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19-1646-PHI
Thursday, September 12, 2019

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Consumer Price Index, Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington – August 2019

Area prices up 0.5 percent since June; 2.3 percent over the year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington increased 0.5 percent from June to August, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Sheila Watkins noted that the recent two-month rise reflected a 0.6-percent increase in the all items less food and energy index and a 0.7-percent rise in the food index, while the energy index decreased since June, down 1.5 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 increased 2.3 percent. (See chart 1 and table A.) The over-the-year rise was led by an increase in the all items less food and energy index (2.8 percent). The food index also advanced since August 2018, up 1.8 percent, while the energy index declined 2.0 percent. (See table 1.)

Food

The food index rose 0.7 percent over the last two months. Prices for both food away from home and food at home increased since June, up 0.8 and 0.6 percent, respectively. Within the food at home component, prices were higher for nonfrozen noncarbonated juices and drinks, and processed fish and seafood; while prices were lower for lettuce and bacon, breakfast sausage, and related products.

Over the year, the food index increased 1.8 percent. Prices for food away from home rose 3.2 percent, and those for food at home were up 0.9 percent.

Energy

The energy index, which includes prices for household and transportation fuels, decreased 1.5 percent since June. The 2-month decline was led by a 2.7-percent decrease in gasoline prices. Prices were also lower for electricity (-0.8 percent), while they were higher for utility (piped) gas service (0.1 percent).

Over the year, the energy index declined 2.0 percent, due to lower gasoline prices, down 7.5 percent. Prices were higher for utility (piped) gas service (9.4 percent) and electricity (0.6 percent) since August 2018.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy increased 0.6 percent from June to August. Prices were higher for shelter (0.4 percent), apparel (4.6 percent), and medical care (1.1 percent), among others.

Since August 2018, the index for all items less food and energy increased 2.8 percent. Prices were higher for a number of items including shelter (2.8 percent) and medical care (4.1 percent), while prices were lower for apparel, down 2.4 percent.

Table A. Philadelphia CPI-U 2-month and 12-month percent changes, all items index, not seasonally adjusted
Month 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month

February

-0.2 -0.1 0.3 0.3 0.7 2.1 0.4 0.5 0.8 1.5

April

0.5 0.0 0.9 0.6 0.0 1.3 0.9 1.4 1.3 1.9

June

0.8 0.2 0.3 0.1 -0.3 0.7 0.2 1.9 0.5 2.1

August

-0.5 -0.3 -0.2 0.4 0.5 1.4 0.3 1.7 0.5 2.3

October

-0.3 -0.5 0.6 1.3 0.0 0.8 0.0 1.6

December

-0.6 -0.2 -0.1 1.7 -0.1 0.8 -0.7 1.0

The Consumer Price Index for October 2019 is scheduled to be released Wednesday, November 13, 2019 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
Jun.
2019
Jul.
2019
Aug.
2019
Aug.
2018
Jun.
2019
Jul.
2019

All items

257.709   258.877 2.3 0.5  

All items (1967 = 100)

744.506   747.882      

Food and beverages

237.368   238.496 1.6 0.5  

Food

237.597   239.167 1.8 0.7  

Food at home

240.573 242.498 241.908 0.9 0.6 -0.2

Cereals and bakery products

305.728   309.777 0.6 1.3  

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

264.414   264.805 -0.4 0.1  

Dairy and related products

201.032   203.194 4.2 1.1  

Fruits and vegetables

277.869   270.626 -0.8 -2.6  

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials(1)

156.562   163.840 3.0 4.6  

Other food at home

220.025   221.665 1.1 0.7  

Food away from home

227.918   229.768 3.2 0.8  

Alcoholic beverages

231.546   226.282 -2.2 -2.3  

Housing

268.889   269.067 3.2 0.1  

Shelter

333.598 335.165 334.788 2.8 0.4 -0.1

Rent of primary residence

308.522 309.969 311.523 2.7 1.0 0.5

Owners' equivalent rent of residences(2)

340.425 341.823 343.261 3.1 0.8 0.4

Owners' equivalent rent of primary residence(2)

340.425 341.823 343.261 3.1 0.8 0.4

Fuels and utilities

217.154   214.175 4.0 -1.4  

Household energy

176.722 176.953 175.873 3.3 -0.5 -0.6

Energy services

187.752 187.661 186.898 3.9 -0.5 -0.4

Electricity

183.340 183.037 181.785 0.6 -0.8 -0.7

Utility (piped) gas service

182.679 182.917 182.949 9.4 0.1 0.0

Household furnishings and operations

119.365   118.730 5.1 -0.5  

Apparel

105.889   110.743 -2.4 4.6  

Transportation

215.335   215.590 -0.4 0.1  

Private transportation

215.054   215.229 -0.7 0.1  

New and used motor vehicles(3)

99.597   101.459 3.3 1.9  

New vehicles(1)

179.871   178.580 0.8 -0.7  

Used cars and trucks(1)

259.471   265.490 2.1 2.3  

Motor fuel

257.235 260.067 250.194 -7.5 -2.7 -3.8

Gasoline (all types)

253.829 256.705 246.884 -7.5 -2.7 -3.8

Gasoline, unleaded regular(4)

250.667 253.494 243.571 -7.8 -2.8 -3.9

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(4)(5)

260.855 262.653 252.894 -6.6 -3.1 -3.7

Gasoline, unleaded premium(4)

255.531 258.736 250.554 -6.1 -1.9 -3.2

Motor vehicle insurance(1)

724.276   724.276 0.0 0.0  

Medical care

539.625   545.806 4.1 1.1  

Recreation(3)

124.270   125.525 4.9 1.0  

Education and communication(3)

131.718   132.081 1.3 0.3  

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

1,042.846   1,044.748 2.3 0.2  

Other goods and services

550.798   558.271 3.9 1.4  

Commodity and service group

Commodities

182.227   183.241 0.5 0.6  

Commodities less food and beverages

151.049   151.955 -0.1 0.6  

Nondurables less food and beverages

193.827   195.356 -1.8 0.8  

Durables

104.548   104.869 2.8 0.3  

Services

334.171   335.525 3.2 0.4  

Special aggregate indexes

All items less shelter

232.751   233.930 2.0 0.5  

All items less medical care

245.822   246.768 2.1 0.4  

Commodities less food

154.021   154.800 -0.2 0.5  

Nondurables

217.253   218.647 -0.3 0.6  

Nondurables less food

196.112   197.341 -1.8 0.6  

Services less rent of shelter(2)

342.201   343.748 3.4 0.5  

Services less medical care services

318.830   319.873 2.9 0.3  

Energy

205.886 207.090 202.721 -2.0 -1.5 -2.1

All items less energy

265.351   267.041 2.7 0.6  

All items less food and energy

272.678   274.405 2.8 0.6  

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: Thursday, September 12, 2019