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News Release Information

22-1869-PHI
Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Contacts Technical information: Media contact:

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

Area prices were unchanged over the past 2 months, up 8.1 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), were unchanged for the 2 months ending in August 2022, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Alexandra Hall Bovee noted that this is the first release since December 2020 without a bimonthly increase. A 9.2-percent decline in the energy index was offset by a 0.7-percent increase in the all items less food and energy index and a 2.1-percent increase in the food index. (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 8.1 percent, down from June’s 8.8-percent increase. (See chart 1 and table A.) The index for all items less food and energy rose 5.8 percent over the year. Energy prices moderated, the 29.5 percent increase was well below the 46.0 percent reported in June. Food prices continued to rise as they advanced 12.2 percent, the fastest rate in that series since 1979. (See table 1.)

Food

Food prices increased 2.1 percent for the 2 months ending in August, mostly due to a 2.9-percent rise in prices for food at home. Grocery price increases included the other food at home category (6.7 percent); meats, poultry, fish, and eggs (3.6 percent); and cereals and bakery products (4.4 percent). These increases were offset by lower prices for fruits and vegetables (-3.5 percent) and nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials (-1.6 percent). Prices for food away from home advanced 0.8 percent in August.

Over the year, food prices rose 12.2 percent, the largest increase in over 43 years, after consistent 12-month increases since June 2018. Prices for food at home advanced 16.9 percent since a year ago; the largest increase since 1974. All major grocery categories were up over the year, driven by price increases for other food at home (23.0 percent) and cereals and bakery products (25.7 percent), both the largest increases since their series began in 2018. Prices for food away from home were up 5.2 percent, on par with increases throughout 2022 which have ranged from 5.0 to 5.5 percent.

Energy

The energy index decreased 9.2 percent for the 2 months ending in August, the first 2-month decline in the index since November 2020 and followed the recent peak increase of 14.7 percent in June. The decrease was mainly due to lower prices for gasoline (-15.2 percent), the largest decline since April 2020. The utility (piped) gas services index moderated, up 1.2 percent after a 15.6 percent increase in June, while the electricity index decreased 0.2 percent for the same period.

Energy prices rose 29.5 percent over the year, moderating the pace of increase in that category that peaked at 46.0 percent in June. Higher prices for gasoline over the year (up 30.7 percent, but well below the 59.3 percent increase in June) contributed the most to the 12-month increase in the energy index. The index for utility (piped) gas services increased 40.1 percent, and the electricity index increased 18.3 percent over the past year; both were lower than their June increases.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy increased 0.7 percent in the latest 2-month period, the lowest increase so far in 2022. Higher prices for shelter (0.7 percent) and apparel (3.1 percent) were partially offset by lower prices for public transportation, as well as recreation (-1.2 percent); the largest decline in the recreation index since October 2019. The shelter index increase was largely due to a 1.3-percent increase in the index for owners’ equivalent rent of residences while the rent of primary residence index was up 1.4 percent. Alcoholic beverage prices increased 7.5 percent, the largest increase in over 31 years.  

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy rose 5.8 percent; since August 2021, 12-month increases have ranged from 4.6 to 6.3 percent. The recent rise was mainly driven by a 6.8-percent increase in the shelter index. Within shelter, the index for owners’ equivalent rent of residences advanced 6.6 percent, the largest rise since October 2006. New and used motor vehicles prices increased 7.9 percent due to higher prices for new vehicles (9.1 percent) and used cars and trucks (8.5 percent). Medical care prices also advanced 6.2 percent over the year; it was the biggest 12-month increase since April 2005.

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 2.3 8.8

August

0.3 1.7 0.5 2.3 0.8 0.4 0.6 4.6 0.0 8.1

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 October 2022 Consumer Price Index for the Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington area is scheduled to be released on November 10, 2022.


