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21-1671-PHI
Tuesday, September 14, 2021

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Consumer Price Index, Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington – August 2021

Area prices up 0.6 percent since June; up 4.6 percent over the year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington increased 0.6 percent from June to August, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Alexandra Hall Bovee noted that the recent increase was the smallest of 2021 and was due largely to an increase in the all items less food and energy index (0.5 percent). The energy index and the food index also increased over the 2-month period, up 2.4 and 0.2 percent, respectively. Across the subcomponents of the major category of all items less food and energy and the overall food group, there were a number of indexes where prices declined since June. (Data in this report are not seasonally adjusted. Accordingly, month-to-month changes may reflect the impact of seasonal influences.)

Over the last 12 months, the CPI-U rose 4.6 percent. (See chart 1 and table A.) The over-the-year rise was due largely to an increase in the all items less food and energy index (4.1 percent). The energy index and the food index also increased since August 2020, up 19.3 and 1.7 percent, respectively. (See table 1.)

Food

The food index increased 0.2 percent over the last 2 months following 2-month increases of 1.4 and 1.2 percent in April and June, respectively. Prices for food away from home rose 1.0 percent since June, while those for food at home decreased 0.5 percent after increases of 1.2 percent in April and 2.2 percent in June. Within the food at home component, prices were lower for items such as breakfast cereal and rice, pasta, cornmeal; while prices were higher for pork chops and eggs.

Over the year, the food index increased 1.7 percent, the fastest rate of 2021 so far. Prices for food away from home rose just 3.1 percent, the smallest over-the-year increase since an identical rise in December 2019, and those for food at home were up 0.5 percent, reversing the trend for much of 2021 where the price index was lower than the previous year.

Energy

The energy index, which includes prices for household and transportation fuels, increased 2.4 percent since June. The 2-month increase reflected a 3.4-percent rise in gasoline prices. Prices were also higher for utility (piped) gas service, up 4.3 percent, and electricity, up 0.5 percent since June.

Over the year, the energy index advanced 19.3 percent, led by a 37.0-percent jump in gasoline prices, in line with exceptionally high increases in April and June. Prices were also higher for electricity, up 1.4 percent – the largest 12-month increase since an extremely high change of 29.7 percent in January 2020, and for utility (piped) gas service, up 3.2 percent over the year following declines that began in December 2019.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy increased 0.5 percent from June to August. Higher prices for shelter (0.8 percent) and new vehicles (2.2 percent) were moderated by lower prices for medical care (-1.5 percent) and public transportation.

Since August 2020, the index for all items less food and energy advanced 4.1 percent. Prices were higher for new and used motor vehicles (24.7 percent, below the record increase in June), particularly those for used cars and trucks (32.3 percent following a record 45.3 percent jump in June), along with prices for household furnishings and operations (12.4 percent).

Table A. Philadelphia CPI-U 2-month and 12-month percent changes, all items index, not seasonally adjusted
Month20172018201920202021
2-month12-month2-month12-month2-month12-month2-month12-month2-month12-month

February

0.72.10.40.50.81.51.02.60.81.0

April

0.01.30.91.41.31.9-1.3-0.11.23.5

June

-0.30.70.21.90.52.10.60.11.94.9

August

0.51.40.31.70.52.30.80.40.64.6

October

0.00.80.01.6-0.41.90.00.8

December

-0.10.8-0.71.0-0.32.40.01.1

The Consumer Price Index for October 2021 is scheduled to be released Wednesday, November 10, 2021 at 8:30 am (ET).

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic Impact on August 2021 Consumer Price Index Data

Data collection by personal visit for the Consumer Price Index (CPI) program has been suspended since March 16, 2020. When possible, data normally collected by personal visit were collected either online or by phone. Additionally, data collection in August was affected by the temporary closing or limited operations of certain types of establishments. These factors resulted in an increase in the number of prices considered temporarily unavailable and imputed.

While the CPI program attempted to collect as much data as possible, many indexes are based on smaller amounts of collected prices than usual, and a small number of indexes that are normally published were not published this month. Additional information is available at www.bls.gov/covid19/effects-of-covid-19-pandemic-on-consumer-price-index.htm.


Technical Note

The Consumer Price Index for Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington is published bi-monthly. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) is a measures 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 93 percent of the total U.S. population and (2) a CPI for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) which covers approximately 29 percent of the total U.S. 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 75 urban areas across the country from about 5,000 housing units and approximately 22,000 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; for most of the CPI-U the reference base is 1982-84 equals 100. An increase of 7 percent from the reference base, for example, is shown as 107.000. Alternatively, that relationship can also be expressed as the price of a base period market basket of goods and services rising from $100 to $107. For further details see the CPI home page on the internet at www.bls.gov/cpi and the CPI section of the BLS Handbook of Methods available on the internet at www.bls.gov/opub/hom/cpi/. 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-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD, Core Based Statistical Area includes Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia Counties in Pennsylvania; Burlington, Camden, 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 individuals with sensory impairments upon request. Voice phone: (202) 691-5200; Federal Relay Service: (800) 877-8339.

