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15-82-PHI January 16, 2015

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Consumer Price Index - Philadelphia-Wilmington-Atlantic City, December 2014

Area Prices Down 0.8 Percent Since October; Up 0.6 Percent Over the Year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) in the Philadelphia-Wilmington-Atlantic City area decreased 0.8 percent from October to December, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Sheila Watkins, the Bureau’s regional commissioner, noted that the recent bimonthly decrease was largely due to lower prices for energy (-7.4 percent). The all items less food and energy index also decreased since October, down 0.4 percent, while the food index increased, up 0.8 percent. (Data in this report are not seasonally adjusted. Accordingly, two-month changes may reflect the impact of seasonal influences.)

Over the last 12 months, the CPI-U increased 0.6 percent. (See chart 1 and table A.) The rise was led by a 1.8-percent advance in the all items less food and energy index since December 2013. Prices for food also rose over the year, up 3.7 percent. Energy prices fell 12.9 percent since last December. (See table 1.)

 Chart 1. 12-month percent change in CPI for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), Philadelphia-Wilmington-Atlantic City, December 2011 to December 2014 (not seasonally adjusted)

 

Food

Following a 0.3-percent rise from August to October, food prices advanced 0.8 percent over the last two months. Prices for both components of the food index, food at home and food away from home, rose 1.1 and 0.4 percent, respectively, since October. Within the food at home component, price increases for items such as tomatoes, eggs, and processed fruits and vegetables were moderated by several price declines including those for pork, apples, and cereal and cereal products.

Over the year, the food index increased 3.7 percent. Prices for food at home advanced 4.6 percent and those for food away from home rose 2.5 percent.

Energy

The energy index, which includes prices for household and transportation fuels, fell 7.4 percent over the last two months. The decline was due almost entirely to a 14.8-percent drop in gasoline prices—the index’s largest bimonthly decrease since January 2009. Prices for utility (piped) gas service also declined since October (-1.7 percent), as did those for fuel oil and other fuels. Electricity prices rose 3.2 percent over the last two months.

The energy index fell 12.9 percent since last December due mostly to a 21.5-percent drop in gasoline prices—the largest over-the-year decreases for each of these indexes since October 2009. Electricity prices also declined over the year (-3.4 percent), while utility (piped) gas service prices increased (1.6 percent).

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy declined 0.4 percent from October to December, due largely to a 9.9-percent seasonal drop in apparel prices. Higher prices for shelter (0.3 percent), particularly owners’ equivalent rent of residences (0.2 percent), among others, moderated the bimonthly decrease in the all items less food and energy index.

Over the last 12 months, the index for all items less food and energy increased 1.8 percent. This was largely due to higher prices for shelter (2.2 percent), particularly owners’ equivalent rent of residences (2.1 percent). Prices also increased for medical care (3.5 percent) and other goods and services (6.9 percent). Moderating the over-the-year rise in the all items less food and energy group were lower prices for several indexes, including household furnishings and operations (-1.9 percent) and recreation (-1.3 percent).

 

Table A. Philadelphia-Wilmington-Atlantic City CPI-U 2-month and 12-month percent changes, all items index (not seasonally adjusted)
Month 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month

February

1.0 -0.3 0.8 2.8 1.3 1.9 0.7 2.2 0.7 1.8 0.5 1.0

April

0.6 -0.9 0.4 2.6 1.0 2.5 0.8 2.0 0.1 1.1 0.5 1.4

June

1.0 -2.0 0.3 1.9 0.6 2.8 -0.2 1.3 0.3 1.5 0.6 1.8

August

1.0 -1.0 0.2 1.1 0.7 3.4 0.9 1.4 0.5 1.1 0.0 1.3

October

-0.6 -0.1 0.0 1.7 -0.3 3.0 0.4 2.2 -0.4 0.3 -0.1 1.6

December

0.0 3.0 -0.2 1.4 -0.5 2.8 -0.9 1.8 0.1 1.2 -0.8 0.6

The February 2015 Consumer Price Index for Philadelphia-Wilmington-Atlantic City is scheduled to be released Tuesday, March 24, 2015, at 8:30 a.m. (ET).


