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15-1635-PHI Wednesday, August 19, 2015

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Consumer Price Index, Pittsburgh – First Half 2015

Local prices up 0.2 percent over the year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) in the Pittsburgh area advanced 0.2 percent from the first half of 2014 to the first half of 2015, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Sheila Watkins noted that the all items less food and energy index rose 1.6 percent from the first half of 2014. (See chart 1.) Food prices rose 2.4 percent over the year, while energy prices dropped 14.9 percent.

 Chart 1. Over-the-year percent change in CPI-U, Pittsburgh, first half 2012-first half 2015

Food

Food prices advanced 2.4 percent since the first half of 2014, led by a 2.7-percent increase in prices for food at home. Prices for food away from home also rose, up 1.8 percent over the year.

Energy

The energy index, which includes prices for household and transportation fuels, fell 14.9 percent from the first half of 2014 to the first half of 2015, due almost entirely to a 28.3-percent drop in gasoline prices. Prices for utility (piped) gas service also declined (-7.4 percent), while prices for electricity increased (13.6 percent) over the year.

All items less food and energy

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy increased 1.6 percent. Price increases were led by shelter, up 3.2 percent, particularly the owners’ equivalent rent of residences component which rose 3.7 percent. Moderating the 12-month increase in the all items less food and energy index were lower prices for recreation, down 2.0 percent, and apparel, down 1.7 percent.

The Consumer Price Index for the second half of 2015 is scheduled to be released in January 2016.


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 approximately 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 Pittsburgh, Pa. metropolitan statistical area covered in this release is comprised of Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Washington, and Westmoreland Counties in Pennsylvania.

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 for semiannual averages and percent changes for selected periods, Pittsburgh, PA (1982-84=100 unless otherwise noted)
Expenditure category Indexes Percent change from
 
Historical
data
1st Half
2014
2nd Half
2014
1st Half
2015
1st Half
2014
2nd Half
2014

All items

Jump to page with historical data
238.663 239.249 239.232 0.2 0.0
 

Food and beverages

Jump to page with historical data
247.931 251.685 253.727 2.3 0.8

Food

Jump to page with historical data
247.450 251.302 253.446 2.4 0.9

Food at home

Jump to page with historical data
243.562 247.861 250.170 2.7 0.9

Food away from home

Jump to page with historical data
255.408 258.681 260.064 1.8 0.5

Alcoholic beverages

Jump to page with historical data
254.478 257.078 257.924 1.4 0.3
 

Housing

Jump to page with historical data
234.892 239.211 241.078 2.6 0.8

Shelter

Jump to page with historical data
262.980 268.089 271.328 3.2 1.2

Rent of primary residence (1)

Jump to page with historical data
229.548 232.495 232.968 1.5 0.2

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

Jump to page with historical data
261.258 266.886 270.838 3.7 1.5

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

Jump to page with historical data
261.258 266.886 270.838 3.7 1.5

Fuels and utilities

Jump to page with historical data
245.966 250.513 246.825 0.3 -1.5

Household energy

Jump to page with historical data
224.112 229.977 224.434 0.1 -2.4

Energy services (1)

Jump to page with historical data
208.401 218.774 218.358 4.8 -0.2

Electricity (1)

Jump to page with historical data
163.206 182.393 185.337 13.6 1.6

Utility (piped) gas service (1)

Jump to page with historical data
237.711 227.273 220.216 -7.4 -3.1

Household furnishings and operations

Jump to page with historical data
146.939 148.479 148.549 1.1 0.0
 

Apparel

Jump to page with historical data
152.905 154.048 150.354 -1.7 -2.4
 

Transportation

Jump to page with historical data
198.608 192.908 183.089 -7.8 -5.1

Private transportation

Jump to page with historical data
196.486 191.135 179.570 -8.6 -6.1

Motor fuel

Jump to page with historical data
326.615 300.549 234.225 -28.3 -22.1

Gasoline (all types)

Jump to page with historical data
329.848 303.533 236.472 -28.3 -22.1

Gasoline, unleaded regular (3)

Jump to page with historical data
327.346 300.383 233.077 -28.8 -22.4

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade (3) (4)

Jump to page with historical data
351.948 326.187 256.035 -27.3 -21.5

Gasoline, unleaded premium (3)

