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News Release Information

18-527-CHI
Wednesday, April 11, 2018

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

Consumer Price Index, Chicago-Naperville-Elgin — March 2018

Local prices up 1.8 percent over the year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) in the Chicago-Naperville-Elgin area was unchanged in March, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations Charlene Peiffer noted that food prices were down 0.6 percent and the energy index declined 0.2 percent in March. The all items less food and energy index increased 0.2 percent over the month. Among the indexes within the all items less food and energy category, prices were higher for household furnishing and operations, shelter, and other goods and services, but lower for recreation, apparel, and new and used motor vehicles. (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 increased 1.8 percent. (See chart 1 and table A.) Over the year, the food and energy indexes rose 1.0 percent and 4.4 percent, respectively. The rise in the energy index was primarily due to higher gasoline prices. The all items less food and energy index was 1.7 percent higher over the year. (See table 1.)

Food

Food prices were 0.6 percent lower in March. The food at home index (groceries) fell 1.2 percent, while the food away from home (restaurant, cafeteria, and vending purchases) index was unchanged. Within the food at home group, indexes were lower in March for other fresh vegetables; bacon, breakfast sausage, and related products; and potatoes.

From March 2017 to March 2018, the food index increased 1.0 percent. Food away from home prices rose 2.6 percent over the year, while grocery prices fell 0.2 percent from March a year ago.

Energy

The energy index decreased 0.2 percent in March, primarily due to a 2.9-percent decline in electricity costs. In contrast, gasoline prices and costs for utility (piped) gas advanced 1.1 percent and 0.6 percent, respectively, in March.

Over the year, the Chicago area energy index rose 4.4 percent. From March 2017 to March 2018, gasoline prices rose 11.1 percent and the electricity index advanced 1.6 percent, while the index for utility (piped) gas service fell 6.4 percent.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy advanced 0.2 percent in March. Among the index’s components, prices were higher for household furnishings and operations (1.8 percent), shelter (0.1 percent), and other goods and services (1.2 percent), but lower for recreation (-0.8 percent), apparel (-1.0 percent), and new and used motor vehicles (-0.1 percent).

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy rose 1.7 percent. A 3.3 percent increase in the shelter index was the major contributing factor.

Table A. Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI, CPI-U 1-month and 12-month percent changes, all items index, not seasonally adjusted
Month20142015201620172018
1-month12-month1-month12-month1-month12-month1-month12-month1-month12-month

January

0.91.2-0.20.40.80.90.71.80.81.8

February

0.50.70.0-0.2-0.20.70.12.20.01.6

March

1.11.90.7-0.60.10.2-0.12.00.01.8

April

0.52.40.1-0.90.60.70.41.7

May

-0.11.80.3-0.50.00.30.21.8

June

0.42.00.2-0.70.50.70.01.3

July

-0.41.9-0.1-0.5-0.8-0.10.02.2

August

0.11.90.4-0.10.2-0.20.32.3

September

0.02.1-0.3-0.40.60.60.42.1

October

-0.42.0-0.1-0.20.10.8-0.41.6

November

-0.81.6-0.40.20.21.50.41.8

December

-0.41.5-0.60.0-0.21.9-0.41.7

The April 2018 Consumer Price Index for Chicago is scheduled to be released on Thursday, May 10, 2018.


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 93 percent of the total population and (2) a CPI for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) which covers approximately 29 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 75 urban areas across the country from about 5,000 housing units and approximately 22,000 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-Naperville-Elgin, Ill.-Ind.-Wis., Core Based Statistical Area covered in this release is comprised of Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, and Will Counties in Illinois; Jasper, Lake, Newton, 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-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI (1982-84=100 unless otherwise noted)
Item and Group

IndexesPercent change from-
Jan.
2018
Feb.
2018
Mar.
2018
Mar.
2017
Jan.
2018
Feb.
2018

Expenditure category

All items

236.267236.306236.3881.80.10.0

All items (1967=100)

