Mid-Atlantic Information Office

For release: Friday, August 13, 2010 PLS - 4697
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Consumer Price Index, Pittsburgh – First Half 2010 (PDF)

Local Prices up 1.9 Percent Over the Year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) in the Pittsburgh area rose 1.9 percent from the first half of 2009 to the first half of 2010, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Sheila Watkins, the Bureau’s regional commissioner, attributed the recent advance to increases in the indexes for all items less food and energy (1.4 percent), energy (8.9 percent) and food (1.3 percent). The 12-month advance in the all items less food and energy index was led by higher shelter prices while the increase in the energy index largely reflected higher prices for gasoline. (See chart 1 and table 1.)

Chart 1. 12-month percent change in CPI for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), Pittsburgh, first half 2007 to first half 2010 (not seasonally adjusted)
12-month percent change in CPI for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), Pittsburgh, first half 2007 to first half 2010 (not seasonally adjusted)
Food

Food prices rose 1.3 percent since the first half of 2009―the smallest 12-month percent change since the second half of 2002. Both components of the food index, food away from home and food at home, recorded over-the-year increases, up 1.3 and 0.8 percent, respectively.

Energy

Following two consecutive 12-month decreases, the energy index increased 8.9 percent from the first half of 2009 to the first half of 2010. The recent increase in energy prices was dominated by a jump in gasoline prices, up 29.5 percent over the last 12 months. Electricity prices were also higher since the first half of 2009, up 1.4 percent. A 20.0-percent drop in utility (piped) gas service prices partially offset the overall advance.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy rose 1.4 percent from a year ago. Within this grouping, price increases were led by shelter (2.0 percent), particularly owners’ equivalent rent of residences (2.8 percent). Higher medical care prices, up 5.4 percent, also contributed to the overall 12-month increase in the all items less food and energy index. Moderating these advances were lower prices for recreation and household furnishings and operations, which fell 3.2 and 4.5 percent, respectively.

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 Pittsburgh, Pa., Metropolitan Statistical Area includes Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Washington, and Westmoreland Counties.

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 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
2009
2nd Half
2009
1st Half
2010
1st Half
2009
2nd Half
2009

All items

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210.468 213.774 214.470 1.9 0.3

Food and beverages

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217.638 218.137 220.437 1.3 1.1

Food

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217.337 217.663 220.195 1.3 1.2

Food at home

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215.154 212.376 216.892 0.8 2.1

Food away from home

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222.817 224.558 225.633 1.3 0.5

Alcoholic beverages

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220.412 223.192 222.532 1.0 -0.3

Housing

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212.925 213.860 213.438 0.2 -0.2

Shelter

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229.555 234.647 234.171 2.0 -0.2

Rent of primary residence (1)

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199.340 200.417 201.240 1.0 0.4

Owners' equivalent rent of residences (1) (2) (3)

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224.704 227.687 230.998 2.8 1.5

Owners' equivalent rent of primary residence (1) (2) (3)

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224.704 227.687 230.998 2.8 1.5

Fuels and utilities

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243.642 229.169 234.080 -3.9 2.1

Household energy

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234.630 217.832 222.685 -5.1 2.2

Gas (piped) and electricity (1)

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237.858 216.791 219.195 -7.8 1.1

Electricity (1)

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173.399 172.434 175.802 1.4 2.0

Utility (piped) gas service (1)

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303.355 243.444 242.789 -20.0 -0.3

Household furnishings and operations

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152.126 150.537 145.269 -4.5 -3.5

Apparel

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148.338 149.490 147.317 -0.7 -1.5

Transportation

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155.372 164.739 167.709 7.9 1.8

Private transportation

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155.574 165.513 168.299 8.2 1.7

Motor fuel

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190.608 232.868 245.995 29.1 5.6

Gasoline (all types)

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192.153 235.969 248.823 29.5 5.4

Gasoline, unleaded regular (4)

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188.456 232.344 245.513 30.3 5.7

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade (4) (5)

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207.368 253.135 266.405 28.5 5.2

Gasoline, unleaded premium (4)

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191.989 232.918 243.518 26.8 4.6

Medical care

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368.193 377.464 388.146 5.4 2.8

Recreation (6)

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116.543 116.520 112.782 -3.2 -3.2

Education and communication (6)

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135.103 137.994 137.715 1.9 -0.2

Other goods and services

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361.697 372.323 377.989 4.5 1.5

Commodity and service group

Commodities

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181.046 185.540 186.836 3.2 0.7

Commodities less food and beverages

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160.206 166.698 167.493 4.5 0.5

Nondurables less food and beverages

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196.749 209.346 210.810 7.1 0.7

Durables

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120.895 121.375 121.494 0.5 0.1

Services

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242.528 244.759 244.880 1.0 0.0

Special aggregate indexes

All items less medical care

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202.323 205.357 205.662 1.7 0.1

All items less shelter

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205.567 208.363 209.464 1.9 0.5

Commodities less food

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162.577 168.950 169.697 4.4 0.4

Nondurables

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207.663 214.114 215.976 4.0 0.9

Nondurables less food

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198.324 210.255 211.576 6.7 0.6

Services less rent of shelter (3)

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261.772 261.110 261.891 0.0 0.3

Services less medical care services

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232.544 234.438 233.966 0.6 -0.2

Energy

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219.899 230.286 239.420 8.9 4.0

All items less energy

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211.196 213.956 214.097 1.4 0.1

All items less food and energy

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210.869 214.141 213.831 1.4 -0.1

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) This index series underwent a change in composition in January 2010. The expenditure class now includes weight from secondary residences, and has been re-titled "Owners' equivalent rent of residences." The item stratum "Owners' equivalent rent of primary residence" excludes secondary residences.
(3) Indexes on a December 1982=100 base.
(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.

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

Last Modified Date: August 16, 2010

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