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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

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Midwest Region Consumer Price Index – September 2014

Prices in the Midwest little changed in September but 1.6 percent higher over the year


The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) in the Midwest registered little movement in September (up 0.1 percent), the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Higher prices for apparel (3.6 percent) had the largest upward impact on the index. Apparel prices typically rise in September reflecting seasonal trends. Lower costs for electricity (-1.6 percent) and motor fuel (-0.6 percent) registered the largest offsetting movements. Overall, the energy index declined 1.0 percent. The index for food rose 0.5 percent and prices for all items less food and energy were up 0.2 percent.

The CPI-U for the Midwest advanced 1.6 percent from September 2013 to September 2014. Food prices increased 3.6 percent and the energy index, which includes motor fuel and household fuels, was up 0.2 percent. Excluding food and energy, the CPI-U rose 1.5 percent over the year. (See chart 1.)

Chart 1. Over-the-year change in consumer price indexes, Midwest region, September 2011-September 2014

Food

Food prices in the Midwest increased 0.5 percent in September. The index for food at home rose 0.4 percent and costs for food away from home were 0.6 percent higher.

From September 2013 to September 2014, the index for food advanced 3.6 percent, the largest annual increase since March 2012. Rising costs for food at home (3.9 percent) accounted for nearly two-thirds of the annual gain. A 3.1-percent increase in prices for food away from home also contributed to the yearly advance.

Energy

The energy index registered its third consecutive monthly decline and had the greatest downward impact on the all items index in September, falling 1.0 percent. The decrease in energy costs was led by a 1.6-percent drop in electricity prices. Costs for motor fuel were 0.6 percent lower, and utility (piped) gas service prices decreased 1.5 percent over the month.

Despite the monthly decline, the energy index advanced 0.2 percent from September 2013 to September 2014. Costs for electricity and utility (piped) gas service increased 4.5 and 9.1 percent, respectively, while prices for motor fuel decreased 4.0 percent over the year.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy for the Midwest rose 0.2 percent September. Components registering higher prices over the month included apparel (3.6 percent) and shelter (0.2 percent). In contrast, among the expenditure categories posting lower prices over the month was used cars and trucks (-1.6 percent).

The index for all items less food and energy was up 1.5 percent from September 2013 to September 2014. Higher costs for shelter (2.1 percent) and medical care (2.6 percent) led the advance.

The Midwest Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) stood at 226.913 in September 2014. A typical market basket of goods and services that cost $100.00 in the 1982-84 base period cost $226.91 in September 2014. Because regional CPI data are not adjusted for seasonal price variation, consumers and businesses should be cautious in drawing conclusions about long-term retail price trends from short-term changes in the regional indexes.


Table A. Midwest Region CPI-U monthly and annual percent changes (not seasonally adjusted)
Month 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Monthly Annual Monthly Annual Monthly Annual Monthly Annual Monthly Annual Monthly Annual

January

0.6 -0.3 0.5 2.9 0.5 1.9 0.6 2.8 0.1 1.3 0.5 1.4

February

0.3 -0.2 0.0 2.5 0.3 2.2 0.2 2.7 1.1 2.2 0.6 0.9

March

0.3 -0.8 0.4 2.6 0.9 2.7 1.0 2.8 0.2 1.4 0.9 1.5

April

0.2 -1.5 0.2 2.7 0.7 3.3 0.2 2.3 -0.1 1.2 0.3 1.9

May

0.4 -1.9 0.1 2.4 0.6 3.8 -0.1 1.5 0.5 1.8 0.2 1.6

June

1.1 -1.7 0.0 1.2 0.0 3.9 -0.1 1.4 0.3 2.2 0.5 1.7

July

-0.3 -2.5 0.2 1.7 0.1 3.8 0.0 1.3 -0.4 1.8 -0.3 1.8

August

0.4 -1.8 0.2 1.5 0.2 3.8 0.7 1.8 0.1 1.2 -0.2 1.6

September

0.0 -1.7 0.1 1.6 0.2 3.9 0.3 1.9 0.1 1.0 0.1 1.6

October

0.1 -0.2 0.0 1.5 -0.6 3.3 -0.3 2.2 -0.5 0.8

November

0.3 2.2 0.1 1.2 0.0 3.3 -0.4 1.8 -0.2 1.0

December

-0.3 3.0 0.2 1.8 -0.2 2.8 -0.2 1.8 -0.2 1.0

CPI-W

In September, the Midwest Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) was 223.054, up 0.1 percent over the month. The CPI-W increased 1.6 percent over the year.

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The October 2014 Consumer Price Index for the Midwest region is scheduled to be released on Thursday, November 20, 2014.


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 88 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 87 urban areas across the country from about 4,000 housing units and approximately 26,000 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/homch17_a.htm.

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.

