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21-2013-PHL
Wednesday, November 10, 2021

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Consumer Price Index, Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington – October 2021

Area prices up 1.0 percent over the last two months; up 5.6 percent over the year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington increased 1.0 percent from August to October, the fifth consecutive 2-month increase, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Alexandra Hall Bovee noted that a 0.6-percent increase in the all items less food and energy index led the overall rise. The energy index and the food index also increased over the 2-month period, up 4.2 and 1.6 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 advanced 5.6 percent; this was the largest over-the year increase since February 1991. The October rise was led by a 4.6-percent increase in the all items less food and energy index. (See chart 1 and table A.) The energy index and the food index also increased over the year, up 24.4  and 3.7 percent, respectively. (See table 1.)

Food

Food prices increased 1.6 percent from August to October, reflecting a 2.3-percent price increase for food at home. Prices for food away from home also increased over the 2-month period, up 0.9 percent.

Over the year, the food index rose 3.7 percent, reflecting price increases for both food at home (3.9 percent) and food away from home (3.3 percent).

Energy

The energy index increased 4.2 percent over the 2-month pricing period, largely due to a 5.1-percent increase in prices for gasoline. Prices for utility (piped) gas service increased 4.7 percent since August, while electricity prices declined 0.5 percent.

Over the year, the energy index increased 24.4 percent, reflecting price increases for both gasoline, up 41.0 percent and utility (piped) gas service was up 7.3 percent. Electricity increased 2.9 percent over the year.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy advanced 0.6 percent from August to October. Shelter prices increased 0.7 percent and new and used motor vehicles prices increased 1.1 percent, largely due to a 4.3-percent increase in new vehicles which continued the rapid increase in that index which began in April. While initially used car and truck prices also increased, that index saw modest 2-month declines in August and October, down 0.4 and 0.7 percent, respectively.

From October 2020 to October 2021, the index for all items less food and energy advanced 4.6 percent, reflecting higher prices for shelter (2.7 percent) and new and used motor vehicles (22.3 percent).

Table A. Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD, CPI-U 2-month and 12-month percent changes, all items index, not seasonally adjusted
Month 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month

February

0.7 2.1 0.4 0.5 0.8 1.5 1.0 2.6 0.8 1.0

April

0.0 1.3 0.9 1.4 1.3 1.9 -1.3 -0.1 1.2 3.5

June

-0.3 0.7 0.2 1.9 0.5 2.1 0.6 0.1 1.9 4.9

August

0.5 1.4 0.3 1.7 0.5 2.3 0.8 0.4 0.6 4.6

October

0.0 0.8 0.0 1.6 -0.4 1.9 0.0 0.8 1.0 5.6

December

-0.1 0.8 -0.7 1.0 -0.3 2.4 0.0 1.1

The Consumer Price Index for December 2021 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, January 12, 2022, at 8:30 a.m. (ET).

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic Impact on October 2021 Consumer Price Index Data

Data collection by personal visit for the Consumer Price Index (CPI) program has been suspended almost entirely since March 16, 2020. When possible, data normally collected by personal visit were collected either online or by phone. Additionally, data collection in October was affected by the temporary closing or limited operations of certain types of establishments. These factors resulted in an increase in the number of prices considered temporarily unavailable and imputed.

While the CPI program attempted to collect as much data as possible, many indexes are based on smaller amounts of collected prices than usual, and a small number of indexes that are normally published were not published this month. Additional information is available at www.bls.gov/covid19/effects-of-covid-19-pandemic-on-consumer-price-index.htm.


