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Friday, May 10, 2019

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

Area prices up 1.3 percent since February; 1.9 percent over the year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington increased 1.3 percent from February to April, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Sheila Watkins noted that the recent two-month rise reflected an 8.1-percent increase in the energy index and a 0.7-percent rise in the all items less food and energy index. The food index also increased since February, up 0.5 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 1.9 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 (1.9 percent). The energy index and food index also advanced since April 2018, up 2.0 and 1.6 percent, respectively. (See table 1.)

Food

The food index rose 0.5 percent over the last two months. Prices for both food at home and food away from home increased since February, up 0.5 and 0.4 percent, respectively.

Over the year, the food index increased 1.6 percent. Prices for food away from home rose 2.5 percent, and those for food at home were up 0.9 percent.

Energy

The energy index, which includes prices for household and transportation fuels, increased 8.1 percent since February. The 2-month advance was led by a 16.8-percent jump in gasoline prices. Prices were also higher for utility (piped) gas service (5.1 percent) and electricity (0.1 percent).

Over the year, the energy index rose 2.0 percent, due mostly to higher utility (piped) gas service prices, up 12.1 percent. Prices were also higher for electricity (2.0 percent), while they decreased for gasoline (-0.4 percent) since April 2018.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy increased 0.7 percent from February to April. Prices were higher for shelter (0.6 percent), apparel (4.6 percent), and recreation (2.4 percent), among others.

Since April 2018, the index for all items less food and energy increased 1.9 percent. Prices were higher for a number of items including shelter (2.7 percent), medical care (4.3 percent), and new and used motor vehicles (3.0 percent), while prices were lower for apparel, down 6.6 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

August

-0.5 -0.3 -0.2 0.4 0.5 1.4 0.3 1.7

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 June 2019 is scheduled to be released Thursday, July 11, 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
Feb.
2019
Mar.
2019
Apr.
2019
Apr.
2018
Feb.
2019
Mar.
2019

All items

253.218   256.528 1.9 1.3  

All items (1967 = 100)

731.532   741.094      

Food and beverages

235.043   236.304 1.3 0.5  

Food

235.749   236.919 1.6 0.5  

Food at home

238.846 243.526 240.148 0.9 0.5 -1.4

Cereals and bakery products

304.584   302.787 1.1 -0.6  

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

258.503   262.254 -0.5 1.5  

Dairy and related products

195.266   200.260 2.4 2.6  

Fruits and vegetables

279.018   278.270 1.8 -0.3  

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials(1)

158.917   157.701 1.3 -0.8  

Other food at home

218.663   220.611 0.7 0.9  

Food away from home

225.953   226.917 2.5 0.4  

Alcoholic beverages

222.365   224.915 -2.8 1.1  

Housing

264.275   265.929 2.6 0.6  

Shelter

328.794 331.279 330.829 2.7 0.6 -0.1

Rent of primary residence

306.506 306.540 307.635 2.0 0.4 0.4

Owners' equivalent rent of residences(2)

337.223 338.145 339.766 2.8 0.8 0.5

Owners' equivalent rent of primary residence(2)

337.223 338.145 339.766 2.8 0.8 0.5

Fuels and utilities

212.257   215.093 4.1 1.3  

Household energy

175.639 179.211 178.508 4.1 1.6 -0.4

Energy services

184.312 188.897 188.038 5.8 2.0 -0.5

Electricity

181.789 181.396 181.901 2.0 0.1 0.3

Utility (piped) gas service

176.566 188.470 185.581 12.1 5.1 -1.5

Household furnishings and operations

115.193   114.774 -0.3 -0.4  

Apparel

104.010   108.752 -6.6 4.6  

Transportation

207.249   215.394 0.3 3.9  

Private transportation

206.467   215.354 0.8 4.3  

New and used motor vehicles(3)

98.734   98.846 3.0 0.1  

New vehicles(1)

180.018   178.296 0.9 -1.0  

Used cars and trucks(1)

256.566   259.471 1.0 1.1  

Motor fuel

224.619 241.039 261.622 -0.4 16.5 8.5

Gasoline (all types)

220.864 237.266 258.018 -0.4 16.8 8.7

Gasoline, unleaded regular(4)

217.573 234.103 255.036 -0.5 17.2 8.9

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(4)(5)

227.762 242.678 262.181 0.4 15.1 8.0

Gasoline, unleaded premium(4)

226.463 240.684 258.470 0.4 14.1 7.4

Motor vehicle insurance(1)

727.508   724.276 -3.7 -0.4  

Medical care

539.094   539.820 4.3 0.1  

Recreation(3)

120.123   123.000 3.0 2.4  

Education and communication(3)

131.333   131.900 1.4 0.4  

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

1,038.607   1,038.607 1.0 0.0  

Other goods and services

544.259   558.096 1.9 2.5  

Commodity and service group

Commodities

177.728   182.735 0.0 2.8  

Commodities less food and beverages

146.109   152.060 -0.6 4.1  

Nondurables less food and beverages

185.860   197.369 -1.8 6.2  

Durables

102.493   103.368 1.4 0.9  

Services

329.480   331.490 2.7 0.6  

Special aggregate indexes

All items less shelter

228.308   232.159 1.4 1.7  

All items less medical care

241.139   244.575 1.6 1.4  

Commodities less food

148.949   154.873 -0.7 4.0  

Nondurables

211.515   218.903 -0.4 3.5  

Nondurables less food

188.066   199.208 -1.9 5.9  

Services less rent of shelter(2)

337.571   339.571 2.7 0.6  

Services less medical care services

314.022   316.139 2.6 0.7  

Energy

192.989 201.356 208.636 2.0 8.1 3.6

All items less energy

261.833   263.697 1.8 0.7  

All items less food and energy

268.870   270.859 1.9 0.7  

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: Friday, May 10, 2019