News Release Information
Wednesday, April 10, 2019
Consumer Price Index, Midwest Region – March 2019
Prices in the Midwest up 0.6 percent in March and 1.7 percent higher over the year
The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) in the Midwest rose 0.6 percent in March following a gain of 0.7 percent in the prior month, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. The March movement was influenced by higher prices for gasoline and shelter. Overall, energy costs were up 5.6 percent, while prices for food decreased 0.2 percent. The index for all items less food and energy increased 0.2 percent after gaining 0.4 percent in each of the prior two months. (Data in this report are not seasonally adjusted. Accordingly, month-to-month changes may reflect the impact of seasonal influences.)
The CPI-U for the Midwest rose 1.7 percent over the latest 12 months. (See chart 1 and table A.) The energy index, which includes motor fuel and household fuels, declined 0.5 percent. Food prices increased 1.4 percent. The index for all items less food and energy was up 1.9 percent from March 2018 to March 2019. (See table 1.)
Food prices in the Midwest were down 0.2 percent from February led by a 0.4-percent decrease in prices for food at home. Prices for food away from home crept up 0.1 percent over the month and did little to moderate the decrease.
From March 2018 to March 2019, the index for food advanced 1.4 percent. Costs for food away from home were up 2.4 percent and prices for food at home were 0.6 percent higher over the year.
The energy index continued to increase for the second month in a row up 5.6 percent in March after increasing 3.6 percent in the prior month. The monthly gain reflected a 12.0-percent increase in prices for gasoline. Lower prices for utility (piped) gas service (-1.8 percent) and electricity (-0.3 percent) helped to moderate the increase.
Energy costs decreased 0.5 percent since March 2018 due to declines of 3.3 percent in prices for utility (piped) gas service and 1.2 percent in electricity. Gasoline prices were up 0.7 percent from a year ago.
All items less food and energy
The index for all items less food and energy for the Midwest increased 0.2 percent following two consecutive monthly increases of 0.4 percent. Among the expenditure categories that registered higher costs were shelter (0.5 percent), new vehicles (1.2 percent) and used cars and trucks (1.0 percent), while prices for apparel (-0.8 percent) and education and communication (-0.3 percent) were among those that declined over the month.
The index for all items less food and energy was up 1.9 percent from March 2018 to March 2019. Higher costs for shelter (3.6 percent) and medical care services (2.4 percent) were among those that contributed to the increase.
The Midwest Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) stood at 236.793 in March 2019. A typical market basket of goods and services that cost $100.00 in the 1982-84 base period cost $236.79 in March 2019.
In March, the Midwest Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) was 230.728. The CPI-W rose 0.7 percent in March and advanced 1.6 percent over the year.
The April 2019 Consumer Price Index for the Midwest region 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 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: Wednesday, April 10, 2019