News Release Information
Friday, May 10, 2019
Consumer Price Index, Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land – April 2019
Area prices rise 1.1 percent in March and April; up 1.8 percent over the year
The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) in the Houston area increased 1.1 percent in March and April, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Stanley W. Suchman, Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations, noted that all three of the major sub-components contributed to the current rise, though higher energy prices accounted for more than 80 percent of the total advance. The energy index climbed 11.0 percent in March and April, food prices rose 0.6 percent, and the index for all items less food and energy increased 0.2 percent. (Data in this report are not seasonally adjusted. Accordingly, short-term changes may reflect the impact of seasonal influences.)
Local food prices rose 0.6 percent in March and April, after increasing 0.3 percent in January and February. Between the two components of the index, prices for food at home (grocery store prices) rose 0.7 percent and prices for food away from home increased 0.5 percent.
From April 2018 to April 2019, the food index advanced 2.2 percent, its fastest 12-month rate since December 2017. The latest annual change reflected the combined effects of a 2.7-percent increase in prices for food away from home and a 1.7-percent rise in grocery store prices.
The energy index climbed 11.0 percent in March and April following a 9.0-percent drop in January and February. The biggest contributor to the current increase was a 28.7-percent jump in motor fuel prices. This was the sharpest bimonthly rate of increase in motor fuel prices since March and April 2007. Natural gas prices also rose during the latest period, up 2.5 percent, while electricity prices fell 5.4 percent.
During the year ended in April 2019, the energy index rose 2.7 percent, with all sub-components contributing to the advance. Electricity prices were up 3.9 percent over the year, motor fuel costs rose 2.2 percent, and natural gas costs increased 0.6 percent.
All items less food and energy
The index for all items less food and energy edged up 0.2 percent in March and April, after increasing 1.1 percent in January and February. During the latest period, prices rose for apparel, shelter, public transportation, household furnishings and operations, and used cars and trucks. Offsetting some of these increases, prices fell during the period for motor vehicle insurance, new vehicles, alcoholic beverages, education and communication, recreation, and medical care.
From April 2018 to April 2019, the index for all items less food and energy rose 1.7 percent. The biggest factor in the annual increase was a 2.5-percent rise in shelter costs, led by a 3.2-percent advance in owners’ equivalent rent. Other large contributors to the annual increase were higher prices for medical care (3.5 percent) and household furnishings and operations (5.4 percent).
The June 2019 Consumer Price Index for All Items for Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land is scheduled to be released Thursday, July 11, 2019.
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 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 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 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: Friday, May 10, 2019