Technical Note

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 89 percent of the total population and (2) a CPI for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) which covers 28 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 87 urban areas across the country from about 4,000 housing units and approximately 26,000 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/homch17_a.htm.

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-Wilmington-Atlantic City, Pa.-N.J.-Del.-Md., Consolidated Metropolitan Statistical Area, includes Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia Counties in Pennsylvania; Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, 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:  1-800-877-8339.

 

Table 1. Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U): Indexes and percent changes for selected periods, Philadelphia-Wilmington-Atlantic City, Pa.-N.J.-Del.-Md., (1982-84=100 unless otherwise noted) (not seasonally adjusted)
Expenditure category Indexes Percent change from
 
Historical
data
Oct.
2014
Nov.
2014
Dec.
2014
Dec.
2013
Oct.
2014
Nov.
2014

All items

Jump to page with historical data
244.948   242.912 0.6 -0.8  

All items (1967 = 100)

Jump to page with historical data
707.641   701.760      
 

Food and beverages

Jump to page with historical data
230.308   231.947 3.6 0.7  

Food

Jump to page with historical data
229.906   231.805 3.7 0.8  

Food at home

Jump to page with historical data
241.019 241.194 243.721 4.6 1.1 1.0

Food away from home

Jump to page with historical data
209.695   210.638 2.5 0.4  

Alcoholic beverages

Jump to page with historical data
232.860   231.170 2.7 -0.7  
 

Housing

Jump to page with historical data
248.070   248.454 1.1 0.2  

Shelter

Jump to page with historical data
303.643 303.861 304.444 2.2 0.3 0.2

Rent of primary residence (1)

Jump to page with historical data
283.530 284.103 284.866 2.3 0.5 0.3

Owners' equivalent rent of residences (1) (2)

Jump to page with historical data
312.000 312.544 312.594 2.1 0.2 0.0

Owners' equivalent rent of primary residence (1) (2)

Jump to page with historical data
312.000 312.544 312.594 2.1 0.2 0.0

Fuels and utilities

Jump to page with historical data
210.945   210.170 -3.1 -0.4  

Household energy

Jump to page with historical data
179.706 177.788 178.467 -4.8 -0.7 0.4

Gas (piped) and electricity (1)

Jump to page with historical data
185.907 184.904 189.092 -2.0 1.7 2.3

Electricity (1)

Jump to page with historical data
188.734 189.006 194.715 -3.4 3.2 3.0

Utility (piped) gas service (1)

Jump to page with historical data
173.352 169.653 170.436 1.6 -1.7 0.5

Household furnishings and operations

Jump to page with historical data
115.975   115.916 -1.9 -0.1  
 

Apparel

Jump to page with historical data
116.676   105.078 -1.0 -9.9  
 

Transportation

Jump to page with historical data
215.991   206.634 -5.6 -4.3  

Private transportation

Jump to page with historical data
215.438   205.519 -5.1 -4.6  

Motor fuel

Jump to page with historical data
280.091 257.375 238.589 -21.4 -14.8 -7.3

Gasoline (all types)

Jump to page with historical data
276.177 253.712 235.165 -21.5 -14.8 -7.3

Gasoline, unleaded regular (3)

Jump to page with historical data
275.232 252.250 233.404 -21.9 -15.2 -7.5

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade  (3) (4)

Jump to page with historical data
274.731 253.961 237.107 -19.7 -13.7 -6.6

Gasoline, unleaded premium (3)

Jump to page with historical data
265.355 247.129 231.017 -18.9 -12.9 -6.5
 

Medical care

Jump to page with historical data
475.438   475.778 3.5 0.1  
 

Recreation (5)

Jump to page with historical data
124.147   123.093 -1.3 -0.8  
 

Education and communication (5)

