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News Release Information

21-1404-DAL
Tuesday, September 14, 2021

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Technical information:
Media contact:
  • (972) 850-4800

Consumer Price Index, Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land – August 2021

Area prices rise 0.7 percent in July and August, up 5.3 percent over the year

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 August 2021, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Michael Hirniak noted that the August increase was mainly influenced by higher prices for energy, but an advance in the all items less food and energy 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 rose 5.3 percent. The index for all items less food and energy increased 3.5 percent over the year, the largest rise since June 2016. Energy prices jumped 35.2 percent, while food prices rose 2.9 percent. (See chart 1 and table 1.)

Food

Food prices decreased 0.3 percent for the two months ending in August. Within the two components of the index, prices for food at home decreased 0.6 percent, while prices for food away from home were unchanged for the same period.

During the 12 months ending in August 2021, food prices rose 2.9 percent. Prices for food at home advanced 2.9 percent, and prices for food away from home increased 2.8 percent over the year.

Energy

The energy index rose 6.7 percent for the two months ending in August. The increase was mainly due to higher prices for electricity (+10.1 percent), but all components contributed to the rise. Prices for natural gas service rose 11.5 percent, while prices for gasoline advanced 3.7 percent for the same period.

From August 2020 to August 2021, energy prices surged 35.2 percent, largely due to higher prices for gasoline (+51.8 percent). Prices paid for electricity jumped 21.9 percent, and prices for natural gas service rose 16.0 percent during the past year.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.3 percent in July and August, after rising 1.3 percent in May and June. Higher prices for recreation (+7.1 percent), apparel (+5.2 percent), and owners’ equivalent rent of residences (+0.4 percent) were partially offset by lower prices for new and used motor vehicles (-1.6 percent) and medical care (-0.6 percent).

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy increased 3.5 percent. Higher prices for used cars and trucks (+31.3 percent) and new vehicles (+8.8 percent) together drove the advance, while household furnishings and operations (+9.7 percent) and recreation (+8.6 percent) also made notable contributions to increases in the index. Partly offsetting these increases were falling prices for medical care (-0.9 percent).

The October 2021 Consumer Price Index for the Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land area is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, November 10, 2021.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Impact on August 2021 Consumer Price Index Data

Data collection by personal visit for the Consumer Price Index (CPI) program has been suspended since March 16, 2020. When possible, data normally collected by personal visit were collected either online or by phone. Additionally, data collection in August 2021 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. Additional information is available at www.bls.gov/covid19/effects-of-covid-19-pandemic-on-consumer-price-index.htm.


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 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.

Table 1. Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U): Indexes and percent changes for selected periods,
Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX, August 2021 (1982-84=100 unless otherwise noted)
Item and Group Indexes Percent change from -
Jun.
2021
Jul.
2021
Aug.
2021
Aug.
2020
Jun.
2021
Jul.
2021

All items

239.374 - 241.088 5.3 0.7 -

All items (1967 = 100)

767.760 - 773.255      

Food and beverages

246.544 - 246.754 3.1 0.1 -

Food

247.361 - 246.558 2.9 -0.3 -

Food at home

236.468 233.809 234.938 2.9 -0.6 0.5

Cereals and bakery products

274.126 - 264.818 -1.0 -3.4 -

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

265.400 - 267.387 5.4 0.7 -

Dairy and related products

190.352 - 189.807 -1.0 -0.3 -

Fruits and vegetables

296.667 - 290.991 6.1 -1.9 -

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials(1)

286.539 - 286.516 3.1 0.0 -

Other food at home

204.531 - 204.478 1.5 0.0 -

Food away from home

254.020 - 254.042 2.8 0.0 -

Alcoholic beverages

223.787 - 236.271 6.4 5.6 -

Housing

235.347 - 237.248 3.7 0.8 -

Shelter

276.290 276.135 275.699 1.2 -0.2 -0.2

Rent of primary residence

271.444 271.083 271.352 0.8 0.0 0.1

Owners' equivalent rent of residences(2)

256.913 257.317 257.941 1.4 0.4 0.2

Owners' equivalent rent of primary residence(2)

256.913 257.317 257.941 1.4 0.4 0.2

Fuels and utilities

193.796 - 208.552 15.2 7.6 -

Household energy

167.116 176.273 184.174 21.1 10.2 4.5

Energy services

164.373 173.422 181.220 21.0 10.2 4.5

Electricity

166.528 176.444 183.289 21.9 10.1 3.9

Utility (piped) gas service

138.359 141.881 154.222 16.0 11.5 8.7

Household furnishings and operations

152.497 - 154.373 9.7 1.2 -

Apparel

166.979 - 175.743 2.3 5.2 -

Transportation

201.914 - 199.300 16.1 -1.3 -

Private transportation

203.703 - 203.929 18.5 0.1 -

New and used motor vehicles(3)

102.248 - 100.573 15.0 -1.6 -

New vehicles(1)

178.084 - 175.773 8.8 -1.3 -

Used cars and trucks(1)

323.936 - 321.635 31.3 -0.7 -

Motor fuel

238.560 245.922 247.228 51.6 3.6 0.5

Gasoline (all types)

238.698 246.142 247.468 51.8 3.7 0.5

Gasoline, unleaded regular(4)

241.061 248.690 249.992 53.8 3.7 0.5

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(4)(5)

261.039 268.729 270.228 43.2 3.5 0.6

Gasoline, unleaded premium(4)

263.863 271.235 273.004 37.9 3.5 0.7

Motor vehicle insurance(1)

650.179 - 650.179 -1.9 0.0 -

Medical care

535.612 - 532.157 -0.9 -0.6 -

Recreation(3)

108.699 - 116.434 8.6 7.1 -

Education and communication(3)

123.116 - 124.309 2.9 1.0 -

Tuition, other school fees, and childcare(1)

1,272.594 - 1,282.424 4.3 0.8 -

Other goods and services

429.951 - 432.191 2.1 0.5 -

Commodity and service group

Commodities

186.113 - 187.677 9.2 0.8 -

Commodities less food and beverages

156.618 - 158.579 12.8 1.3 -

Nondurables less food and beverages

199.070 - 204.152 13.2 2.6 -

Durables

113.048 - 113.173 12.5 0.1 -

Services

293.939 - 295.807 2.9 0.6 -

Special aggregate indexes

All items less shelter

225.625 - 228.248 7.3 1.2 -

All items less medical care

225.271 - 227.148 5.8 0.8 -

Commodities less food

158.993 - 161.235 12.6 1.4 -

Nondurables

222.843 - 225.571 7.6 1.2 -

Nondurables less food

200.195 - 205.759 12.7 2.8 -

Services less rent of shelter(2)

310.039 - 314.953 4.5 1.6 -

Services less medical care services

269.532 - 271.708 3.4 0.8 -

Energy

199.098 207.469 212.448 35.2 6.7 2.4

All items less energy

246.854 - 247.466 3.4 0.2 -

All items less food and energy

246.615 - 247.453 3.5 0.3 -
(1) Indexes on an April 1978=100 base.
(2) Indexes on a December 1982=100 base.
(3) Indexes on a December 1997=100 base.
(4) Special index based on a substantially smaller sample.
(5) Index on a December 1993=100.

- Data not available.

 

Last Modified Date: Tuesday, September 14, 2021