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Thursday, May 10, 2018

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Consumer Price Index, Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington – April 2018

Area prices up 0.9 percent since February; 1.4 percent over the year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington increased 0.9 percent from February to April, 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 (0.9 percent). The energy index and food index also increased, up 2.2 percent and 0.3 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 increased 1.4 percent. (See chart 1 and table A.) The over-the-year rise was led by increases in the all items less food and energy index (1.0 percent) and the energy index (7.9 percent). Prices for food declined since April 2017, down 0.2 percent. (See table 1.)

Food

Following a 0.6-percent decline from December to February, the food index increased 0.3 percent over the last two months. Prices were higher for both food at home (0.4 percent) and food away from home (0.2 percent) since February. Within the food at home component, prices were higher for various items including frozen and freeze dried prepared foods, eggs, and lettuce, while prices were lower for items including tomatoes and apples.

Over the year, the food index decreased 0.2 percent. Prices for food at home declined 1.4 percent, while those for food away from home increased 1.4 percent.

Energy

The energy index, which includes prices for household and transportation fuels, increased 2.2 percent since February. Higher prices for gasoline (4.4 percent) and utility (piped) gas service (1.6 percent) were moderated by lower prices for electricity, down 1.9 percent over the last two months.

Over the year, the energy index rose 7.9 percent, led by a 15.6-percent advance in gasoline prices. Prices were also higher for utility (piped) gas service (4.8 percent), while those for electricity declined 3.8 percent over the year.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy increased 0.9 percent from February to April, led by higher prices for shelter (0.6 percent) and household furnishings and operations (4.4 percent). Lower prices for medical care (-0.2 percent), among others, moderated the increase in the all items less food and energy index since February.

Since April 2017, the index for all items less food and energy increased 1.0 percent. Prices were higher for a number of items including shelter (1.5 percent), medical care (1.9 percent), and other goods and services (3.4 percent).

Table A. Philadelphia CPI-U 2-month and 12-month percent changes, all items index, not seasonally adjusted
Month 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month

February

0.5 1.0 -0.2 -0.1 0.3 0.3 0.7 2.1 0.4 0.5

April

0.5 1.4 0.5 0.0 0.9 0.6 0.0 1.3 0.9 1.4

June

0.6 1.8 0.8 0.2 0.3 0.1 -0.3 0.7

August

0.0 1.3 -0.5 -0.3 -0.2 0.4 0.5 1.4

October

-0.1 1.6 -0.3 -0.5 0.6 1.3 0.0 0.8

December

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

The Consumer Price Index for June 2018 is scheduled to be released Thursday, July 12, 2018 at 8:30 am (ET).


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 category Indexes Percent change from
Historical
data
Feb.
2018
Mar.
2018
Apr.
2018
Apr.
2017
Feb.
2018
Mar.
2018

All items

249.567   251.850 1.4 0.9  

All items (1967 = 100)

720.985   727.581      

Food and beverages

232.677   233.325 -0.3 0.3  

Food

232.563   233.291 -0.2 0.3  

Food at home

236.928 236.902 237.926 -1.4 0.4 0.4

Cereals and bakery products

295.321   299.387   1.4  

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

261.061   263.470   0.9  

Dairy and related products

198.142   195.646   -1.3  

Fruits and vegetables

275.316   273.365   -0.7  

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials(1)

151.651   155.636   2.6  

Other food at home

219.330   219.170   -0.1  

Food away from home

221.136   221.480 1.4 0.2  

Alcoholic beverages

231.852   231.353 -0.4 -0.2  

Housing

256.783   259.140 1.5 0.9  

Shelter

320.080 320.656 322.141 1.5 0.6 0.5

Rent of primary residence(2)

299.129 299.213 301.497 2.5 0.8 0.8

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

328.600 328.956 330.546 1.4 0.6 0.5

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

328.600 328.956 330.546 1.4 0.6 0.5

Fuels and utilities

205.787   206.598 2.0 0.4  

Household energy

170.917 172.010 171.442 1.7 0.3 -0.3

Energy services(2)

178.819 179.204 177.739 -0.9 -0.6 -0.8

Electricity(2)

181.906 178.256 178.420 -3.8 -1.9 0.1

Utility (piped) gas service(2)

162.846 169.373 165.512 4.8 1.6 -2.3

Household furnishings and operations

110.267   115.069 0.8 4.4  

Apparel

113.272   116.450 2.9 2.8  

Transportation

210.997   214.780 3.2 1.8  

Private transportation

209.993   213.750 3.6 1.8  

New and used motor vehicles(4)

94.777   95.990   1.3  

New vehicles(1)

175.204   176.660   0.8  

Used cars and trucks(1)

253.046   257.007   1.6  

Motor fuel

251.700 242.238 262.566 15.5 4.3 8.4

Gasoline (all types)

248.183 238.838 259.110 15.6 4.4 8.5

Gasoline, unleaded regular(5)

245.207 235.740 256.432 16.1 4.6 8.8

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(5)(6)

250.764 243.110 261.080 12.8 4.1 7.4

Gasoline, unleaded premium(5)

249.702 241.816 257.509 12.7 3.1 6.5

Motor vehicle insurance(1)

752.183   752.183   0.0  

Medical care

518.615   517.504 1.9 -0.2  

Recreation(4)

117.524   119.380 -3.0 1.6  

Education and communication(4)

130.157   130.102 0.9 0.0  

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

1,029.802   1,028.033   -0.2  

Other goods and services

538.065   547.626 3.4 1.8  

Commodity and service group

Commodities

179.502   182.662 2.9 1.8  

Commodities less food and beverages

149.179   152.986 4.5 2.6  

Nondurables less food and beverages

195.126   201.023 7.3 3.0  

Durables

100.157   101.944 0.3 1.8  

Services

321.019   322.656 0.7 0.5  

Special aggregate indexes

All items less shelter

226.539   228.944 1.3 1.1  

All items less medical care

238.233   240.676 1.3 1.0  

Commodities less food

152.184   155.928 4.4 2.5  

Nondurables

216.011   219.798 3.7 1.8  

Nondurables less food

197.370   202.998 6.9 2.9  

Services less rent of shelter(3)

329.325   330.514 0.0 0.4  

Services less medical care services

306.405   308.158 0.7 0.6  

Energy

200.215 197.345 204.613 7.9 2.2 3.7

All items less energy

256.869   258.914 0.8 0.8  

All items less food and energy

263.583   265.848 1.0 0.9  

Footnotes
(1) Indexes on a December 1977=100 base
(2) This index series was calculated using a Laspeyres estimator. All other item stratum index series were calculated using a geometric means estimator.
(3) Indexes on a December 1982=100 base.
(4) Indexes on a December 1997=100 base.
(5) Special index based on a substantially smaller sample.
(6) Indexes on a December 1993=100 base.

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

 

Last Modified Date: Thursday, May 10, 2018