News Release Information
Wednesday, April 10, 2019
Consumer Price Index, Chicago-Naperville-Elgin — March 2019
Local prices up 1.5 percent over the year
The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) in the Chicago-Naperville-Elgin area edged up 0.1 percent in March, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations Charlene Peiffer noted that food prices fell 0.9 percent and the energy index increased 6.2 percent in March. The all items less food and energy index decreased 0.2 percent over the month. Within the all items less food and energy category, prices were lower over the month for new and used motor vehicles, household furnishings and operations, and apparel; while shelter moved higher. (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 1.5 percent. (See chart 1 and table A.) Over the year, the energy index rose 1.0 percent. The increase in the energy index was primarily due to higher gasoline prices and electricity costs. The food index and the all items less food and energy index rose 2.0 percent and 1.5 percent, respectively, over the year. (See table 1.)
Food prices fell 0.9 percent in March. Of the two components within the food index, prices for food at home (groceries) decreased 1.8 percent, while prices for food away from home (restaurant, cafeteria, and vending purchases) increased 0.2 percent. Within the food at home group, indexes were lower in March for other fresh fruits, snacks, and cheese and related products; while higher for tomatoes and uncooked other beef and veal.
From March 2018 to March 2019, the food index increased 2.0 percent. Over the year, grocery prices increased 0.9 percent, while costs for food away from home rose 3.2 percent.
The energy index increased 6.2 percent in March. During the same period, gasoline prices rose 14.5 percent. In March, electricity costs were unchanged, while utility (piped) gas service costs fell 5.4 percent.
Over the year, the Chicago area energy index rose 1.0 percent. From March 2018 to March 2019, gasoline prices and electricity prices increased 2.0 percent and 2.7 percent, respectively. Utility (piped) gas service costs fell 4.9 percent over the year.
All items less food and energy
The index for all items less food and energy declined 0.2 percent in March. Among the index’s components, prices were lower over the month for new and used motor vehicles (-1.6 percent), household furnishings and operations (-2.3 percent), and apparel (-2.1 percent); while shelter rose (0.2 percent).
Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy increased 1.5 percent. Increases in the indexes for shelter (3.0 percent) and medical care (1.9 percent) over the year were contributing factors.
The April 2019 Consumer Price Index for Chicago is scheduled to be released on Friday, May 10, 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, 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: Wednesday, April 10, 2019