Wednesday, May 10, 2023
Prices in the Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington area, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), edged up 0.1 percent in April following a 2.0 percent rise in February, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Alexandra Hall Bovee noted that a 0.7 percent increase in the shelter index was predominantly responsible for the overall rise although it was partially offset by 2-month declines in several indexes including apparel. Shelter likewise led the all items less food and energy index rise of 0.2 percent. The food index advanced 0.3 percent, whereas the energy index reported a decline. (Data in this report are not seasonally adjusted. Accordingly, month-to-month changes may reflect the impact of seasonal influences.)
The CPI-U was up 4.7 percent over the year and the index for all items less food and energy was mainly responsible, up 5.0 percent. (See chart 1 and table A.) Food prices continued to moderate, up 8.5 percent but down from last year’s 13.1-percent peak in October, whereas the energy price index declined 3.6 percent over the year.Food
Food prices rose by 0.3 percent for the 2 months ending in April, with increases in both the food away from home index (0.5 percent) and food at home index (0.2 percent). The food at home index saw increases in most categories, led by the 3.5-percent price advance for dairy and related products. Prices for cereals and bakery products were up 1.3 percent. Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs advanced 0.6 percent. Among the rest of the grocery categories, other food at home rose 0.1 percent; and the fruits and vegetables index advanced 0.2 percent due in part to rising prices for citrus fruits. Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials was the only grocery category to record a decline (-3.4 percent) in April, led by falling prices reported for coffee.
Over the year, food prices rose 8.5 percent. For both food at home (up 9.7 percent) and food away from home (up 6.6 percent), prices continued to moderate from last year’s double-digit peaks. All major grocery categories were up over the year although the rates of increase for each category moderated from peaks reported during the last year. The other food at home index (15.2 percent) and cereals and bakery products (13.5 percent) led the grocery increase.Energy
As prices fell 1.2 percent for the 2 months ending in April, the energy index recorded its fifth consecutive bi-monthly decline. The bi-monthly decrease was mainly due to lower prices in the household energy index with declines in utility (piped) gas service (-8.9 percent); electricity (-2.4 percent); and fuel oil. The gasoline index tempered the overall energy decline as it advanced 3.8 percent since February.
Energy prices decreased 3.6 percent over the year, considerably below last June’s 46.0-percent peak. Leading the decline was the gasoline index (down 14.1 percent) and lower prices for fuel oil. Prices were up for electricity (11.3 percent) and utility (piped) gas service (9.1 percent, the smallest 12-month percent change since November 2021, ending 16 months of consecutive double-digit increases).All items less food and energy
The index for all items less food and energy posted a 0.2-percent rise in the latest 2-month period. The rise was led by higher prices for shelter (0.7 percent) due largely to the owners’ equivalent rent of residences index (0.4 percent) followed by lodging away from home and rent of primary residence prices. In the transportation index, prices rose for new and used motor vehicles, up 1.2 percent due to a 5.6-percent increase in used cars and trucks; public transportation prices were also higher. Other major categories in the all items less food and energy index also increased: recreation was up 0.6 percent and alcoholic beverages up 0.8 percent. Partially offsetting the overall index rise were declines in apparel (-5.5 percent), education and communication (-0.7 percent), medical care (-0.5 percent), household furnishings and operations (- 0.5 percent), and other goods and services (-0.1 percent).
Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy rose 5.0 percent. The recent increase was mainly driven by a 7.5-percent increase in the shelter index. Within shelter, the index for owners’ equivalent rent of residences advanced 7.3 percent and rent of primary residence rose 7.7 percent. Other categories also saw increases: the household furnishings and operations index advanced 5.9 percent; the other goods and services index was up 11.7 percent; the recreation index was up 2.5 percent; and the medical care index was up 0.9 percent for the same period. The new and used motor vehicles index continued to moderate, up just 0.8 percent. Within that index, used cars and trucks declined 6.1 percent.
The June 2023 Consumer Price Index for the Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington area is scheduled to be released on July 12, 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, 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 6,000 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: Wednesday, May 10, 2023