News Release Information
Wednesday, April 10, 2019
Consumer Price Index, Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington — March 2019
Area prices rise 1.1 percent in February and March; up 2.7 percent over the year
The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington rose 1.1 percent in February and March, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations Stanley W. Suchman noted that an 11.0-percent climb in energy costs was the biggest factor in the two-month rise, accounting for nearly 70 percent of the total increase. A 0.3-percent rise in the index for all items less food and energy and a 1.1-percent increase in food costs also contributed to the February and March gain. (Data in this report are not seasonally adjusted. Accordingly, short-term changes may reflect the impact of seasonal influences.)
During the year ended in March 2019, the all items CPI-U rose 2.7 percent, as did the index for all items less food and energy. This is the fastest annual rate of increase in the all items index since July 2018, when total prices rose at a 3.5-percent pace. (See chart 1 and table 1.)
Food prices rose 1.1 percent in February and March, after increasing 0.5 percent in December and January. Both sub-components contributed to the current bimonthly increase, but food at home (grocery store) prices was the largest contributor with a 1.7-percent rise. Prices for food away from home increased 0.5 percent.
During the 12 months ended in March 2019, total food prices were up 2.1 percent, the fastest annual rise since January 2015. The increase reflected the combined effects of a 4.2-percent rise in prices for food away from home and no change in prices for food at home. Until this period, prices for food at home had fallen on an annual basis in every month since October 2017.
The energy index climbed 11.0 percent in February and March, its largest bimonthly rate of increase since April and May 2018 (11.5 percent). The current energy increase was almost entirely the result of a 21.8-percent surge in motor fuel costs, but higher electricity prices, up 0.4 percent, also contributed. Partially offsetting these increases, prices for natural gas fell 3.0 percent.
During the year ended in March 2019, the energy index rose 3.9 percent, its first annual increase since November 2018. Higher electricity prices, up 14.5 percent, were by far the largest factor in the energy index rise. This was the largest 12-month increase in electricity prices since July 2008 (14.5 percent). During the latest 12-month period, motor fuel prices also rose, edging up 0.2 percent, but natural gas costs dropped 18.4 percent.
All items less food and energy
The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.3 percent in February and March, the same increase as in December and January. A number of indexes registered increases in the latest period, but the leading factors were higher prices for new and used motor vehicles (2.8 percent), medical care (1.5 percent), and shelter (0.3 percent). Slowing the overall rate of increase, several categories registered price declines during the bimonthly period. Prices fell for apparel (-4.8 percent), household furnishings and operations (-2.8 percent), and education and communication (-1.2 percent).
From March 2018 to March 2019, the index for all items less food and energy rose 2.7 percent. Higher shelter costs, up 3.4 percent, were responsible for the largest share of the annual rise, but price increases for medical care (3.8 percent) and recreation (6.2 percent) were also large contributors.
The May 2019 Consumer Price Index for All Items for Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington is scheduled to be released Wednesday, June 12, 2019.
The Consumer Price Index for Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington is published bi-monthly. 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 population and (2) a CPI for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) which covers approximately 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 75 urban areas across the country from about 5,000 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 (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/pdf/homch17.pdf.
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 Collin, Dallas, Denton, Ellis, Hood, Hunt, Johnson, Kaufman, Parker, Rockwall, Somervell, Tarrant, and Wise Counties.
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.
|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)
Motor vehicle insurance(1)
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
- Data not available.
Last Modified Date: Wednesday, April 10, 2019