News Release Information

13-981-PHI

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Contacts

Technical information:
Media contact:

Consumer Price Index, Philadelphia-Wilmington-Atlantic City –
April 2013

Area Prices Up 0.1 Percent Since February and 1.1 Percent Over the Year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) in the Philadelphia-Wilmington-Atlantic City area inched up 0.1 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 increase was attributable to higher prices in the all items less food and energy group, up 0.4 percent. Prices for energy fell 2.1 percent over the last two months; prices for food were also lower, down 0.2 percent. (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 1.1 percent. (See chart 1 and table A.) The rise was due largely to a 2.0-percent advance in the all items less food and energy index since April 2012. The food index also increased, up 1.9 percent, while the energy index declined 6.2 percent over the year. (See table 1.)

Chart 1. 12-month percent change in CPI for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), Philadelphia-Wilmington-Atlantic City, April 2010 to April 2013 (not seasonally adjusted)

Food

Food prices edged down 0.2 percent from February to April, due to a 0.5-percent decline in prices for food at home. Lower prices for lettuce led the various decreases within the food away from home component, moderated by higher prices for items such as uncooked ground beef. Prices for food away from home edged up 0.2 percent since February.

Over the year, the food index advanced 1.9 percent. Both components of the food index had price increases since April 2012—prices for food at home rose 1.6 percent and those for food away from home, 2.3 percent.

Energy

The energy index, which includes prices for household and transportation fuels, fell 2.1 percent over the last two months. The recent decline primarily reflected lower prices for gasoline, down 6.1 percent from February to April. Lower prices for fuel oil also contributed to the two-month decline in the energy index. Moderating the recent decrease in the energy index were advances of 3.8 percent in electricity prices and 2.2 percent in utility (piped) gas service prices since February.

The energy index fell 6.2 percent since last April. The over-the-year decline was due largely to lower prices for gasoline, which dropped 11.2 percent—the largest 12-month decrease since October 2009. Prices for fuel oil also declined, as did those for electricity, down 0.6 percent over the last 12 months. However, prices rose for the utility (piped) gas service component, up 1.9 percent since April 2012.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy increased 0.4 percent from February to April. A 5.3-percent advance in the apparel index led the increase in the all items less food and energy group. Many other components also contributed to the two-month rise, most notably the shelter index, which inched up 0.1 percent due to higher prices for lodging away from home.

Over the last 12 months, the index for all items less food and energy increased 2.0 percent. Price increases were widespread among the components of the all items less food and energy index since last April, led by education and communication, up 4.8 percent, and shelter, up 1.0 percent.

The June 2013 Consumer Price Index for Philadelphia-Wilmington-Atlantic City is scheduled to be released July 16, 2013, 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 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
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

0.9 3.7 1.0 -0.3 0.8 2.8 1.3 1.9 0.7 2.2 0.7 1.8

April

1.2 3.9 0.6 -0.9 0.4 2.6 1.0 2.5 0.8 2.0 0.1 1.1

June

2.1 5.1 1.0 -2.0 0.3 1.9 0.6 2.8 -0.2 1.3    

August

0.0 4.4 1.0 -1.0 0.2 1.1 0.7 3.4 0.9 1.4    

October

-1.4 2.8 -0.6 -0.1 0.0 1.7 -0.3 3.0 0.4 2.2    

December

-3.1 -0.4 0.0 3.0 -0.2 1.4 -0.5 2.8 -0.9 1.8    

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 88 percent of the total population and (2) a CPI for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) which covers 29 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 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; Federal Relay Service:  1-800-877-8339.

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. 2013 Mar. 2013 Apr. 2013 Apr. 2012 Feb. 2013 Mar. 2013

All items

240.137 - 240.345 1.1 0.1 -

Food and beverages

223.422 - 223.235 1.9 -0.1 -

Food

223.148 - 222.691 1.9 -0.2 -

Food at home

235.204 235.237 234.134 1.6 -0.5 -0.5

Food away from home

201.588 - 201.946 2.3 0.2 -

Alcoholic beverages

224.404 - 228.131 3.3 1.7 -

Housing

241.940 - 242.732 0.6 0.3 -

Shelter

292.020 293.172 292.389 1.0 0.1 -0.3

Rent of primary residence (1)

272.691 273.643 272.576 1.9 0.0 -0.4

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

300.876 301.879 300.769 0.6 0.0 -0.4

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

300.876 301.879 300.769 0.6 0.0 -0.4

Fuels and utilities

213.849 - 217.892 -0.3 1.9 -

Household energy

185.607 186.584 189.086 -1.1 1.9 1.3

Energy services (1)

189.376 191.208 195.636 0.1 3.3 2.3

Electricity (1)

192.259 192.488 199.528 -0.6 3.8 3.7

Utility (piped) gas service (1)

176.793 182.063 180.647 1.9 2.2 -0.8

Household furnishings and operations

121.684 - 121.132 -1.9 -0.5 -

Apparel

108.964 - 114.735 2.3 5.3 -

Transportation

224.144 - 220.500 -1.2 -1.6 -

Private transportation

222.620 - 217.998 -1.5 -2.1 -

Motor fuel

324.553 318.305 304.828 -11.1 -6.1 -4.2

Gasoline (all types)

320.216 313.931 300.607 -11.2 -6.1 -4.2

Gasoline, unleaded regular (3)

320.502 314.074 300.400 -11.6 -6.3 -4.4

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade (3) (4)

312.579 306.979 295.041 -10.0 -5.6 -3.9

Gasoline, unleaded premium (3)

302.052 296.697 285.844 -9.1 -5.4 -3.7

Medical care

455.573 - 457.497 2.6 0.4 -

Recreation (5)

123.694 - 123.631 -0.4 -0.1 -

Education and communication (5)

130.315 - 129.958 4.8 -0.3 -

Other goods and services

461.944 - 464.369 4.8 0.5 -
Commodity and service group            

Commodities

184.386 - 183.508 -1.2 -0.5 -

Commodities less food and beverages

160.938 - 159.801 -2.9 -0.7 -

Nondurables less food and beverages

204.364 - 201.886 -3.2 -1.2 -

Durables

111.835 - 112.354 -2.2 0.5 -

Services

298.378 - 299.513 2.3 0.4 -
Special aggregate indexes            

All items less medical care

230.994 - 231.142 1.0 0.1 -

All items less shelter

224.487 - 224.631 1.1 0.1 -

Commodities less food

163.357 - 162.345 -2.7 -0.6 -

Nondurables

216.199 - 214.693 -0.9 -0.7 -

Nondurables less food

205.625 - 203.438 -2.9 -1.1 -

Services less rent of shelter (2)

312.376 - 314.484 3.9 0.7 -

Services less medical care services

285.830 - 286.884 2.3 0.4 -

Energy

236.782 235.094 231.701 -6.2 -2.1 -1.4

All items less energy

242.262 - 243.095 2.0 0.3 -

All items less food and energy

248.049 - 249.109 2.0 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: May 15, 2013