Mid-Atlantic Information Office

For release: Wednesday, November 17, 2010 PLS - 4725
Technical Information: (215) 597-3282 • BLSInfoPhiladelphia@bls.govwww.bls.gov/ro3
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Consumer Price Index, Philadelphia–Wilmington–Atlantic City –
October 2010 (PDF)

Area Prices Unchanged Since August and 1.7 Percent Higher Over the Year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) in the Philadelphia-Wilmington-Atlantic City area was unchanged from August to October, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Sheila Watkins, the Bureau’s regional commissioner, noted that a 0.7-percent increase in the food index was offset by a 0.4-percent decrease in the energy index. There was no change in the index for all items less food and energy since August. (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 rose 1.7 percent. (See chart 1 and table A.) Since October 2009, the index for all items less food and energy advanced 1.1 percent. Prices also increased for both energy (5.7 percent) and food (2.4 percent) over the year.

Chart 1. 12-month percent change in CPI for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), Philadelphia–Wilmington–Atlantic City, October 2007 to October 2010 (not seasonally adjusted)
12-month percent change in CPI for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), PhiladelphiaWilmingtonAtlantic City

Food

Food prices rose 0.7 percent from August to October, following a 0.6-percent decrease in the previous bimonthly period. The recent increase reflected higher prices for food at home and food away from home, each up 0.7 percent since August. Within the food at home component, price increases for fresh fruits and vegetables and milk, among others, were partially offset by lower prices for a number of items including soups and eggs.

Since October 2009, the food index advanced 2.4 percent. Both components of the food index had price increases over the year—prices for food at home rose 3.1 percent and those for food away from home, 1.5 percent.

Energy

The energy index fell 0.4 percent since August—its third consecutive two-month decrease—due to a 7.2-percent seasonal decline in the electricity index. Electricity prices normally rise in June as summer rate schedules are introduced, then decline in October. Price increases for gasoline (4.4 percent), fuel oil, and utility (piped) gas service (0.4 percent) moderated the decrease in the overall energy index from August to October.

The energy index advanced 5.7 percent over the last 12 months, led by an increase in prices for gasoline, up 10.0 percent. Higher prices for fuel oil and electricity (1.1 percent) also contributed to the 12-month rise in the energy index. Partially offsetting these advances, the index for utility (piped) gas service—which has not recorded an over-the-year advance since February 2009—declined 2.1 percent since last October.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy was unchanged from August to October. Within this grouping, price increases led by apparel (3.0 percent) and owners’ equivalent rent of primary residence (0.3 percent) were offset by price decreases in other categories such as education and communication -1.8 percent) and household furnishings and operations (-1.3 percent).

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy rose 1.1 percent. Higher prices for shelter (0.6 percent), particularly owners’ equivalent rent of primary residence (0.9 percent), led the 12-month advance. Lower prices for household furnishings and operations (-1.3 percent) and apparel (-0.6 percent) helped to moderate the increase in the all items less food and energy index since last October.

The December 2010 Consumer Price Index for Philadelphia-Wilmington-Atlantic City is scheduled to be released on January 14, 2011, at 8:30 a.m. (ET).

Table A. Philadelphia-Wilmington-Atlantic City CPI-U 2-month and 12-month percent changes, all items index (not seasonally adjusted)
Month 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
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

1.2 4.5 2.0 4.4 0.7 2.0 0.9 3.7 1.0 -0.3 0.8 2.8

April

1.6 4.4 1.2 4.1 1.0 1.7 1.2 3.9 0.6 -0.9 0.4 2.6

June

0.7 3.4 1.1 4.4 0.9 1.6 2.1 5.1 1.0 -2.0 0.3 1.9

August

0.9 3.8 1.2 4.7 0.7 1.1 0.0 4.4 1.0 -1.0 0.2 1.1

October

0.4 3.6 -2.2 2.0 0.1 3.5 -1.4 2.8 -0.6 -0.1 0.0 1.7

December

-1.3 3.6 0.0 3.3 0.0 3.5 -3.1 -0.4 0.0 3.0


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 87 percent of the total population and (2) a CPI for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) which covers 32 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 25,000 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 (CMSA), 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; TDD message referral phone number: 1-800-877-8339.

