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13-2233-PHI

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

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

Area Prices Down 0.4 Percent Since August; Up 0.3 Percent Over the Year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) in the Philadelphia-Wilmington-Atlantic City area decreased 0.4 percent from August to October, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Sheila Watkins, the Bureau’s regional commissioner, noted that the recent decrease was due largely to lower prices for energy, down 3.7 percent. Prices for all items less food and energy also declined over the last two months, down 0.2 percent, while prices for food rose, up 0.9 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 recorded a small change, edging up 0.3 percent. (See chart 1 and table A.) The rise was due almost entirely to a 1.2-percent advance in the all items less food and energy index since October 2012. Prices for food rose 0.6 percent over the year while those for energy fell 7.1 percent. (See table 1.)

Chart 1. 12-month percent change in CPI for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), Philadelphia-Wilmington-Atlantic City, October 2010-October 2013 (non seasonally adjusted)

Food

Food prices rose 0.9 percent over the last two months. Prices for food at home rose 1.1 percent and those for food away from home increased 0.5 percent. Within the food at home component, higher prices for various items including fresh fish and seafood were moderated by lower prices for others such as apples and chicken.

Over the year, the food index advanced 0.6 percent. Prices for food away from home rose 3.1 percent, while those for food at home decreased 1.0 percent.

Energy

The energy index, which includes prices for household and transportation fuels, declined 3.7 percent over the last two months. Leading the decrease were lower gasoline prices, down 8.0 percent from August to October. Utility (piped) gas service prices also fell, down 3.3 percent, while electricity prices increased, up 1.6 percent since August.

Due almost entirely to a 12.3-percent drop in gasoline prices, the energy index declined 7.1 percent since last October. Electricity prices were also lower over the year, down 2.6 percent. Moderating these advances, utility (piped) gas service prices edged up 0.3 percent since October 2012.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy edged down 0.2 percent from August to October, reflecting  price decreases for education and communication (-0.8 percent), recreation (-0.6 percent), and shelter (-0.1 percent), particularly lodging away from home. Higher prices for apparel (2.2 percent), among other components, moderated the decline in the all items less food and energy index since August.

Over the last 12 months, the index for all items less food and energy increased 1.2 percent. Prices were higher for a number of components including shelter (1.3 percent), particularly owners’ equivalent rent of residences (1.2 percent), and education and communication (3.5 percent). Moderating the rise in the all items less food and energy index were lower prices for household furnishings and operations, down 2.5 percent since October 2012.

The December 2013 Consumer Price Index for Philadelphia-Wilmington-Atlantic City is scheduled to be released January 16, 2014, 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 0.3 1.5

August

0.0 4.4 1.0 -1.0 0.2 1.1 0.7 3.4 0.9 1.4 0.5 1.1

October

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

0.3

December

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

 

Impact of Federal Government Shutdown

As a result of the federal government shutdown, all CPI staff were furloughed from October 1, 2013 through October 16, 2013. Data collection, data review and index computation commenced shortly after the end of the shutdown. In order to minimize the impact of the shutdown on the quality and timeliness of the index, resources normally devoted to maintenance and improvement work were redirected into data collection and index production. The sample of prices used to calculate the October index was about 75 percent of the amount usually used in the CPI.

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-
Aug. 2013 Sep. 2013 Oct. 2013 Oct. 2012 Aug. 2013 Sep. 2013

All items

242.128 - 241.141 0.3 -0.4 -

Food and beverages

222.989 - 224.650 0.7 0.7 -

Food

222.320 - 224.262 0.6 0.9 -

Food at home

231.972 233.994 234.589 -1.0 1.1 0.3

Food away from home

203.924 - 204.933 3.1 0.5 -

Alcoholic beverages

229.704 - 227.274 2.3 -1.1 -

Housing

244.419 - 244.580 0.7 0.1 -

Shelter

296.269 296.308 296.031 1.3 -0.1 -0.1

Rent of primary residence (1)

274.846 275.674 277.935 2.2 1.1 0.8

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

302.438 302.548 304.225 1.2 0.6 0.6

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

302.438 302.548 304.225 1.2 0.6 0.6

Fuels and utilities

215.033 - 215.984 -0.9 0.4 -

Household energy

185.880 188.821 186.761 -1.9 0.5 -1.1

Energy services (1)

192.567 195.450 192.826 -1.8 0.1 -1.3

Electricity (1)

194.959 201.191 198.092 -2.6 1.6 -1.5

Utility (piped) gas service (1)

180.950 176.434 174.935 0.3 -3.3 -0.8

Household furnishings and operations

118.588 - 119.681 -2.5 0.9 -

Apparel

116.202 - 118.745 -0.5 2.2 -

Transportation

223.150 - 214.694 -3.8 -3.8 -

Private transportation

220.647 - 212.510 -4.4 -3.7 -

Motor fuel

317.133 311.692 292.353 -12.1 -7.8 -6.2

Gasoline (all types)

313.043 307.440 288.112 -12.3 -8.0 -6.3

Gasoline, unleaded regular (3)

312.945 307.099 287.400 -12.6 -8.2 -6.4

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade (3) (4)

307.284 303.053 285.183 -11.2 -7.2 -5.9

Gasoline, unleaded premium (3)

296.602 291.953 275.701 -10.7 -7.0 -5.6

Medical care

457.284 - 460.134 1.8 0.6 -

Recreation (5)

125.114 - 124.324 0.8 -0.6 -

Education and communication (5)

133.136 - 132.087 3.5 -0.8 -

Other goods and services

460.247 - 462.535 0.3 0.5 -
Commodity and service group            

Commodities

183.907 - 182.305 -2.4 -0.9 -

Commodities less food and beverages

160.458 - 157.534 -4.2 -1.8 -

Nondurables less food and beverages

203.881 - 200.032 -4.6 -1.9 -

Durables

111.340 - 109.480 -3.3 -1.7 -

Services

302.551 - 302.040 1.7 -0.2 -
Special aggregate indexes            

All items less medical care

232.979 - 231.869 0.1 -0.5 -

All items less shelter

225.570 - 224.238 -0.3 -0.6 -

Commodities less food

163.029 - 160.105 -4.0 -1.8 -

Nondurables

215.730 - 214.254 -2.2 -0.7 -

Nondurables less food

205.416 - 201.629 -4.3 -1.8 -

Services less rent of shelter (2)

316.492 - 315.652 2.1 -0.3 -

Services less medical care services

289.860 - 289.291 1.7 -0.2 -

Energy

234.217 234.065 225.632 -7.1 -3.7 -3.6

All items less energy

244.804 - 244.706 1.1 0.0 -

All items less food and energy

251.190 - 250.744 1.2 -0.2 -

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: November 21, 2013