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16-723-CHI
Thursday, April 14, 2016

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Consumer Price Index, Chicago-Gary-Kenosha — March 2016

Local prices up 0.2 percent over the year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) in the Chicago-Gary-Kenosha area increased 0.1 percent in March, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations Charlene Peiffer noted that energy prices rose 8.7 percent and food prices were down 1.0 percent in March. The all items less food and energy index decreased 0.2 percent over the month. Among the indexes within the all items less food and energy category, prices were lower for shelter, apparel, and education and communication, but higher for medical care. (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 rose 0.2 percent. (See chart 1 and table A.) The energy index fell 15.7 percent over the year due to annual declines in gasoline prices. The all items less food and energy index was 1.5 percent higher over the year. (See table 1.)

Food

Food prices fell 1.0 percent in March following a 0.8-percent decrease in February. Between the two components within the food index, prices for food at home (groceries) decreased 1.6 percent, while prices for food away from home (restaurant, cafeteria, and vending purchases) were unchanged over the month. Within the food at home group, prices were down for other fresh fruits; other bakery products; and cheese and related products. In contrast, the indexes for snacks; cakes, cupcakes, and cookies; and uncooked beef steaks experienced increases.

From March 2015 to March 2016, the food index increased 0.8 percent. Prices for food eaten away from home increased 3.6 percent over the year, while grocery food prices fell 1.1 percent from the previous March.

Energy

The energy index was up 8.7 percent in March primarily due to gasoline prices rising 22.7 percent. Electricity costs rose 0.8 percent in March and utility (piped) gas service costs recorded a decrease of 1.0 percent over the month.

On an annual basis, the Chicago area energy index declined 15.7 percent. The major contributing factor for the energy index’s decline was the 21.4 percent decrease in gasoline prices since March 2015. Utility (piped) gas service costs fell 10.6 percent and electricity costs fell 10.4 percent during the same period.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy fell 0.2 percent in March. Prices were lower for shelter (-0.4 percent), apparel (-2.4 percent), and education and communication (-0.5 percent), but higher for medical care (0.2 percent).

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy increased 1.5 percent. Annual increases in the indexes for shelter (2.6 percent), medical care (2.5 percent), and recreation (1.8 percent) were major contributing factors.

Table A. Chicago CPI-U 1-month and 12-month percent changes, all items index, not seasonally adjusted
Month 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
1-month 12-month 1-month 12-month 1-month 12-month 1-month 12-month 1-month 12-month

January

0.6 2.1 0.2 1.2 0.9 1.2 -0.2 0.4 0.8 0.9

February

0.0 1.6 1.1 2.3 0.5 0.7 0.0 -0.2 -0.2 0.7

March

1.2 2.1 -0.1 0.9 1.1 1.9 0.7 -0.6 0.1 0.2

April

0.0 1.7 0.0 0.9 0.5 2.4 0.1 -0.9    

May

-0.1 1.0 0.5 1.5 -0.1 1.8 0.3 -0.5    

June

-0.1 0.9 0.1 1.7 0.4 2.0 0.2 -0.7    

July

-0.2 1.1 -0.2 1.7 -0.4 1.9 -0.1 -0.5    

August

0.6 1.5 0.1 1.1 0.1 1.9 0.4 -0.1    

September

0.3 1.6 -0.2 0.7 0.0 2.1 -0.3 -0.4    

October

-0.2 1.7 -0.3 0.5 -0.4 2.0 -0.1 -0.2    

November

-0.4 1.5 -0.3 0.6 -0.8 1.6 -0.4 0.2    

December

-0.3 1.7 -0.3 0.5 -0.4 1.5 -0.6 0.0    

The April 2016 Consumer Price Index for Chicago is scheduled to be released on Tuesday, May 17, 2016.