Jump to page with historical data
314.538 292.338 231.662 -26.3 -20.8
 

Medical care

Jump to page with historical data
462.432 449.069 463.968 0.3 3.3
 

Recreation (5)

Jump to page with historical data
119.347 115.930 117.018 -2.0 0.9
 

Education and communication (5)

Jump to page with historical data
145.770 146.310 147.150 0.9 0.6
 

Other goods and services

Jump to page with historical data
403.483 410.828 418.442 3.7 1.9
 

Commodity and service group

 

Commodities

Jump to page with historical data
207.827 205.905 200.652 -3.5 -2.6

Commodities less food and beverages

Jump to page with historical data
184.977 180.472 171.969 -7.0 -4.7

Nondurables less food and beverages

Jump to page with historical data
242.565 235.160 216.670 -10.7 -7.9

Durables

Jump to page with historical data
124.423 122.666 123.218 -1.0 0.5

Services

Jump to page with historical data
273.070 275.645 279.737 2.4 1.5
 

Special aggregate indexes

 

All items less medical care

Jump to page with historical data
227.833 228.985 228.359 0.2 -0.3

All items less shelter

Jump to page with historical data
232.362 231.041 229.605 -1.2 -0.6

Commodities less food

Jump to page with historical data
187.631 183.367 175.178 -6.6 -4.5

Nondurables

Jump to page with historical data
245.841 243.929 235.510 -4.2 -3.5

Nondurables less food

Jump to page with historical data
243.317 236.617 219.487 -9.8 -7.2

Services less rent of shelter (2)

Jump to page with historical data
290.199 289.943 294.801 1.6 1.7

Services less medical care services

Jump to page with historical data
259.535 263.183 266.121 2.5 1.1

Energy

Jump to page with historical data
277.082 268.833 235.896 -14.9 -12.3

All items less energy

Jump to page with historical data
237.122 238.455 241.129 1.7 1.1

All items less food and energy

Jump to page with historical data
236.245 237.177 239.945 1.6 1.2

Footnotes
(1) This index series was calculated using a Laspeyres estimator. All other item stratum index series converted to a geometric means estimator in January 1999.
(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.

Note: Index applies to a 6-month period as a whole, not to any specific date.

Last Modified Date: Wednesday, August 19, 2015

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News Release Information

15-1635-PHI Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Contacts

Technical information:
Media contact:

Consumer Price Index, Pittsburgh – First Half 2015

Local prices up 0.2 percent over the year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) in the Pittsburgh area advanced 0.2 percent from the first half of 2014 to the first half of 2015, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Sheila Watkins noted that the all items less food and energy index rose 1.6 percent from the first half of 2014. (See chart 1.) Food prices rose 2.4 percent over the year, while energy prices dropped 14.9 percent.

 Chart 1. Over-the-year percent change in CPI-U, Pittsburgh, first half 2012-first half 2015

Food

Food prices advanced 2.4 percent since the first half of 2014, led by a 2.7-percent increase in prices for food at home. Prices for food away from home also rose, up 1.8 percent over the year.

Energy

The energy index, which includes prices for household and transportation fuels, fell 14.9 percent from the first half of 2014 to the first half of 2015, due almost entirely to a 28.3-percent drop in gasoline prices. Prices for utility (piped) gas service also declined (-7.4 percent), while prices for electricity increased (13.6 percent) over the year.

All items less food and energy

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy increased 1.6 percent. Price increases were led by shelter, up 3.2 percent, particularly the owners’ equivalent rent of residences component which rose 3.7 percent. Moderating the 12-month increase in the all items less food and energy index were lower prices for recreation, down 2.0 percent, and apparel, down 1.7 percent.

The Consumer Price Index for the second half of 2015 is scheduled to be released in January 2016.


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 approximately 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 Pittsburgh, Pa. metropolitan statistical area covered in this release is comprised of Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Washington, and Westmoreland Counties in Pennsylvania.

