News Release Information
Wednesday, January 20, 2016
Consumer Price Index, Chicago-Gary-Kenosha — December 2015
Local prices unchanged over the year
The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) in the Chicago-Gary-Kenosha area decreased 0.6 percent in December, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Charlene Peiffer noted that energy prices fell 5.8 percent and food prices were up 0.2 percent in December. The all items less food and energy index decreased 0.3 percent over the month. Among the indexes within the all items less food and energy category, prices were lower for lodging away from home and apparel. (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 was unchanged. (See chart 1 and table A.) The energy index fell 17.4 percent over the year due to annual declines in costs for gasoline, utility (piped) gas service, and electricity. The all items less food and energy index was 1.4 percent higher over the year. (See table 1.)
Food prices edged up 0.2 percent in December following a 0.5-percent decrease in November. Between the two components within the food index, prices for food at home (groceries) were unchanged while prices for food away from home (restaurant, cafeteria, and vending purchases) were up 0.4 percent over the month. Within the food at home group, prices were up for breakfast cereal, milk, and other dairy related products. In contrast, categories experiencing decreases included citrus fruits, uncooked beef steaks, and other pork including roasts and picnics.
From December 2014 to December 2015, the food index increased 1.6 percent. Prices for food eaten away from home increased 3.9 percent over the year, but grocery food prices were unchanged from the previous December.
The energy index was down 5.8 percent in December primarily due to lower gasoline prices (-9.8 percent). Costs for utility (piped) gas service and electricity were also down in December, dropping 4.2 percent and 1.2 percent, respectively.
On an annual basis, the Chicago area energy index declined 17.4 percent. The indexes for gasoline (-20.3 percent), utility (piped) gas service (-26.4 percent), and electricity (-6.2 percent) were all lower compared to their December 2014 levels.
All items less food and energy
The index for all items less food and energy declined 0.3 percent in December. Categories experiencing declines included lodging away from home and apparel.
Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy increased 1.4 percent. Annual increases in the indexes for shelter (2.3 percent), medical care (1.9 percent), education and communication (0.6 percent), and recreation (0.8 percent) were major contributing factors. In contrast, prices for household furnishings and operations decreased 3.6 percent and prices for apparel were 2.2 percent lower over the year.
The January 2016 Consumer Price Index for Chicago is scheduled to be released on Friday, February 19, 2016.
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/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 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.
|Item and Group||Indexes||Percent change from-|
All items (1967=100)
Food and beverages
Food at home
Food away from home
Rent of primary residence (1)
Fuels and utilities
Energy services (1)
Utility (piped) gas service (1)
Household furnishings and operations
Gasoline (all types)
Gasoline, unleaded regular (3)
Gasoline, unleaded premium (3)
Education and communication (5)
Other goods and services
Commodity and service group
Commodities less food & beverages
Nondurables less food & beverages
Special aggregate indexes
All items less medical care
All items less shelter
Commodities less food
Nondurables less food
Services less rent of shelter (2)
Services less medical care services
All items less energy
All items less food and energy
- Data not available.
Last Modified Date: Wednesday, January 20, 2016