For release: Friday, May 13, 2011 PLS-4787

Technical information: (215) 597-3282 • BLSInfoPhiladelphia@bls.govwww.bls.gov/ro3
Media contact: (215) 861-5600 • BLSMediaPhiladelphia@bls.gov

 

Consumer Price Index, Philadelphia–Wilmington–Atlantic City – April 2011 (PDF)

Area Prices Rose 1.0 Percent Since February and 2.5 Percent Over the Year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) in the Philadelphia-Wilmington-Atlantic City area rose 1.0 percent from February to April, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Sheila Watkins, the Bureau’s regional commissioner, noted that the recent advance was due almost entirely to a 10.1-percent jump in the energy index. The index for all items less food and energy inched up 0.1 percent, while the food index declined 0.6 percent since February. (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 increased 2.5 percent. (See chart 1 and table A.) Since April 2010, energy prices advanced 17.5 percent. The indexes for both all items less food and energy and food also increased over the year, up 0.8 and 2.7 percent, respectively. (See table 1.)

Chart 1. 12-month percent change in CPI for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), Philadelphia–Wilmington–Atlantic City, April 2008 to April 2011 (not seasonally adjusted)

Food

Following a 2.2-percent increase from December to February, food prices decreased 0.6 percent over the last two months, reflecting lower prices for food at home (-1.2 percent). Within the food at home component, price decreases for various items including fish and seafood were partially offset by higher prices for coffee, among others. Food away from home prices edged up 0.2 percent from February to April.

Since April 2010, the food index rose 2.7 percent. Both components of the food index had price increases over the year—prices for food at home advanced 3.1 percent and those for food away from home, 2.3 percent.

Energy

The energy index, which includes prices for household and transportation fuels, advanced 10.1 percent since February, dominated by a 19.3-percent jump in gasoline prices. Over the last two months, prices for utility (piped) gas service increased 2.6 percent, while those for electricity declined 1.1 percent.

The energy index rose 17.5 percent since last April, due largely to a 34.0-percent increase in gasoline prices. Prices for electricity were higher (0.5 percent) over the year. Partially offsetting these advances, the index for utility (piped) gas service—which has not recorded an over-the-year increase since February 2009—declined 4.9 percent since April 2010.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy inched up 0.1 percent from February to April. Higher prices for a number of components led by lodging away from home were nearly offset by lower prices for owners’ equivalent rent of residences (-0.6 percent), among others. Both of these components are parts of the shelter index.

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy increased 0.8 percent. Higher prices for medical care (3.3 percent) and owners’ equivalent rent of residences (0.6 percent) led the 12-month advance. A 2.1-percent decline in prices for education and communication—the largest 12-month decrease since the inception of this index—and a 4.2-percent decline in prices for apparel helped to moderate the over-the-year advance.

The June 2011 Consumer Price Index for Philadelphia-Wilmington-Atlantic City is scheduled to be released on July 15, 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 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
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

2.0 4.4 0.7 2.0 0.9 3.7 1.0 -0.3 0.8 2.8 1.3 1.9

April

1.2 4.1 1.0 1.7 1.2 3.9 0.6 -0.9 0.4 2.6 1.0 2.5

June

1.1 4.4 0.9 1.6 2.1 5.1 1.0 -2.0 0.3 1.9    

August

1.2 4.7 0.7 1.1 0.0 4.4 1.0 -1.0 0.2 1.1    

October

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

December

0.0 3.3 0.0 3.5 -3.1 -0.4 0.0 3.0 -0.2 1.4    

 

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-
Feb. 2011 Mar. 2011 Apr. 2011 Apr. 2010 Feb. 2011 Mar. 2011

All items

230.878 - 233.143 2.5 1.0 -

Food and beverages

213.471 - 212.495 2.9 -0.5 -

Food

213.273 - 211.893 2.7 -0.6 -

Food at home

224.939 223.019 222.137 3.1 -1.2 -0.4

Food away from home

192.522 - 192.818 2.3 0.2 -

Alcoholic beverages

213.613 - 217.763 4.9 1.9 -

Housing

235.545 - 236.249 1.0 0.3 -

Shelter

281.663 281.748 281.854 0.4 0.1 0.0

Rent of primary residence (1)

260.697 261.992 259.471 0.3 -0.5 -1.0

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

292.138 291.870 290.252 0.6 -0.6 -0.6

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

292.138 291.870 290.252 0.6 -0.6 -0.6

Fuels and utilities

217.562 - 220.317 4.4 1.3 -

Household energy

191.627 194.017 194.204 3.0 1.3 0.1

Energy services (1) (3)

200.135 201.057 199.974 -1.1 -0.1 -0.5

Electricity (1)

202.374 201.233 200.177 0.5 -1.1 -0.5

Utility (piped) gas service (1)

189.530 195.676 194.551 -4.9 2.6 -0.6

Household furnishings and operations

120.237 - 121.151 0.8 0.8 -

Apparel

105.392 - 104.515 -4.2 -0.8 -

Transportation

205.597 - 217.962 11.2 6.0 -

Private transportation

203.372 - 216.174 11.5 6.3 -

Motor fuel

277.741 305.539 331.220 34.0 19.3 8.4

Gasoline (all types)

273.630 300.999 326.472 34.0 19.3 8.5

Gasoline, unleaded regular (4)

274.164 301.936 327.631 34.3 19.5 8.5

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade (4) (5)

265.975 291.604 315.844 33.2 18.7 8.3

Gasoline, unleaded premium (4)

256.890 280.719 303.781 31.6 18.3 8.2

Medical care

441.710 - 443.025 3.3 0.3 -

Recreation (6)

121.985 - 121.987 0.3 0.0 -

Education and communication (6)

128.409 - 127.101 -2.1 -1.0 -

Other goods and services

424.269 - 429.465 2.9 1.2 -
Commodity and service group            

Commodities

176.147 - 180.917 5.9 2.7 -

Commodities less food and beverages

153.674 - 160.449 7.5 4.4 -

Nondurables less food and beverages

191.105 - 202.922 11.3 6.2 -

Durables

112.041 - 113.254 0.7 1.1 -

Services

287.839 - 287.961 0.7 0.0 -
Special aggregate indexes            

All items less medical care

221.989 - 224.258 2.5 1.0 -

All items less shelter

215.435 - 218.594 3.6 1.5 -

Commodities less food

155.963 - 162.693 7.4 4.3 -

Nondurables

204.217 - 210.718 7.5 3.2 -

Nondurables less food

192.447 - 203.882 11.0 5.9 -

Services less rent of shelter (2)

301.303 - 301.343 1.0 0.0 -

Services less medical care services

275.880 - 275.959 0.6 0.0 -

Energy

223.212 235.598 245.842 17.5 10.1 4.3

All items less energy

233.431 - 233.432 1.0 0.0 -

All items less food and energy

239.286 - 239.510 0.8 0.1 -

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) This index series was formerly titled Gas (piped) and electricity.
(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: May 13, 2011