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News Release Information

24-63-DAL
Thursday, January 11, 2024

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

Consumer Price Index, Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land area – December 2023

Area prices fell 0.1 percent in November and December, up 4.5 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), declined 0.1 percent for the two months ending in December 2023, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations Michael Hirniak noted that the energy index declined 8.3 percent, almost entirely due to falling gasoline prices. The food index decreased 0.1 percent over the past two months. The all items less food and energy index increased 0.6 percent, largely due to higher prices for owners’ equivalent rent of residences. (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 4.5 percent. The index for all items less food and energy rose 5.2 percent, while food prices increased 5.3 percent over the year. Energy prices declined 5.9 percent, the result of a decrease in the price of electricity. (See chart 1 and table 1.)

Food

Food prices fell 0.1 percent for the two months ending in December. Prices for food at home (grocery store prices) declined 0.4 percent, while prices paid for food away from home (restaurant, cafeteria, and vending purchases) advanced 0.3 percent for the same period. Within the food at home category, the indexes for dairy and related products (-4.7 percent) and meats, poultry, fish, and eggs (-2.1 percent) led the decline. These decreases in the food at home index were mostly offset by increasing prices for fruits and vegetables (+4.9 percent).

Over the year, food prices rose 5.3 percent. Prices for food at home advanced 4.6 percent since a year ago, and prices for food away from home increased 6.3 percent. Within the food at home category, the indexes for fruits and vegetables (+18.6 percent) and other food at home (+4.1 percent) contributed the most to the over-the-year increase.

Energy

The energy index decreased 8.3 percent for the two months ending in December. The decline was largely due to lower prices for gasoline (-14.7 percent). Prices for electricity and natural gas service fell 1.0 percent and 0.1 percent, respectively, for the same period.

From December 2022 to December 2023, energy prices declined 5.9 percent. The decrease was driven by falling prices for electricity (-6.5 percent), natural gas services (-17.3 percent) and gasoline (-2.0 percent).

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy increased 0.6 percent in the latest two-month period. Index movement was mainly driven by rising prices for owners’ equivalent rent of residences (+1.0 percent), rent of primary residence (+1.1 percent), and used cars and trucks (+1.0 percent). Lower prices for public transportation, apparel (-2.2 percent), and medical care commodities partially offset these increases.

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy rose 5.2 percent. Components contributing to the increase included shelter (+7.7 percent), other goods and services (+8.4 percent), and apparel (+5.3 percent). Partly offsetting the increases were price decreases in medical care (-1.2 percent) and recreation (-1.5 percent).

The February 2024 Consumer Price Index for the Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land area is scheduled to be released on Tuesday, March 12, 2024.


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; Telecommunications Relay Service: 7-1-1.

Table 1. Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U): Indexes and percent changes for selected periods,
Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX, December 2023 (1982-84=100 unless otherwise noted)
Item and Group Indexes Percent change from -
Oct.
2023
Nov.
2023
Dec.
2023
Dec.
2022
Oct.
2023
Nov.
2023

All items

270.329 - 270.133 4.5 -0.1 -

All items (1967 = 100)

867.043 - 866.415      

Food and beverages

297.776 - 297.402 5.0 -0.1 -

Food

300.721 - 300.316 5.3 -0.1 -

Food at home

291.953 291.361 290.719 4.6 -0.4 -0.2

Cereals and bakery products

351.945 346.080 345.542 -0.7 -1.8 -0.2

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

312.732 314.470 306.157 -0.6 -2.1 -2.6

Dairy and related products

239.975 236.621 228.622 -0.9 -4.7 -3.4

Fruits and vegetables

352.279 354.217 369.441 18.6 4.9 4.3

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials(1)

357.643 361.496 358.988 3.6 0.4 -0.7

Other food at home

259.314 257.643 256.183 4.1 -1.2 -0.6

Food away from home

304.599 - 305.509 6.3 0.3 -

Alcoholic beverages

239.800 - 240.040 -0.1 0.1 -

Housing

267.366 - 269.126 5.8 0.7 -

Shelter

322.573 322.915 325.642 7.7 1.0 0.8

Rent of primary residence

318.654 320.045 322.062 7.4 1.1 0.6

Owners' equivalent rent of residences(2)

302.226 302.965 305.266 7.9 1.0 0.8

Owners' equivalent rent of primary residence(2)

302.226 302.965 305.266 7.9 1.0 0.8

Fuels and utilities

196.516 - 195.364 -5.7 -0.6 -

Household energy

167.069 165.934 165.745 -9.0 -0.8 -0.1

Energy services

163.805 162.657 162.527 -8.9 -0.8 -0.1

Electricity

155.205 153.858 153.722 -6.5 -1.0 -0.1

Utility (piped) gas service

188.648 188.609 188.529 -17.3 -0.1 0.0

Household furnishings and operations

157.631 - 156.569 1.2 -0.7 -

Apparel

183.398 - 179.401 5.3 -2.2 -

Transportation

233.416 - 230.412 6.0 -1.3 -

Private transportation

235.648 - 233.541 6.4 -0.9 -

New and used motor vehicles(3)

103.648 - 103.223 0.2 -0.4 -

New vehicles(1)

197.945 - 196.432 1.0 -0.8 -

Used cars and trucks(1)

305.114 - 308.052 -0.3 1.0 -

Motor fuel

275.254 251.360 235.437 -2.8 -14.5 -6.3

Gasoline (all types)

275.173 250.445 234.682 -2.0 -14.7 -6.3

Gasoline, unleaded regular(4)

276.785 251.364 234.928 -2.4 -15.1 -6.5

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(4)(5)

311.037 284.514 270.104 0.8 -13.2 -5.1

Gasoline, unleaded premium(4)

314.265 290.774 277.625 0.9 -11.7 -4.5

Medical care

535.884 - 533.090 -1.2 -0.5 -

Recreation(3)

127.746 - 127.545 -1.5 -0.2 -

Education and communication(3)

119.895 - 120.235 -0.6 0.3 -

Tuition, other school fees, and childcare(1)

1,317.503 - 1,317.503 1.6 0.0 -

Other goods and services

480.739 - 473.268 8.4 -1.6 -

Commodity and service group

Commodities

207.826 - 203.854 2.1 -1.9 -

Commodities less food and beverages

166.558 - 161.958 0.7 -2.8 -

Nondurables less food and beverages

223.360 - 210.403 1.9 -5.8 -

Durables

115.006 - 114.663 -0.1 -0.3 -

Services

334.016 - 337.291 5.8 1.0 -

Special aggregate indexes

All items less shelter

250.148 - 248.436 2.6 -0.7 -

All items less medical care

256.972 - 256.875 4.9 0.0 -

Commodities less food

169.220 - 164.637 0.7 -2.7 -

Nondurables

260.913 - 253.411 3.5 -2.9 -

Nondurables less food

224.335 - 211.860 1.8 -5.6 -

Services less rent of shelter(2)

340.762 - 344.166 3.4 1.0 -

Services less medical care services

310.615 - 313.897 6.6 1.1 -

Energy

214.593 203.699 196.767 -5.9 -8.3 -3.4

All items less energy

279.858 - 281.218 5.2 0.5 -

All items less food and energy

276.278 - 277.855 5.2 0.6 -

(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: Thursday, January 11, 2024