Jump to page with historical data
133.642   132.911 0.6 -0.5  
 

Other goods and services

Jump to page with historical data
495.387   497.587 6.9 0.4  
 

Commodity and service group

 

Commodities

Jump to page with historical data
183.368   177.621 -1.8 -3.1  

Commodities less food and beverages

Jump to page with historical data
156.535   147.671 -5.2 -5.7  

Nondurables less food and beverages

Jump to page with historical data
200.450   184.183 -6.7 -8.1  

Durables

Jump to page with historical data
107.112   106.238 -2.5 -0.8  

Services

Jump to page with historical data
308.355   309.658 1.9 0.4  
 

Special aggregate indexes

 

All items less shelter

Jump to page with historical data
226.554   223.320 -0.2 -1.4  

All items less medical care

Jump to page with historical data
235.214   233.093 0.4 -0.9  

Commodities less food

Jump to page with historical data
159.310   150.653 -4.9 -5.4  

Nondurables

Jump to page with historical data
217.076   208.992 -1.6 -3.7  

Nondurables less food

Jump to page with historical data
202.343   186.938 -6.1 -7.6  

Services less rent of shelter (2)

Jump to page with historical data
320.391   322.314 1.6 0.6  

Services less medical care services

Jump to page with historical data
294.892   296.240 1.8 0.5  

Energy

Jump to page with historical data
216.672 207.108 200.630 -12.9 -7.4 -3.1

All items less energy

Jump to page with historical data
249.913   249.405 2.0 -0.2  

All items less food and energy

Jump to page with historical data
255.913   254.957 1.8 -0.4  

Footnotes
(1) This index series was calculated using a Laspeyres estimator. All other item stratum index series were calculated using a geometric means estimator.
(2) Indexes on a December 1982=100 base.
(3) Special index based on a substantially smaller sample.
(4) Indexes on a December 1993=100 base.
(5) Indexes on a December 1997=100 base.
- Data not available

Note: Index applies to a month as a whole, not to any specific date.
 

Last Modified Date: Friday, January 16, 2015

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News Release Information

15-82-PHI January 16, 2015

Contacts

Technical information:
Media contact:

Consumer Price Index - Philadelphia-Wilmington-Atlantic City, December 2014

Area Prices Down 0.8 Percent Since October; Up 0.6 Percent Over the Year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) in the Philadelphia-Wilmington-Atlantic City area decreased 0.8 percent from October to December, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Sheila Watkins, the Bureau’s regional commissioner, noted that the recent bimonthly decrease was largely due to lower prices for energy (-7.4 percent). The all items less food and energy index also decreased since October, down 0.4 percent, while the food index increased, up 0.8 percent. (Data in this report are not seasonally adjusted. Accordingly, two-month changes may reflect the impact of seasonal influences.)

Over the last 12 months, the CPI-U increased 0.6 percent. (See chart 1 and table A.) The rise was led by a 1.8-percent advance in the all items less food and energy index since December 2013. Prices for food also rose over the year, up 3.7 percent. Energy prices fell 12.9 percent since last December. (See table 1.)

 Chart 1. 12-month percent change in CPI for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), Philadelphia-Wilmington-Atlantic City, December 2011 to December 2014 (not seasonally adjusted)

 

Food

Following a 0.3-percent rise from August to October, food prices advanced 0.8 percent over the last two months. Prices for both components of the food index, food at home and food away from home, rose 1.1 and 0.4 percent, respectively, since October. Within the food at home component, price increases for items such as tomatoes, eggs, and processed fruits and vegetables were moderated by several price declines including those for pork, apples, and cereal and cereal products.

Over the year, the food index increased 3.7 percent. Prices for food at home advanced 4.6 percent and those for food away from home rose 2.5 percent.

Energy

The energy index, which includes prices for household and transportation fuels, fell 7.4 percent over the last two months. The decline was due almost entirely to a 14.8-percent drop in gasoline prices—the index’s largest bimonthly decrease since January 2009. Prices for utility (piped) gas service also declined since October (-1.7 percent), as did those for fuel oil and other fuels. Electricity prices rose 3.2 percent over the last two months.

