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20-443-PHI
Wednesday, March 11, 2020

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Consumer Price Index, Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington – February 2020

Area prices up 1.0 percent since December; up 2.6 percent over the year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington rose 1.0 percent from December to February, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Sheila Watkins noted that the recent two-month increase was due almost entirely to a 1.2-percent advance in the all items less food and energy index. The food index also increase since December, up 1.0 percent, while the energy index declined 2.0 percent. (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 increased 2.6 percent. (See chart 1 and table A.) The over-the-year rise was led by an increase in the all items less food and energy index (2.8 percent). The food index advanced since February 2019, up 2.8 percent, while the energy index decreased, down 0.6 percent. (See table 1.)

Food

The food index increased 1.0 percent over the last two months. Prices for food at home increased since December, up 1.5 percent, and those for food away from home rose 0.4 percent.

Over the year, the food index increased 2.8 percent. Prices for food away from home rose 3.5 percent, and those for food at home were up 2.4 percent.

Energy

The energy index, which includes prices for household and transportation fuels, decreased 2.0 percent since December. The two-month decline was led by a 3.1-percent decrease in gasoline prices. Prices were also lower for utility (piped) gas service, down 2.1 percent, while those for electricity increased, up 0.3 percent.

Over the year, the energy index decreased 0.6 percent, due to lower utility (piped) gas service prices, down 5.2 percent. Prices were also lower for electricity, down 0.9 percent. Gasoline prices advanced since February 2019, up 3.3 percent.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy increased 1.2 percent from December to February. Prices were higher for shelter (1.5 percent) and apparel (12.1 percent) while prices were lower for new and used motor vehicles (-0.4 percent) and education and communication (-0.3 percent).

Since February 2019, the index for all items less food and energy increased 2.8 percent. Prices were higher for a number of items including shelter (3.1 percent), recreation (5.2 percent), and medical care (2.9 percent), among others.

Table A. Philadelphia CPI-U 2-month and 12-month percent changes, all items index, not seasonally adjusted
Month 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month

February

0.3 0.3 0.7 2.1 0.4 0.5 0.8 1.5 1.0 2.6

April

0.9 0.6 0.0 1.3 0.9 1.4 1.3 1.9

June

0.3 0.1 -0.3 0.7 0.2 1.9 0.5 2.1

August

-0.2 0.4 0.5 1.4 0.3 1.7 0.5 2.3

October

0.6 1.3 0.0 0.8 0.0 1.6 -0.4 1.9

December

-0.1 1.7 -0.1 0.8 -0.7 1.0 -0.3 2.4

The Consumer Price Index for April 2020 is scheduled to be released Tuesday, May 12, 2020 at 8:30 am (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 population and (2) a CPI for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) which covers approximately 29 percent of the total 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 (1982-84) that equals 100.0. An increase of 16.5 percent, for example, is shown as 116.5. This change can also be expressed in dollars as follows: the price of a base period "market basket" of goods and services in the CPI has risen from $10 in 1982-84 to $11.65. For further details see the CPI home page on the Internet at www.bls.gov/cpi and the BLS Handbook of Methods, Chapter 17, The Consumer Price Index, available on the Internet at www.bls.gov/opub/hom/pdf/homch17.pdf.

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, 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 sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: (202) 691-5200; Federal Relay Service: (800) 877-8339.

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
Dec.
2019
Jan.
2020
Feb.
2020
Feb.
2019
Dec.
2019
Jan.
2020

All items

257.194   259.694 2.6 1.0  

All items (1967 = 100)

743.021   750.243      

Food and beverages

239.228   241.721 2.8 1.0  

Food

239.966   242.456 2.8 1.0  

Food at home

240.901 243.941 244.607 2.4 1.5 0.3

Cereals and bakery products

306.200   307.863 1.1 0.5  

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

266.525   273.584 5.8 2.6  

Dairy and related products

207.769   207.872 6.5 0.0  

Fruits and vegetables

270.041   270.196 -3.2 0.1  

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials(1)

160.379   165.201 4.0 3.0  

Other food at home

218.616   223.455 2.2 2.2  

Food away from home

232.978   233.956 3.5 0.4  

Alcoholic beverages

226.047   228.575 2.8 1.1  

Housing

267.269   270.445 2.3 1.2  

Shelter

334.247 336.385 339.116 3.1 1.5 0.8

Rent of primary residence

314.234 314.851 315.622 3.0 0.4 0.2

Owners' equivalent rent of residences(2)

345.494 345.899 346.809 2.8 0.4 0.3

Owners' equivalent rent of primary residence(2)

345.494 345.899 346.809 2.8 0.4 0.3

Fuels and utilities

210.069   210.237 -1.0 0.1  

Household energy

171.353 171.496 169.575 -3.5 -1.0 -1.1

Energy services

180.700 179.885 179.912 -2.4 -0.4 0.0

Electricity

179.659 179.268 180.168 -0.9 0.3 0.5

Utility (piped) gas service

170.917 169.252 167.409 -5.2 -2.1 -1.1

Household furnishings and operations

114.433   114.859 -0.3 0.4  

Apparel

100.005   112.123 7.8 12.1  

Transportation

211.268   210.335 1.5 -0.4  

Private transportation

210.567   208.996 1.2 -0.7  

New and used motor vehicles(3)

98.294   97.894 -0.9 -0.4  

New vehicles(1)

177.892   177.997 -1.1 0.1  

Used cars and trucks(1)

254.010   255.120 -0.6 0.4  

Motor fuel

239.041 242.629 231.383 3.0 -3.2 -4.6

Gasoline (all types)

235.519 239.095 228.129 3.3 -3.1 -4.6

Gasoline, unleaded regular(4)

232.345 235.962 224.925 3.4 -3.2 -4.7

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(4)(5)

243.310 246.581 235.886 3.6 -3.1 -4.3

Gasoline, unleaded premium(4)

238.756 241.751 232.245 2.6 -2.7 -3.9

Motor vehicle insurance(1)

728.581   741.786 2.0 1.8  

Medical care

550.507   554.549 2.9 0.7  

Recreation(3)

126.350   126.383 5.2 0.0  

Education and communication(3)

133.598   133.173 1.4 -0.3  

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

1,052.538   1,055.951 1.7 0.3  

Other goods and services

556.200   556.761 2.3 0.1  

Commodity and service group

Commodities

179.655   181.622 2.2 1.1  

Commodities less food and beverages

147.132   148.797 1.8 1.1  

Nondurables less food and beverages

188.945   192.361 3.5 1.8  

Durables

101.717   101.990 -0.5 0.3  

Services

335.394   338.427 2.7 0.9  

Special aggregate indexes

All items less shelter

231.782   233.483 2.3 0.7  

All items less medical care

244.794   247.229 2.5 1.0  

Commodities less food

150.039   151.736 1.9 1.1  

Nondurables

215.147   218.137 3.1 1.4  

Nondurables less food

191.187   194.558 3.5 1.8  

Services less rent of shelter(2)

344.066   345.203 2.3 0.3  

Services less medical care services

319.347   322.199 2.6 0.9  

Energy

195.740 197.133 191.830 -0.6 -2.0 -2.7

All items less energy

265.978   269.093 2.8 1.2  

All items less food and energy

273.055   276.314 2.8 1.2  

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, March 11, 2020