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16-65-CHI
Wednesday, January 20, 2016

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Consumer Price Index, Milwaukee-Racine — Second Half 2015

Local prices down 0.3 percent over the year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) in the Milwaukee-Racine area declined 0.3 percent from the second half of 2014 to the second half of 2015, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Charlene Peiffer noted that the all items less food and energy index was 1.1 percent higher compared to its second half 2014 level as price increases were noted in the categories for shelter, recreation, and medical care. Food prices rose 0.8 percent over the year while the index for energy decreased 14.5 percent. (See chart 1.)

 Chart 1.  Over-the-year percent change in CPI-U, Milwaukee, second half 2012-second half 2015

Food

The 0.8 percent rise in food prices over the year was attributed to both a 0.9 percent increase in costs for food eaten away from home (restaurant, cafeteria, and vending purchases) and a 0.6 percent increase in costs for grocery food items. In the previous annual period (second half 2013 to second half 2014), food prices in the Milwaukee area rose 2.0 percent.

Energy

Gasoline prices were down 21.3 percent from their second half 2014 levels and costs for utility (piped) gas service fell 18.3 percent in the same period, both contributing to the 14.5 percent drop in energy prices over the year. Electricity costs, on-the-other-hand, rose 0.5 percent compared to their second half 2014 levels. In the previous annual period, energy costs were nearly unchanged (-0.1 percent).

All items less food and energy

The 1.1 percent over the year increase in the all items less food and energy index was primarily due to a 2.6 percent annual gain in shelter costs. Recreation (2.1 percent) and medical care (1.1 percent) also experienced increases and contributed to the rise in the all items less food and energy index.

The first half 2016 Consumer Price Index for Milwaukee-Racine is scheduled to be released on Friday, July 15, 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 Milwaukee-Racine, Wis., consolidated area covered in this release is comprised of Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Racine, Washington, and Waukesha Counties 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 for semiannual averages and percent changes for selected periods

Milwaukee-Racine, WI (1982-84=100 unless otherwise noted)
Item and Group

 
Semiannual average indexes
 
Percent change to
2nd half 2015 from-
2nd half
2014
1st half
2015
2nd half
2015
2nd half
2014
1st half
2015

Expenditure category

 
 

All Items

227.634 226.220 226.984 -0.3 0.3

All items (1967=100)

703.074 698.704 701.066 - -

Food and beverages

246.447 246.551 248.702 0.9 0.9

Food

250.933 251.090 252.964 0.8 0.7

Food at home

247.484 246.293 248.995 0.6 1.1

Food away from home

257.135 259.030 259.541 0.9 0.2

Alcoholic beverages

203.922 203.507 208.358 2.2 2.4

Housing

210.342 211.854 213.262 1.4 0.7

Shelter

254.004 257.408 260.716 2.6 1.3

Rent of primary residence (1)

237.544 239.683 241.257 1.6 0.7

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

270.185 273.591 278.025 2.9 1.6

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

270.185 273.591 278.025 2.9 1.6

Fuels and utilities

215.975 212.012 208.419 -3.5 -1.7

Household energy

180.209 173.468 169.387 -6.0 -2.4

Energy services (1)

184.790 178.310 174.593 -5.5 -2.1

Electricity (1)

215.093 212.489 216.195 0.5 1.7

Utility (piped) gas service (1)

128.822 118.049 105.286 -18.3 -10.8

Household furnishings and operations

97.674 96.797 95.644 -2.1 -1.2

Apparel

148.222 143.504 139.638 -5.8 -2.7

Transportation

200.973 188.043 187.955 -6.5 0.0

Private transportation

194.467 179.949 180.048 -7.4 0.1

Motor fuel

286.926 219.746 225.426 -21.4 2.6

Gasoline (all types)

282.549 216.463 222.241 -21.3 2.7

Gasoline, unleaded regular (3)

284.403 216.045 219.801 -22.7 1.7

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade (3) (4)

301.664 234.862 244.856 -18.8 4.3

Gasoline, unleaded premium (3)

256.634 203.418 217.561 -15.2 7.0

Medical care

483.239 486.551 488.733 1.1 0.4

Recreation (5)

115.694 116.796 118.172 2.1 1.2

Education and communication (5)

152.817 154.216 152.723 -0.1 -1.0

Other goods and services

384.786 388.370 389.660 1.3 0.3
 

Commodity and service group

 
 

All Items

227.634 226.220 226.984 -0.3 0.3

Commodities

184.130 178.022 177.558 -3.6 -0.3

Commodities less food & beverages

155.273 146.998 145.558 -6.3 -1.0

Nondurables less food & beverages

216.428 199.014 198.575 -8.2 -0.2

Durables

100.599 99.847 97.689 -2.9 -2.2

Services

269.075 272.379 274.366 2.0 0.7
 

Special aggregate indexes

 
 

All items less medical care

216.403 214.774 215.476 -0.4 0.3

All items less shelter

220.025 216.829 216.676 -1.5 -0.1

Commodities less food

157.211 149.188 147.960 -5.9 -0.8

Nondurables

233.318 223.761 224.515 -3.8 0.3

Nondurables less food

215.291 199.124 199.070 -7.5 0.0

Services less rent of shelter (2)

298.545 301.813 302.343 1.3 0.2

Services less medical care services

252.194 255.314 257.310 2.0 0.8

Energy

229.022 195.626 195.796 -14.5 0.1

All items less energy

229.855 231.527 232.358 1.1 0.4

All items less food and energy

227.228 229.157 229.819 1.1 0.3

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 November 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.
 