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 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 Chicago-Gary-Kenosha, Ill.-Ind.-Wis. consolidated area covered in this release is comprised of Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, and Will Counties in Illinois; Lake 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-Gary-Kenosha, IL-IN-WI (1982-84=100 unless otherwise noted)
Item and Group

 
Indexes
 
Percent change from-
Jan.
2016
Feb.
2016
Mar.
2016
Mar.
2015
Jan.
2016
Feb.
2016

Expenditure category

 
 

All items

227.977 227.438 227.778 0.2 -0.1 0.1

All items (1967=100)

681.101 679.489 680.507 - - -

Food and beverages

245.610 243.687 241.529 0.8 -1.7 -0.9

Food

245.397 243.490 241.142 0.8 -1.7 -1.0

Food at home

241.630 238.542 234.737 -1.1 -2.9 -1.6

Food away from home

245.031 245.031 245.032 3.6 0.0 0.0

Alcoholic beverages

247.010 244.869 245.528 0.7 -0.6 0.3

Housing

234.312 235.109 234.672 1.1 0.2 -0.2

Shelter

294.048 295.174 294.015 2.6 0.0 -0.4

Rent of primary residence (1)

310.212 310.874 310.717 2.4 0.2 -0.1

Owners' equiv. rent of residences (1) (2)

297.807 298.803 298.599 2.3 0.3 -0.1

Owners' equiv. rent of primary residence (1) (2)

297.807 298.803 298.599 2.3 0.3 -0.1

Fuels and utilities

187.636 188.848 192.282 -5.5 2.5 1.8

Household energy

149.835 151.073 151.246 -10.6 0.9 0.1

Energy services (1)

152.632 153.903 154.154 -10.6 1.0 0.2

Electricity (1)

155.005 155.175 156.471 -10.4 0.9 0.8

Utility (piped) gas service (1)

135.550 138.482 137.028 -10.6 1.1 -1.0

Household furnishings and operations

94.592 94.235 93.553 -3.4 -1.1 -0.7

Apparel

90.778 89.863 87.730 -4.9 -3.4 -2.4

Transportation

173.581 169.456 175.370 -4.2 1.0 3.5

Private transportation

169.114 165.136 171.587 -4.6 1.5 3.9

Motor fuel

174.279 148.371 181.813 -21.5 4.3 22.5

Gasoline (all types)

172.365 146.680 180.039 -21.4 4.5 22.7

Gasoline, unleaded regular (3)

163.518 138.316 171.969 -23.0 5.2 24.3

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade (3) (4)

201.279 174.342 204.785 -16.8 1.7 17.5

Gasoline, unleaded premium (3)

203.500 179.414 205.601 -12.0 1.0 14.6

Medical care

467.447 470.690 471.737 2.5 0.9 0.2

Recreation (5)

110.576 111.243 110.923 1.8 0.3 -0.3

Education and communication (5)

142.495 142.838 142.143 -0.1 -0.2 -0.5

Other goods and services

382.564 382.476 383.173 0.5 0.2 0.2
 

Commodity and service group

 
 

All items

227.977 227.438 227.778 0.2 -0.1 0.1

Commodities

165.253 162.916 164.038 -2.3 -0.7 0.7

Commodities less food & beverages

124.900 122.512 124.895 -4.7 0.0 1.9

Nondurables less food & beverages

159.235 153.926 159.843 -6.6 0.4 3.8

Durables

91.635 91.508 91.191 -1.7 -0.5 -0.3

Services

287.389 288.641 288.202 1.5 0.3 -0.2
 

Special aggregate indexes

 
 

All items less medical care

217.716 217.009 217.319 -0.1 -0.2 0.1

All items less shelter

205.714 204.596 205.458 -1.0 -0.1 0.4

Commodities less food

129.252 126.846 129.210 -4.5 0.0 1.9

Nondurables

202.691 198.970 201.033 -2.5 -0.8 1.0

Nondurables less food

164.922 159.762 165.416 -6.0 0.3 3.5

Services less rent of shelter (2)

295.199 296.728 296.960 0.4 0.6 0.1

Services less medical care services

273.717 274.929 274.395 1.5 0.2 -0.2

Energy

159.044 149.771 162.822 -15.7 2.4 8.7

All items less energy

236.334 236.599 235.765 1.4 -0.2 -0.4

All items less food and energy

235.519 236.180 235.619 1.5 0.0 -0.2

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

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

 

Last Modified Date: Thursday, April 14, 2016