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 for semiannual averages and percent changes for selected periods, Pittsburgh, PA (1982-84=100 unless otherwise noted)
Expenditure category Indexes Percent change from
 
Historical
data
1st Half
2014
2nd Half
2014
1st Half
2015
1st Half
2014
2nd Half
2014

All items

Jump to page with historical data
238.663 239.249 239.232 0.2 0.0
 

Food and beverages

Jump to page with historical data
247.931 251.685 253.727 2.3 0.8

Food

Jump to page with historical data
247.450 251.302 253.446 2.4 0.9

Food at home

Jump to page with historical data
243.562 247.861 250.170 2.7 0.9

Food away from home

Jump to page with historical data
255.408 258.681 260.064 1.8 0.5

Alcoholic beverages

Jump to page with historical data
254.478 257.078 257.924 1.4 0.3
 

Housing

Jump to page with historical data
234.892 239.211 241.078 2.6 0.8

Shelter

Jump to page with historical data
262.980 268.089 271.328 3.2 1.2

Rent of primary residence (1)

Jump to page with historical data
229.548 232.495 232.968 1.5 0.2

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

Jump to page with historical data
261.258 266.886 270.838 3.7 1.5

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

Jump to page with historical data
261.258 266.886 270.838 3.7 1.5

Fuels and utilities

Jump to page with historical data
245.966 250.513 246.825 0.3 -1.5

Household energy

Jump to page with historical data
224.112 229.977 224.434 0.1 -2.4

Energy services (1)

Jump to page with historical data
208.401 218.774 218.358 4.8 -0.2

Electricity (1)

Jump to page with historical data
163.206 182.393 185.337 13.6 1.6

Utility (piped) gas service (1)

Jump to page with historical data
237.711 227.273 220.216 -7.4 -3.1

Household furnishings and operations

Jump to page with historical data
146.939 148.479 148.549 1.1 0.0
 

Apparel

Jump to page with historical data
152.905 154.048 150.354 -1.7 -2.4
 

Transportation

Jump to page with historical data
198.608 192.908 183.089 -7.8 -5.1

Private transportation

Jump to page with historical data
196.486 191.135 179.570 -8.6 -6.1

Motor fuel

Jump to page with historical data
326.615 300.549 234.225 -28.3 -22.1

Gasoline (all types)

Jump to page with historical data
329.848 303.533 236.472 -28.3 -22.1

Gasoline, unleaded regular (3)

Jump to page with historical data
327.346 300.383 233.077 -28.8 -22.4

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade (3) (4)

Jump to page with historical data
351.948 326.187 256.035 -27.3 -21.5

Gasoline, unleaded premium (3)

Jump to page with historical data
314.538 292.338 231.662 -26.3 -20.8
 

Medical care

Jump to page with historical data
462.432 449.069 463.968 0.3 3.3
 

Recreation (5)

Jump to page with historical data
119.347 115.930 117.018 -2.0 0.9
 

Education and communication (5)

Jump to page with historical data
145.770 146.310 147.150 0.9 0.6
 

Other goods and services

Jump to page with historical data
403.483 410.828 418.442 3.7 1.9
 

Commodity and service group

 

Commodities

Jump to page with historical data
207.827 205.905 200.652 -3.5 -2.6

Commodities less food and beverages

Jump to page with historical data
184.977 180.472 171.969 -7.0 -4.7

Nondurables less food and beverages

Jump to page with historical data
242.565 235.160 216.670 -10.7 -7.9

Durables

Jump to page with historical data
124.423 122.666 123.218 -1.0 0.5

Services

Jump to page with historical data
273.070 275.645 279.737 2.4 1.5
 

Special aggregate indexes

 

All items less medical care

Jump to page with historical data
227.833 228.985 228.359 0.2 -0.3

All items less shelter

Jump to page with historical data
232.362 231.041 229.605 -1.2 -0.6

Commodities less food

Jump to page with historical data
187.631 183.367 175.178 -6.6 -4.5

Nondurables

Jump to page with historical data
245.841 243.929 235.510 -4.2 -3.5

Nondurables less food

Jump to page with historical data
243.317 236.617 219.487 -9.8 -7.2

Services less rent of shelter (2)

Jump to page with historical data
290.199 289.943 294.801 1.6 1.7

Services less medical care services

Jump to page with historical data
259.535 263.183 266.121 2.5 1.1

Energy

Jump to page with historical data
277.082 268.833 235.896 -14.9 -12.3

All items less energy

Jump to page with historical data
237.122 238.455 241.129 1.7 1.1

All items less food and energy

Jump to page with historical data
236.245 237.177 239.945 1.6 1.2

Footnotes
(1) This index series was calculated using a Laspeyres estimator. All other item stratum index series converted to a geometric means estimator in January 1999.
(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.

Note: Index applies to a 6-month period as a whole, not to any specific date.

Last Modified Date: Wednesday, August 19, 2015