News Release Information
Thursday, April 14, 2016
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 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.
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.
The April 2016 Consumer Price Index for Chicago is scheduled to be released on Tuesday, May 17, 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: Thursday, April 14, 2016