_________________________________________________________________________________________
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Table 1. Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U): Indexes and percent changes for selected periods

Midwest (1982-84=100 unless otherwise noted)
Item and Group

Indexes
Percent change from-
Jul.
2014
Aug.
2014
Sep.
2014
Sep.
2013
Jul.
2014
Aug.
2014

Expenditure category

All Items

226.997 226.587 226.913 1.6 0.0 0.1

All items (December 1977=100)

369.336 368.670 369.199

Food and beverages

236.312 237.128 238.161 3.5 0.8 0.4

Food

235.880 236.682 237.774 3.6 0.8 0.5

Food at home

229.216 230.152 230.965 3.9 0.8 0.4

Food away from home

246.886 247.459 249.027 3.1 0.9 0.6

Alcoholic beverages

240.179 241.190 241.296 1.8 0.5 0.0

Housing

211.842 211.589 211.459 2.2 -0.2 -0.1

Shelter

244.121 244.437 244.808 2.1 0.3 0.2

Rent of primary residence (1)

240.720 241.446 242.739 2.5 0.8 0.5

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

247.455 247.963 248.646 1.7 0.5 0.3

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

247.452 247.958 248.639 1.7 0.5 0.3

Fuels and utilities

231.825 229.864 227.181 5.7 -2.0 -1.2

Household energy

198.726 196.373 193.517 5.9 -2.6 -1.5

Energy services (1)

206.269 203.644 200.471 6.1 -2.8 -1.6

Electricity (1)

212.430 212.579 209.176 4.5 -1.5 -1.6

Utility (piped) gas service (1)

186.149 178.616 175.999 9.1 -5.5 -1.5

Household furnishings and operations

117.293 116.257 116.185 -1.1 -0.9 -0.1

Apparel

119.556 121.165 125.586 0.8 5.0 3.6

Transportation

220.327 216.940 216.227 -0.9 -1.9 -0.3

Private transportation

214.792 211.809 211.342 -0.8 -1.6 -0.2

New and used motor vehicles (3)

100.385 100.303 99.717 -0.5 -0.7 -0.6

New vehicles

139.057 138.519 138.868 0.4 -0.1 0.3

New cars and trucks (3) (4)

98.351 97.965 98.199 0.4 -0.2 0.2

New cars (4)

135.518 134.999 135.202 -0.4 -0.2 0.2

Used cars and trucks

154.114 154.462 151.997 -0.7 -1.4 -1.6

Motor fuel

320.439 308.239 306.255 -4.0 -4.4 -0.6

Gasoline (all types)

318.493 306.282 304.333 -4.2 -4.4 -0.6

Gasoline, unleaded regular (4)

315.668 303.351 301.447 -4.5 -4.5 -0.6

Gasoline, Unleaded midgrade (4) (5)

354.570 341.351 337.524 -3.4 -4.8 -1.1

Gasoline, unleaded premium (4)

316.518 305.573 304.077 -3.2 -3.9 -0.5

Medical Care

441.813 441.918 442.786 2.6 0.2 0.2

Medical care commodities

355.845 356.242 358.257 4.9 0.7 0.6

Medical care services

470.687 470.676 471.083 2.0 0.1 0.1

Professional services

387.211 387.173 387.271 2.2 0.0 0.0

Recreation (3)

117.721 117.438 117.317 -0.1 -0.3 -0.1

Education and communication (3)

139.782 140.510 140.792 2.0 0.7 0.2

Other goods and services

394.249 394.396 394.583 1.0 0.1 0.0

Commodity and Service Group

All Items

226.997 226.587 226.913 1.6 0.0 0.1

Commodities

186.374 185.678 186.331 0.8 0.0 0.4

Commodities less food & beverages

161.103 159.786 160.264 -0.8 -0.5 0.3

Nondurables less food & beverages

214.569 212.311 213.706 -0.7 -0.4 0.7

Nondurables less food, beverages, and apparel

276.635 271.896 271.369 -1.0 -1.9 -0.2

Durables

108.941 108.487 108.154 -1.0 -0.7 -0.3

Services

269.273 269.145 269.148 2.3 0.0 0.0

Rent of shelter (2)

250.774 251.089 251.457 2.1 0.3 0.1

Transportation services

286.862 284.998 285.100 1.6 -0.6 0.0

Other services

324.675 325.197 325.659 1.6 0.3 0.1

Special aggregate indexes:

All items less medical care

216.831 216.398 216.697 1.6 -0.1 0.1

All items less food

225.454 224.848 225.048 1.3 -0.2 0.1

All items less shelter

223.243 222.556 222.868 1.4 -0.2 0.1

Commodities less food

163.781 162.517 162.988 -0.7 -0.5 0.3

Nondurables

226.049 225.233 226.464 1.3 0.2 0.5

Nondurables less food

216.030 213.939 215.269 -0.5 -0.4 0.6

Nondurables less food and apparel

272.245 267.997 267.524 -0.9 -1.7 -0.2

Services less rent of shelter (2)

305.331 304.688 304.273 2.4 -0.3 -0.1

Services less medical care services

254.210 254.074 254.049 2.3 -0.1 0.0

Energy

252.339 245.707 243.217 0.2 -3.6 -1.0

All items less energy

226.922 227.154 227.775 1.8 0.4 0.3

All items less food and energy

225.987 226.114 226.650 1.5 0.3 0.2

Commodities less food and energy commodities

147.033 147.131 147.917 0.3 0.6 0.5

Energy commodities

317.374 305.748 303.953 -3.8 -4.2 -0.6

Services less energy services

277.849 277.995 278.347 2.0 0.2 0.1

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) Indexes on a December 1997=100 base.
(4) Special index based on a substantially smaller sample.
(5) Indexes on a December 1993=100 base.

Regions defined as the four Census regions. Midwest includes Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.
NOTE: Index applies to a month as a whole, not to any specific date. Data not seasonally adjusted.