Table 1. Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U): Indexes and percent changes for selected periods, Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD, (1982-84=100 unless otherwise noted) (not seasonally adjusted)
Expenditure categoryIndexesPercent change from
Historical
data
Jun.
2021
Jul.
2021
Aug.
2021
Aug.
2020
Jun.
2021
Jul.
2021

All items

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSA0
270.499 272.0444.60.6 

All items (1967 = 100)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BAA0
781.455 785.921   

Food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAF
251.504 252.0281.70.2 

Food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAF1
252.233 252.6591.70.2 

Food at home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAF11
252.121250.363250.7810.5-0.50.2

Cereals and bakery products

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAF111
329.566 322.289-1.4-2.2 

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAF112
295.828 300.5048.71.6 

Dairy and related products

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSEFJ
204.327 203.588-1.6-0.4 

Fruits and vegetables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAF113
275.783 257.132-5.5-6.8 

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAF114
170.638 171.9530.90.8 

Other food at home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAF115
221.028 226.513-0.82.5 

Food away from home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSEFV
246.195 248.7173.11.0 

Alcoholic beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAF116
238.375 240.3933.10.8 

Housing

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAH
277.690 280.3803.31.0 

Shelter

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAH1
344.373347.101347.1681.70.80.0

Rent of primary residence

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSEHA
324.064325.402326.4682.60.70.3

Owners' equivalent rent of residences(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSEHC
354.398355.378355.8790.80.40.1

Owners' equivalent rent of primary residence(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSEHC01
354.398355.378355.8790.80.40.1

Fuels and utilities

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAH2
212.873 215.7035.31.3 

Household energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAH21
171.720175.400174.3456.01.5-0.6

Energy services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSEHF
180.200182.987183.0511.91.60.0

Electricity

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSEHF01
182.050182.671182.8821.40.50.1

Utility (piped) gas service

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSEHF02
164.267171.503171.2503.24.3-0.1

Household furnishings and operations

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAH3
128.208 130.32012.41.6 

Apparel

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAA
107.951 109.7812.31.7 

Transportation

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAT
238.189 239.39417.50.5 

Private transportation

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAT1
243.756 246.86119.41.3 

New and used motor vehicles(3)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSETA
123.972 124.77324.70.6 

New vehicles(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSETA01
207.562 212.13420.82.2 

Used cars and trucks(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSETA02
367.957 366.56732.3-0.4 

Motor fuel

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSETB
285.626291.477295.32337.03.41.3

Gasoline (all types)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSETB01
282.217288.004291.87537.03.41.3

Gasoline, unleaded regular(4)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSS47014
278.607284.539288.29937.63.51.3

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(4)(5)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSS47015
289.291294.165298.75834.13.31.6

Gasoline, unleaded premium(4)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSS47016
284.908289.415293.65433.63.11.5

Motor vehicle insurance(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSETE
653.356 658.517-7.20.8 

Medical care

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAM
572.833 564.4020.0-1.5 

Recreation(3)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAR
128.137 127.1600.8-0.8 

Education and communication(3)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAE
134.206 136.2082.11.5 

Tuition, other school fees, and child care(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSEEB
1,069.904 1,089.3733.91.8 

Other goods and services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAG
586.000 595.3435.51.6 

Commodity and service group

Commodities

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAC
197.900 199.5639.60.8 

Commodities less food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSACL11
167.075 169.13915.21.2 

Nondurables less food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSANL11
200.359 203.4699.91.6 

Durables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAD
125.249 126.36121.60.9 

Services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAS
343.547 344.9641.90.4 

Special aggregate indexes

All items less shelter

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSA0L2
246.213 247.3386.10.5 

All items less medical care

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSA0L5
257.717 259.6855.10.8 

Commodities less food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSACL1
169.919 171.99514.71.2 

Nondurables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSAN
227.075 228.9375.30.8 

Nondurables less food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSANL1
202.663 205.7179.41.5 

Services less rent of shelter(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSASL2RS
350.318 350.2862.10.0 

Services less medical care services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSASL5
325.736 327.5531.90.6 

Energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSA0E
212.878217.342218.06619.32.40.3

All items less energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSA0LE
279.097 280.3303.70.4 

All items less food and energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURS12BSA0L1E
286.441 287.8384.10.5 

Footnotes
(1) Indexes on a December 1977=100 base
(2) Indexes on a December 1982=100 base.
(3) Indexes on a December 1997=100 base.
(4) Special index based on a substantially smaller sample.
(5) Indexes on a December 1993=100 base.

 

Last Modified Date: Tuesday, September 14, 2021