News Release Information
Friday, April 10, 2020
Consumer Price Index, Chicago-Naperville-Elgin — March 2020
Local prices up 1.1 percent over the year
The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) in the Chicago-Naperville-Elgin area was down 0.7 percent in March, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations Charlene Peiffer noted that the index for food was up 0.4 percent, and the energy index fell 6.6 percent over the month. The all items less food and energy index decreased 0.5 percent in March. Within the all items less food and energy category, prices were lower over the month for new vehicles, apparel, and recreation, but higher for shelter. (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 1.1 percent. (See chart 1 and table A.) Over the year, the all items less food and energy index rose 1.6 percent. The food index was up 2.4 percent, and the energy index declined 7.6 percent over the year. (See table 1.)
Food prices rose 0.4 percent in March. Of the two components within the food index, prices for food at home (groceries) increased 0.6 percent, while prices for food away from home (restaurant, cafeteria, and vending purchases) were up 0.2 percent. Within the food at home group, indexes were higher in March for carbonated drinks, snacks, and frozen and freeze-dried prepared foods.
From March 2019 to March 2020, the food index increased 2.4 percent. Over the year, grocery prices were up 2.1 percent, and costs for food away from home rose 2.7 percent.
The energy index decreased 6.6 percent in March. Among the index’s components, prices were lower for gasoline (-10.2 percent), electricity (-4.1 percent), and utility (piped) gas service (-1.7 percent).
Over the year, the Chicago area energy index fell 7.6 percent. From March 2019 to March 2020, gasoline prices were down 14.5 percent, and the utility (piped) gas service index fell 0.7 percent. The electricity index was 0.2 percent higher over the year.
All items less food and energy
The index for all items less food and energy fell 0.5 percent in March. Among the index’s components, prices were lower over the month for new vehicles (-1.9 percent), apparel (-2.3 percent), and recreation (-1.4 percent), but higher for shelter (+0.2 percent).
Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy increased 1.6 percent. Contributing factors included increases in the indexes for shelter (+2.6 percent) and medical care (+5.1 percent).
The April 2020 Consumer Price Index for Chicago is scheduled to be released on Tuesday, May 12, 2020.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Impact on March 2020 Consumer Price Index Data
The Consumer Price Index (CPI) program suspended data collection by personal visit on March 16, 2020. When possible, data normally collected by personal visit were collected either online or by phone. Additionally, data collection in March was affected by the temporary closing or limited operations of certain types of establishments. These factors resulted in an increase in the number of prices being considered temporarily unavailable and imputed. While the CPI program attempted to collect as much data as possible, many indexes are based on smaller amounts of collected prices than usual, and a small number of indexes that are normally published were not published this month. Additional information is available at www.bls.gov/bls/effects-of-covid-19-pandemic-on-bls-price-indexes.htm#CPI.
Specific information about the impact of COVID-19 on March 2020 CPI data collection is available at www.bls.gov/cpi/additional-resources/covid19-statement-march-2020.htm.
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, IL-IN-WI, 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.
|Item and Group||Indexes||Percent change from-|
All items (1967=100)
Food and beverages
Food at home
Cereals and bakery products
Meats, poultry, fish and eggs
Dairy and related products
Fruits and vegetables
Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials(1)
Other food at home
Food away from home
Rent of primary residence(2)
Fuels and utilities
Utility (piped) gas service(2)
Household furnishings and operations
New and used motor vehicles(4)
Used cars and trucks(1)
Gasoline (all types)
Gasoline, unleaded regular(5)
Gasoline, unleaded premium(5)
Motor vehicle insurance(1)
Education and communication(4)
Tuition, other school fees, and childcare(1)
Other goods and services
Commodity and service group
Commodities less food and beverages
Nondurables less food and beverages
Special aggregate indexes
All items less medical care
All items less shelter
Commodities less food
Nondurables less food
Services less rent of shelter(3)
Services less medical care services
All items less energy
All items less food and energy
- Data not available.
Last Modified Date: Friday, April 10, 2020