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14-400-DAL

7:30 a.m. (CT), Tuesday, March 18, 2014

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Consumer Price Index, Houston-Galveston-Brazoria – February 2014

Area prices rise 0.9 percent during two-month period, up 2.9 percent over the year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) in the Houston area rose 0.9 percent in January and February, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Stanley W. Suchman noted that this followed an increase of 1.0 percent in November and December. The biggest factor in the current two-month rise was a 7.5-percent advance in the energy index, though increases in the indexes for both all items less food and energy and for food also contributed. (Data in this report are not seasonally adjusted. Accordingly, short-term changes may reflect the impact of seasonal influences.)

During the 12 months ended in February 2014, the all items CPI-U advanced 2.9 percent, slowing from the December 2013 annual rate of 3.6 percent. (See chart 1.) Prices for all items less food and energy rose at a 3.2-percent pace during the latest period, also marking a slowdown from the December 2013 rise of 4.3 percent.


Chart 1. Over-the-year percent change in CPI-U, Houston-Galveston-Brazoria, February 2011–February 2014



Food

Food prices edged up 0.2 percent in January and February, following a 0.3-percent dip in November and December. Among the two components of the index, prices for food at home (grocery stores) rose 0.6 percent while prices for food away from home fell 0.4 percent.

From February 2013 to February 2014, the food index was up 0.8 percent, reflecting the combined effects of a 1.0-percent price rise at grocery stores and a 0.5-percent rise for food away from home.

Energy

The energy index rose 7.5 percent in January and February, following a 2.2-percent gain in November and December. The largest contributor to the current increase was a 21.5-percent advance in electricity prices, the largest two-month increase since April and May 2003. Higher prices were also registered for natural gas (4.7 percent) and motor fuel (1.0 percent).

During the year ended in February 2014, the energy index rose 3.7 percent, almost entirely as a result of a 34.0-percent climb in electricity prices. This marked the fastest annual rate of gain for the electricity index since April 2006 (37.0 percent). Natural gas costs also moved up, rising 0.5 percent during the period. Partially offsetting these increases, motor fuel prices fell 8.5 percent over the year.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy edged up 0.2 percent in January and February, after rising 1.1 percent in November and December. The biggest factor in the current advance was a 1.2-percent increase in shelter costs with higher prices within the index for lodging away from home (hotels and motels) being a strong contributor. In contrast, the index for apparel fell 10.5 percent during the bimonthly period, after rising 21.0 percent in November and December. The latest decline was the largest in the apparel category since November and December 2001.

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy increased 3.2 percent. Higher shelter costs were a leading factor in the movement as the indexes for both rent of a primary residence and owners’ equivalent rent of a primary residence advanced during the period, up 4.2 and 3.6 percent, respectively. Other strong contributors to the annual rise included higher prices for apparel (9.9 percent) and other goods and services (7.7 percent).

Next Release Date: The April 2014 Consumer Price Index for All Items for Houston-Galveston-Brazoria will be released on May 15, 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 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 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: 1-800-877-8339.


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 -
Historical
data
Dec.
2013
Jan.
2014
Feb.
2014
Feb.
2013
Dec.
2013
Jan.
2014

All items

Jump to page with historical data
209.814   211.745 2.9 0.9  

All items (1967 = 100)

Jump to page with historical data
672.950   679.142      

Food and beverages

Jump to page with historical data
215.565   215.831 0.8 0.1  

Food

Jump to page with historical data
215.025   215.390 0.8 0.2  

Food at home

Jump to page with historical data
216.092 215.782 217.421 1.0 0.6 0.8

Food away from home

Jump to page with historical data
209.583   208.795 0.5 -0.4  

Alcoholic beverages

Jump to page with historical data
213.889   212.654 0.6 -0.6  

Housing

Jump to page with historical data
191.025   196.377 5.5 2.8  

Shelter

Jump to page with historical data
223.002 223.465 225.604 4.2 1.2 1.0

Rent of primary residence (1)

Jump to page with historical data
213.645 213.874 214.756 4.2 0.5 0.4

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

Jump to page with historical data
207.967 208.192 208.804 3.6 0.4 0.3

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

Jump to page with historical data
207.967 208.192 208.804 3.6 0.4 0.3

Fuels and utilities

Jump to page with historical data
169.118   193.099 20.7 14.2  

Household energy

Jump to page with historical data
155.383 165.416 184.044 27.3 18.4 11.3

Energy services (1) (3)

Jump to page with historical data
152.408 162.352 180.739 27.6 18.6 11.3

Electricity (1)

Jump to page with historical data
150.855 162.774 183.321 34.0 21.5 12.6

Utility (piped) gas service (1)

Jump to page with historical data
147.287 147.300 154.220 0.5 4.7 4.7

Household furnishings and operations

Jump to page with historical data
117.977   119.416 -2.5 1.2  

Apparel

Jump to page with historical data
203.118   181.694 9.9 -10.5  

Transportation

Jump to page with historical data
185.969   188.641 -1.4 1.4  

Private transportation

Jump to page with historical data
184.725   186.806 -2.2 1.1  

Motor fuel

Jump to page with historical data
277.525 279.569 280.234 -8.5 1.0 0.2

Gasoline (all types)

Jump to page with historical data
277.179 279.478 280.114 -8.5 1.1 0.2

Gasoline, unleaded regular (4)

Jump to page with historical data
285.709 288.365 289.044 -8.6 1.2 0.2

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade (4) (5)

Jump to page with historical data
283.970 285.300 285.177 -8.9 0.4 0.0

Gasoline, unleaded premium (4)

Jump to page with historical data
273.455 274.368 275.370 -7.2 0.7 0.4

Medical care

Jump to page with historical data
431.686   429.833 1.7 -0.4  

Recreation (6)

Jump to page with historical data
104.240   104.816 0.7 0.6  

Education and communication (6)

Jump to page with historical data
120.879   120.865 0.9 0.0  

Other goods and services

Jump to page with historical data
374.486   377.892 7.7 0.9  
 

COMMODITY AND SERVICE GROUP

 

Commodities

Jump to page with historical data
179.643   178.498 0.0 -0.6  

Commodities less food and beverages

Jump to page with historical data
160.304   158.625 -0.5 -1.0  

Nondurables less food and beverages

Jump to page with historical data
224.671   217.971 -0.7 -3.0  

Durables

Jump to page with historical data
103.524   105.316 -0.7 1.7  

Services

Jump to page with historical data
241.453   246.499 5.1 2.1  
 

SPECIAL AGGREGATE INDEXES

 

All items less shelter

Jump to page with historical data
204.687   206.369 2.4 0.8  

All items less medical care

Jump to page with historical data
198.737   200.749 3.0 1.0  

Commodities less food

Jump to page with historical data
162.406   160.730 -0.4 -1.0  

Nondurables

Jump to page with historical data
221.038   217.723 0.0 -1.5  

Nondurables less food

Jump to page with historical data
223.930   217.539 -0.6 -2.9  

Services less rent of shelter (2)

Jump to page with historical data
259.698   267.523 6.0 3.0  

Services less medical care services

Jump to page with historical data
222.795   227.686 5.2 2.2  

Energy

Jump to page with historical data
212.924 219.050 228.919 3.7 7.5 4.5

All items less energy

Jump to page with historical data
211.985   212.466 2.8 0.2  

All items less food and energy

Jump to page with historical data
211.306   211.808 3.2 0.2  

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) 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: March 18, 2014