The energy index fell 12.9 percent since last December due mostly to a 21.5-percent drop in gasoline prices—the largest over-the-year decreases for each of these indexes since October 2009. Electricity prices also declined over the year (-3.4 percent), while utility (piped) gas service prices increased (1.6 percent).

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy declined 0.4 percent from October to December, due largely to a 9.9-percent seasonal drop in apparel prices. Higher prices for shelter (0.3 percent), particularly owners’ equivalent rent of residences (0.2 percent), among others, moderated the bimonthly decrease in the all items less food and energy index.

Over the last 12 months, the index for all items less food and energy increased 1.8 percent. This was largely due to higher prices for shelter (2.2 percent), particularly owners’ equivalent rent of residences (2.1 percent). Prices also increased for medical care (3.5 percent) and other goods and services (6.9 percent). Moderating the over-the-year rise in the all items less food and energy group were lower prices for several indexes, including household furnishings and operations (-1.9 percent) and recreation (-1.3 percent).

 

Table A. Philadelphia-Wilmington-Atlantic City CPI-U 2-month and 12-month percent changes, all items index (not seasonally adjusted)
Month 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month

February

1.0 -0.3 0.8 2.8 1.3 1.9 0.7 2.2 0.7 1.8 0.5 1.0

April

0.6 -0.9 0.4 2.6 1.0 2.5 0.8 2.0 0.1 1.1 0.5 1.4

June

1.0 -2.0 0.3 1.9 0.6 2.8 -0.2 1.3 0.3 1.5 0.6 1.8

August

1.0 -1.0 0.2 1.1 0.7 3.4 0.9 1.4 0.5 1.1 0.0 1.3

October

-0.6 -0.1 0.0 1.7 -0.3 3.0 0.4 2.2 -0.4 0.3 -0.1 1.6

December

0.0 3.0 -0.2 1.4 -0.5 2.8 -0.9 1.8 0.1 1.2 -0.8 0.6

The February 2015 Consumer Price Index for Philadelphia-Wilmington-Atlantic City is scheduled to be released Tuesday, March 24, 2015, at 8:30 a.m. (ET).


Technical Note

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 89 percent of the total population and (2) a CPI for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) which covers 28 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 87 urban areas across the country from about 4,000 housing units and approximately 26,000 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/homch17_a.htm.

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-Wilmington-Atlantic City, Pa.-N.J.-Del.-Md., Consolidated Metropolitan Statistical Area, includes Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia Counties in Pennsylvania; Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, 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:  1-800-877-8339.

 

Table 1. Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U): Indexes and percent changes for selected periods, Philadelphia-Wilmington-Atlantic City, Pa.-N.J.-Del.-Md., (1982-84=100 unless otherwise noted) (not seasonally adjusted)
Expenditure category Indexes Percent change from
 
Historical
data
Oct.
2014
Nov.
2014
Dec.
2014
Dec.
2013
Oct.
2014
Nov.
2014

All items

Jump to page with historical data
244.948   242.912 0.6 -0.8  

All items (1967 = 100)

Jump to page with historical data
707.641   701.760      
 

Food and beverages

Jump to page with historical data
230.308   231.947 3.6 0.7  

Food

Jump to page with historical data
229.906   231.805 3.7 0.8  

Food at home

Jump to page with historical data
241.019 241.194 243.721 4.6 1.1 1.0

Food away from home

Jump to page with historical data
209.695   210.638 2.5 0.4  

Alcoholic beverages

Jump to page with historical data
232.860   231.170 2.7 -0.7  
 

Housing

Jump to page with historical data
248.070   248.454 1.1 0.2  

Shelter

Jump to page with historical data
303.643 303.861 304.444 2.2 0.3 0.2

Rent of primary residence (1)

Jump to page with historical data
283.530 284.103 284.866 2.3 0.5 0.3

Owners' equivalent rent of residences (1) (2)

