News Release Information
Friday, January 11, 2019
Consumer Price Index, Chicago-Naperville-Elgin — December 2018
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 decreased 0.3 percent in December, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations Charlene Peiffer noted that food prices rose 0.2 percent and the energy index decreased 3.6 percent in December. The all items less food and energy index declined 0.1 percent over the month. Within the all items less food and energy category, prices were lower for apparel and other goods and services over the month, whereas prices rose for recreation and household furnishings and operations. (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 energy index fell 6.6 percent. The decline in the energy index was primarily due to lower gasoline prices. The food index and the all items less food and energy index rose 1.8 percent and 1.6 percent, respectively, over the year. (See table 1.)
Food prices rose 0.2 percent in December. Of the two components within the food index, prices for food at home (groceries) were unchanged, while prices for food away from home (restaurant, cafeteria, and vending purchases) increased 0.3 percent. Within the food at home group, indexes were higher in December for tomatoes, chicken, and ham. Prices were lower for snacks; frozen fruits and vegetables; and other processed fruits and vegetables including dried.
From December 2017 to December 2018, the food index increased 1.8 percent. Over the year, grocery prices declined 0.3 percent, while costs for food away from home rose 4.4 percent.
The energy index decreased 3.6 percent in December. During the same period, gasoline prices declined 9.0 percent. In December, electricity costs were unchanged and utility (piped) gas service costs rose 5.7 percent.
Over the year, the Chicago area energy index fell 6.6 percent. From December 2017 to December 2018, gasoline prices and electricity prices fell 13.0 percent and 1.2 percent, respectively. Utility (piped) gas service costs increased 2.5 percent over the year.
All items less food and energy
The index for all items less food and energy declined 0.1 percent in December. Among the index’s components, prices were lower for apparel (-2.5 percent) and other goods and services (-1.7 percent), but higher for recreation (1.1 percent) and household furnishings and operations (1.5 percent).
Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy rose 1.6 percent. Increases in the indexes for shelter (3.6 percent) and medical care (1.4 percent) over the year were contributing factors.
The January 2019 Consumer Price Index for Chicago is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, February 13, 2019.
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.
|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, January 11, 2019