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News Release Information

16-723-CHI
Thursday, April 14, 2016

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

Consumer Price Index, Chicago-Gary-Kenosha — March 2016

Local prices up 0.2 percent over the year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) in the Chicago-Gary-Kenosha area increased 0.1 percent in March, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations Charlene Peiffer noted that energy prices rose 8.7 percent and food prices were down 1.0 percent in March. The all items less food and energy index decreased 0.2 percent over the month. Among the indexes within the all items less food and energy category, prices were lower for shelter, apparel, and education and communication, but higher for medical care. (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 rose 0.2 percent. (See chart 1 and table A.) The energy index fell 15.7 percent over the year due to annual declines in gasoline prices. The all items less food and energy index was 1.5 percent higher over the year. (See table 1.)

Food

Food prices fell 1.0 percent in March following a 0.8-percent decrease in February. Between the two components within the food index, prices for food at home (groceries) decreased 1.6 percent, while prices for food away from home (restaurant, cafeteria, and vending purchases) were unchanged over the month. Within the food at home group, prices were down for other fresh fruits; other bakery products; and cheese and related products. In contrast, the indexes for snacks; cakes, cupcakes, and cookies; and uncooked beef steaks experienced increases.

From March 2015 to March 2016, the food index increased 0.8 percent. Prices for food eaten away from home increased 3.6 percent over the year, while grocery food prices fell 1.1 percent from the previous March.

Energy

The energy index was up 8.7 percent in March primarily due to gasoline prices rising 22.7 percent. Electricity costs rose 0.8 percent in March and utility (piped) gas service costs recorded a decrease of 1.0 percent over the month.

On an annual basis, the Chicago area energy index declined 15.7 percent. The major contributing factor for the energy index’s decline was the 21.4 percent decrease in gasoline prices since March 2015. Utility (piped) gas service costs fell 10.6 percent and electricity costs fell 10.4 percent during the same period.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy fell 0.2 percent in March. Prices were lower for shelter (-0.4 percent), apparel (-2.4 percent), and education and communication (-0.5 percent), but higher for medical care (0.2 percent).

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy increased 1.5 percent. Annual increases in the indexes for shelter (2.6 percent), medical care (2.5 percent), and recreation (1.8 percent) were major contributing factors.

Table A. Chicago CPI-U 1-month and 12-month percent changes, all items index, not seasonally adjusted
Month20122013201420152016
1-month12-month1-month12-month1-month12-month1-month12-month1-month12-month

January

0.62.10.21.20.91.2-0.20.40.80.9

February

0.01.61.12.30.50.70.0-0.2-0.20.7

March

1.22.1-0.10.91.11.90.7-0.60.10.2

April

0.01.70.00.90.52.40.1-0.9  

May

-0.11.00.51.5-0.11.80.3-0.5  

June

-0.10.90.11.70.42.00.2-0.7  

July

-0.21.1-0.21.7-0.41.9-0.1-0.5  

August

0.61.50.11.10.11.90.4-0.1  

September

0.31.6-0.20.70.02.1-0.3-0.4  

October

-0.21.7-0.30.5-0.42.0-0.1-0.2  

November

-0.41.5-0.30.6-0.81.6-0.40.2  

December

-0.31.7-0.30.5-0.41.5-0.60.0  

The April 2016 Consumer Price Index for Chicago is scheduled to be released on Tuesday, May 17, 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 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.

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.
2016
Feb.
2016
Mar.
2016
Mar.
2015
Jan.
2016
Feb.
2016

Expenditure category

 
 

All items

227.977227.438227.7780.2-0.10.1

All items (1967=100)

681.101679.489680.507---

Food and beverages

245.610243.687241.5290.8-1.7-0.9

Food

245.397243.490241.1420.8-1.7-1.0

Food at home

241.630238.542234.737-1.1-2.9-1.6

Food away from home

245.031245.031245.0323.60.00.0

Alcoholic beverages

247.010244.869245.5280.7-0.60.3

Housing

234.312235.109234.6721.10.2-0.2

Shelter

294.048295.174294.0152.60.0-0.4

Rent of primary residence (1)

310.212310.874310.7172.40.2-0.1

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

297.807298.803298.5992.30.3-0.1

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

297.807298.803298.5992.30.3-0.1

Fuels and utilities

187.636188.848192.282-5.52.51.8

Household energy

149.835151.073151.246-10.60.90.1

Energy services (1)

152.632153.903154.154-10.61.00.2

Electricity (1)

155.005155.175156.471-10.40.90.8

Utility (piped) gas service (1)

135.550138.482137.028-10.61.1-1.0

Household furnishings and operations

94.59294.23593.553-3.4-1.1-0.7

Apparel

90.77889.86387.730-4.9-3.4-2.4

Transportation

173.581169.456175.370-4.21.03.5

Private transportation

169.114165.136171.587-4.61.53.9

Motor fuel

174.279148.371181.813-21.54.322.5

Gasoline (all types)

172.365146.680180.039-21.44.522.7

Gasoline, unleaded regular (3)

163.518138.316171.969-23.05.224.3

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade (3) (4)

201.279174.342204.785-16.81.717.5

Gasoline, unleaded premium (3)

203.500179.414205.601-12.01.014.6

Medical care

467.447470.690471.7372.50.90.2

Recreation (5)

110.576111.243110.9231.80.3-0.3

Education and communication (5)

142.495142.838142.143-0.1-0.2-0.5

Other goods and services

382.564382.476383.1730.50.20.2
 

Commodity and service group

 
 

All items

227.977227.438227.7780.2-0.10.1

Commodities

165.253162.916164.038-2.3-0.70.7

Commodities less food & beverages

124.900122.512124.895-4.70.01.9

Nondurables less food & beverages

159.235153.926159.843-6.60.43.8

Durables

91.63591.50891.191-1.7-0.5-0.3

Services

287.389288.641288.2021.50.3-0.2
 

Special aggregate indexes

 
 

All items less medical care

217.716217.009217.319-0.1-0.20.1

All items less shelter

205.714204.596205.458-1.0-0.10.4

Commodities less food

129.252126.846129.210-4.50.01.9

Nondurables

202.691198.970201.033-2.5-0.81.0

Nondurables less food

164.922159.762165.416-6.00.33.5

Services less rent of shelter (2)

295.199296.728296.9600.40.60.1

Services less medical care services

273.717274.929274.3951.50.2-0.2

Energy

159.044149.771162.822-15.72.48.7

All items less energy

236.334236.599235.7651.4-0.2-0.4

All items less food and energy

235.519236.180235.6191.50.0-0.2

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: Thursday, April 14, 2016