News Release Information

18-1497-PHI
Thursday, September 13, 2018

Contacts

Technical information:
Media contact:

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

Area prices up 0.3 percent since June; 1.7 percent over the year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington edged up 0.3 percent from June to August, 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 (0.3 percent). The food index also increased, up 0.9 percent, while the energy index declined, down 0.9 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 1.7 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 (10.2 percent). Prices for food also increased since August 2017, up 0.8 percent. (See table 1.)

Food

Following a 0.2-percent decrease from April to June, the food index increased 0.9 percent over the last two months. Prices were higher for both food at home (1.1 percent) and food away from home (0.7 percent) since June. Within the food at home component, prices were higher for various items including breakfast cereal and carbonated drinks, while prices were lower for items including frozen and freeze dried prepared foods.

Over the year, the food index increased 0.8 percent. Prices for food away from home rose 1.1 percent, and those for food at home increased 0.6 percent.

Energy

The energy index, which includes prices for household and transportation fuels, decreased 0.9 percent since June. Lower prices for gasoline (-0.7 percent) led the decrease. Prices were also lower over the last two months for electricity, down 0.5 percent, while those for utility (piped) gas service increased 0.4 percent.

Over the year, the energy index rose 10.2 percent, due almost entirely to a 20.7-percent rise in gasoline prices. Prices were also higher for utility (piped) gas service (5.6 percent), while those for electricity declined 2.9 percent over the year.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy edged up 0.3 percent from June to August, led by higher prices for shelter (0.7 percent), medical care (0.9 percent), and apparel (2.7 percent). Lower prices for education and communication (-0.4 percent), among others, moderated the increase in the all items less food and energy index since June.

Since August 2017, the index for all items less food and energy increased 1.0 percent. Prices were higher for a number of items including shelter (1.8 percent), medical care (2.7 percent) and new and used motor vehicles (3.5 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 0.2 1.9

August

0.0 1.3 -0.5 -0.3 -0.2 0.4 0.5 1.4 0.3 1.7

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 September 2018 is scheduled to be released Thursday, October 11, 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
Jun.
2018
Jul.
2018
Aug.
2018
Aug.
2017
Jun.
2018
Jul.
2018

All items

252.386   253.085 1.7 0.3  

All items (1967 = 100)

729.129   731.147      

Food and beverages

232.867   234.853 0.7 0.9  

Food

232.804   234.917 0.8 0.9  

Food at home

237.299 237.074 239.823 0.6 1.1 1.2

Cereals and bakery products

300.000   307.957   2.7  

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

263.866   265.954   0.8  

Dairy and related products

196.813   195.021   -0.9  

Fruits and vegetables

266.824   272.744   2.2  

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials(1)

160.480   159.088   -0.9  

Other food at home

216.334   219.195   1.3  

Food away from home

221.195   222.705 1.1 0.7  

Alcoholic beverages

231.310   231.435 -0.6 0.1  

Housing

259.777   260.806 1.7 0.4  

Shelter

323.316 325.324 325.528 1.8 0.7 0.1

Rent of primary residence

302.804 303.297 303.350 2.1 0.2 0.0

Owners' equivalent rent of residences(2)

332.050 332.674 332.923 1.7 0.3 0.1

Owners' equivalent rent of primary residence(2)

332.050 332.674 332.923 1.7 0.3 0.1

Fuels and utilities

207.838   206.008 2.2 -0.9  

Household energy

172.026 170.473 170.174 1.9 -1.1 -0.2

Energy services

180.112 180.230 179.856 -0.1 -0.1 -0.2

Electricity

181.547 181.326 180.705 -2.9 -0.5 -0.3

Utility (piped) gas service

166.583 167.213 167.240 5.6 0.4 0.0

Household furnishings and operations

113.486   112.966 0.2 -0.5  

Apparel

110.436   113.424 -0.1 2.7  

Transportation

218.416   216.532 4.3 -0.9  

Private transportation

217.592   216.675 4.8 -0.4  

New and used motor vehicles(3)

98.127   98.213   0.1  

New vehicles(1)

177.920   177.216   -0.4  

Used cars and trucks(1)

256.560   259.965   1.3  

Motor fuel

272.570 271.814 270.607 20.5 -0.7 -0.4

Gasoline (all types)

268.999 268.262 267.038 20.7 -0.7 -0.5

Gasoline, unleaded regular(4)

265.972 265.357 264.045 21.2 -0.7 -0.5

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(4)(5)

272.459 271.434 270.728 17.7 -0.6 -0.3

Gasoline, unleaded premium(4)

268.983 267.423 266.892 17.4 -0.8 -0.2

Motor vehicle insurance(1)

733.043   724.327   -1.2  

Medical care

519.516   524.371 2.7 0.9  

Recreation(3)

119.553   119.693 -2.5 0.1  

Education and communication(3)

130.990   130.403 0.9 -0.4  

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

1,031.999   1,020.832   -1.1  

Other goods and services

535.731   537.573 1.4 0.3  

Commodity and service group

Commodities

181.531   182.362 3.2 0.5  

Commodities less food and beverages

151.701   152.080 4.6 0.2  

Nondurables less food and beverages

197.765   198.979 7.3 0.6  

Durables

102.402   102.055 0.5 -0.3  

Services

324.644   325.261 0.9 0.2  

Special aggregate indexes

All items less shelter

229.244   229.373 1.6 0.1  

All items less medical care

241.147   241.661 1.6 0.2  

Commodities less food

154.659   155.036 4.4 0.2  

Nondurables

217.663   219.238 4.2 0.7  

Nondurables less food

199.874   201.043 6.8 0.6  

Services less rent of shelter(2)

333.413   332.285 0.2 -0.3  

Services less medical care services

310.095   310.765 0.9 0.2  

Energy

208.725 207.479 206.842 10.2 -0.9 -0.3

All items less energy

259.029   260.038 1.0 0.4  

All items less food and energy

266.052   266.911 1.0 0.3  

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 13, 2018