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Thursday, February 21, 2013

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Consumer Price Index, Pittsburgh – Second Half 2012

Local Prices up 2.6 Percent Over the Year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) in the Pittsburgh area rose 2.6 percent from the second half of 2011 to the second half of 2012, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Sheila Watkins, the Bureau’s regional commissioner, noted that the recent 12-month advance in the all items index was due mostly to an increase in the index for all items less food and energy (3.3 percent). The food index also rose over the year, up 1.5 percent, while the energy index declined, down 0.3 percent. The 12-month advance in the all items less food and energy index was led by higher prices for shelter, particularly those for owners’ equivalent rent of residences. (See chart 1 and table 1.)

Chart 1. 12-month percent change in CPI for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), Pittsburgh, second half 2009 to second half 2012

Food

The food index rose 1.5 percent since the second half of 2011. The advance was due almost entirely to higher prices for food at home, up 2.4 percent. Prices for food away from home were nearly unchanged over the year, inching up 0.1 percent.

Energy

The energy index, which includes prices for household and transportation fuels, edged down 0.3 percent since the second half of 2011. The decline in energy prices was due to over-the-year decreases in prices for electricity and utility (piped) gas service, down 4.4 and 7.1 percent, respectively. Partially offsetting the decline in the energy index were higher prices for gasoline, up 3.9 percent.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy rose 3.3 percent since a year ago. Within this grouping, price increases were led by shelter, particularly owners’ equivalent rent of residences (4.3 percent each). Since the second half of 2011, prices were also higher for medical care (6.1 percent) and recreation (4.7 percent), among others. Moderating the 12-month increase in the all items less food and energy index were lower prices for apparel, down 2.4 percent.

 

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 $10.00 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 Pittsburgh, Pa., Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) includes Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Washington, and Westmoreland Counties.

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 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
2nd Half
2011
1st Half
2012
2nd Half
2012
2nd Half
2011
1st Half
2012

All items

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227.513 232.249 233.539 2.6 0.6
 

Food and beverages

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237.980 239.869 242.311 1.8 1.0

Food

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238.975 240.080 242.596 1.5 1.0

Food at home

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237.937 241.409 243.558 2.4 0.9

Food away from home

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242.539 241.081 242.746 0.1 0.7

Alcoholic beverages

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224.567 237.115 238.585 6.2 0.6
 

Housing

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220.323 226.563 227.516 3.3 0.4

Shelter

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241.830 250.392 252.216 4.3 0.7

Rent of primary residence (1)

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209.140 218.202 219.202 4.8 0.5

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

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238.584 247.178 248.942 4.3 0.7

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

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238.584 247.178 248.942 4.3 0.7

Fuels and utilities

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247.533 247.761 243.622 -1.6 -1.7

Household energy

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234.914 230.781 224.903 -4.3 -2.5

Energy services (1)

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223.743 217.073 211.627 -5.4 -2.5

Electricity (1)

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190.670 185.639 182.365 -4.4 -1.8

Utility (piped) gas service (1)

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221.827 214.419 206.113 -7.1 -3.9

Household furnishings and operations

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146.072 148.501 149.426 2.3 0.6
 

Apparel

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165.685 171.089 161.693 -2.4 -5.5
 

Transportation

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190.347 192.480 192.914 1.3 0.2

Private transportation

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190.973 193.043 193.029 1.1 0.0

Motor fuel

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313.447 325.673 325.313 3.8 -0.1

Gasoline (all types)

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316.642 329.008 328.844 3.9 0.0

Gasoline, unleaded regular (3)

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314.293 326.652 325.621 3.6 -0.3

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade (3) (4)

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336.012 349.284 351.524 4.6 0.6

Gasoline, unleaded premium (3)

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304.215 315.411 316.277 4.0 0.3
 

Medical care

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418.992 426.743 444.638 6.1 4.2
 

Recreation (5)

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114.133 117.619 119.554 4.7 1.6
 

Education and communication (5)

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142.823 143.938 145.290 1.7 0.9
 

Other goods and services

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392.745 404.211 402.227 2.4 -0.5
 

Commodity and service group

 

Commodities

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203.648 207.217 207.173 1.7 0.0

Commodities less food and beverages

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183.691 187.971 186.739 1.7 -0.7

Nondurables less food and beverages

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239.601 247.255 244.507 2.0 -1.1

Durables

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124.732 126.086 126.143 1.1 0.0

Services

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255.112 260.977 263.537 3.3 1.0
 

Special aggregate indexes

 

All items less medical care

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217.894 222.458 223.159 2.4 0.3

All items less shelter

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225.017 228.318 229.370 1.9 0.5

Commodities less food

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185.420 189.985 188.836 1.8 -0.6

Nondurables

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239.273 243.922 243.817 1.9 0.0

Nondurables less food

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238.564 246.548 244.081 2.3 -1.0

Services less rent of shelter (2)

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275.893 278.635 281.958 2.2 1.2

Services less medical care services

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243.226 248.950 250.540 3.0 0.6

Energy

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277.854 280.557 276.997 -0.3 -1.3

All items less energy

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224.810 229.841 231.468 3.0 0.7

All items less food and energy

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223.122 228.925 230.391 3.3 0.6

Footnotes
(1) This index series was calculated using a Laspeyres estimator. All other item stratum index series converted to a geometric means estimator in January 1999.
(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.

Note: Index applies to a 6-month period as a whole, not to any specific date.

 

Last Modified Date: February 25, 2013