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14-2101-DAL
November 20, 2014

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Consumer Price Index, Houston-Galveston-Brazoria – October 2014

Area prices rise 0.3 percent during two-month period, up 3.4 percent over the year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) in the Houston area rose 0.3 percent in September and October, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Stanley W. Suchman noted that this followed a decrease of 0.3 percent in July and August. During the latest period, higher prices for all items less food and energy (0.9 percent) and for food (0.7 percent) were partially offset by lower prices for energy (-4.9 percent). (Data in this report are not seasonally adjusted. Accordingly, short-term changes may reflect the impact of seasonal influences.)

During the 12 months ended in October 2014, the all items CPI-U advanced 3.4 percent. Prices for all items less food and energy rose at a 3.7-percent pace. (See chart 1.)

 Chart 1. Over-the-year percent change in CPI-U, Houston-Galveston-Brazoria, October 2011–October 2014

Food

Food prices rose 0.7 percent in September and October, following a 0.4-percent increase in July and August. Among the two components of the index, prices for food at home (grocery stores) advanced 1.0 percent while prices for food away from home edged up 0.2 percent.

From October 2013 to October 2014, the food index advanced 2.8 percent, reflecting the combined effects of a 3.3-percent price rise at grocery stores and a 2.2-percent price rise for food away from home.

Energy

The energy index fell 4.9 percent in September and October, after registering a 5.6-percent decline in July and August. The latest decline was entirely due to a drop in the motor fuel index as gasoline costs fell 8.8 percent. In contrast, electricity prices rose 1.6 percent during the period. Natural gas costs were unchanged during the period.

Over the year, the energy index rose 1.7 percent. Higher prices for electricity, up 9.8 percent, were partially offset by lower prices for gasoline and natural gas, down 1.6 and 2.9 percent, respectively.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.9 percent in September and October, after rising 0.3 percent in July and August. An 8.1-percent advance in apparel prices had the greatest impact on the current increase. Other large contributors included higher prices for recreation, and household furnishings and operations, up 1.3 and 1.2 percent, respectively. Smaller rates of increase were registered for several major categories, including education and communication, other goods and services, and medical care.

During the year ended in October 2014, the index for all items less food and energy rose 3.7 percent. The leading factors in the annual advance were higher costs for shelter and apparel, up 4.0 and 20.5 percent, respectively. Recreation was the only major category within the all items less food and energy index to register a decline as prices dipped 0.2 percent over the year.

The December 2014 Consumer Price Index for All Items for Houston-Galveston-Brazoria will be released on January 16, 2015.


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 88 percent of the total population and (2) a CPI for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) which covers 29 percent of the total 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 87 urban areas across the country from about 4,000 housing units and approximately 26,000 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 (1982-84) that equals 100.0. An increase of 16.5 percent, for example, is shown as 116.5. This change can also be expressed in dollars as follows: the price of a base period "market basket" of goods and services in the CPI has risen from $10 in 1982-84 to $11.65. For further details, see the CPI home page on the Internet at www.bls.gov/cpi and the BLS Handbook of Methods, Chapter 17, The Consumer Price Index, available on the Internet at www.bls.gov/opub/hom/homch17_a.htm.

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-Galveston-Brazoria, Texas, Consolidated Metropolitan Statistical Area (CMSA) includes Brazoria, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Liberty, Montgomery, and Waller Counties.

Information in this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: 202-691-5200; Federal Relay Service: 1-800-877-8339.

Table 1. Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U): Indexes and percent changes for selected periods,
Houston-Galveston-Brazoria, TX (1982-84=100 unless otherwise noted)
Item and Group Indexes Percent change from -
 
Historical
data
Aug.
2014
Sep.
2014
Oct.
2014
Oct.
2013
Aug.
2014
Sep.
2014

All items

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214.102   214.791 3.4 0.3  

All items (1967 = 100)

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686.703   688.912      

Food and beverages

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220.331   221.839 2.7 0.7  

Food

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220.262   221.706 2.8 0.7  

Food at home

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222.065 221.898 224.345 3.3 1.0 1.1

Food away from home

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213.843   214.266 2.2 0.2  

Alcoholic beverages

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211.323   213.729 0.8 1.1  

Housing

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197.241   197.960 4.2 0.4  

Shelter

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230.897 231.689 231.138 4.0 0.1 -0.2

Rent of primary residence (1)

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219.813 221.502 221.527 4.0 0.8 0.0

Owners' equivalent rent of residences (1) (2)

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213.391 213.809 213.904 3.4 0.2 0.0

Owners' equivalent rent of primary residence (1) (2)

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213.391 213.809 213.904 3.4 0.2 0.0

Fuels and utilities

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172.536   174.489 6.4 1.1  

Household energy

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158.456 162.755 160.521 7.4 1.3 -1.4

Energy services (1) (3)

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155.467 159.726 157.542 7.5 1.3 -1.4

Electricity (1)

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155.472 160.575 157.951 9.8 1.6 -1.6

Utility (piped) gas service (1)

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142.895 142.916 142.941 -2.9 0.0 0.0

Household furnishings and operations

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121.213   122.678 3.4 1.2  

Apparel

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187.218   202.332 20.5 8.1  

Transportation

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191.459   187.543 0.9 -2.0  

Private transportation

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190.113   185.978 0.7 -2.2  

Motor fuel

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294.657 284.433 269.669 -1.7 -8.5 -5.2

Gasoline (all types)

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295.315 284.579 269.304 -1.6 -8.8 -5.4

Gasoline, unleaded regular (4)

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304.706 293.428 277.012 -1.9 -9.1 -5.6

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade (4) (5)

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301.424 290.610 276.724 -0.8 -8.2 -4.8

Gasoline, unleaded premium (4)

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289.938 280.761 269.363 0.0 -7.1 -4.1

Medical care

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433.026   434.273 1.6 0.3  

Recreation (6)

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105.270   106.633 -0.2 1.3  

Education and communication (6)

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122.633   123.296 1.1 0.5  

Other goods and services

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381.850   385.347 4.4 0.9  
 

COMMODITY AND SERVICE GROUP

 

Commodities

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181.871   181.716 2.8 -0.1  

Commodities less food and beverages

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161.454   160.637 2.9 -0.5  

Nondurables less food and beverages

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224.861   222.312 4.6 -1.1  

Durables

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105.208   105.609 -0.3 0.4  

Services

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247.844   249.389 3.8 0.6  
 

SPECIAL AGGREGATE INDEXES

 

All items less shelter

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207.647   208.499 3.1 0.4  

All items less medical care

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203.034   203.692 3.5 0.3  

Commodities less food

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163.471   162.729 2.8 -0.5  

Nondurables

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223.469   222.896 3.7 -0.3  

Nondurables less food

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223.965   221.695 4.4 -1.0  

Services less rent of shelter (2)

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264.640   267.620 3.8 1.1  

Services less medical care services

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229.124   230.556 3.9 0.6  

Energy

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222.727 220.021 211.786 1.7 -4.9 -3.7

All items less energy

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215.746   217.660 3.6 0.9  

All items less food and energy

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214.798   216.796 3.7 0.9  

(1) This index series was calculated using a Laspeyres estimator. All other item stratum index series were calculated using a geometric means estimator.
(2) Indexes on a December 1982=100 base.
(3) Prior to January 2011 this series was titled Gas (piped) and electricity.
(4) Special index based on a substantially smaller sample.
(5) Indexes on a December 1993=100 base.
(6) Indexes on a December 1997=100 base.

Note: Index applies to a month as a whole, not to any specific date.

 

Last Modified Date: Thursday, November 20, 2014