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16-1333-DAL
Friday, July 15, 2016

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Consumer Price Index, Houston-Galveston-Brazoria – June 2016

Area prices rise 0.8 percent in May and June; up 1.6 percent over the year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) in the Houston area rose 0.8 percent in May and June, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations Stanley W. Suchman noted that a 6.9-percent increase in energy costs and a 0.6-percent rise in the index for all items less food and energy were nearly equal contributors to the bimonthly advance; food prices edged down 0.2 percent during the period. (Data in this report are not seasonally adjusted. Accordingly, short-term changes may reflect the impact of seasonal influences.)

During the year ended in June 2016, the all items CPI-U advanced 1.6 percent. (See chart 1.) The index for all items less food and energy increased 3.5 percent over the year. (See table 1.)

Food

Food prices edged down 0.2 percent in May and June, after registering little change (0.1 percent) in the previous two-month period. Among the two components of the index, prices for food at home were down 0.4 percent, while prices for food away from home (grocery stores) were nearly flat (0.1 percent).

From June 2015 to June 2016, the food index rose 0.4 percent reflecting the combined effects of a 1.2-percent price rise for food away from home and a 0.2 percent dip in grocery store prices.

Energy

The energy index rose 6.9 percent in May and June, following a 6.2-percent gain in March and April. The current advance was primarily the result of a 12.5-percent increase in motor fuel prices, though higher prices for electricity, up 1.2 percent, also contributed. Natural gas costs were unchanged during the period.

During the year ended in June 2016, the energy index registered a 14.9-percent decline as prices decreased for all three energy components. A 16.2-percent drop in motor fuel prices was the biggest factor in the energy decline, though lower natural gas and electricity costs also contributed, down 11.7 and 10.1 percent, respectively.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.6 percent in May and June, after remaining essentially unchanged (0.1 percent) in March and April. Among the leading factors in the current advance were higher prices for household furnishings and operations (3.5 percent), shelter (0.4 percent), and public transportation, specifically airline fares. Slowing these gains were lower prices for recreation (-1.1 percent) and apparel (-0.7 percent).

From June 2015 to June 2016, the index for all items less food and energy advanced 3.5 percent. The biggest factor in the annual increase was a 4.2-percent rise in shelter costs. Within the shelter component, increases were registered for both renters’ costs (5.8 percent) and owners’ equivalent rent (4.0 percent). Other large contributors to the annual rise included higher prices for household furnishings and operations (12.4 percent), apparel (5.8 percent), and medical care (2.5 percent).

The August 2016 Consumer Price Index for All Items for Houston-Galveston-Brazoria will be released Friday, September 16, 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 Houston-Galveston-Brazoria, Texas, Consolidated Metropolitan Statistical Area (CMSA) includes Brazoria, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Liberty, Montgomery, and Waller Counties.

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 and percent changes for selected periods,
Houston-Galveston-Brazoria, TX (1982-84=100 unless otherwise noted)
Item and Group Indexes Percent change from -
 
Apr.
2016
May
2016
Jun.
2016
Jun.
2015
Apr.
2016
May
2016

All items

215.513 - 217.305 1.6 0.8 -

All items (1967 = 100)

691.229 - 696.976      

Food and beverages

224.928 - 224.458 0.5 -0.2 -

Food

224.621 - 224.188 0.4 -0.2 -

Food at home

223.935 222.800 222.928 -0.2 -0.4 0.1

Food away from home

221.077 - 221.338 1.2 0.1 -

Alcoholic beverages

219.250 - 218.247 1.3 -0.5 -

Housing

207.554 - 209.228 3.9 0.8 -

Shelter

249.574 250.600 250.610 4.2 0.4 0.0

Rent of primary residence (1)

243.361 244.191 245.179 5.8 0.7 0.4

Owners' equivalent rent of residences (1) (2)

231.215 231.812 231.799 4.0 0.3 0.0

Owners' equivalent rent of primary residence (1) (2)

231.215 231.812 231.799 4.0 0.3 0.0

Fuels and utilities

145.097 - 146.125 -6.9 0.7 -

Household energy

122.332 124.014 123.537 -10.4 1.0 -0.4

Energy services (1) (3)

120.140 121.811 121.324 -10.4 1.0 -0.4

Electricity (1)

118.642 120.612 120.038 -10.1 1.2 -0.5

Utility (piped) gas service (1)

117.371 117.365 117.364 -11.7 0.0 0.0

Household furnishings and operations

132.049 - 136.693 12.4 3.5 -

Apparel

179.409 - 178.113 5.8 -0.7 -

Transportation

172.545 - 177.902 -2.5 3.1 -

Private transportation

170.502 - 173.935 -3.4 2.0 -

Motor fuel

169.024 181.148 190.167 -16.2 12.5 5.0

Gasoline (all types)

169.585 181.790 190.767 -16.3 12.5 4.9

Gasoline, unleaded regular (4)

171.422 184.363 193.671 -16.9 13.0 5.0

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade (4) (5)

182.953 194.552 204.179 -14.4 11.6 4.9

Gasoline, unleaded premium (4)

186.940 196.600 204.653 -13.0 9.5 4.1

Medical care

457.132 - 461.683 2.5 1.0 -

Recreation (6)

104.367 - 103.260 0.7 -1.1 -

Education and communication (6)

125.385 - 125.055 0.7 -0.3 -

Other goods and services

395.776 - 400.535 2.5 1.2 -
 

Commodity and service group

 

Commodities

171.407 - 172.588 -1.7 0.7 -

Commodities less food and beverages

145.301 - 147.143 -2.9 1.3 -

Nondurables less food and beverages

186.048 - 191.716 -4.3 3.0 -

Durables

105.501 - 104.691 -1.0 -0.8 -

Services

261.290 - 263.675 3.9 0.9 -
 

Special aggregate indexes

 

All items less shelter

202.732 - 204.833 0.5 1.0 -

All items less medical care

203.684 - 205.351 1.5 0.8 -

Commodities less food

147.825 - 149.602 -2.8 1.2 -

Nondurables

205.677 - 208.280 -1.9 1.3 -

Nondurables less food

187.775 - 193.040 -4.0 2.8 -

Services less rent of shelter (2)

272.588 - 276.461 3.7 1.4 -

Services less medical care services

241.770 - 243.831 4.0 0.9 -

Energy

142.994 149.196 152.821 -14.9 6.9 2.4

All items less energy

225.652 - 226.660 3.0 0.4 -

All items less food and energy

225.649 - 226.897 3.5 0.6 -

(1) This index series was calculated using a Laspeyres estimator. All other item stratum index series were calculated using a geometric means estimator.
(2) Indexes on a December 1982=100 base.
(3) Prior to January 2011 this series was titled Gas (piped) and electricity.
(4) Special index based on a substantially smaller sample.
(5) Indexes on a December 1993=100 base.
(6) Indexes on a December 1997=100 base.

Note: Index applies to a month as a whole, not to any specific date.

 

Last Modified Date: Friday, July 15, 2016