Friday, April 10, 2020
Prices in the Midwest Region, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), declined 0.5 percent in March, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (See table A.) The March decrease was influenced by lower prices for gasoline. (Data in this report are not seasonally adjusted. Accordingly, month-to-month changes may reflect seasonal influences.)
Over the last 12 months, the CPI-U advanced 1.0 percent. (See chart 1 and table A.) The index for all items less food and energy advanced 2.2 percent over the year. Food prices rose 1.4 percent. Energy prices increased 2.6 percent, largely the result of higher prices for gasoline. (See table 1.)
Food prices inched up 0.2 percent for the month of March. (See table 1.) Prices for food at home crept up 0.2 percent and prices for food away from home were virtually unchanged for the same period.
Over the year, food prices rose 1.8 percent. Prices for food at home advanced 1.3 percent since a year ago, and prices for food away from home rose 2.5 percent.
The energy index decreased 6.7 percent over the month. The decrease was mainly due to lower prices for gasoline (-12.4 percent). Prices for electricity inched down 0.2 percent, and prices for natural gas service declined 2.7 percent for the same period.
Energy prices declined 9.4 percent over the year, largely due to lower prices for gasoline (-17.3 percent). Prices paid for natural gas service decreased 3.1 percent, while prices for electricity rose 0.3 percent during the past year.
The index for all items less food and energy edged down 0.1 percent in March. Lower prices for apparel (-1.1 percent) and household furnishings and operations (-0.2 percent) were partially offset by higher prices for used cars and trucks (2.4 percent) and medical care services (0.3 percent).
Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy advanced 1.8 percent. Components contributing to the increase included shelter (2.6 percent) and medical care services (6.4 percent). Partly offsetting the increases was a price decline in apparel (-2.7 percent).
The April 2020 Consumer Price Index for the Midwest Region is scheduled to be released on May 12, 2020.
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.
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 6,000 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 Midwest region is comprised of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and 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.
|Expenditure category||Indexes||Percent change from|
All items (December 1977 = 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
Other food at home
Food away from home
Rent of primary residence(1)
Fuels and utilities
Utility (piped) gas service(1)
Household furnishings and operations
New and used motor vehicles(3)
Used cars and trucks
Gasoline (all types)
Gasoline, unleaded regular(4)
Gasoline, unleaded premium(4)
Motor vehicle insurance(6)
Medical care commodities
Medical care services
Education and communication(3)
Tuition, other school fees, and child care(6)
Other goods and services
Commodity and service group
Commodities less food and beverages
Nondurables less food and beverages
Special aggregate indexes
All items less shelter
All items less medical care
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
Note: Index applies to a month as a whole, not to any specific date.
Last Modified Date: Friday, April 10, 2020