Friday, July 14, 2017
The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) in the Houston area rose 0.4 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 0.8-percent rise in the index for all items less food and energy led to the increase, as the indexes for energy and food both declined during the period, down 2.0 and 0.5 percent, respectively. (Data in this report are not seasonally adjusted. Accordingly, short-term changes may reflect the impact of seasonal influences.)
Food prices fell 0.5 percent in May and June, after rising 0.4 percent in March and April. This marked the first bimonthly decline in food prices since July and August of 2016. During the latest period, prices for food at home (grocery stores) decreased 0.8 percent and prices for food away from home were virtually unchanged (-0.1 percent).
From June 2016 to June 2017, the food index rose 0.3 percent. This increase reflected opposing price movements between the two components of the index, as prices for food away from home rose 1.3 percent and prices for food at home fell 0.5 percent.
The energy index decreased 2.0 percent in May and June, following a 1.7-percent increase in the previous two-month period. The current decline reflected the combined effects a 4.6-percent decrease in motor fuel prices and a 0.8-percent advance in household energy prices. Within household energy, electricity costs rose 0.7 percent and natural gas costs were up 2.0 percent.
During the 12-month period ended in June 2017, the energy index increased 8.2 percent. All three energy sub-components contributed to the annual price increase though their contributions differed. Household energy costs rose 16.2 percent, with electricity costs increasing 16.0 percent and natural gas costs rising 18.3 percent. In contrast, motor fuel cost rose only 1.3 percent over the year, the slowest annual increase since October 2016.
The index for all items less food and energy advanced 0.8 percent in May and June, after edging up 0.2 percent in March and April. The biggest factor in the current advance was a 2.9-percent increase in the cost of medical care, including price increases for prescription drugs. Higher shelter costs also played an important role, rising 0.5 percent. During the period, the indexes for recreation and for other goods and services also rose, up 1.7 and 1.4 percent, respectively. In contrast, prices for education and communication slipped 0.2 percent.
From June 2016 to June 2017, the index for all items less food and energy advanced 1.3 percent. A 1.7-percent increase in shelter costs was the most important factor in the annual rise, as prices were up for both renters’ costs (2.7 percent) and owners’ equivalent rent (1.1 percent). Another large contributor to the annual increase was medical care prices, which rose 5.6 percent. This was the fastest annual increase in medical care prices since the year ended in April 2013. Apparel prices rose 5.9 percent in the latest 12-month period, their fastest annual gain since October 2014. Helping to offset some of these increases, prices fell over the year for household furnishings and operations (-6.8 percent), as well as education and communication (-4.0 percent).
The August 2017 Consumer Price Index for All Items for Houston-Galveston-Brazoria is scheduled to be released Thursday, September 14, 2017.
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.
|Item and Group||Indexes||Percent change from -|
All items (1967 = 100)
Food and beverages
Food at home
Food away from home
Rent of primary residence(1)
Fuels and utilities
Utility (piped) gas service(1)
Household furnishings and operations
Gasoline (all types)
Gasoline, unleaded regular(4)
Gasoline, unleaded premium(4)
Education and communication(6)
Other goods and services
Commodity and service group
Commodities less food and beverages
Nondurables less food and beverages
Special aggregate indexes
All items less shelter
All items less medical care
Commodities less food
Nondurables less food
Services less rent of shelter(2)
Services less medical care services
All items less energy
All items less food and energy
Note: Index applies to a month as a whole, not to any specific date.
Last Modified Date: Friday, July 14, 2017