-month12-month2-month12-month

February

0.72.10.40.50.81.51.02.60.81.0

April

0.01.30.91.41.31.9-1.3-0.1

June

-0.30.70.21.90.52.10.60.1

August

0.51.40.31.70.52.30.80.4

October

0.00.80.01.6-0.41.90.00.8

December

-0.10.8-0.71.0-0.32.40.01.1

The Consumer Price Index for April 2021 is scheduled to be released Wednesday, May 12, 2021 at 8:30 am (ET).

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic Impact on February 2021 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 February 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
Dec.
2020
Jan.
2021
Feb.
2021
Feb.
2020
Dec.
2020
Jan.
2021

All items

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSA0
259.991 262.1671.00.8 

All items (1967 = 100)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BAA0
751.098 757.386   

Food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAF
249.181 245.2531.5-1.6 

Food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAF1
250.028 245.9221.4-1.6 

Food at home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAF11
248.563248.120243.619-0.4-2.0-1.8

Cereals and bakery products

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAF111
323.827 318.7303.5-1.6 

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAF112
269.272 266.679-2.5-1.0 

Dairy and related products

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSEFJ
207.173 200.339-3.6-3.3 

Fruits and vegetables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAF113
287.786 281.8464.3-2.1 

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAF114
163.582 158.151-4.3-3.3 

Other food at home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAF115
225.244 220.814-1.2-2.0 

Food away from home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSEFV
245.658 242.6523.7-1.2 

Alcoholic beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAF116
234.240 233.0812.0-0.5 

Housing

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAH
272.542 272.9480.90.1 

Shelter

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAH1
338.785339.643338.9860.00.1-0.2

Rent of primary residence

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSEHA
319.459319.635319.6201.30.10.0

Owners' equivalent rent of residences(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSEHC
351.032351.575351.0151.20.0-0.2

Owners' equivalent rent of primary residence(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSEHC01
351.032351.575351.0151.20.0-0.2

Fuels and utilities

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAH2
206.317 209.661-0.31.6 

Household energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAH21
165.433167.249169.000-0.32.21.0

Energy services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSEHF
178.909180.119179.668-0.10.4-0.3

Electricity

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSEHF01
179.036180.296179.906-0.10.5-0.2

Utility (piped) gas service

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSEHF02
166.746167.769167.220-0.10.3-0.3

Household furnishings and operations

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAH3
125.264 124.6768.5-0.5 

Apparel

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAA
104.857 108.400-3.33.4 

Transportation

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAT
203.212 209.462-0.43.1 

Private transportation

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAT1
206.816 212.1801.52.6 

New and used motor vehicles(3)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSETA
99.813 100.7112.90.9 

New vehicles(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSETA01
178.269 182.8842.72.6 

Used cars and trucks(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSETA02
279.545 277.5918.8-0.7 

Motor fuel

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSETB
231.620244.347253.1679.49.33.6

Gasoline (all types)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSETB01
228.858241.366249.9589.69.23.6

Gasoline, unleaded regular(4)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSS47014
225.129237.636246.4309.69.53.7

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(4)(5)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSS47015
242.613251.724257.5099.26.12.3

Gasoline, unleaded premium(4)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSS47016
236.041248.047254.7759.77.92.7

Motor vehicle insurance(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSETE
649.834 645.662-13.0-0.6 

Medical care

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAM
554.900 576.9284.04.0 

Recreation(3)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAR
124.668 126.299-0.11.3 

Education and communication(3)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAE
133.260 133.6410.40.3 

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

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSEEB
1,055.263 1,054.882-0.10.0 

Other goods and services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAG
575.979 581.1374.40.9 

Commodity and service group

Commodities

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAC
185.216 186.6362.80.8 

Commodities less food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSACL11
150.628 154.2113.62.4 

Nondurables less food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSANL11
186.539 193.2270.53.6 

Durables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAD
108.868 109.9127.81.0 

Services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAS
335.334 338.2750.00.9 

Special aggregate indexes

All items less shelter

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSA0L2
233.994 236.8511.41.2 

All items less medical care

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSA0L5
247.522 248.8590.70.5 

Commodities less food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSACL1
153.674 157.1623.62.3 

Nondurables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAN
218.800 220.3201.00.7 

Nondurables less food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSANL1
189.362 195.6250.53.3 

Services less rent of shelter(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSASL2RS
339.162 345.1310.01.8 

Services less medical care services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSASL5
318.666 319.896-0.70.4 

Energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSA0E
189.281195.055199.3693.95.32.2

All items less energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSA0LE
269.652 271.1340.80.5 

All items less food and energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSA0L1E
275.535 278.0990.60.9 

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, March 10, 2021