Web site: www.bls.gov/ro3/ PLS - 4561
For Release:
Friday, August 14, 2009
Information: Erin Delaney
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Media Contact: Gerald Perrins
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Pittsburgh AREA Consumer Price Index: FIRST HALF 2009 (PDF)

Local Prices up 0.5 Percent Over the Year

Retail prices in the Pittsburgh area, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), rose 0.5 percent from the first half of 2008 to the first half of 2009, the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the United States Department of Labor reported today.  Sheila Watkins, the Bureau’s regional commissioner, noted that while advances in the food and beverages and housing indexes led the way, seven of the eight major categories of the Pittsburgh CPI-U had over-the-year increases in the first half of 2009.  Only the transportation index recorded a decline from the first half of 2008 to the first half of 2009.  (See chart A and table 1.)

Chart A.  Over-the-year percent changes ended in the first half of 2009 for the major categories of the CPI-U for the Pittsburgh area, not seasonally adjusted

Over-the-year percent changes ended in the first half of 2009 for the major categories of the CPI-U for the Pittsburgh area, not seasonally adjusted

Chart Data

The food and beverages index rose 5.3 percent since the first half of 2008 due primarily to a 6.9-percent advance in food away from home prices.  Both of these indexes have experienced uninterrupted 12-month increases since semiannual publication began in the first half of 1984.  Higher prices for food at home and alcoholic beverages, up 4.7 and 2.5 percent, respectively, also contributed to the overall increase in the food and beverages index.

The housing index rose 0.9 percent from its year-ago level, due mainly to a 1.1-percent increase in prices for shelter, in particular, those for owners’ equivalent rent of primary residence, which advanced 1.6 percent.  The other published component of the shelter index, rent of primary residence, rose 0.4 percent since the first half of 2008.  Household furnishings and operations prices also contributed to the recent advance in the housing index, up 5.2 percent over the year—the largest 12-month increase since the second half of 1995.  The fuels and utilities index decreased 3.0 percent over the last 12 months as utility (piped) gas service prices fell 3.9 percent.  Moderating the decline in fuels and utilities index were higher prices for electricity, which rose 3.9 percent over the year.

Education and communication prices increased 4.7 percent from their year-ago levels.  The recreation index rose 4.8 percent since the first half of 2008.

The apparel index rose 6.1 percent over the year, about the same as it did the previous year.

Medical care prices advanced 2.9 percent over the last 12 months—the smallest 12-month increase since the first half of 2001.  This index has experienced continuous one-year increases since semiannual publication began in the first half of 1984.

The other goods and services index, which includes tobacco and smoking products, personal care products and services, and personal services such as legal, funeral, and laundry and dry cleaning services, was 5.7 percent higher than a year ago—the largest over-the-year advance since the second half of 2004.

The transportation index dropped 11.5 percent from the first half of 2008 to the first half of 2009.  Lower gasoline prices, down 35.8 percent over the year, were almost entirely responsible for the overall decline.  This was the largest drop in gasoline prices since the inception of semiannual publication in the first half of 1984. 

The energy index, which reflects pricing for gasoline and household fuels, dropped 20.6 percent over the year.  Lower prices for gasoline dominated the over-the-year decline in energy prices.  Lower prices for utility (piped) gas service also contributed to the recent 12-month drop in the energy index, while higher prices for electricity helped moderate the overall decrease.

The CPI-U for the Pittsburgh area stood at 210.468 on the 1982-84=100 reference base, which means that a market basket of goods and services which averaged $100.00 in the 1982-84 period would have cost $210.47 in the first half of 2009.

The Pittsburgh, Pa., Metropolitan Statistical Area includes Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Washington, and Westmoreland Counties.

Table A (2005-2006 weights). Relative Importance of components in the Consumer Price Index: Pittsburgh area, December 2008
Item and group CPI-U
Expenditure category

