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News Release Information

22-893-PHI
Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Contacts Technical information: Media contact:

Consumer Price Index, Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington – April 2022

Area prices were up 2.2 percent over the past two months, up 8.4 percent from a year ago

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.

Table A. Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD, CPI-U 2-month and 12-month percent changes, all items index, not seasonally adjusted
Month 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month

February

0.4 0.5 0.8 1.5 1.0 2.6 0.8 1.0 1.5 7.3

April

0.9 1.4 1.3 1.9 -1.3 -0.1 1.2 3.5 2.2 8.4

June

0.2 1.9 0.5 2.1 0.6 0.1 1.9 4.9

August

0.3 1.7 0.5 2.3 0.8 0.4 0.6 4.6

October

0.0 1.6 -0.4 1.9 0.0 0.8 1.0 5.6

December

-0.7 1.0 -0.3 2.4 0.0 1.1 0.9 6.6

The Consumer Price Index for June 2022 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, July 13, 2022, at 8:30 a.m. (ET).


Technical Note

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.

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 category Indexes Percent change from
Historical
data
Feb.
2022
Mar.
2022
Apr.
2022
Apr.
2021
Feb.
2022
Mar.
2022

All items

281.402   287.602 8.4 2.2  

All items (1967 = 100)

812.955   830.866      

Food and beverages

264.576   271.262 9.2 2.5  

Food

266.116   272.891 9.5 2.5  

Food at home

268.158 274.166 277.623 12.6 3.5 1.3

Cereals and bakery products

353.360   361.728 13.7 2.4  

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

312.873   317.882 14.8 1.6  

Dairy and related products

209.373   218.141 8.2 4.2  

Fruits and vegetables

285.192   301.297 7.2 5.6  

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials(1)

185.384   187.559 14.7 1.2  

Other food at home

241.761   254.633 15.1 5.3  

Food away from home

256.079   258.728 5.0 1.0  

Alcoholic beverages

239.125   244.648 5.6 2.3  

Housing

289.928   295.768 7.9 2.0  

Shelter

355.991 358.779 361.491 6.1 1.5 0.8

Rent of primary residence

333.117 334.811 336.497 4.8 1.0 0.5

Owners' equivalent rent of residences(2)

367.255 368.373 369.904 4.9 0.7 0.4

Owners' equivalent rent of primary residence(2)

367.255 368.373 369.904 4.9 0.7 0.4

Fuels and utilities

242.304   253.469 20.7 4.6  

Household energy

199.814 207.394 210.333 24.7 5.3 1.4

Energy services

205.813 205.529 207.502 15.9 0.8 1.0

Electricity

200.064 201.322 202.601 12.6 1.3 0.6

Utility (piped) gas service

205.003 201.780 204.970 24.2 0.0 1.6

Household furnishings and operations

132.281   135.858 8.4 2.7  

Apparel

112.696   108.442 -1.9 -3.8  

Transportation

251.620   266.438 20.9 5.9  

Private transportation

260.762   272.889 22.2 4.7  

New and used motor vehicles(3)

129.738   132.219 22.0 1.9  

New vehicles(1)

223.415   225.127 18.8 0.8  

Used cars and trucks(1)

396.116   384.977 23.6 -2.8  

Motor fuel

333.089 386.765 382.021 43.3 14.7 -1.2

Gasoline (all types)

328.941 381.842 377.130 43.3 14.6 -1.2

Gasoline, unleaded regular(4)

326.075 378.919 373.463 43.9 14.5 -1.4

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(4)(5)

331.496 382.107 383.251 40.4 15.6 0.3

Gasoline, unleaded premium(4)

323.494 372.975 373.225 39.2 15.4 0.1

Motor vehicle insurance(1)

           

Medical care

575.891   592.522 2.8 2.9  

Recreation(3)

131.675   131.231 4.6 -0.3  

Education and communication(3)

135.443   134.705 0.9 -0.5  

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

1,080.349   1,080.349 2.5 0.0  

Other goods and services

616.917   619.543 4.9 0.4  

Commodity and service group

Commodities

210.755   216.775 13.4 2.9  

Commodities less food and beverages

179.227   184.681 16.1 3.0  

Nondurables less food and beverages

218.035   231.575 17.8 6.2  

Durables

132.317   131.862 14.4 -0.3  

Services

352.666   359.165 5.6 1.8  

Special aggregate indexes

All items less shelter

257.050   263.627 9.6 2.6  

All items less medical care

268.946   274.709 8.9 2.1  

Commodities less food

181.840   187.317 15.7 3.0  

Nondurables

242.690   253.079 13.2 4.3  

Nondurables less food

219.322   232.265 16.8 5.9  

Services less rent of shelter(2)

356.873   364.626 5.1 2.2  

Services less medical care services

334.984   341.277 6.0 1.9  

Energy

247.985 270.533 271.093 32.9 9.3 0.2

All items less energy

287.934   292.680 6.7 1.6  

All items less food and energy

294.445   298.910 6.3 1.5  

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: Wednesday, May 11, 2022