705.868705.984706.230---

Food and beverages

246.208247.910246.3891.40.1-0.6

Food

245.191246.868245.3331.00.1-0.6

Food at home

233.514236.032233.221-0.2-0.1-1.2

Cereals and bakery products

256.960257.868258.379-0.60.2

Meats, poultry, fish and eggs

252.166253.327250.666--0.6-1.1

Dairy and related products

208.450205.609208.465-0.01.4

Fruits and vegetables

312.910319.698306.194--2.1-4.2

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials(1)

184.276190.684187.205-1.6-1.8

Other food at home

187.592189.527189.092-0.8-0.2

Food away from home

256.782257.364257.4762.60.30.0

Alcoholic beverages

259.796261.889260.6057.10.3-0.5

Housing

244.800245.310245.8052.50.40.2

Shelter

308.309309.433309.8653.30.50.1

Rent of primary residence(2)

327.885328.097328.5393.30.20.1

Owners' equiv. rent of residences(2)(3)

312.532313.735314.8223.10.70.3

Owners' equiv. rent of primary residence(2)(3)

312.532313.735314.8223.10.70.3

Fuels and utilities

204.366203.600202.021-0.9-1.1-0.8

Household energy

161.912161.383158.903-1.7-1.9-1.5

Energy services(2)

165.112164.559162.063-1.7-1.8-1.5

Electricity(2)

164.452163.838159.0711.6-3.3-2.9

Utility (piped) gas service(2)

152.756152.336153.310-6.40.40.6

Household furnishings and operations

90.70490.25691.844-0.61.31.8

Apparel

88.59686.68285.7852.7-3.2-1.0

Transportation

185.014184.120184.8531.5-0.10.4

Private transportation

182.091180.416181.0921.5-0.50.4

New and used motor vehicles(4)

95.84895.53195.457--0.4-0.1

New vehicles(1)

174.238172.673172.180--1.2-0.3

Used cars and trucks(1)

262.637265.439269.682-2.71.6

Motor fuel

243.513236.677239.15711.2-1.81.0

Gasoline (all types)

240.999234.174236.67211.1-1.81.1

Gasoline, unleaded regular(5)

231.408224.821227.34311.6-1.81.1

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(5)(6)

269.275261.545263.7078.9-2.10.8

Gasoline, unleaded premium(5)

267.589260.475262.6479.1-1.80.8

Motor vehicle insurance(1)

536.418536.170536.319-0.00.0

Medical care

497.882497.396497.2031.2-0.10.0

Recreation(4)

114.335114.290113.429-0.1-0.8-0.8

Education and communication(4)

143.121143.224143.6660.20.40.3

Tuition, other school fees, and childcare(1)

1,183.8081,183.8081,183.808-0.00.0

Other goods and services

392.788390.499395.0902.80.61.2

Commodity and service group

All items

236.267236.306236.3881.80.10.0

Commodities

167.420166.612166.6741.3-0.40.0

Commodities less food and beverages

127.538125.952126.5401.3-0.80.5

Nondurables less food and beverages

172.703169.940170.5813.8-1.20.4

Durables

86.36885.71786.223-2.1-0.20.6

Services

301.654302.528302.6292.10.30.0

Special aggregate indexes

All items less medical care

225.042225.104225.1981.90.10.0

All items less shelter

211.957211.617211.5771.0-0.20.0

Commodities less food

132.155130.617131.1781.5-0.70.4

Nondurables

210.182209.363209.0462.4-0.5-0.2

Nondurables less food

178.411175.837176.3994.0-1.10.3

Services less rent of shelter(3)

310.209310.848310.5950.70.1-0.1

Services less medical care services

286.993287.988288.1542.30.40.1

Energy

193.657190.434190.1304.4-1.8-0.2

All items less energy

242.254242.603242.7221.60.20.0

All items less food and energy

242.553242.688243.0751.70.20.2

Footnotes
(1) Index on a December 1977=100 base.
(2) This index series was calculated using a Laspeyres estimator. All other item stratum index series were calculated using a geometric means estimator.
(3) Index on a December 1982=100 base.
(4) Indexes on a December 1997=100 base.
(5) Special index based on a substantially smaller sample.
(6) Index on a December 1993=100 base.

- Data not available.
Note: Index applies to a month as a whole, not to any specific date. Data not seasonally adjusted.

 

Last Modified Date: Wednesday, April 11, 2018