Technical Note

The Consumer Price Index for Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington is published bi-monthly. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) is a measures 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 U.S. population and (2) a CPI for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) which covers approximately 29 percent of the total U.S. 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; for most of the CPI-U the reference base is 1982-84 equals 100. An increase of 7 percent from the reference base, for example, is shown as 107.000. Alternatively, that relationship can also be expressed as the price of a base period market basket of goods and services rising from $100 to $107. For further details see the CPI home page on the internet at www.bls.gov/cpi and the CPI section of the BLS Handbook of Methods available on the internet at www.bls.gov/opub/hom/cpi/. 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, Cumberland, 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.
2021
Sep.
2021
Oct.
2021
Oct.
2020
Aug.
2021
Sep.
2021

All items

272.044   274.647 5.6 1.0  

All items (1967 = 100)

785.921   793.441      

Food and beverages

252.028   255.959 3.6 1.6  

Food

252.659   256.795 3.7 1.6  

Food at home

250.781 253.350 256.523 3.9 2.3 1.3

Cereals and bakery products

322.289   337.658 5.2 4.8  

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

300.504   302.992 11.2 0.8  

Dairy and related products

203.588   201.994 -0.4 -0.8  

Fruits and vegetables

257.132   262.586 -7.2 2.1  

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials(1)

171.953   178.532 9.1 3.8  

Other food at home

226.513   233.072 4.8 2.9  

Food away from home

248.717   250.835 3.3 0.9  

Alcoholic beverages

240.393   241.147 2.8 0.3  

Housing

280.380   283.187 4.4 1.0  

Shelter

347.168 349.401 349.586 2.7 0.7 0.1

Rent of primary residence

326.468 326.584 326.997 2.3 0.2 0.1

Owners' equivalent rent of residences(2)

355.879 357.572 357.920 1.2 0.6 0.1

Owners' equivalent rent of primary residence(2)

355.879 357.572 357.920 1.2 0.6 0.1

Fuels and utilities

215.703   221.643 9.5 2.8  

Household energy

174.345 177.029 179.839 11.5 3.2 1.6

Energy services

183.051 185.468 185.002 4.2 1.1 -0.3

Electricity

182.882 183.203 181.921 2.9 -0.5 -0.7

Utility (piped) gas service

171.250 177.987 179.300 7.3 4.7 0.7

Household furnishings and operations

130.320   132.225 11.6 1.5  

Apparel

109.781   108.967 5.0 -0.7  

Transportation

239.394   243.516 17.8 1.7  

Private transportation

246.861   251.900 20.9 2.0  

New and used motor vehicles(3)

124.773   126.106 22.3 1.1  

New vehicles(1)

212.134   221.250 24.2 4.3  

Used cars and trucks(1)

366.567   363.981 27.2 -0.7  

Motor fuel

295.323 296.427 310.673 41.1 5.2 4.8

Gasoline (all types)

291.875 292.985 306.881 41.0 5.1 4.7

Gasoline, unleaded regular(4)

288.299 289.369 303.779 41.8 5.4 5.0

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(4)(5)

298.758 300.114 311.056 37.0 4.1 3.6

Gasoline, unleaded premium(4)

293.654 294.913 304.774 36.4 3.8 3.3

Motor vehicle insurance(1)

658.517   672.254 6.0 2.1  

Medical care

564.402   565.101 0.8 0.1  

Recreation(3)

127.160   128.287 1.8 0.9  

Education and communication(3)

136.208   136.184 1.9 0.0  

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

1,089.373   1,087.396 3.2 -0.2  

Other goods and services

595.343   596.330 5.0 0.2  

Commodity and service group

Commodities

199.563   203.402 11.4 1.9  

Commodities less food and beverages

169.139   172.775 16.7 2.1  

Nondurables less food and beverages

203.469   207.514 12.3 2.0  

Durables

126.361   129.302 22.1 2.3  

Services

344.964   346.283 2.5 0.4  

Special aggregate indexes

All items less shelter

247.338   250.013 7.1 1.1  

All items less medical care

259.685   262.369 6.1 1.0  

Commodities less food

171.995   175.582 16.2 2.1  

Nondurables

228.937   232.957 7.4 1.8  

Nondurables less food

205.717   209.584 11.6 1.9  

Services less rent of shelter(2)

350.286   350.450 2.2 0.0  

Services less medical care services

327.553   328.905 2.4 0.4  

Energy

218.066 220.174 227.131 24.4 4.2 3.2

All items less energy

280.330   282.376 4.5 0.7  

All items less food and energy

287.838   289.500 4.6 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: Wednesday, November 10, 2021