Last Modified Date: Wednesday, January 20, 2016

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News Release Information

16-65-CHI
Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Contacts

Technical information:
Media contact:
  • (312) 353-1138

Consumer Price Index, Milwaukee-Racine — Second Half 2015

Local prices down 0.3 percent over the year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) in the Milwaukee-Racine area declined 0.3 percent from the second half of 2014 to the second half of 2015, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Charlene Peiffer noted that the all items less food and energy index was 1.1 percent higher compared to its second half 2014 level as price increases were noted in the categories for shelter, recreation, and medical care. Food prices rose 0.8 percent over the year while the index for energy decreased 14.5 percent. (See chart 1.)

 Chart 1.  Over-the-year percent change in CPI-U, Milwaukee, second half 2012-second half 2015

Food

The 0.8 percent rise in food prices over the year was attributed to both a 0.9 percent increase in costs for food eaten away from home (restaurant, cafeteria, and vending purchases) and a 0.6 percent increase in costs for grocery food items. In the previous annual period (second half 2013 to second half 2014), food prices in the Milwaukee area rose 2.0 percent.

Energy

Gasoline prices were down 21.3 percent from their second half 2014 levels and costs for utility (piped) gas service fell 18.3 percent in the same period, both contributing to the 14.5 percent drop in energy prices over the year. Electricity costs, on-the-other-hand, rose 0.5 percent compared to their second half 2014 levels. In the previous annual period, energy costs were nearly unchanged (-0.1 percent).

All items less food and energy

The 1.1 percent over the year increase in the all items less food and energy index was primarily due to a 2.6 percent annual gain in shelter costs. Recreation (2.1 percent) and medical care (1.1 percent) also experienced increases and contributed to the rise in the all items less food and energy index.

The first half 2016 Consumer Price Index for Milwaukee-Racine is scheduled to be released on Friday, July 15, 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 Milwaukee-Racine, Wis., consolidated area covered in this release is comprised of Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Racine, Washington, and Waukesha Counties 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 for semiannual averages and percent changes for selected periods

Milwaukee-Racine, WI (1982-84=100 unless otherwise noted)
Item and Group

 
Semiannual average indexes
 
Percent change to
2nd half 2015 from-
2nd half
2014
1st half
2015
2nd half
2015
2nd half
2014
1st half
2015

Expenditure category

 
 

All Items

227.634 226.220 226.984 -0.3 0.3

All items (1967=100)

703.074 698.704 701.066 - -

Food and beverages

246.447 246.551 248.702 0.9 0.9

Food

250.933 251.090 252.964 0.8 0.7

Food at home

247.484 246.293 248.995 0.6 1.1

Food away from home

257.135 259.030 259.541 0.9 0.2

Alcoholic beverages

203.922 203.507 208.358 2.2 2.4

Housing

210.342 211.854 213.262 1.4 0.7

Shelter

254.004 257.408 260.716 2.6 1.3

Rent of primary residence (1)

237.544 239.683 241.257 1.6 0.7

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

270.185 273.591 278.025 2.9 1.6

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

270.185 273.591 278.025 2.9 1.6

Fuels and utilities

215.975 212.012 208.419 -3.5 -1.7

Household energy

180.209 173.468 169.387 -6.0 -2.4

Energy services (1)

184.790 178.310 174.593 -5.5 -2.1

Electricity (1)

215.093 212.489 216.195 0.5 1.7

Utility (piped) gas service (1)

128.822 118.049 105.286 -18.3 -10.8

Household furnishings and operations

97.674 96.797 95.644 -2.1 -1.2

Apparel

148.222 143.504 139.638 -5.8 -2.7

Transportation

200.973 188.043 187.955 -6.5 0.0

Private transportation

194.467 179.949 180.048 -7.4 0.1

Motor fuel

286.926 219.746 225.426 -21.4 2.6

Gasoline (all types)

282.549 216.463 222.241 -21.3 2.7

Gasoline, unleaded regular (3)

284.403 216.045 219.801 -22.7 1.7

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade (3) (4)

301.664 234.862 244.856 -18.8 4.3

Gasoline, unleaded premium (3)

256.634 203.418 217.561 -15.2 7.0

Medical care

483.239 486.551 488.733 1.1 0.4

Recreation (5)

115.694 116.796 118.172 2.1 1.2

Education and communication (5)

152.817 154.216 152.723 -0.1 -1.0

Other goods and services

384.786 388.370 389.660 1.3 0.3
 

Commodity and service group

 
 

All Items

227.634 226.220 226.984 -0.3 0.3

Commodities

184.130 178.022 177.558 -3.6 -0.3

Commodities less food & beverages

155.273 146.998 145.558 -6.3 -1.0

Nondurables less food & beverages

216.428 199.014 198.575 -8.2 -0.2

Durables

100.599 99.847 97.689 -2.9 -2.2

Services

269.075 272.379 274.366 2.0 0.7
 

Special aggregate indexes

 
 

All items less medical care

216.403 214.774 215.476 -0.4 0.3

All items less shelter

220.025 216.829 216.676 -1.5 -0.1

Commodities less food

157.211 149.188 147.960 -5.9 -0.8

Nondurables

233.318 223.761 224.515 -3.8 0.3

Nondurables less food

215.291 199.124 199.070 -7.5 0.0

Services less rent of shelter (2)

298.545 301.813 302.343 1.3 0.2

Services less medical care services

252.194 255.314 257.310 2.0 0.8

Energy

229.022 195.626 195.796 -14.5 0.1

All items less energy

229.855 231.527 232.358 1.1 0.4

All items less food and energy

227.228 229.157 229.819 1.1 0.3

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 November 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.
 

Last Modified Date: Wednesday, January 20, 2016