Wednesday, January 12, 2022
Prices in the Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land area, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), increased 0.7 percent for the two months ending in December 2021, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Michael Hirniak noted that the December increase was influenced by higher prices for all items less food and energy, but an advance in the food index also contributed. (Data in this report are not seasonally adjusted. Accordingly, bi-monthly changes may reflect seasonal influences.)
Over the last 12 months, the CPI-U advanced 6.6 percent, the largest rise since October 1990. (See chart 1.) The index for all items less food and energy increased 4.9 percent over the year. Energy prices jumped 30.5 percent, while food prices increased 5.2 percent. (See table 1.)Food
Food prices rose 0.7 percent for the two months ending in December. Prices for food away from home (restaurant, cafeteria, and vending purchases) advanced 1.7 percent. Prices for food at home (groceries) decreased 0.3 percent for the same period.
During the 12 months ending in December 2021, food prices increased 5.2 percent. Prices for food at home advanced 6.3 percent during the period, partly driven by a rise in meats, poultry, fish, and eggs. Prices for food away from home increased 4.2 percent since a year ago.Energy
The energy index decreased 1.8 percent for the two months ending in December. The decrease was almost entirely due to lower prices for electricity (-4.2 percent). Prices for gasoline decreased 0.4 percent, while prices for natural gas service were unchanged for the same period.
From December 2020 to December 2021, energy prices surged 30.5 percent, largely due to higher prices for gasoline (+58.9 percent). Prices paid for electricity advanced 7.9 percent, and prices for natural gas service jumped 16.4 percent during the past year.All items less food and energy
The index for all items less food and energy advanced 1.0 percent in November and December, after rising 0.5 percent in September and October. Higher prices for shelter (+0.9 percent), used cars and trucks (+6.0 percent) and household furnishings and operations (+2.3 percent) were the largest contributors to the rise.
Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy increased 4.9 percent, the largest rise since August 1994. Higher prices for used cars and trucks (+36.3 percent) and new vehicles (+12.4 percent) together drove the advance, while household furnishings and operations (+12.3 percent) and shelter (+1.9 percent) also made notable contributions to the index increase.
The February 2022 Consumer Price Index for the Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land area is scheduled to be released on Thursday, March 10, 2022.
Data collection by personal visit for the Consumer Price Index (CPI) program has been suspended almost entirely since March 16, 2020. When possible, data normally collected by personal visit were collected either online or by phone. Additionally, data collection in December 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 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.
For each month from March 2020 to December 2021, BLS has published a summary of the impact of the pandemic on the Consumer Price Index news release and data. The impact summary for December is available at www.bls.gov/covid19/consumer-price-index-covid19-impacts-december-2021.htm. Beginning with publication of January 2022 data in February 2022, this month-specific impact summary will be discontinued. However, information related to the impact of the pandemic will continue to be available at www.bls.gov/covid19/effects-of-covid-19-pandemic-on-consumer-price-index.htm.
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 U.S. population and (2) a CPI for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) which covers approximately 29 percent of the total U.S. 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 6,000 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; for most of the CPI-U the reference base is 1982-84 equals 100. An increase of 7 percent from the reference base, for example, is shown as 107.000. Alternatively, that relationship can also be expressed as the price of a base period market basket of goods and services rising from $100 to $107. For further details see the CPI home page on the internet at www.bls.gov/cpi and the CPI section of the BLS Handbook of Methods available on the internet at www.bls.gov/opub/hom/cpi/.
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-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, Texas, Core Based Statistical Area includes the counties of Austin, Brazoria, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Liberty, Montgomery, and Waller.
Information in this release will be made available to individuals with sensory impairments 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
(1) Indexes on an April 1978=100 base.
- Data not available.
Last Modified Date: Wednesday, January 12, 2022