Wednesday, May 11, 2022
Prices in the Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington area, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), advanced 2.2 percent for the 2 months ending in April 2022, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Alexandra Hall Bovee noted that the April increase is the largest increase for this index since July 1982. The increase was primarily due to a 1.5 percent jump in the all items less food and energy index driven by higher prices for shelter and medical care. A 9.3 percent increase in the energy index and a 2.5 percent rise in the food index also contributed to the overall increase. (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 advanced 8.4 percent, the largest over-the-year increase since January 1982. (See chart 1 and table A.) The index for all items less food and energy increased 6.3 percent over the year, the largest over-the-year increase since March 1991. Energy prices were up 32.9 percent mostly due to higher gasoline prices. Food prices increased 9.5 percent, the largest over-the-year increase for food since March 1981. (See table 1.)Food
Food prices increased 2.5 percent in April, reflecting a 3.5-percent price increase for food at home, driven by increasing prices for other food at home (5.3 percent), fruits and vegetables (5.6 percent), and dairy and related products (4.2 percent), though all major grocery categories were higher since February. The increases for other food at home as well as fruits and vegetables were the largest increases since these series started in 2018. Food away from home prices increased 1.0 percent since February, continuing a moderating trend since December when they rose 2.2 percent.
Over the year, food prices increased 9.5 percent, the largest increase since March 1981. Food at home prices jumped 12.6 percent; the largest over-the-year increase since August 1978, as all of the major grocery categories were up over the year, led by other food at home (15.1 percent) – the largest increase since the series started in 2018 – and meats, poultry, fish, and eggs (at 14.8 percent it was below the February largest 12-month increase, the peak increase for that series). Prices for food away from home also rose, up 5.0 percent, down from 5.5 percent in February.Energy
The energy index increased 9.3 percent over the 2-month pricing period, largely due to higher prices for gasoline, up 14.6 percent. The electricity index edged up 1.3 percent while utility (piped) gas service prices were unchanged since February.
Over the year, the energy index increased 32.9 percent, the largest such increase since June 1980, dominated by a 43.3 percent increase for gasoline which moderated after its most recent peak of 47.3 percent in November 2021. Electricity prices were up 12.6 percent while utility (piped) gas service increased 24.2 percent, the largest over-the-year gain since May 2006.All items less food and energy
The index for all items less food and energy advanced 1.5 percent from February to April driven by higher prices for shelter (1.5 percent) and medical care (2.9 percent) while lower prices for apparel (-3.8 percent) partially offset the overall increase. Within the shelter index, lodging away from home increased 27.1 percent while owners’ equivalent rent of residences and household furnishings and operations increased 0.7 percent and 2.7 percent, respectively. Public transportation prices increased while new and used motor vehicle prices increased 1.9 percent, well below the series peak of 14.3 percent in June 2021 though it was the largest 2-month increase since then.
Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy increased 6.3 percent reflecting higher prices for shelter (6.1 percent) and new and used motor vehicles (22.0 percent). Within shelter, owners’ equivalent rent of residences advanced 4.9 percent among broad increases in the overall category. The new and used motor vehicles price change was the smallest of the past year.
The Consumer Price Index for June 2022 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, July 13, 2022, at 8:30 a.m. (ET).
The Consumer Price Index for Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington is published bi-monthly. 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 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; Telecommunications Relay Service: 7-1-1.
|Expenditure category||Indexes||Percent change from|
All items (1967 = 100)
Food and beverages
Food at home
Cereals and bakery products
Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs
Dairy and related products
Fruits and vegetables
Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials(1)
Other food at home
Food away from home
Rent of primary residence
Owners' equivalent rent of residences(2)
Owners' equivalent rent of primary residence(2)
Fuels and utilities
Utility (piped) gas service
Household furnishings and operations
New and used motor vehicles(3)
Used cars and trucks(1)
Gasoline (all types)
Gasoline, unleaded regular(4)
Gasoline, unleaded premium(4)
Motor vehicle insurance(1)
Education and communication(3)
Tuition, other school fees, and child care(1)
Other goods and services
Commodity and service group
Commodities less food and beverages
Nondurables less food and beverages
Special aggregate indexes
All items less shelter
All items less medical care
Commodities less food
Nondurables less food
Services less rent of shelter(2)
Services less medical care services
All items less energy
All items less food and energy
Last Modified Date: Wednesday, May 11, 2022