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News Release Information

15-656-CHI
Friday, April 17, 2015

Contacts

Technical information:
Media contact:
  • (312) 353-1138

Consumer Price Index, Chicago-Gary-Kenosha - March 2015

Local prices down 0.6 percent over the year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) in the Chicago-Gary-Kenosha area increased 0.7 percent in March, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Charlene Peiffer noted that energy prices rose 5.4 percent and food prices increased 0.3 percent in March. The all items less food and energy index rose 0.4 percent over the month. Among the indexes within the all items less food and energy index, prices rose for apparel and shelter. Prices were lower for medical care in March. (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 Chicago area all items CPI-U decreased 0.6 percent. (See chart 1 and table A.) The energy index fell 21.1 percent over the year as falling gasoline prices and utility (piped) gas service cost overcame increases in electricity costs. The all items less food and energy index was 1.3 percent higher over the year. (See table 1.)

Food

Food prices rose 0.3 percent in March following a 0.5 percent decrease in February. Of` the two components within the food index, prices for food at home (groceries) rose 0.4 percent and prices for food away from home (restaurant, cafeteria, and vending purchases) increased 0.2 percent, over the month. Within the food at home group, categories experiencing increases included tomatoes, breakfast cereal, and bread. Prices were lower for chicken and frozen and freeze dried prepared foods.

From March 2014 to March 2015, the food index increased 2.3 percent. Grocery food prices rose 2.1 percent over the year, while prices for food eaten away from home increased 2.7 percent compared to last March.

Energy

The energy index was up 5.4 percent in March due mostly to a 10.2 percent increase in gasoline prices.  Utility (piped) gas service costs rose 3.8 percent and the electricity index was up 0.2 percent from February to March.

On an annual basis, the Chicago area energy index declined 21.1 percent. Over the year, gasoline prices and utility (piped) gas service costs fell 31.3 percent and 36.1 percent, respectively, while the index for electricity rose 24.9 percent.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy increased 0.4 percent in March. Among the index’s components, prices were higher for apparel (5.1 percent) and shelter (0.3 percent). Prices were lower, in contrast, for medical care (-0.8 percent).

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy increased 1.3 percent. Annual increases in the indexes for shelter (3.1 percent), medical care (2.8 percent), and education and communication (1.2 percent) were the major contributing factors. In contrast, apparel prices were down 6.7 percent and the household furnishings and operations index fell 2.4 percent over the year.

Table A. Chicago CPI-U 1-month and 12-month percent changes, all items index, not seasonally adjusted
Month20112012201320142015
1-month12-month1-month12-month1-month12-month1-month12-month1-month12-month

January

0.61.40.62.10.21.20.91.2-0.20.4

February

0.51.80.01.61.12.30.50.70.0-0.2

March

0.82.31.22.1-0.10.91.11.90.7-0.6

April

0.42.70.01.70.00.90.52.4  

May

0.63.3-0.11.00.51.5-0.11.8  

June

0.03.8-0.10.90.11.70.42.0  

July

-0.43.2-0.21.1-0.21.7-0.41.9  

August

0.23.20.61.50.11.10.11.9  

September

0.23.10.31.6-0.20.70.02.1  

October

-0.22.9-0.21.7-0.30.5-0.42.0  

November

-0.22.9-0.41.5-0.30.6-0.81.6  

December

-0.52.1-0.31.7-0.30.5-0.41.5  

The April 2015 Consumer Price Index for Chicago is scheduled to be released on Friday, May 22, 2015, at 7:30 a.m. (CT).


Technical Note

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 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 6,000 housing units and approximately 24,000 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/homch17_a.htm.

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 Chicago-Gary-Kenosha, Ill.-Ind.-Wis. consolidated area covered in this release is comprised of Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, and Will Counties in Illinois; Lake and Porter Counties in Indiana; and Kenosha County in Wisconsin.

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

Chicago-Gary-Kenosha, IL-IN-WI (1982-84=100 unless otherwise noted)
Item and Group

 
Indexes
 
Percent change from-
Jan.
2015
Feb.
2015
Mar.
2015
Mar.
2014
Jan.
2015
Feb.
2015

Expenditure category

 
 

All items

225.852225.763227.405-0.60.70.7

All items (1967=100)

674.753674.487679.392---

Food and beverages

240.287239.125239.6422.0-0.30.2

Food

239.683238.529239.2372.3-0.20.3

Food at home

238.969236.419237.2892.1-0.70.4

Food away from home

235.255236.108236.5702.70.60.2

Alcoholic beverages

247.522246.250243.936-2.5-1.4-0.9

Housing

231.396231.163232.2241.50.40.5

Shelter

285.014285.694286.6713.10.60.3

Rent of primary residence (1)

301.829302.719303.4963.60.60.3

Owners' equiv. rent of residences (1) (2)

290.716290.960291.7522.50.40.3

Owners' equiv. rent of primary residence (1) (2)

290.716290.960291.7522.50.40.3

Fuels and utilities

205.290200.001203.423-5.5-0.91.7

Household energy

172.906166.431169.157-9.2-2.21.6

Energy services (1)

176.372169.744172.461-8.9-2.21.6

Electricity (1)

174.173174.159174.58624.90.20.2

Utility (piped) gas service (1)

162.824147.670153.300-36.1-5.83.8

Household furnishings and operations

96.76697.04796.867-2.40.1-0.2

Apparel

88.80787.73092.226-6.73.85.1

Transportation

173.342178.625183.032-10.45.62.5

Private transportation

169.819174.975179.873-10.75.92.8

Motor fuel

188.814210.332231.701-31.322.710.2

Gasoline (all types)

186.485207.984229.201-31.322.910.2

Gasoline, unleaded regular (3)

180.349201.849223.218-31.923.810.6

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade (3) (4)

206.098226.320246.112-29.319.48.7

Gasoline, unleaded premium (3)

196.316215.707233.685-28.119.08.3

Medical care

462.307463.965460.2882.8-0.4-0.8

Recreation (5)

112.665108.898108.913-0.3-3.30.0

Education and communication (5)

142.461141.542142.2821.2-0.10.5

Other goods and services

383.756378.645381.130-0.9-0.70.7
 

Commodity and service group

 
 

All items

225.852225.763227.405-0.60.70.7

Commodities

164.448165.278167.830-4.72.11.5

Commodities less food & beverages

126.071127.742131.098-9.54.02.6

Nondurables less food & beverages

161.195164.122171.084-13.46.14.2

Durables

92.33892.82092.765-1.80.5-0.1

Services

284.011283.054283.8391.8-0.10.3
 

Special aggregate indexes

 
 

All items less medical care

215.722215.555217.435-0.90.80.9

All items less shelter

206.012205.651207.536-2.30.70.9

Commodities less food

130.415132.021135.252-9.13.72.4

Nondurables

201.172202.179206.146-5.42.52.0

Nondurables less food

166.812169.529176.032-12.65.53.8

Services less rent of shelter (2)

297.793295.044295.6570.6-0.70.2

Services less medical care services

270.353269.296270.3121.70.00.4

Energy

178.729183.155193.126-21.18.15.4

All items less energy

232.128231.608232.4681.50.10.4

All items less food and energy

231.578231.173232.0641.30.20.4

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) Index is on a December 1982=100 base.
(3) Special index based on a substantially smaller sample.
(4) Indexes on a December 1993=100 base.
(5) Indexes on a December 1997=100 base.
 

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

 

Last Modified Date: Friday, April 17, 2015