Jump to page with historical data
312.000 312.544 312.594 2.1 0.2 0.0

Owners' equivalent rent of primary residence (1) (2)

Jump to page with historical data
312.000 312.544 312.594 2.1 0.2 0.0

Fuels and utilities

Jump to page with historical data
210.945   210.170 -3.1 -0.4  

Household energy

Jump to page with historical data
179.706 177.788 178.467 -4.8 -0.7 0.4

Gas (piped) and electricity (1)

Jump to page with historical data
185.907 184.904 189.092 -2.0 1.7 2.3

Electricity (1)

Jump to page with historical data
188.734 189.006 194.715 -3.4 3.2 3.0

Utility (piped) gas service (1)

Jump to page with historical data
173.352 169.653 170.436 1.6 -1.7 0.5

Household furnishings and operations

Jump to page with historical data
115.975   115.916 -1.9 -0.1  
 

Apparel

Jump to page with historical data
116.676   105.078 -1.0 -9.9  
 

Transportation

Jump to page with historical data
215.991   206.634 -5.6 -4.3  

Private transportation

Jump to page with historical data
215.438   205.519 -5.1 -4.6  

Motor fuel

Jump to page with historical data
280.091 257.375 238.589 -21.4 -14.8 -7.3

Gasoline (all types)

Jump to page with historical data
276.177 253.712 235.165 -21.5 -14.8 -7.3

Gasoline, unleaded regular (3)

Jump to page with historical data
275.232 252.250 233.404 -21.9 -15.2 -7.5

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade  (3) (4)

Jump to page with historical data
274.731 253.961 237.107 -19.7 -13.7 -6.6

Gasoline, unleaded premium (3)

Jump to page with historical data
265.355 247.129 231.017 -18.9 -12.9 -6.5
 

Medical care

Jump to page with historical data
475.438   475.778 3.5 0.1  
 

Recreation (5)

Jump to page with historical data
124.147   123.093 -1.3 -0.8  
 

Education and communication (5)

Jump to page with historical data
133.642   132.911 0.6 -0.5  
 

Other goods and services

Jump to page with historical data
495.387   497.587 6.9 0.4  
 

Commodity and service group

 

Commodities

Jump to page with historical data
183.368   177.621 -1.8 -3.1  

Commodities less food and beverages

Jump to page with historical data
156.535   147.671 -5.2 -5.7  

Nondurables less food and beverages

Jump to page with historical data
200.450   184.183 -6.7 -8.1  

Durables

Jump to page with historical data
107.112   106.238 -2.5 -0.8  

Services

Jump to page with historical data
308.355   309.658 1.9 0.4  
 

Special aggregate indexes

 

All items less shelter

Jump to page with historical data
226.554   223.320 -0.2 -1.4  

All items less medical care

Jump to page with historical data
235.214   233.093 0.4 -0.9  

Commodities less food

Jump to page with historical data
159.310   150.653 -4.9 -5.4  

Nondurables

Jump to page with historical data
217.076   208.992 -1.6 -3.7  

Nondurables less food

Jump to page with historical data
202.343   186.938 -6.1 -7.6  

Services less rent of shelter (2)

Jump to page with historical data
320.391   322.314 1.6 0.6  

Services less medical care services

Jump to page with historical data
294.892   296.240 1.8 0.5  

Energy

Jump to page with historical data
216.672 207.108 200.630 -12.9 -7.4 -3.1

All items less energy

Jump to page with historical data
249.913   249.405 2.0 -0.2  

All items less food and energy

Jump to page with historical data
255.913   254.957 1.8 -0.4  

Footnotes
(1) This index series was calculated using a Laspeyres estimator. All other item stratum index series were calculated using a geometric means estimator.
(2) Indexes on a December 1982=100 base.
(3) Special index based on a substantially smaller sample.
(4) Indexes on a December 1993=100 base.
(5) Indexes on a December 1997=100 base.
- Data not available

Note: Index applies to a month as a whole, not to any specific date.
 

Last Modified Date: Friday, January 16, 2015