KANSAS CITY — Prices in the Midwest Region, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), advanced 0.6% in April, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.
The all items less food and energy index rose 0.5% in April, led by an increase in the index for used cars and trucks. An increase in the energy index (+2.3%) was driven by rising gasoline prices. Food prices were up 0.1%.
Over the last 12 months, the CPI-U advanced 4.9%. The index for all items less food and energy rose 5.5% over the year, while food prices increased 7.5%. Energy prices declined by 4.4%, largely the result of a decrease in the price of gasoline. (See chart 1.)
Food prices increased 0.1 percent for the month of March. Prices for food at home fell 0.2 percent, while prices for food away from home (restaurant, cafeteria, and vending purchases) increased 0.6 percent for the same period. Within the food at home category, prices paid for fruits and vegetables (-1.4 percent) and meats, poultry, fish, and eggs (-0.6 percent) contributed most to the over-the-month decline. Somewhat offsetting the decline were prices paid for other food at home (+0.5 percent) and cereals and bakery products (+0.8 percent).
Over the year, food prices advanced 8.9 percent, easing into the single digits for the first time since February 2022. Prices for food at home increased 8.7 percent, led by a rise in the other food at home index (+12.5 percent), but with the five other major grocery store food group indexes also contributing. Prices for food away from home rose 9.2 percent over the same period.
The energy index declined 0.3 percent over the month, due almost entirely to lower prices for natural gas service (-8.3 percent). Rising prices for electricity (+2.4 percent) and gasoline (+1.2 percent) mostly offset the over-the-month decline.
Energy prices declined 6.6 percent over the year, largely due to lower prices for gasoline (-16.2 percent), but the index for natural gas service also declined (-0.8 percent). Prices paid for electricity increased 9.8 percent during the 12-month period, partly offsetting the rise.
All items less food and energy
The index for all items less food and energy increased 0.8 percent in March. The increase was mainly due to higher prices for shelter (+0.9 percent); which includes increases in prices for owners’ equivalent rent of residences (+0.7 percent), lodging away from home, and rent of primary residence (+0.6 percent). New and used motor vehicles (+2.1 percent) and recreation (+0.9 percent) also made notable contributions to the rise.
Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy advanced 5.4 percent. The largest component contributing to the increase was owners’ equivalent rent of residences (+6.9 percent), surpassing February’s increase and establishing a new series high. Increases in rent of primary residence (+7.3 percent), household furnishings and operations (+6.7 percent) and recreation (+7.3 percent) also contributed. A decline in prices paid for used cars and trucks (-10.8 percent) over the same period slightly offset the increase.