News Release Information
Wednesday, January 20, 2016
Consumer Price Index, Milwaukee-Racine — Second Half 2015
Local prices down 0.3 percent over the year
The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) in the Milwaukee-Racine area declined 0.3 percent from the second half of 2014 to the second 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 1.1 percent higher compared to its second half 2014 level as price increases were noted in the categories for shelter, recreation, and medical care. Food prices rose 0.8 percent over the year while the index for energy decreased 14.5 percent. (See chart 1.)
The 0.8 percent rise in food prices over the year was attributed to both a 0.9 percent increase in costs for food eaten away from home (restaurant, cafeteria, and vending purchases) and a 0.6 percent increase in costs for grocery food items. In the previous annual period (second half 2013 to second half 2014), food prices in the Milwaukee area rose 2.0 percent.
Gasoline prices were down 21.3 percent from their second half 2014 levels and costs for utility (piped) gas service fell 18.3 percent in the same period, both contributing to the 14.5 percent drop in energy prices over the year. Electricity costs, on-the-other-hand, rose 0.5 percent compared to their second half 2014 levels. In the previous annual period, energy costs were nearly unchanged (-0.1 percent).
All items less food and energy
The 1.1 percent over the year increase in the all items less food and energy index was primarily due to a 2.6 percent annual gain in shelter costs. Recreation (2.1 percent) and medical care (1.1 percent) also experienced increases and contributed to the rise in the all items less food and energy index.
The first half 2016 Consumer Price Index for Milwaukee-Racine is scheduled to be released on Friday, July 15, 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 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.
|Item and Group||Semiannual average indexes||Percent change to|
2nd half 2015 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