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News Release Information

21-398-DAL
Tuesday, April 13, 2021

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Consumer Price Index, Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington area – March 2021

Area prices rise 1.8 percent in February and March, up 3.4 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), advanced 1.8 percent for the two months ending in March 2021, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Michael Hirniak noted that this was the largest two-month increase in the all items index since March 2011. An increase in the index for all items less food and energy was the biggest contributor to the latest bimonthly rise, but higher energy costs were also a major factor. (Data in this report are not seasonally adjusted. Accordingly, bi-monthly changes may reflect seasonal influences.)

Over the last 12 months, the CPI-U increased 3.4 percent. (See chart 1.) The index for all items less food and energy rose 2.5 percent over the year. Energy prices jumped 15.1 percent, while food prices advanced 3.5 percent. (See table 1.)

Food

Food prices inched up 0.2 percent for the two months ending in March. Within the two components of the index, prices for food at home advanced 2.3 percent, while prices for food away from home declined 1.9 percent for the same period.

During the 12 months ending in March 2021, the index for food advanced 3.5 percent. The rise reflected an increase in prices for both food away from home and food at home, which rose 5.0 percent and 2.1 percent, respectively.

Energy

The energy index increased 9.9 percent for the two months ending in March, after rising 7.7 percent in the two months ending in January. The latest increase was due to higher prices for gasoline (22.9 percent). In contrast, prices for electricity and natural gas service declined, falling 1.8 percent and 0.3 percent, respectively, in February and March 2021.

From March 2020 to March 2021, energy prices surged 15.1 percent, largely due to higher prices for gasoline (31.7 percent), but prices paid for natural gas service also jumped (30.2 percent). Partially countering these increases, prices for electricity fell 2.8 percent over the year.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy advanced 1.5 percent in February and March, after rising 0.8 percent in December and January. The latest movement was fueled by higher prices for owners’ equivalent rent of residences (1.0 percent), new and used motor vehicles (2.8 percent), and apparel (6.0 percent).

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy rose 2.5 percent. Higher prices for new and used motor vehicles (11.6 percent) and shelter (2.1 percent) contributed the most to the increase. Partly offsetting the increases were falling prices for motor vehicle insurance (-10.6 percent) and apparel (-3.0 percent).

The May 2021 Consumer Price Index for the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington area is scheduled to be released on Thursday, June 10, 2021.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Impact on March 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 March 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 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.

Table 1. Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U): Indexes and percent changes for selected periods,
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX, March 2021 (1982-84=100 unless otherwise noted)
Item and Group Indexes Percent change from -
Jan.
2021
Feb.
2021
Mar.
2021
Mar.
2020
Jan.
2021
Feb.
2021

All items

242.513 - 246.995 3.4 1.8 -

All items (1967 = 100)

760.750 - 774.809      

Food and beverages

269.325 - 272.916 4.4 1.3 -

Food

264.337 - 264.904 3.5 0.2 -

Food at home

215.460 219.323 220.368 2.1 2.3 0.5

Cereals and bakery products

260.961 - 260.166 0.4 -0.3 -

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

245.261 - 250.625 0.4 2.2 -

Dairy and related products

196.393 - 198.356 2.2 1.0 -

Fruits and vegetables

186.218 - 198.362 0.5 6.5 -

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials(1)

195.564 - 199.389 6.6 2.0 -

Other food at home

206.236 - 209.179 3.6 1.4 -

Food away from home

338.327 - 332.015 5.0 -1.9 -

Alcoholic beverages

334.411 - 381.532 14.0 14.1 -

Housing

241.223 - 242.489 2.2 0.5 -

Shelter

270.006 271.298 271.998 2.1 0.7 0.3

Rent of primary residence

291.627 292.952 290.952 2.2 -0.2 -0.7

Owners' equivalent rent of residences(2)

292.585 294.124 295.503 3.0 1.0 0.5

Owners' equivalent rent of primary residence(2)

292.585 294.124 295.503 3.0 1.0 0.5

Fuels and utilities

252.986 - 250.364 1.2 -1.0 -

Household energy

222.165 222.785 218.799 1.4 -1.5 -1.8

Energy services

218.790 219.346 215.329 1.5 -1.6 -1.8

Electricity

204.108 204.726 200.350 -2.8 -1.8 -2.1

Utility (piped) gas service

237.316 237.334 236.664 30.2 -0.3 -0.3

Household furnishings and operations

124.744 - 125.379 3.8 0.5 -

Apparel

103.592 - 109.803 -3.0 6.0 -

Transportation

199.436 - 211.699 10.0 6.1 -

Private transportation

204.560 - 217.875 10.7 6.5 -

New and used motor vehicles(3)

109.175 - 112.200 11.6 2.8 -

New vehicles(1)

201.323 - 205.150 11.5 1.9 -

Used cars and trucks(1)

351.600 - 362.472 10.4 3.1 -

Motor fuel

197.281 209.648 242.473 31.5 22.9 15.7

Gasoline (all types)

196.095 208.368 241.040 31.7 22.9 15.7

Gasoline, unleaded regular(4)

187.795 199.701 231.838 32.8 23.5 16.1

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(4)(5)

211.175 224.724 254.043 27.4 20.3 13.0

Gasoline, unleaded premium(4)

217.146 229.050 258.016 22.8 18.8 12.6

Motor vehicle insurance(1)

684.830 - 683.887 -10.6 -0.1 -

Medical care

472.041 - 477.233 1.7 1.1 -

Recreation(3)

120.294 - 122.507 1.0 1.8 -

Education and communication(3)

134.603 - 135.022 1.5 0.3 -

Tuition, other school fees, and childcare(1)

1,268.745 - 1,272.244 -1.6 0.3 -

Other goods and services

433.057 - 447.320 5.0 3.3 -

Commodity and service group

Commodities

176.787 - 182.830 5.8 3.4 -

Commodities less food and beverages

136.993 - 143.473 6.7 4.7 -

Nondurables less food and beverages

166.158 - 178.991 6.5 7.7 -

Durables

111.669 - 113.214 6.9 1.4 -

Services

306.534 - 309.504 2.1 1.0 -

Special aggregate indexes

All items less shelter

230.285 - 235.976 4.1 2.5 -

All items less medical care

231.414 - 235.843 3.6 1.9 -

Commodities less food

141.843 - 149.193 7.0 5.2 -

Nondurables

212.502 - 221.531 5.4 4.2 -

Nondurables less food

173.776 - 188.167 7.2 8.3 -

Services less rent of shelter(2)

354.427 - 358.848 2.0 1.2 -

Services less medical care services

288.837 - 291.559 2.0 0.9 -

Energy

210.657 217.120 231.420 15.1 9.9 6.6

All items less energy

249.525 - 252.804 2.6 1.3 -

All items less food and energy

246.971 - 250.644 2.5 1.5 -

Footnotes
(1) Indexes on a February 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, April 13, 2021