News Release Information

18-86-PHI
Friday, January 12, 2018

Contacts

Technical information:
Media contact:

Consumer Price Index, Philadelphia-Wilmington-Atlantic City – December 2017

Area prices down 0.1 percent since October; up 0.8 percent over the year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for Philadelphia-Wilmington-Atlantic City inched down 0.1 percent from October to December, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Sheila Watkins noted that lower prices for all items less food and energy (-0.5 percent) were nearly offset by higher prices for energy (3.5 percent) and food (0.2 percent) since October. (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 0.8 percent. (See chart 1 and table A.) The over-the-year rise was led by increases in the energy index (7.2 percent) and the food index (1.8 percent). Prices for all items less food and energy also rose since December 2016, up 0.1 percent. (See table 1.)

Food

Following a 0.3-percent rise from August to October, the food index edged up 0.2 percent over the last two months. Prices were higher for food away from home, up 0.4 percent since October. Food at home prices were unchanged over the last two months.

Over the year, the food index increased 1.8 percent. Prices for food away from home rose 2.5 percent, and those for food at home increased 1.3 percent.

Energy

The energy index, which includes prices for household and transportation fuels, increased 3.5 percent since October. This was reflected by higher prices for electricity and utility (piped) gas service, up 3.5 and 7.1 percent, respectively, over the last two months. Prices were also higher for gasoline, up 1.8 percent since October.

Over the year, the energy index rose 7.2 percent, led by an 11.4-percent advance in gasoline prices. Prices were also higher for utility (piped) gas service (9.4 percent), while those for electricity declined 0.4 percent over the year.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy decreased 0.5 percent from October to December, led by lower prices for apparel (-10.8 percent). Higher prices for new and used motor vehicles, along with those for medical care (0.8 percent), moderated the decrease in the all items less food and energy index since October.

Since December 2016, the index for all items less food and energy inched up 0.1 percent. This was largely due to higher prices for shelter (1.2 percent). Lower prices for education and communication (-3.4 percent) and apparel (-8.2 percent), among others, moderated the 12-month increase in the all items less food and energy index.

Table A. Philadelphia CPI-U 2-month and 12-month percent changes, all items index, not seasonally adjusted
Month 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month

February

0.7 1.8 0.5 1.0 -0.2 -0.1 0.3 0.3 0.7 2.1

April

0.1 1.1 0.5 1.4 0.5 0.0 0.9 0.6 0.0 1.3

June

0.3 1.5 0.6 1.8 0.8 0.2 0.3 0.1 -0.3 0.7

August

0.5 1.1 0.0 1.3 -0.5 -0.3 -0.2 0.3 0.5 1.4

October

-0.4 0.3 -0.1 1.6 -0.3 -0.5 0.6 1.3 0.0 0.8

December

0.1 1.2 -0.8 0.6 -0.6 -0.2 -0.1 1.7 -0.1 0.8

The Consumer Price Index for February 2018 is scheduled to be released Tuesday, March 13, 2018 at 8:30 am (ET).

Consumer Price Index Geographic Revision for 2018

In January 2018, BLS will introduce a new geographic area sample for the Consumer Price Index (CPI). As part of the new sample, the index for this area will be renamed. The first indexes using the new structure will be published in February 2018. Additional information on the geographic revision is available at: www.bls.gov/cpi/georevision2018.htm.


Technical Note

The Consumer Price Index for Philadelphia-Wilmington-Atlantic City 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 89 percent of the total population and (2) a CPI for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) which covers approximately 28 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 87 urban areas across the country from about 4,000 housing units and approximately 26,000 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-Wilmington-Atlantic City, Pa.-N.J.-Del.-Md., Consolidated Metropolitan Statistical Area includes Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia Counties in Pennsylvania; Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, 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 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-Wilmington-Atlantic City, Pa.-N.J.-Del.-Md., (1982-84=100 unless otherwise noted) (not seasonally adjusted)
Expenditure category Indexes Percent change from
 
Historical
data
Oct.
2017
Nov.
2017
Dec.
2017
Dec.
2016
Oct.
2017
Nov.
2017

All items

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SA0
248.956   248.617 0.8 -0.1  

All items (1967 = 100)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102AA0
719.219   718.240      
 

Food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SAF
233.750   233.891 1.5 0.1  

Food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SAF1
233.726   234.078 1.8 0.2  

