News Release Information

17-99-PHI
Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Contacts

Technical information:
Media contact:

Consumer Price Index, Philadelphia-Wilmington-Atlantic City – December 2016

Area prices down 0.1 percent since October and up 1.7 percent over the year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for Philadelphia-Wilmington-Atlantic City inched down 0.1 percent over the last two months, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Sheila Watkins noted that the recent decrease was led by a decline in the all items less food and energy index (-0.3 percent); the food index also declined (-0.8 percent). Meanwhile, the energy index advanced 2.4 percent since October. (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 1.7 percent. (See chart 1 and table A.) The advance was due mostly to a 2.0-percent increase in the all items less food and energy index. The energy index rose 4.9 percent, while the food index declined 1.6 percent over the year. (See table 1.)

Food

After recording no change from August to October, the food index declined 0.8 percent since October. Prices were lower for food at home, down 1.5 percent, while those for food away from home inched up 0.1 percent over the last two months.

The food index decreased 1.6 percent over the year. Prices for food at home declined 3.6 percent, while those for food away from home increased 1.5 percent since last December.

Energy

The energy index, which includes prices for household and transportation fuels, advanced 2.4 percent since October. This was due largely to higher prices for gasoline, up 6.7 percent over the last two months. Prices for utility (piped) gas service also increased since October, up 1.8 percent, while those for electricity declined, down 1.5 percent.

Over the year, the energy index rose 4.9 percent, led by an 11.9-percent advance in gasoline prices. This was the largest over-the-year increase for each of these indexes since February 2012. Prices were also higher for utility (piped) gas service (6.2 percent), while those for electricity declined 2.8 percent over the year.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy declined 0.3 percent from October to December. A seasonal decrease in apparel prices (-7.1 percent) and lower medical care prices (-2.4 percent) were the main contributors to the two-month decline. Higher prices for shelter (0.6 percent) moderated the decrease in the all items less food and energy index since October.

Since December 2015, the index for all items less food and energy rose 2.0 percent. Prices were higher for a number of indexes including shelter (2.3 percent), apparel (8.1 percent), and medical care (2.3 percent). Lower prices for recreation (-0.5 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 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month

February

0.7 2.2 0.7 1.8 0.5 1.0 -0.2 -0.1 0.3 0.3

April

0.8 2.0 0.1 1.1 0.5 1.4 0.5 0.0 0.9 0.6

June

-0.2 1.3 0.3 1.5 0.6 1.8 0.8 0.2 0.3 0.1

August

0.9 1.4 0.5 1.1 0.0 1.3 -0.5 -0.3 -0.2 0.3

October

0.4 2.2 -0.4 0.3 -0.1 1.6 -0.3 -0.5 0.6 1.3

December

-0.9 1.8 0.1 1.2 -0.8 0.6 -0.6 -0.2 -0.1 1.7

The Consumer Price Index for February 2017 is scheduled to be released Wednesday, March 15, 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
Oct.
2016
Nov.
2016
Dec.
2016
Dec.
2015
Oct.
2016
Nov.
2016

All items

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SA0
246.952   246.591 1.7 -0.1  

All items (1967 = 100)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102AA0
713.431   712.388      
 

Food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SAF
232.155   230.329 -1.3 -0.8  

Food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SAF1
231.922   230.006 -1.6 -0.8  

Food at home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SAF11
239.632 237.762 236.044 -3.6 -1.5 -0.7

Food away from home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SEFV
216.105   216.429 1.5 0.1  

Alcoholic beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SAF116
231.929   231.177 2.3 -0.3  
 

Housing

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SAH
252.546   253.626 1.9 0.4  

Shelter

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SAH1
313.964 314.931 315.978 2.3 0.6 0.3

Rent of primary residence(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SEHA
290.616 291.755 292.277 1.4 0.6 0.2

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

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SEHC
322.162 322.910 324.006 2.0 0.6 0.3

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

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SEHC01
322.162 322.910 324.006 2.0 0.6 0.3

Fuels and utilities

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SAH2
199.711   199.105 0.7 -0.3  

Household energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SAH21
165.697 164.949 165.066 0.5 -0.4 0.1

Gas (piped) and electricity(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SEHF
177.470 176.985 176.556 -0.2 -0.5 -0.2

Electricity(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SEHF01
187.918 186.574 185.093 -2.8 -1.5 -0.8

Utility (piped) gas service(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SEHF02
147.993 149.125 150.670 6.2 1.8 1.0

Household furnishings and operations

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SAH3
113.656   113.038 -0.4 -0.5  
 

Apparel

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SAA
118.777   110.286 8.1 -7.1  
 

Transportation

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SAT
201.027   203.254 3.6 1.1  

Private transportation

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SAT1
199.308   202.752 3.9 1.7  

Motor fuel

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SETB
198.916 204.463 212.174 11.8 6.7 3.8

Gasoline (all types)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SETB01
196.160 201.684 209.259 11.9 6.7 3.8

Gasoline, unleaded regular(4)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SS47014
192.803 198.230 206.202 12.2 6.9 4.0

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(4)(5)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SS47015
204.491 210.346 216.396 10.9 5.8 2.9

Gasoline, unleaded premium(4)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SS47016
203.023 208.700 213.566 10.2 5.2 2.3
 

Medical care

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SAM
513.147   500.731 2.3 -2.4  
 

Recreation(6)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SAR
121.863   122.801 -0.5 0.8  
 

Education and communication(6)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SAE
133.979   134.539 0.1 0.4  
 

Other goods and services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SAG
527.603   526.333 4.7 -0.2  
 

Commodity and service group

 

Commodities

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SAC
176.633   174.345 1.1 -1.3  

Commodities less food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SACL11
145.803   143.453 2.6 -1.6  

Nondurables less food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SANL11
184.871   181.529 5.5 -1.8  

Durables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SAD
102.815   101.468 -1.6 -1.3  

Services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SAS
318.418   319.807 2.1 0.4  
 

Special aggregate indexes

 

All items less shelter

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SA0L2
225.199   223.939 1.5 -0.6  

All items less medical care

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SA0L5
235.739   235.919 1.7 0.1  

Commodities less food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SACL1
148.869   146.559 2.6 -1.6  

Nondurables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SAN
209.668   206.963 1.9 -1.3  

Nondurables less food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SANL1
187.614   184.430 5.3 -1.7  

Services less rent of shelter(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SASL2RS
330.225   330.939 1.9 0.2  

Services less medical care services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SASL5
303.975   305.719 2.1 0.6  

Energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SA0E
177.849 179.317 182.110 4.9 2.4 1.6

All items less energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SA0LE
256.430   255.563 1.5 -0.3  

All items less food and energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SA0L1E
263.211   262.508 2.0 -0.3  

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, January 18, 2017