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
Jun.
2022
Jul.
2022
Aug.
2022
Aug.
2021
Jun.
2022
Jul.
2022

All items

294.207   294.130 8.1 0.0  

All items (1967 = 100)

849.946   849.726      

Food and beverages

275.854   282.714 12.2 2.5  

Food

277.731   283.470 12.2 2.1  

Food at home

285.113 290.387 293.263 16.9 2.9 1.0

Cereals and bakery products

388.083   405.123 25.7 4.4  

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

326.856   338.689 12.7 3.6  

Dairy and related products

224.518   234.292 15.1 4.4  

Fruits and vegetables

299.288   288.696 12.3 -3.5  

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials(1)

191.071   188.076 9.4 -1.6  

Other food at home

261.190   278.724 23.0 6.7  

Food away from home

259.554   261.602 5.2 0.8  

Alcoholic beverages

246.435   264.976 10.2 7.5  

Housing

303.276   304.107 8.5 0.3  

Shelter

368.327 369.623 370.783 6.8 0.7 0.3

Rent of primary residence

340.575 342.505 345.241 5.8 1.4 0.8

Owners' equivalent rent of residences(2)

374.461 376.112 379.360 6.6 1.3 0.9

Owners' equivalent rent of primary residence(2)

374.461 376.112 379.360 6.6 1.3 0.9

Fuels and utilities

279.625   270.792 25.5 -3.2  

Household energy

233.401 227.508 224.244 28.6 -3.9 -1.4

Energy services

228.238 229.052 229.016 25.1 0.3 0.0

Electricity

216.798 217.372 216.436 18.3 -0.2 -0.4

Utility (piped) gas service

237.034 238.261 239.951 40.1 1.2 0.7

Household furnishings and operations

134.587   136.446 4.7 1.4  

Apparel

108.908   112.289 2.3 3.1  

Transportation

279.577   269.439 12.6 -3.6  

Private transportation

288.074   278.119 12.7 -3.5  

New and used motor vehicles(3)

133.753   134.622 7.9 0.6  

New vehicles(1)

228.747   231.492 9.1 1.2  

Used cars and trucks(1)

397.247   397.761 8.5 0.1  

Motor fuel

455.409 425.128 386.377 30.8 -15.2 -9.1

Gasoline (all types)

449.633 419.723 381.473 30.7 -15.2 -9.1

Gasoline, unleaded regular(4)

446.230 415.096 376.553 30.6 -15.6 -9.3

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(4)(5)

451.238 430.274 393.961 31.9 -12.7 -8.4

Gasoline, unleaded premium(4)

438.754 418.867 385.578 31.3 -12.1 -7.9

Medical care

596.423   599.558 6.2 0.5  

Recreation(3)

132.941   131.309 3.3 -1.2  

Education and communication(3)

134.604   135.140 -0.8 0.4  

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

1,080.349   1,104.177 1.4 2.2  

Other goods and services

626.642   630.883 6.0 0.7  

Commodity and service group

Commodities

223.610   221.715 11.1 -0.8  

Commodities less food and beverages

192.032   186.860 10.5 -2.7  

Nondurables less food and beverages

248.681   235.349 15.7 -5.4  

Durables

131.990   132.741 5.0 0.6  

Services

365.699   367.300 6.5 0.4  

Special aggregate indexes

All items less shelter

270.253   269.187 8.8 -0.4  

All items less medical care

281.417   281.209 8.3 -0.1  

Commodities less food

194.515   190.089 10.5 -2.3  

Nondurables

264.350   260.582 13.8 -1.4  

Nondurables less food

248.242   237.236 15.3 -4.4  

Services less rent of shelter(2)

370.935   371.543 6.1 0.2  

Services less medical care services

348.042   349.555 6.7 0.4  

Energy

310.907 297.043 282.327 29.5 -9.2 -5.0

All items less energy

296.360   298.864 6.6 0.8  

All items less food and energy

302.438   304.443 5.8 0.7  

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 13, 2022