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15-616-DAL
Friday, April 17, 2015

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Consumer Price Index, Dallas-Fort Worth – March 2015

Area prices up 1.2 percent during two-month period, down 0.6 percent over the year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for Dallas-Fort Worth rose 1.2 percent in February and March, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Stanley W. Suchman noted that this followed a decrease of 1.1 percent in December and January. The advance was the result of a 19.5-percent surge in gasoline prices and a 1.1-percent increase in the index for all items less food and energy; food prices declined. (Data in this report are not seasonally adjusted. Accordingly, month-to-month changes may reflect the impact of seasonal influences.)

Over the last 12 months, the all items CPI-U fell 0.6 percent, the second consecutive annual decline for the overall index. (See chart 1.) In contrast, the index for all items less food and energy rose 1.6 percent over the year. (See table 1.)

Food

Food prices fell 0.4 percent in February and March, after edging up 0.2 percent in the previous two-month period. Movements among the two components of the index were markedly different as prices for food at home (grocery store prices) decreased 1.2 percent while prices for food away from home increased 0.7 percent. The decline in food at home prices was the largest since the two months ended in May 2009 when prices fell 1.7 percent.

From March 2014 to March 2015, the food index rose 1.8 percent, reflecting price increases for both food at home (1.6 percent) and food away from home (2.0 percent).

Energy

The energy index climbed 5.2 percent in February and March, following a 14.4-percent decrease in December and January. The increase was the result of a 19.5-percent jump in gasoline prices, the largest two-month advance since March and April 2011, though it followed a 29.1-percent drop in the previous bimonthly period. Partially offsetting the latest gasoline price rise were lower household energy costs, as prices for natural gas and electricity decreased 28.8 and 0.5 percent, respectively. This was the largest decline for natural gas prices since the two months ended in February 2009 (-34.3 percent).

Despite the sharp bimonthly rise, the energy index registered a 20.2-percent decline during the year ended in March 2015, the largest annual decrease since October 2009. The biggest contributor to the current decline was a 33.1-percent drop in gasoline prices, though a 32.1-percent decrease in natural gas costs also contributed. Countering a portion of these declines, electricity prices increased 2.6 percent during the previous 12 months.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy rose 1.1 percent in February and March, following a 0.3-percent advance in December and January. The leading factors in the increase were higher prices for apparel (11.2 percent) and shelter (1.4 percent). The gain in apparel prices was the largest registered for the series since the two months ended in August and September 2009. Slowing these gains were lower prices for recreation (-0.6 percent), household furnishings and operations (-0.4 percent), and education and communication (-0.2 percent).

From March 2014 to March 2015, the index for all items less food and energy moved up 1.6 percent. The biggest factor was a 3.6-percent advance in shelter costs, though higher prices for medical care, up 6.8 percent, also contributed. Partially offsetting these increases, the cost of education and communication fell 2.6 percent and recreation prices declined 1.0 percent over the year.

The May 2015 Consumer Price Index for All Items for Dallas-Fort Worth will be released Thursday, June 18, 2015.


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/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 Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas, Consolidated Metropolitan Statistical Area (CMSA) includes Collin, Dallas, Denton, Ellis, Henderson, Hood, Hunt, Johnson, Kaufman, Parker, Rockwall, and Tarrant 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,
Dallas-Fort Worth, TX (1982-84=100 unless otherwise noted)
Item and GroupIndexesPercent change from -
 
Jan.
2015
Feb.
2015
Mar.
2015
Mar.
2014
Jan.
2015
Feb.
2015

All items

214.899 217.487-0.61.2 

All items (1967 = 100)

674.127 682.244   

Food and beverages

249.845 249.2561.9-0.2 

Food

244.601 243.5701.8-0.4 

Food at home

223.150223.529220.4031.6-1.2-1.4

Food away from home

277.723 279.6702.00.7 

Alcoholic beverages

318.315 326.9022.62.7 

Housing

196.475 197.5232.20.5 

Shelter

209.221210.130212.1183.61.40.9

Rent of primary residence (1)

218.230219.190220.2115.20.90.5

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

224.533225.457226.5713.00.90.5

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

224.533225.457226.5713.00.90.5

Fuels and utilities

231.120 224.210-2.2-3.0 

Household energy

222.188218.117211.862-3.2-4.6-2.9

Energy services (1) (3)

218.608214.558208.345-2.9-4.7-2.9

Electricity (1)

209.344209.344208.3902.6-0.5-0.5

Utility (piped) gas service (1)

214.821188.195152.923-32.1-28.8-18.7

Household furnishings and operations

126.810 126.361-1.2-0.4 

Apparel

107.610 119.623-0.411.2 

Transportation

193.314 201.044-10.64.0 

Private transportation

194.507 202.776-10.74.3 

Motor fuel

175.697197.951208.304-33.018.65.2

Gasoline (all types)

173.128196.194206.847-33.119.55.4

Gasoline, unleaded regular (4)

166.947190.325201.090-33.920.55.7

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade (4) (5)

183.493204.811215.091-31.717.25.0

Gasoline, unleaded premium (4)

185.262206.130215.524-30.416.34.6

Medical care

411.132 411.5376.80.1 

Recreation (6)

112.462 111.830-1.0-0.6 

Education and communication (6)

137.420 137.094-2.6-0.2 

Other goods and services

380.701 380.7361.80.0 
 

COMMODITY AND SERVICE GROUP

 

Commodities

171.735 175.990-4.52.5 

Commodities less food and beverages

136.805 142.599-8.14.2 

Nondurables less food and beverages

159.012 171.028-11.57.6 

Durables

117.036 117.212-3.20.2 

Services

257.129 258.0662.30.4 
 

SPECIAL AGGREGATE INDEXES

 

All items less shelter

218.238 220.698-2.21.1 

All items less medical care

205.364 208.030-1.11.3 

Commodities less food

141.470 147.381-7.74.2 

Nondurables

200.101 206.801-5.03.3 

Nondurables less food

166.386 178.431-10.77.2 

Services less rent of shelter (2)

326.305 324.2511.1-0.6 

Services less medical care services

241.605 242.6431.90.4 

Energy

201.177209.845211.601-20.25.20.8

All items less energy

219.851 221.7601.60.9 

All items less food and energy

215.806 218.2071.61.1 

(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, April 17, 2015