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19-2037-PHI
Wednesday, November 13, 2019

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

Area prices down 0.4 percent since August; up 1.9 percent over the year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington decreased 0.4 percent from August to October, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Sheila Watkins noted that the recent two-month decline reflected a 0.2-percent decreased in the all items less food and energy index and a 2.3-percent decline in the energy index, while the food index rose since August, up 0.2 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 (2.5 percent). The food index also advanced since October 2018, up 2.0 percent, while the energy index declined 3.6 percent. (See table 1.)

Food

The food index edged up 0.2 percent over the last two months. Prices for food away from home increased since August, up 0.8 percent, while those for food at home declined 0.2 percent. Within the food at home component, prices were lower for chicken and bacon, breakfast sausage, and related products; while prices were higher for breakfast cereal and fresh fish and seafood.

Over the year, the food index increased 2.0 percent. Prices for food away from home rose 2.6 percent, and those for food at home were up 1.5 percent.

Energy

The energy index, which includes prices for household and transportation fuels, decreased 2.3 percent since August. The two-month decline was led by a 4.0-percent decrease in gasoline prices. Prices were also lower for electricity and utility (piped) gas service, down 1.9 and 1.3 percent, respectively.

Over the year, the energy index declined 3.6 percent, due to lower gasoline prices, down 9.8 percent. Prices were higher for utility (piped) gas service (6.9 percent) and electricity (2.1 percent) since October 2018.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy edged down 0.2 percent from August to October. Prices were lower for new and used motor vehicles (-2.2 percent) and recreation (-2.6 percent) while prices were higher for shelter (0.4 percent) and education and communication (0.4 percent).

Since October 2018, the index for all items less food and energy increased 2.5 percent. Prices were higher for a number of items including shelter (2.7 percent), medical care (3.7 percent), and recreation (3.9 percent), among others.

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 -0.4 1.9

December

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

The Consumer Price Index for December 2019 is scheduled to be released Tuesday, January 14, 2020 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
Aug.
2019
Sep.
2019
Oct.
2019
Oct.
2018
Aug.
2019
Sep.
2019

All items

258.877   257.966 1.9 -0.4  

All items (1967 = 100)

747.882   745.248      

Food and beverages

238.496   239.360 1.9 0.4  

Food

239.167   239.717 2.0 0.2  

Food at home

241.908 242.112 241.510 1.5 -0.2 -0.2

Cereals and bakery products

309.777   302.314 0.5 -2.4  

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

264.805   269.248 1.7 1.7  

Dairy and related products

203.194   208.657 5.3 2.7  

Fruits and vegetables

270.626   276.035 1.6 2.0  

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials(1)

163.840   159.807 1.8 -2.5  

Other food at home

221.665   216.665 0.2 -2.3  

Food away from home

229.768   231.582 2.6 0.8  

Alcoholic beverages

226.282   231.661 0.0 2.4  

Housing

269.067   269.076 2.7 0.0  

Shelter

334.788 335.491 336.156 2.7 0.4 0.2

Rent of primary residence

311.523 312.432 312.856 2.9 0.4 0.1

Owners' equivalent rent of residences(2)

343.261 344.312 344.573 3.2 0.4 0.1

Owners' equivalent rent of primary residence(2)

343.261 344.312 344.573 3.2 0.4 0.1

Fuels and utilities

214.175   212.996 3.0 -0.6  

Household energy

175.873 174.338 174.313 2.3 -0.9 0.0

Energy services

186.898 184.942 183.773 3.9 -1.7 -0.6

Electricity

181.785 181.246 178.283 2.1 -1.9 -1.6

Utility (piped) gas service

182.949 178.950 180.596 6.9 -1.3 0.9

Household furnishings and operations

118.730   115.167 1.6 -3.0  

Apparel

110.743   109.944 2.1 -0.7  

Transportation

215.590   211.840 -1.8 -1.7  

Private transportation

215.229   210.394 -2.1 -2.2  

New and used motor vehicles(3)

101.459   99.214 1.9 -2.2  

New vehicles(1)

178.580   179.138 0.4 0.3  

Used cars and trucks(1)

265.490   255.555 1.9 -3.7  

Motor fuel

250.194 243.363 240.552 -9.8 -3.9 -1.2

Gasoline (all types)

246.884 239.890 237.105 -9.8 -4.0 -1.2

Gasoline, unleaded regular(4)

243.571 236.572 233.767 -10.0 -4.0 -1.2

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(4)(5)

252.894 246.692 243.922 -8.1 -3.5 -1.1

Gasoline, unleaded premium(4)

250.554 244.057 241.669 -8.4 -3.5 -1.0

Motor vehicle insurance(1)

724.276   712.845 -1.6 -1.6  

Medical care

545.806   546.358 3.7 0.1  

Recreation(3)

125.525   122.272 3.9 -2.6  

Education and communication(3)

132.081   132.661 1.5 0.4  

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

1,044.748   1,052.538 2.4 0.7  

Other goods and services

558.271   554.639 3.3 -0.7  

Commodity and service group

Commodities

183.241   181.587 0.3 -0.9  

Commodities less food and beverages

151.955   149.551 -0.5 -1.6  

Nondurables less food and beverages

195.356   192.922 -1.6 -1.2  

Durables

104.869   102.660 1.4 -2.1  

Services

335.525   335.207 2.7 -0.1  

Special aggregate indexes

All items less shelter

233.930   232.130 1.5 -0.8  

All items less medical care

246.768   245.788 1.8 -0.4  

Commodities less food

154.800   152.547 -0.5 -1.5  

Nondurables

218.647   217.570 0.0 -0.5  

Nondurables less food

197.341   195.249 -1.5 -1.1  

Services less rent of shelter(2)

343.748   341.577 2.7 -0.6  

Services less medical care services

319.873   319.348 2.5 -0.2  

Energy

202.721 199.209 198.140 -3.6 -2.3 -0.5

All items less energy

267.041   266.560 2.5 -0.2  

All items less food and energy

274.405   273.766 2.5 -0.2  

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: Wednesday, November 13, 2019