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News Release Information

20-552-CHI
Friday, April 10, 2020

Contacts

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

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

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.

Energy

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).

Table A. Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI, CPI-U 1-month and 12-month percent changes, all items index, not seasonally adjusted
Month 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
1-month 12-month 1-month 12-month 1-month 12-month 1-month 12-month 1-month 12-month

January

0.8 0.9 0.7 1.8 0.8 1.8 0.6 0.8 0.9 2.6

February

-0.2 0.7 0.1 2.2 0.0 1.6 0.6 1.4 0.0 2.0

March

0.1 0.2 -0.1 2.0 0.0 1.8 0.1 1.5 -0.7 1.1

April

0.6 0.7 0.4 1.7 0.7 2.1 -0.1 0.8

May

0.0 0.3 0.2 1.8 0.4 2.3 0.8 1.2

June

0.5 0.7 0.0 1.3 -0.2 2.2 -0.4 1.0

July

-0.8 -0.1 0.0 2.2 -0.3 1.9 0.3 1.6

August

0.2 -0.2 0.3 2.3 0.1 1.7 0.2 1.6

September

0.6 0.6 0.4 2.1 0.4 1.6 0.2 1.4

October

0.1 0.8 -0.4 1.6 0.0 2.0 0.3 1.8

November

0.2 1.5 0.4 1.8 -0.6 1.0 -0.2 2.2

December

-0.2 1.9 -0.4 1.7 -0.3 1.1 -0.2 2.2

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.


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, 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.

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

Indexes Percent change from-
Jan.
2020
Feb.
2020
Mar.
2020
Mar.
2019
Jan.
2020
Feb.
2020

Expenditure category

All items

244.361 244.407 242.655 1.1 -0.7 -0.7

All items (1967=100)

730.049 730.185 724.952 - - -

Food and beverages

255.004 255.505 256.559 2.3 0.6 0.4

Food

254.536 255.290 256.325 2.4 0.7 0.4

Food at home

237.718 238.993 240.375 2.1 1.1 0.6

Cereals and bakery products

267.432 269.129 268.312 3.0 0.3 -0.3

Meats, poultry, fish and eggs

255.928 258.974 254.515 1.2 -0.6 -1.7

Dairy and related products

210.087 219.665 218.368 3.6 3.9 -0.6

Fruits and vegetables

315.885 306.541 309.545 -0.3 -2.0 1.0

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials(1)

194.355 200.437 204.919 6.7 5.4 2.2

Other food at home

189.030 188.791 193.464 1.9 2.3 2.5

Food away from home

272.445 272.445 272.968 2.7 0.2 0.2

Alcoholic beverages

259.653 256.885 258.169 -0.3 -0.6 0.5

Housing

256.661 257.240 256.879 2.1 0.1 -0.1

Shelter

326.418 326.946 327.720 2.6 0.4 0.2

Rent of primary residence(2)

346.449 347.141 347.474 2.6 0.3 0.1

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

334.705 335.642 336.407 3.1 0.5 0.2

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

334.705 335.642 336.407 3.1 0.5 0.2

Fuels and utilities

208.691 211.158 206.240 0.4 -1.2 -2.3

Household energy

160.960 163.454 158.176 -0.2 -1.7 -3.2

Energy services(2)

164.169 166.725 161.367 -0.2 -1.7 -3.2

Electricity(2)

166.277 170.602 163.667 0.2 -1.6 -4.1

Utility (piped) gas service(2)

147.574 147.284 144.716 -0.7 -1.9 -1.7

Household furnishings and operations

89.797 89.614 88.746 -0.9 -1.2 -1.0

Apparel

89.776 86.594 84.616 -2.2 -5.7 -2.3

Transportation

185.827 186.324 178.064 -4.8 -4.2 -4.4

Private transportation

183.175 183.677 178.432 -2.8 -2.6 -2.9

New and used motor vehicles(4)

95.571 96.853 96.071 0.3 0.5 -0.8

New vehicles(1)

172.503 175.660 172.315 -1.2 -0.1 -1.9

Used cars and trucks(1)

260.898 263.512 270.063 0.2 3.5 2.5

Motor fuel

237.024 232.225 208.787 -14.4 -11.9 -10.1

Gasoline (all types)

234.538 229.843 206.470 -14.5 -12.0 -10.2

Gasoline, unleaded regular(5)

225.703 221.087 198.107 -14.7 -12.2 -10.4

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(5)(6)

260.024 255.672 230.945 -13.7 -11.2 -9.7

Gasoline, unleaded premium(5)

259.167 254.880 235.425 -11.3 -9.2 -7.6

Motor vehicle insurance(1)

542.238 546.859 545.270 -1.3 0.6 -0.3

Medical care

- 532.972 532.510 5.1 - -0.1

Recreation(4)

116.432 114.606 113.031 0.2 -2.9 -1.4

Education and communication(4)

143.223 142.628 142.825 1.0 -0.3 0.1

Tuition, other school fees, and childcare(1)

1,205.734 1,209.724 1,209.724 2.9 0.3 0.0

Other goods and services

400.766 407.236 410.371 1.9 2.4 0.8

Commodity and service group

All items

244.361 244.407 242.655 1.1 -0.7 -0.7

Commodities

168.745 168.553 166.751 -0.9 -1.2 -1.1

Commodities less food and beverages

126.264 125.834 123.119 -3.1 -2.5 -2.2

Nondurables less food and beverages

172.031 170.833 164.048 -5.2 -4.6 -4.0

Durables

84.885 84.973 85.047 -0.3 0.2 0.1

Services

316.336 316.641 315.028 2.2 -0.4 -0.5

Special aggregate indexes

All items less medical care

232.026 232.001 230.181 0.7 -0.8 -0.8

All items less shelter

216.561 216.448 213.868 0.3 -1.2 -1.2

Commodities less food

130.880 130.387 127.748 -3.0 -2.4 -2.0

Nondurables

213.679 213.276 210.141 -1.1 -1.7 -1.5

Nondurables less food

177.713 176.418 170.102 -4.9 -4.3 -3.6

Services less rent of shelter(3)

321.621 321.697 317.415 1.7 -1.3 -1.3

Services less medical care services

299.841 300.138 298.302 1.6 -0.5 -0.6

Energy

190.388 189.952 177.447 -7.6 -6.8 -6.6

All items less energy

251.506 251.593 250.757 1.7 -0.3 -0.3

All items less food and energy

251.827 251.795 250.616 1.6 -0.5 -0.5

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: Friday, April 10, 2020