All items

100.000

Food and beverages

17.338

Food

16.116

Food at home

8.774

Food away from home

7.342

Alcoholic beverages

1.222

Housing

40.595

Shelter

29.321

Rent of primary residence

4.982

Owners' equivalent rent of primary residence

21.595

Fuels and utilities

6.913

Household energy

5.705

Gas (piped) and electricity

5.281

Electricity

2.769

Utility (piped) gas service

2.512

Household furnishings and operations

4.361

Apparel

4.083

Transportation

14.698

Private transportation

13.648

Motor fuel

3.231

Gasoline

3.074

Medical care

7.064

Recreation

6.119

Education and communication

6.523

Other goods and services

3.579
Commodity and service group

Commodities

41.398

Commodities less food and beverages

24.061

Non durables less food and beverages

14.242

Durables

9.819

Services

58.602
Special aggregate indexes

All items less medical care

92.936

All items less shelter

70.679

Commodities less food

25.283

Nondurables

31.580

Nondurables less food

15.464

Services less rent of shelter

29.610

Services less medical care services

53.401

Energy

8.935

All items less energy

91.065

All items less food and energy

74.949

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
2008
2nd Half
2008
1st Half
2009
1st Half
2008
2nd Half
2008

All items

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209.486 213.084 210.468 0.5 -1.2
 

Food and beverages

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206.680 214.231 217.638 5.3 1.6

Food

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205.966 213.894 217.337 5.5 1.6

Food at home

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205.449 213.104 215.154 4.7 1.0

Food away from home

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208.347 216.610 222.817 6.9 2.9

Alcoholic beverages

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214.999 217.498 220.412 2.5 1.3
 

Housing

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211.083 215.109 212.925 0.9 -1.0

Shelter

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227.147 230.522 229.555 1.1 -0.4

Rent of primary residence

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198.518 198.812 199.340 0.4 0.3

Owners' equivalent rent of primary residence (1)

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221.265 222.208 224.704 1.6 1.1

Fuels and utilities

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251.053 262.020 243.642 -3.0 -7.0

Household energy

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245.484 260.881 234.630 -4.4 -10.1

Gas (piped) and electricity

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236.899 257.616 237.858 0.4 -7.7

Electricity

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166.856 169.095 173.399 3.9 2.5

Utility (piped) gas service

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315.550 371.502 303.355 -3.9 -18.3

Household furnishings and operations

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144.620 147.940 152.126 5.2 2.8
 

Apparel

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139.804 148.894 148.338 6.1 -0.4
 

Transportation

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175.649 170.707 155.372 -11.5 -9.0

Private transportation

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176.712 170.750 155.574 -12.0 -8.9

Motor fuel

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299.739 273.602 190.608 -36.4 -30.3

Gasoline (all types)

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299.367 274.044 192.153 -35.8 -29.9

Gasoline, unleaded regular (2)

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297.741 272.424 188.456 -36.7 -30.8

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade (2) (3)

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316.417 289.613 207.368 -34.5 -28.4

Gasoline, unleaded premium (3)

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287.155 263.304 191.989 -33.1 -27.1
 

Medical care

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357.781 364.080 368.193 2.9 1.1
 

Recreation (4)

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111.235 114.181 116.543 4.8 2.1
 

Education and communication (4)

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129.043 134.083 135.103 4.7 0.8
 

Other goods and services

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342.311 346.606 361.697 5.7 4.4
 

Commodity and service group

 

Commodities

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184.082 185.868 181.046 -1.6 -2.6

Commodities less food and beverages

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170.380 169.172 160.206 -6.0 -5.3

Nondurables less food and beverages

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216.956 215.205 196.749 -9.3 -8.6

Durables

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121.198 120.491 120.895 -0.3 0.3

Services

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237.684 243.078 242.528 2.0 -0.2
 

Special aggregate indexes

 

All items less shelter

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205.171 209.064 205.567 0.2 -1.7

All items less medical care

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201.739 205.198 202.323 0.3 -1.4

Commodities less food

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172.228 171.148 162.577 -5.6 -5.0

Nondurables

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212.033 215.052 207.663 -2.1 -3.4

Nondurables less food

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216.799 215.344 198.324 -8.5 -7.9

Services less rent of shelter (1)

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254.220 262.545 261.772 3.0 -0.3

Services less medical care services

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227.869 233.184 232.544 2.1 -0.3

Energy

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276.958 273.325 219.899 -20.6 -19.5

All items less energy

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204.892 209.350 211.196 3.1 0.9

All items less food and energy

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205.577 209.341 210.869 2.6 0.7

Footnotes
(1) Indexes on a December 1982=100 base.
(2) Special index based on a substantially smaller sample.
(3) Indexes on a December 1993=100 base.
(4) Indexes on a December 1997=100 base.

Note: Index applies to a month as a whole, not to any specific date.

 

Last Modified Date: September 23, 2009