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Tuesday, March 14, 2023
Prices in the Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land area, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), advanced 1.9 percent for the two months ending in February 2023, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations Michael Hirniak noted that the all items less food and energy index increased 2.1 percent in January and February, mainly due to increased costs for shelter. The food index rose 1.4 percent, and the energy index advanced 0.2 percent over the past two months. (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 5.2 percent. The index for all items less food and energy increased 5.4 percent, and the food index rose 11.1 percent over the year. Energy prices fell 6.7 percent, largely the result of a decrease in the price of electricity. (See chart 1 and table 1.)
Food prices increased 1.4 percent for the two months ending in February. The index for food at home (grocery store prices) similarly advanced 1.4 percent, with the category for fruits and vegetables (+6.0 percent) contributing most to the rise. The increase was slightly offset by a decline in the index for cereals and bakery products (-2.9 percent). Prices for food away from home (restaurant, cafeteria, and vending purchases) increased 1.2 percent for the same period.
Over the year, food prices increased 11.1 percent. Prices for food at home rose 13.0 percent since a year ago, with all six major grocery store food group indexes contributing to the rise. The other food at home index (which include sugar, sweets, fats, and oils) contributed most to the over-the-year increase at 16.5 percent. Prices for food away from home advanced 9.1 percent over the same period.Energy
The energy index advanced 0.2 percent in January and February. The increase was entirely due to higher prices for gasoline (+10.4 percent). A decrease in prices for natural gas service (-24.5 percent) and electricity (-4.6 percent) mostly offset this rise.
From February 2022 to February 2023, energy prices fell 6.7 percent, largely due to lower prices for electricity (-12.0 percent). Prices paid for gasoline also decreased (-4.3 percent), while prices for natural gas service rose 0.1 percent during the past year.All items less food and energy
The index for all items less food and energy advanced 2.1 percent in January and February, after falling 0.7 percent in November and December. Higher prices for shelter (+2.6 percent) and apparel (+6.2 percent) were partially offset by lower prices for used cars and trucks (-2.3 percent) and motor vehicle maintenance and repair.
Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy increased 5.4 percent. Components contributing to the increase included owners’ equivalent rent of residences (+10.2 percent), rent of primary residence (+9.9 percent), and recreation (+7.1 percent). Partly offsetting these increases were price declines for used cars and trucks (-12.5 percent), household furnishings and operations (-2.7 percent), and education and communication (-2.1 percent).
The April 2023 Consumer Price Index for the Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land area is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, May 10, 2023.
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; Telecommunications Relay Service: 7-1-1.
|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)
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: Tuesday, March 14, 2023