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17-344-PHI
Wednesday, March 15, 2017

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Consumer Price Index, Philadelphia-Wilmington-Atlantic City – February 2017

Area prices up 0.7 percent since December and 2.1 percent over the year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for Philadelphia-Wilmington-Atlantic City rose 0.7 percent over the last two months, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Sheila Watkins noted that the recent advance was led by an increase in the all items less food and energy index (0.6 percent). The energy index and food index also increased, up 1.5 percent and 0.7 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 increased 2.1 percent. (See chart 1 and table A.) The advance was due mostly to a 1.8-percent increase in the all items less food and energy index. The energy index rose 12.0 percent, while the food index declined 0.7 percent over the year. (See table 1.)

Food

After recording a 0.8-percent decline from October to December, the food index increased 0.7 percent since December. Prices were higher for both food at home (0.9 percent) and food away from home (0.3 percent) over the last two months. Within the food at home component, higher prices for various items including carbonated drinks and uncooked beef roasts were moderated by lower prices for chicken and uncooked ground beef, among others.

The food index decreased 0.7 percent over the year. Prices for food at home declined 2.2 percent, while those for food away from home increased 1.7 percent since last February.

Energy

The energy index, which includes prices for household and transportation fuels, advanced 1.5 percent since December. This was due largely to higher prices for gasoline, up 2.9 percent over the last two months. Prices for electricity also increased since December, up 0.4 percent, while those for utility (piped) gas service declined, down 0.7 percent.

Over the year, the energy index rose 12.0 percent, led by a 34.1-percent advance in gasoline prices, the largest over-the-year increase for this index since September 2011. Prices were also higher for utility (piped) gas service (5.3 percent), while those for electricity declined 4.9 percent over the year.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy increased 0.6 percent from December to February. Higher prices for medical care (1.5 percent) and apparel (3.7 percent) were the main contributors to the two-month advance. Lower prices for education and communication (-0.4 percent) moderated the decrease in the all items less food and energy index since December.

Since February 2016, the index for all items less food and energy rose 1.8 percent. Prices were higher for a number of indexes including shelter and medical care, up 2.1 percent each. Lower prices for household furnishings and operations (-0.1 percent), among others, moderated the 12-month increase in the all items less food and energy index.

Table A. Philadelphia CPI-U 2-month and 12-month percent changes, all items index, not seasonally adjusted
Month 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month

February

0.7 1.8 0.5 1.0 -0.2 -0.1 0.3 0.3 0.7 2.1

April

0.1 1.1 0.5 1.4 0.5 0.0 0.9 0.6    

June

0.3 1.5 0.6 1.8 0.8 0.2 0.3 0.1    

August

0.5 1.1 0.0 1.3 -0.5 -0.3 -0.2 0.3    

October

-0.4 0.3 -0.1 1.6 -0.3 -0.5 0.6 1.3    

December

0.1 1.2 -0.8 0.6 -0.6 -0.2 -0.1 1.7    

The Consumer Price Index for April 2017 is scheduled to be released Friday, May 12, 2017 at 8:30 am (ET).


Technical Note

The Consumer Price Index for Philadelphia-Wilmington-Atlantic City 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 89 percent of the total population and (2) a CPI for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) which covers approximately 28 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 87 urban areas across the country from about 4,000 housing units and approximately 26,000 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-Wilmington-Atlantic City, Pa.-N.J.-Del.-Md., Consolidated Metropolitan Statistical Area includes Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia Counties in Pennsylvania; Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, 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 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-Wilmington-Atlantic City, Pa.-N.J.-Del.-Md., (1982-84=100 unless otherwise noted) (not seasonally adjusted)
Expenditure category Indexes Percent change from
 
Historical
data
Dec.
2016
Jan.
2017
Feb.
2017
Feb.
2016
Dec.
2016
Jan.
2017

All items

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SA0
246.591   248.345 2.1 0.7  

All items (1967 = 100)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102AA0
712.388   717.455      
 

Food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SAF
230.329   231.922 -0.7 0.7  

Food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SAF1
230.006   231.542 -0.7 0.7  

Food at home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SAF11
236.044 236.517 238.144 -2.2 0.9 0.7

