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News Release Information

15-1492-CHI
Wednesday, August 19, 2015

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

Consumer Price Index, Milwaukee-Racine – First Half 2015

Local prices down 0.8 percent over the year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) in the Milwaukee-Racine area declined 0.8 percent from the first half of 2014 to the first half of 2015, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Charlene Peiffer noted that the all items less food and energy index was 1.8 percent higher compared to its first half 2014 level as price increases were noted for several categories, most notably shelter. Food prices rose 1.3 percent over the year while the index for energy fell 22.0 percent. (See chart 1.)

Food

Food prices rose 1.3 percent from their first half 2014 levels. Within the food category, the index for food at home (groceries) was 1.5 percent higher while prices for food away from home (restaurant, cafeteria, and vending purchases) increased 1.2 percent.

Energy

The energy index was 22.0 percent lower from the first half of 2014 to the first half of 2015. Within the energy category, the indexes for gasoline and utility (piped) gas service declined 30.8 percent and 29.3 percent, respectively, over the year. The index for electricity rose 0.5 percent compared to its first half 2014 level.

All items less food and energy

The all items less food and energy index increased 1.8 percent over the year. Among the index’s components, higher costs were recorded for shelter (2.1 percent), medical care (2.2 percent), and education and communication (2.1 percent). Prices for household furnishings and operations declined 4.1 percent over the year.

The second half 2015 Consumer Price Index for Milwaukee-Racine is scheduled to be released in January 2016.


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 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 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 Milwaukee-Racine, Wis., consolidated area covered in this release is comprised of Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Racine, Washington, and Waukesha Counties 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 for semiannual averages and percent changes for selected periods

Milwaukee-Racine, WI (1982-84=100 unless otherwise noted)
Item and Group

 
Semiannual average indexes
 
Percent change to
1st half 2015 from-
1st half
2014
2nd half
2014
1st half
2015
1st half
2014
2nd half
2014

Expenditure category

 
 

All Items

228.005227.634226.220-0.8-0.6

All items (1967=100)

704.218703.074698.704--

Food and beverages

243.557246.447246.5511.20.0

Food

247.781250.933251.0901.30.1

Food at home

242.601247.484246.2931.5-0.5

Food away from home

256.070257.135259.0301.20.7

Alcoholic beverages

203.568203.922203.5070.0-0.2

Housing

212.466210.342211.854-0.30.7

Shelter

252.134254.004257.4082.11.3

Rent of primary residence (1)

235.507237.544239.6831.80.9

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

268.077270.185273.5912.11.3

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

268.077270.185273.5912.11.3

Fuels and utilities

236.477215.975212.012-10.3-1.8

Household energy

195.061180.209173.468-11.1-3.7

Energy services (1)

200.253184.790178.310-11.0-3.5

Electricity (1)

211.408215.093212.4890.5-1.2

Utility (piped) gas service (1)

167.068128.822118.049-29.3-8.4

Household furnishings and operations

100.98397.67496.797-4.1-0.9

Apparel

139.733148.222143.5042.7-3.2

Transportation

207.165200.973188.043-9.2-6.4

Private transportation

200.282194.467179.949-10.2-7.5

Motor fuel

317.331286.926219.746-30.8-23.4

Gasoline (all types)

312.626282.549216.463-30.8-23.4

Gasoline, unleaded regular (3)

315.723284.403216.045-31.6-24.0

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade (3) (4)

331.910301.664234.862-29.2-22.1

Gasoline, unleaded premium (3)

279.858256.634203.418-27.3-20.7

Medical care

476.116483.239486.5512.20.7

Recreation (5)

115.546115.694116.7961.11.0

Education and communication (5)

151.100152.817154.2162.10.9

Other goods and services

379.767384.786388.3702.30.9
 

Commodity and service group

 
 

All Items

228.005227.634226.220-0.8-0.6

Commodities

184.846184.130178.022-3.7-3.3

Commodities less food & beverages

157.340155.273146.998-6.6-5.3

Nondurables less food & beverages

219.409216.428199.014-9.3-8.0

Durables

101.878100.59999.847-2.0-0.7

Services

269.102269.075272.3791.21.2
 

Special aggregate indexes

 
 

All items less medical care

217.111216.403214.774-1.1-0.8

All items less shelter

221.223220.025216.829-2.0-1.5

Commodities less food

159.199157.211149.188-6.3-5.1

Nondurables

233.603233.318223.761-4.2-4.1

Nondurables less food

218.022215.291199.124-8.7-7.5

Services less rent of shelter (2)

300.740298.545301.8130.41.1

Services less medical care services

252.675252.194255.3141.01.2

Energy

250.869229.022195.626-22.0-14.6

All items less energy

227.687229.855231.5271.70.7

All items less food and energy

225.214227.228229.1571.80.8

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 November 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.
 

 

Last Modified Date: Wednesday, August 19, 2015