Food at home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SAF11
239.047 236.981 239.043 1.3 0.0 0.9

Food away from home

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SEFV
220.996   221.804 2.5 0.4  

Alcoholic beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SAF116
231.057   228.725 -1.1 -1.0  
 

Housing

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SAH
256.047   256.561 1.2 0.2  

Shelter

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SAH1
320.165 319.125 319.756 1.2 -0.1 0.2

Rent of primary residence(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SEHA
297.471 297.606 298.183 2.0 0.2 0.2

Owners' equivalent rent of residences(1)(2)(3)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SEHC
327.373 327.416 327.825 1.2 0.1 0.1

Owners' equivalent rent of primary residence(1)(2)(3)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SEHC01
327.373 327.416 327.825 1.2 0.1 0.1

Fuels and utilities

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SAH2
199.831   206.856 3.9 3.5  

Household energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SAH21
164.005 168.224 171.926 4.2 4.8 2.2

Gas (piped) and electricity(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SEHF
173.116 177.480 181.176 2.6 4.7 2.1

Electricity(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SEHF01
178.165 181.383 184.437 -0.4 3.5 1.7

Utility (piped) gas service(1)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SEHF02
153.881 160.118 164.791 9.4 7.1 2.9

Household furnishings and operations

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SAH3
111.034   109.325 -3.3 -1.5  
 

Apparel

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SAA
113.454   101.223 -8.2 -10.8  
 

Transportation

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SAT
208.203   208.271 2.5 0.0  

Private transportation

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SAT1
206.859   207.831 2.5 0.5  

Motor fuel

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SETB
232.260 242.448 236.495 11.5 1.8 -2.5

Gasoline (all types)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SETB01
228.974 239.019 233.093 11.4 1.8 -2.5

Gasoline, unleaded regular(4)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SS47014
225.732 235.975 229.884 11.5 1.8 -2.6

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(4)(5)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SS47015
235.779 243.370 239.850 10.8 1.7 -1.4

Gasoline, unleaded premium(4)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SS47016
233.491 241.552 236.999 11.0 1.5 -1.9
 

Medical care

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SAM
510.080   514.200 2.7 0.8  
 

Recreation(6)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SAR
121.572   122.355 -0.4 0.6  
 

Education and communication(6)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SAE
130.172   130.003 -3.4 -0.1  
 

Other goods and services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SAG
534.786   538.332 2.3 0.7  
 

Commodity and service group

 

Commodities

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SAC
177.048   176.379 1.2 -0.4  

Commodities less food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SACL11
145.735   144.784 0.9 -0.7  

Nondurables less food and beverages

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SANL11
188.403   185.740 2.3 -1.4  

Durables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SAD
99.679   100.252 -1.2 0.6  

Services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SAS
321.932   321.884 0.6 0.0  
 

Special aggregate indexes

 

All items less shelter

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SA0L2
225.651   225.333 0.6 -0.1  

All items less medical care

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SA0L5
237.977   237.436 0.6 -0.2  

Commodities less food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SACL1
148.777   147.782 0.8 -0.7  

Nondurables

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SAN
212.373   210.949 1.9 -0.7  

Nondurables less food

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SANL1
190.877   188.236 2.1 -1.4  

Services less rent of shelter(2)

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SASL2RS
330.776   331.296 0.1 0.2  

Services less medical care services

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SASL5
307.685   307.524 0.6 -0.1  

Energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SA0E
188.497 194.830 195.141 7.2 3.5 0.2

All items less energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SA0LE
257.507   256.403 0.3 -0.4  

All items less food and energy

Go to web page with historical data for series CUURA102SA0L1E
264.177   262.820 0.1 -0.5  

Footnotes
(1) This index series was calculated using a Laspeyres estimator. All other item stratum index series were calculated using a geometric means estimator.
(2) Indexes on a December 1982=100 base.
(3) This index series underwent a change in composition in January 2010. The expenditure class now includes weight from secondary residences, and has been re-titled "Owners' equivalent rent of residences." The item stratum "Owners' equivalent rent of primary residence" excludes secondary residences.
(4) Special index based on a substantially smaller sample.
(5) Indexes on a December 1993=100 base.
(6) Indexes on a December 1997=100 base.

Note: Index applies to a month as a whole, not to any specific date.

 

Last Modified Date: Friday, January 12, 2018