errata

Incorrect prices for prescription drugs were used for the CPI-U and CPI-W indexes from May through August 2016 in a number of areas. Several indexes were affected, including the all items and medical care indexes. A list of the series affected can be found at www.bls.gov/bls/errata/cpi-price-corrections-10182016.htm, and the corrected data are available in the CPI database (www.bls.gov/cpi/data.htm).

News Release Information

16-1504-PHI
Friday, July 15, 2016

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Consumer Price Index, Pittsburgh – First Half 2016

Local prices up 1.6 percent over the year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) in the Pittsburgh area advanced 1.6 percent from the first half of 2015 to the first half of 2016, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Sheila Watkins, the Bureau’s regional commissioner, noted that this was mostly due to a 2.8-percent rise in the all items less food and energy index. (See chart 1.) The food index also increased since the first half of 2015, up 0.6 percent. These over-the-year increases were moderated by a 9.6-percent decline in the energy index.

Food

Food prices advanced 0.6 percent since the first half of 2015, led by a 1.3-percent increase in prices for food away from home. Prices for food at home were unchanged over the year.

Energy

The energy index, which includes prices for household and transportation fuels, fell 9.6 percent from the first half of 2015 to the first half of 2016, due largely to a 15.0-percent drop in gasoline prices. Prices for utility (piped) gas service declined 17.7 percent, while prices for electricity increased 5.2 percent over the year.

All items less food and energy

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy increased 2.8 percent. Price increases were led by shelter, up 2.4 percent, particularly the owners’ equivalent rent of residences component, which rose 2.6 percent. Prices were also higher for several other categories including apparel (14.7 percent), other goods and services (6.6 percent), and recreation (4.0 percent).

The Consumer Price Index for the second half of 2016 is scheduled to be released in January, 2017.


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/pdf/homch17.pdf.

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
2015
2nd Half
2015
1st Half
2016
1st Half
2015
2nd Half
2015

All items

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239.232 241.972 242.998 1.6 0.4
 

Food and beverages

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253.727 255.464 255.160 0.6 -0.1

Food

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253.446 255.130 254.871 0.6 -0.1

Food at home

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250.170 251.806 250.246 0.0 -0.6

Food away from home

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260.064 261.828 263.318 1.3 0.6

Alcoholic beverages

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257.924 260.287 259.706 0.7 -0.2
 

Housing

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241.078 243.792 244.927 1.6 0.5

Shelter

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271.328 275.490 277.851 2.4 0.9

Rent of primary residence (1)

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232.968 235.923 237.223 1.8 0.6

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

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270.838 275.216 277.946 2.6 1.0

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

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270.838 275.216 277.946 2.6 1.0

Fuels and utilities

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246.825 243.616 240.785 -2.4 -1.2

Household energy

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224.434 219.047 212.755 -5.2 -2.9

Energy services (1)

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218.358 216.115 211.488 -3.1 -2.1

Electricity (1)

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185.337 196.056 194.960 5.2 -0.6

Utility (piped) gas service (1)

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220.216 192.543 181.312 -17.7 -5.8

Household furnishings and operations

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148.549 149.972 148.720 0.1 -0.8
 

Apparel

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150.354 159.920 172.414 14.7 7.8
 

Transportation

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183.089 182.238 178.814 -2.3 -1.9

Private transportation

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179.570 178.326 174.178 -3.0 -2.3

Motor fuel

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234.225 226.329 198.927 -15.1 -12.1

Gasoline (all types)

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236.472 228.603 201.055 -15.0 -12.1

Gasoline, unleaded regular (3)

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233.077 223.693 195.387 -16.2 -12.7

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade (3) (4)

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256.035 252.265 225.258 -12.0 -10.7

Gasoline, unleaded premium (3)

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231.662 229.687 207.408 -10.5 -9.7
 

Medical care

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463.968 465.732 471.602 1.6 1.3
 

Recreation (5)

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117.018 120.344 121.731 4.0 1.2
 

Education and communication (5)

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147.150 147.618 148.032 0.6 0.3
 

Other goods and services

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418.442 441.639 446.185 6.6 1.0
 

Commodity and service group

 

Commodities

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200.652 201.552 199.960 -0.3 -0.8

Commodities less food and beverages

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171.969 172.464 170.264 -1.0 -1.3

Nondurables less food and beverages

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216.670 216.859 214.422 -1.0 -1.1

Durables

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123.218 123.942 122.302 -0.7 -1.3

Services

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279.737 284.038 287.150 2.6 1.1
 

Special aggregate indexes

 

All items less medical care

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228.359 231.119 231.945 1.6 0.4

All items less shelter

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229.605 231.785 232.237 1.1 0.2

Commodities less food

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175.178 175.738 173.603 -0.9 -1.2

Nondurables

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235.510 236.463 235.075 -0.2 -0.6

Nondurables less food

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219.487 219.828 217.569 -0.9 -1.0

Services less rent of shelter (2)

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294.801 299.669 303.461 2.9 1.3

Services less medical care services

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266.121 270.267 272.957 2.6 1.0

Energy

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235.896 229.216 213.303 -9.6 -6.9

All items less energy

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241.129 244.675 247.110 2.5 1.0

All items less food and energy

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239.945 243.803 246.679 2.8 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: Friday, July 15, 2016