Between global supply chain issues, increased consumer spending and demand, the conflict in Ukraine, and the pandemic, inflation has dramatically increased in the Midwest throughout the first quarter of 2022. Prices in the Midwest as measured by the Bureau of Labor Statistics’s Consumer Price Index, which increased to 0.8 percent in January, with increases for food at home, new and used motor vehicles, household furnishings and operations, and apparel as the largest contributors to the all item increases. Prices for food at home increased 1.9 percent, and prices for food away from home declined 0.3 percent. The energy index rose during this time as well due to higher prices for electricity and a 0.2 percent increase in gasoline prices.
In February, prices increased to 0.9 percent with an increase in both the food index to 1.0 percent and the index for energy skyrocketed to 4.2 percent. Prices for food at home increased 1.3 percent, and prices for food away from home increased 0.6 percent. This was mainly due to higher prices for gasoline since prices for natural gas service increased 2.0 percent, and prices for electricity increased 1.5 percent. The remaining item index increased 0.6 percent due to advances in the categories for shelter, apparel, and recreation.
And in March prices increased to 1.3 percent with higher prices for gasoline being the largest contributing factor to the March increase since that was when the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the international sanctions against Russia and Russian oil started to affect global supply chains. The energy index increased 9.8 percent due to higher prices for gasoline and the prices for electricity decreased 0.1 percent, with a 1.4 percent price decrease for natural gas service. The food index increased to 1.4 percent due to higher costs for food at home with price increases for food at home at 1.8 percent, and prices for food away from home at 0.7 percent. and the index for all items, less food and energy, increased as a result of higher shelter costs.
However there was a slight decline in inflation in April with the increase in prices throughout the region at 0.5 percent. Even though the index for energy was unchanged, the food index increased 1.3 percent in April, a 0.1 decrease from March. Prices for food at home increased 1.5 percent, and prices for food away from home increased 1.1 percent. The all items less food and energy index increased 0.4 percent in April due to advances in the categories for public transportation, shelter, and new vehicles.