Thursday, January 12, 2023
Prices in the Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington area, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), decreased by 0.4 percent for the 2 months ending in December 2022, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Alexandra Hall Bovee noted that this decline was the first such decline since April 2020. The drop was led by a 4.6 percent decrease in the energy index as the fuel oil, gasoline, and utility (piped) gas indexes fell. The food index also declined whereas the all items less food and energy index reported no change. (Data in this report are not seasonally adjusted. Accordingly, month-to-month changes may reflect the impact of seasonal influences.)
The CPI-U advanced 6.4 percent, and the index for all items less food and energy rose 5.2 percent—each were the smallest 12-month percent changes since October 2021. (See chart 1 and table A.) The pace of increase for food prices also slowed as it was up 11.1 percent compared with 13.1 in October 2022, and the energy price index increase of 11.8 percent over the year was the lowest since February 2021 and considerably below the peak of 46.0 percent in June. (See table 1.)Food
Food prices declined 0.3 percent for the 2 months ending in December, led by a 1.2-percent decrease in prices for food at home. Within the food at home index, the 4.8-percent price decrease for nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials marked the smallest 2-month decrease in that index since its inception. A 2.3-percent decline in prices for meats, poultry, fish and eggs was the first since August 2020, as rising prices for eggs were offset by other declines such as fresh chicken prices. Among the rest of the grocery categories, the other food at home index declined 0.4 percent and was well below August’s peak (6.7 percent). The cereals and bakery products index declined by 0.5 percent, the first drop of the year and well below June’s peak of 7.3 percent. Tempering the food index decline, prices for dairy and related products increased 0.2 percent after declining in October; and the fruits and vegetables index rose 0.1 percent, moderating since October’s 4.3 percent increase.
Over the year, food prices rose 11.1 percent — below October’s 13.1 percent increase. Prices for other food at home advanced 17.3 percent since a year ago, down from the 22.7-percent rise in October. All major grocery categories were up over the year, led by price increases for other food at home (17.3 percent) and cereals and bakery products (20.8 percent). Prices for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs were up 9.5 percent, the smallest index increase since August 2021. Dairy and related products prices rose 17.1 percent, recording the largest increase since the index started in 2018. Prices for food away from home were up 6.5 percent.Energy
The energy index recorded its third consecutive bi-monthly decline, as prices fell 4.6 percent for the 2 months ending in December. The decrease was mainly due to lower prices for fuel oil and continuing lower prices for gasoline (-6.6 percent). The utility (piped) gas index decreased 1.8 percent—the first time since June 2021 and the largest decline since June 2020. Mitigating declines in the other energy categories, the electricity index rose 5.1 percent, ending two straight declines.
Energy prices increased 11.8 percent over the year, the lowest bimonthly rise since February 2021 and well below June’s 46.0-percent peak. All major energy categories were up over the year; the electricity index increased 18.6 percent and the index for utility (piped) gas service was up 19.1 percent (the smallest increase since last year). The gasoline index increased 1.3 percent over the year, the lowest 1-year increase since the December 2013 rise of 0.8 percent and well below the 59.3-percent peak in June.All items less food and energy
The index for all items less food and energy reported no change in the latest 2-month period. Higher prices for shelter at 0.4 percent (the smallest increase since February 2021), and household furnishings (2.8 percent), were offset by lower indexes for public transportation, apparel (-3.6 percent), and new and used motor vehicles (-0.8 percent). Within the shelter index, the increase was led by owners’ equivalent rent of residences (1.1 percent), and rent of primary residence (1.4 percent), whereas lodging away from home prices were lower. A number of categories declined, led by apparel as well as new and used motor vehicles (predominantly used cars and trucks, down 4.8 percent). Medical care prices decreased 0.2 percent, the first decline since August 2021. Alcoholic beverages were up 1.8 percent after October’s 5.4 percent decline—the largest decline since the series began in 1976.
Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy rose 5.2 percent, the smallest 12-month increase since October 2021. The recent increase was mainly driven by a 6.7-percent increase in the shelter index. Within shelter, the index for owners’ equivalent rent of residences advanced 6.2 percent and rent of primary residences rose 7.2 percent (the highest 12-month increase since 1987). The household furnishings and operations index advanced 7.7 percent. The medical care index was up 4.7 percent over the year, moderating since October’s high of 6.4 percent. The new and used motor vehicles index continued to moderate, up only 2.7 percent, well below the series high of 28.8 percent in February 2022. Within that index, used cars and trucks declined 8.3 percent, the largest decline since the index began in 2018.
The February 2023 Consumer Price Index for the Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington area is scheduled to be released on March 14, 2023.
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)
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: Thursday, January 12, 2023