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21-892-PHI
Wednesday, May 12, 2021

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

Area prices up 1.2 percent since February; up 3.5 percent over the year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington increased 1.2 percent from February to April, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Alexandra Hall Bovee noted that the recent increase was due largely to an increase in the all items less food and energy index (1.1 percent). The food index and the energy index also increased over the 2-month period, up 1.4 and 2.3 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 3.5 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 (3.1 percent). The energy index and the food index also increased since April 2020, up 16.5 and 0.4 percent, respectively. (See table 1.)

Food

The food index increased 1.4 percent over the last 2 months. Prices for food away from home rose 1.6 percent since February, and those for food at home were up 1.2 percent. Within the food at home component, prices were higher for items such as uncooked beef steaks and citrus fruits, while prices were lower for breakfast cereal and carbonated drinks.

Over the year, the food index increased 0.4 percent. Prices for food away from home rose 4.1 percent, while those for food at home were down 2.5 percent.

Energy

The energy index, which includes prices for household and transportation fuels, increased 2.3 percent since February. The 2-month increase was due to a 5.3-percent rise in gasoline prices. Prices were lower for utility (piped) gas service (-1.3 percent) while those for electricity were unchanged since February.

Over the year, the energy index advanced 16.5 percent, led by a 36.4-percent jump in gasoline prices. Prices were also higher for electricity, up 1.2 percent, while those for utility (piped) gas service were down 2.7 percent.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy increased 1.1 percent from February to April. Higher prices for new and used motor vehicles (7.7 percent), primarily those for used cars and trucks (12.2 percent), were moderated by lower prices for recreation (-0.7 percent), education and communication (-0.1 percent), and medical care (-0.1 percent).

Since April 2020, the index for all items less food and energy advanced 3.1 percent. Prices were higher for new and used motor vehicles (11.0 percent), particularly those for used cars and trucks (20.7 percent), along with prices for medical care (4.4 percent) and household furnishings and operations (8.3 percent).

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

0.01.30.91.41.31.9-1.3-0.11.23.5

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 June 2021 is scheduled to be released Tuesday, July 13, 2021 at 8:30 am (ET).

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic Impact on April 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 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/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 measures 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 U.S. population and (2) a CPI for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) which covers approximately 29 percent of the total U.S. 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; for most of the CPI-U the reference base is 1982-84 equals 100. An increase of 7 percent from the reference base, for example, is shown as 107.000. Alternatively, that relationship can also be expressed as the price of a base period market basket of goods and services rising from $100 to $107. For further details see the CPI home page on the internet atwww.bls.gov/cpi and the CPI section of the BLS Handbook of Methods available on the internet at www.bls.gov/opub/hom/cpi/.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, Cumberland, 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 individuals with sensory impairments 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.
2021
Mar.
2021
Apr.
2021
Apr.
2020
Feb.
2021
Mar.
2021

All items

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSA0
262.167 265.3553.51.2 

All items (1967 = 100)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BAA0
757.386 766.597   

Food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAF
245.253 248.3470.51.3 

Food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAF1
245.922 249.3070.41.4 

Food at home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAF11
243.619245.960246.590-2.51.20.3

Cereals and bakery products

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAF111
318.730 318.114-2.7-0.2 

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAF112
266.679 276.816-2.63.8 

Dairy and related products

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSEFJ
200.339 201.692-7.20.7 

Fruits and vegetables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAF113
281.846 281.0620.2-0.3 

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAF114
158.151 163.5500.43.4 

Other food at home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAF115
220.814 221.319-3.50.2 

Food away from home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSEFV
242.652 246.4494.11.6 

Alcoholic beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAF116
233.081 231.6712.1-0.6 

Housing

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAH
272.948 274.2191.80.5 

Shelter

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAH1
338.986339.392340.6660.60.50.4

Rent of primary residence

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSEHA
319.620320.627320.9921.10.40.1

Owners' equivalent rent of residences(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSEHC
351.015351.106352.6151.10.50.4

Owners' equivalent rent of primary residence(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSEHC01
351.015351.106352.6151.10.50.4

Fuels and utilities

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAH2
209.661 209.9873.10.2 

Household energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAH21
169.000168.451168.6943.2-0.20.1

Energy services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSEHF
179.668178.145178.9820.0-0.40.5

Electricity

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSEHF01
179.906177.830179.9301.20.01.2

Utility (piped) gas service

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSEHF02
167.220166.981165.061-2.7-1.3-1.1

Household furnishings and operations

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAH3
124.676 125.3408.30.5 

Apparel

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAA
108.400 110.5767.12.0 

Transportation

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAT
209.462 220.40713.05.2 

Private transportation

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAT1
212.180 223.34113.55.3 

New and used motor vehicles(3)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSETA
100.711 108.42011.07.7 

New vehicles(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSETA01
182.884 189.4668.73.6 

Used cars and trucks(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSETA02
277.591 311.50520.712.2 

Motor fuel

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSETB
253.167272.008266.58836.15.3-2.0

Gasoline (all types)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSETB01
249.958268.639263.21136.45.3-2.0

Gasoline, unleaded regular(4)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSS47014
246.430265.326259.47037.15.3-2.2

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(4)(5)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSS47015
257.509270.040272.92931.76.01.1

Gasoline, unleaded premium(4)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSS47016
254.775271.255268.18332.25.3-1.1

Motor vehicle insurance(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSETE
645.662 651.1535.50.9 

Medical care

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAM
576.928 576.6104.4-0.1 

Recreation(3)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAR
126.299 125.4760.3-0.7 

Education and communication(3)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAE
133.641 133.5290.4-0.1 

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

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSEEB
1,054.882 1,053.564-0.2-0.1 

Other goods and services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAG
581.137 590.4146.61.6 

Commodity and service group

Commodities

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAC
186.636 191.1346.82.4 

Commodities less food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSACL11
154.211 159.09911.43.2 

Nondurables less food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSANL11
193.227 196.6369.01.8 

Durables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAD
109.912 115.25914.24.9 

Services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAS
338.275 340.1001.70.5 

Special aggregate indexes

All items less shelter

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSA0L2
236.851 240.5635.01.6 

All items less medical care

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSA0L5
248.859 252.1963.41.3 

Commodities less food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSACL1
157.162 161.92311.03.0 

Nondurables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAN
220.320 223.6014.21.5 

Nondurables less food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSANL1
195.625 198.7728.61.6 

Services less rent of shelter(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSASL2RS
345.131 347.0972.80.6 

Services less medical care services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSASL5
319.896 321.9121.20.6 

Energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSA0E
199.369205.857204.04516.52.3-0.9

All items less energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSA0LE
271.134 274.2262.71.1 

All items less food and energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSA0L1E
278.099 281.1593.11.1 

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: Wednesday, May 12, 2021