For release: Friday, September 17, 2010 PLS - 4707
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Consumer Price Index, Philadelphia-Wilmington-Atlantic City – August 2010 (PDF)

Area Prices 0.2 Percent Higher Since June and 1.1 Percent Higher Over the Year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) in the Philadelphia-Wilmington-Atlantic City area edged up 0.2 percent from June to August, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Sheila Watkins, the Bureau’s regional commissioner, attributed the recent advance to an increase in the all items less food and energy index (0.4 percent); both the food and energy indexes decreased over the last two months, down 0.6 percent and 0.4 percent, respectively. The bimonthly advance in the all items less food and energy index was led by seasonal increases in both the education and communication index and the apparel index. (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 1.1 percent. (See chart 1 and table A.) Since August 2009, the index for all items less food and energy advanced 1.2 percent. Prices also increased for both food (1.2 percent) and energy (0.2 percent) over the year.

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

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

Food

Food prices decreased 0.6 percent from June to August, following a 1.1-percent increase in the previous bimonthly period. The recent decline largely reflected lower prices for food at home, which fell 0.8 percent since June. Lower prices for food away from home (-0.2 percent) also contributed to the two-month decrease in the food index.

Since August 2009, the food index advanced 1.2 percent. Both components of the food index had price increases over the year—prices for food at home rose 1.6 percent and those for food away from home, 0.7 percent.

Energy

The energy index fell 0.4 percent since June. Lower prices for gasoline, down 1.1 percent over the last two months, dominated the recent decline in the energy index. Utility (piped) gas service prices were also lower (-0.4 percent), while prices increased for both electricity (0.4 percent) and fuel oil from June to August.

The energy index edged up 0.2 percent over the last 12 months, led by an increase in prices for fuel oil. Higher prices for electricity, up 1.3 percent, also contributed to the 12-month advance 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 7.9 percent since last August. Gasoline prices also decreased over the year, down 0.4 percent.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.4 percent from June to August. Within this grouping, price increases were led by education and communication (1.3 percent) and apparel (2.6 percent), both recording seasonal advances. Lower prices for shelter (-0.2 percent), particularly owners’ equivalent rent of primary residence (-0.5 percent), helped to moderate the two-month advance in the all items less food and energy index.

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy rose 1.2 percent. Higher prices for new and used motor vehicles, particularly used cars and trucks, and owners’ equivalent rent of primary residence (0.8 percent) led the 12-month advance. A 2.3-percent decline in prices for apparel—the first over-the-year decline since June 2009—helped to moderate the increase in the all items less food and energy index since last August.

The October 2010 Consumer Price Index for Philadelphia-Wilmington-Atlantic City is scheduled to be released on November 17, 2010, at 8:30 a.m. (EDT).

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

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-
June 2010 July 2010 Aug. 2010 Aug. 2009 June 2010 July 2010

All items

228.074 - 228.500 1.1 0.2 -

Food and beverages

208.635 - 207.474 1.0 -0.6 -

Food

208.559 - 207.393 1.2 -0.6 -

Food at home

218.736 214.921 217.000 1.6 -0.8 1.0

Food away from home

189.675 - 189.203 0.7 -0.2 -

Alcoholic beverages

207.288 - 206.201 -1.2 -0.5 -

Housing

235.898 - 236.123 0.2 0.1 -

Shelter

282.601 284.277 281.949 0.1 -0.2 -0.8

Rent of primary residence (1)

259.031 260.148 260.457 0.5 0.6 0.1

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

291.298 292.640 289.769 0.8 -0.5 -1.0

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

291.298 292.640 289.769 0.8 -0.5 -1.0

Fuels and utilities

214.425 - 217.098 1.7 1.2 -

Household energy

192.501 192.419 193.030 0.7 0.3 0.3

Gas (piped) and electricity (1)

207.776 207.973 208.115 -1.3 0.2 0.1

Electricity (1)

211.881 212.452 212.627 1.3 0.4 0.1

Utility (piped) gas service (1)

192.239 191.480 191.536 -7.9 -0.4 0.0

Household furnishings and operations

121.314 - 122.591 -0.6 1.1 -

Apparel

101.275 - 103.918 -2.3 2.6 -

Transportation

194.121 - 193.831 4.1 -0.1 -

Private transportation

190.963 - 190.380 3.4 -0.3 -

Motor fuel

237.286 236.195 234.593 -0.2 -1.1 -0.7

Gasoline (all types)

233.843 232.759 231.260 -0.4 -1.1 -0.6

Gasoline, unleaded regular (3)

233.398 232.399 230.960 -0.8 -1.0 -0.6

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade (3) (4)

230.559 228.610 227.138 0.2 -1.5 -0.6

Gasoline, unleaded premium (3)

223.565 222.819 220.884 0.9 -1.2 -0.9

Medical care

430.442 - 432.740 1.7 0.5 -

Recreation (5)

123.959 - 123.761 0.6 -0.2 -

Education and communication (5)

129.854 - 131.574 1.1 1.3 -

Other goods and services

420.303 - 423.082 2.5 0.7 -
Commodity and service group            

Commodities

169.438 - 169.638 1.2 0.1 -

Commodities less food and beverages

146.548 - 147.264 1.3 0.5 -

Nondurables less food and beverages

177.585 - 178.688 -0.5 0.6 -

Durables

111.961 - 112.250 4.4 0.3 -

Services

288.399 - 289.042 1.0 0.2 -
Special aggregate indexes            

All items less medical care

219.472 - 219.837 1.0 0.2 -

All items less shelter

211.046 - 211.920 1.6 0.4 -

Commodities less food

148.829 - 149.498 1.2 0.4 -

Nondurables

194.206 - 194.350 0.3 0.1 -

Nondurables less food

179.282 - 180.273 -0.5 0.6 -

Services less rent of shelter (2)

301.405 - 303.636 1.9 0.7 -

Services less medical care services

276.872 - 277.459 0.9 0.2 -

Energy

207.767 207.288 207.018 0.2 -0.4 -0.1

All items less energy

232.021 - 232.582 1.2 0.2 -

All items less food and energy

238.396 - 239.243 1.2 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: September 21, 2010