News Release Information
Friday, April 10, 2020
Consumer Price Index, Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington — March 2020
Area prices unchanged in February and March; up 1.0 percent over the year
Prices in the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington area, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), were unchanged for the two months ending in March 2020, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Acting Regional Commissioner Susan Mendez noted that the indexes for both food and for all items less food and energy posted 0.6-percent advances during the period. However, these increases were balanced by an 8.3-percent decline in energy costs during the two months ending in March. (Data in this report are not seasonally adjusted. Accordingly, bi-monthly changes may reflect seasonal influences.)
Over the last 12 months, the all items CPI-U advanced 1.0 percent, while the index for all items less food and energy rose 1.7 percent. (See chart 1 and table 1.) During the 12-month period ending in March 2020, food prices increased 2.1 percent, while energy costs fell 8.9 percent.
Food prices rose 0.6 percent for the two months ending in March, after edging up 0.1 percent in December and January. The latest movement was entirely the result of a 1.0-percent increase in the food at home index (grocery store prices), as prices for food away from home were unchanged during the period.
During the 12 months ending in March 2020, food prices advanced 2.1 percent, reflecting the combined effects of a 2.3-percent increase in prices for food at home and a 1.9-percent rise in prices for food away from home.
The energy index dropped 8.3 percent for the two months ending in March, after declining 0.5 percent in December and January. During the latest period, prices fell for all three of the major components within the energy index, but the largest contributor was a 14.0-percent decline in motor fuel prices. The cost of electricity fell 2.2 percent and natural gas prices declined 7.1 percent during the two-month period.
Over the year, the energy index decreased 8.9 percent, the first twelve-month decline since October 2019. The biggest factor in the latest annual decline was a 17.0-percent drop in motor fuel costs. Also contributing was a 2.2-percent decline in natural gas costs. In contrast, prices for electricity rose 0.3 percent during the last 12 months.
All items less food and energy
The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.6 percent in February and March, after edging up 0.1 percent in December and January. In the latest bi-monthly period, higher prices were registered for a number of components, including shelter (1.3 percent), apparel (3.5 percent), and medical care (1.4 percent). These increases were partly offset by price declines for new vehicles and public transportation, particularly airline fares.
Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy increased 1.7 percent. Leading factors in the price increase included shelter (4.7 percent), medical care (4.2 percent), and apparel (4.2 percent). Partially countering these gains were price declines for new and used motor vehicles (-8.7 percent), recreation (-2.6 percent), and household furnishings and operations (-1.9 percent).
The May 2020 Consumer Price Index for All Items for Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington is scheduled to be released Wednesday, June 10, 2020.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Impact on March 2020 Consumer Price Index Data
The Consumer Price Index (CPI) program suspended data collection by personal visit on March 16, 2020. When possible, data normally collected by personal visit were collected either online or by phone. Additionally, data collection in March was affected by the temporary closing or limited operations of certain types of establishments. These factors resulted in an increase in the number of prices being considered temporarily unavailable and imputed. While the CPI program attempted to collect as much data as possible, many indexes are based on smaller amounts of collected prices than usual, and a small number of indexes that are normally published were not published this month. Additional information is available at www.bls.gov/bls/effects-of-covid-19-pandemic-on-bls-price-indexes.htm#CPI.
The Consumer Price Index for Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington is published bi-monthly. 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 93 percent of the total population and (2) a CPI for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) which covers approximately 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 75 urban areas across the country from about 5,000 housing units and approximately 22,000 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 Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas, Core Based Statistical Area includes the counties of Collin, Dallas, Denton, Ellis, Hood, Hunt, Johnson, Kaufman, Parker, Rockwall, Somervell, Tarrant, and Wise.
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
Cereals and bakery products
Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs
Dairy and related products
Fruits and vegetables
Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials(1)
Other food at home
Food away from home
Rent of primary residence
Owners' equivalent rent of residences(2)
Owners' equivalent rent of primary residence(2)
Fuels and utilities
Utility (piped) gas service
Household furnishings and operations
New and used motor vehicles(3)
Used cars and trucks(1)
Gasoline (all types)
Gasoline, unleaded regular(4)
Gasoline, unleaded premium(4)
Motor vehicle insurance(1)
Education and communication(3)
Tuition, other school fees, and childcare(1)
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
- Data not available.
Last Modified Date: Friday, April 10, 2020