For personal assistance or further information on Consumer Price Indexes, as well as other Bureau products, contact the Mid-Atlantic Information Office at (215) 597-3282 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. ET.

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)
Expenditure category Indexes Percent change from-
Aug. 2010 Sep. 2010 Oct. 2010 Oct. 2009 Aug. 2010 Sep. 2010

All items

228.500 - 228.543 1.7 0.0 -

Food and beverages

207.474 - 209.456 2.4 1.0 -

Food

207.393 - 208.875 2.4 0.7 -

Food at home

217.000 219.360 218.517 3.1 0.7 -0.4

Food away from home

189.203 - 190.593 1.5 0.7 -

Alcoholic beverages

206.201 - 214.494 2.2 4.0 -

Housing

236.123 - 234.572 0.7 -0.7 -

Shelter

281.949 281.425 281.793 0.6 -0.1 0.1

Rent of primary residence (1)

260.457 259.577 260.162 0.1 -0.1 0.2

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

289.769 289.990 290.571 0.9 0.3 0.2

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

289.769 289.990 290.571 0.9 0.3 0.2

Fuels and utilities

217.098 - 209.350 2.8 -3.6 -

Household energy

193.030 193.757 184.687 2.2 -4.3 -4.7

Gas (piped) and electricity (1) (3)

208.115 209.511 197.307 0.2 -5.2 -5.8

Electricity (1)

212.627 213.641 197.367 1.1 -7.2 -7.6

Utility (piped) gas service (1)

191.536 193.871 192.311 -2.1 0.4 -0.8

Household furnishings and operations

122.591 - 120.969 -1.3 -1.3 -

Apparel

103.918 - 106.995 -0.6 3.0 -

Transportation

193.831 - 196.575 5.3 1.4 -

Private transportation

190.380 - 194.345 5.1 2.1 -

Motor fuel

234.593 228.394 244.951 10.0 4.4 7.2

Gasoline (all types)

231.260 224.921 241.328 10.0 4.4 7.3

Gasoline, unleaded regular (4)

230.960 224.331 241.502 10.3 4.6 7.7

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade (4) (5)

227.138 221.997 235.382 8.9 3.6 6.0

Gasoline, unleaded premium (4)

220.884 216.185 228.181 8.6 3.3 5.5

Medical care

432.740 - 435.821 2.6 0.7 -

Recreation (6)

123.761 - 123.795 0.8 0.0 -

Education and communication (6)

131.574 - 129.246 0.3 -1.8 -

Other goods and services

423.082 - 421.675 1.7 -0.3 -
Commodity and service group

Commodities

169.638 - 171.489 2.4 1.1 -

Commodities less food and beverages

147.264 - 148.981 2.3 1.2 -

Nondurables less food and beverages

178.688 - 181.380 2.3 1.5 -

Durables

112.250 - 112.889 2.1 0.6 -

Services

289.042 - 287.481 1.3 -0.5 -
Special aggregate indexes

All items less medical care

219.837 - 219.787 1.6 0.0 -

All items less shelter

211.920 - 212.046 2.3 0.1 -

Commodities less food

149.498 - 151.404 2.3 1.3 -

Nondurables

194.350 - 196.784 2.4 1.3 -

Nondurables less food

180.273 - 183.256 2.3 1.7 -

Services less rent of shelter (2)

303.636 - 300.343 2.1 -1.1 -

Services less medical care services

277.459 - 275.675 1.2 -0.6 -

Energy

207.018 205.003 206.159 5.7 -0.4 0.6

All items less energy

232.582 - 232.727 1.3 0.1 -

All items less food and energy

239.243 - 239.172 1.1 0.0 -

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) In January, 2011, this series will be re-titled Energy services.
(4) Special index based on a substantially smaller sample.
(5) Indexes on a December 1993=100 base.
(6) 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: November 17, 2010

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