Food away from home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SEFV
216.429   217.186 1.7 0.3  

Alcoholic beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SAF116
231.177   233.427 -0.7 1.0  
 

Housing

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SAH
253.626   253.897 1.7 0.1  

Shelter

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SAH1
315.978 315.854 316.102 2.1 0.0 0.1

Rent of primary residence(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SEHA
292.277 292.353 292.817 1.4 0.2 0.2

Owners' equivalent rent of residences(1)(2)(3)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SEHC
324.006 324.122 324.536 1.9 0.2 0.1

Owners' equivalent rent of primary residence(1)(2)(3)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SEHC01
324.006 324.122 324.536 1.9 0.2 0.1

Fuels and utilities

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SAH2
199.105   199.955 0.4 0.4  

Household energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SAH21
165.066 166.708 165.944 0.2 0.5 -0.5

Gas (piped) and electricity(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SEHF
176.556 177.576 176.689 -2.0 0.1 -0.5

Electricity(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SEHF01
185.093 187.184 185.866 -4.9 0.4 -0.7

Utility (piped) gas service(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SEHF02
150.670 149.648 149.608 5.3 -0.7 0.0

Household furnishings and operations

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SAH3
113.038   113.360 -0.1 0.3  
 

Apparel

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SAA
110.286   114.340 4.5 3.7  
 

Transportation

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SAT
203.254   206.708 6.6 1.7  

Private transportation

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SAT1
202.752   205.142 7.0 1.2  

Motor fuel

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SETB
212.174 227.122 218.292 34.1 2.9 -3.9

Gasoline (all types)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SETB01
209.259 223.991 215.241 34.1 2.9 -3.9

Gasoline, unleaded regular(4)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SS47014
206.202 221.029 211.978 35.1 2.8 -4.1

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(4)(5)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SS47015
216.396 230.903 222.553 30.9 2.8 -3.6

Gasoline, unleaded premium(4)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SS47016
213.566 226.664 220.597 28.5 3.3 -2.7
 

Medical care

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SAM
500.731   508.405 2.1 1.5  
 

Recreation(6)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SAR
122.801   124.295 0.2 1.2  
 

Education and communication(6)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SAE
134.539   133.974 0.2 -0.4  
 

Other goods and services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SAG
526.333   533.018 4.9 1.3  
 

Commodity and service group

 

Commodities

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SAC
174.345   176.470 2.5 1.2  

Commodities less food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SACL11
143.453   145.676 4.5 1.5  

Nondurables less food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SANL11
181.529   185.537 9.3 2.2  

Durables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SAD
101.468   102.019 -2.1 0.5  

Services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SAS
319.807   321.274 2.0 0.5  
 

Special aggregate indexes

 

All items less shelter

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SA0L2
223.939   226.331 2.1 1.1  

All items less medical care

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SA0L5
235.919   237.412 2.2 0.6  

Commodities less food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SACL1
146.559   148.790 4.3 1.5  

Nondurables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SAN
206.963   209.934 4.0 1.4  

Nondurables less food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SANL1
184.430   188.330 8.5 2.1  

Services less rent of shelter(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SASL2RS
330.939   333.930 1.8 0.9  

Services less medical care services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SASL5
305.719   306.899 2.0 0.4  

Energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SA0E
182.110 188.444 184.837 12.0 1.5 -1.9

All items less energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SA0LE
255.563   257.224 1.4 0.6  

All items less food and energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SA0L1E
262.508   264.208 1.8 0.6  

Footnotes
(1) This index series was calculated using a Laspeyres estimator. All other item stratum index series were calculated using a geometric means estimator.
(2) Indexes on a December 1982=100 base.
(3) This index series underwent a change in composition in January 2010. The expenditure class now includes weight from secondary residences, and has been re-titled "Owners' equivalent rent of residences." The item stratum "Owners' equivalent rent of primary residence" excludes secondary residences.
(4) Special index based on a substantially smaller sample.
(5) Indexes on a December 1993=100 base.
(6) Indexes on a December 1997=100 base.

Note: Index applies to a month as a whole, not to any specific date.

 

Last Modified Date: Wednesday, March 15, 2017