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18-1166-DAL
Thursday, July 12, 2018

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Consumer Price Index, Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land – June 2018

Area prices rise 1.0 percent in May and June; increase 3.0 percent over the year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) in Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land rose 1.0 percent in May and June, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations Stanley W. Suchman noted that advances in the indexes for all items less food and energy, up 0.8 percent, as well as energy, up 5.4 percent, contributed to the increase. In contrast, food prices fell 0.7 percent in May and June, partially offsetting the other increases. (Data in this report are not seasonally adjusted. Accordingly, short-term changes may reflect the impact of seasonal influences.)

During the year ended in June 2018, the all items CPI-U advanced 3.0 percent, its fastest annual rate of gain since October 2014. The index for all items less food and energy rose at a slower 1.9-percent pace. (See chart 1 and table 1.)

Food

Local food prices fell 0.7 in May and June, after edging up 0.1 percent in March and April. Between the two components of the index, prices for food at home (grocery stores) decreased 2.0 percent, while prices for food away from home increased 0.6 percent.

From June 2017 to June 2018, the food index advanced 1.2 percent. The annual increase in food prices was entirely the result of higher prices for food away from home, which rose 3.6 percent. Tempering this advance, prices for food at home declined 1.3 percent over the year.

Energy

The energy index increased 5.4 percent in May and June, after falling 2.4 percent in March and April. The current increase was primarily the result of an 8.8-percent advance in motor fuel costs, though a 2.1-percent rise in electricity costs also contributed. In contrast, natural gas costs were down 2.6 percent in May and June.

During the year ended in June 2018, the energy index climbed 17.8 percent, with all sub-components contributing. Motor fuel costs were up 27.2 percent over the year, electricity prices rose 8.7 percent, and natural gas costs edged up 0.7 percent.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy increased 0.8 percent in May and June, after rising 0.5 percent in March and April. A 0.9-percent increase in shelter costs had the greatest impact, but a 3.1-percent increase in household furnishings and operations also played a major role in the bimonthly rise. Higher medical care prices, up 1.4 percent, were another important factor in the advance. During the period, increases were also noted in the cost of other goods and services, new vehicles, education and communication, and recreation.

From June 2017 to June 2018, the index for all items less food and energy rose 1.9 percent. The biggest factor in the annual increase was a 2.6-percent rise in shelter costs, though higher prices for medical care (1.9 percent) also contributed. The only major category to register an annual decline was recreation, where prices slipped 0.5 percent over the year.

The August 2018 Consumer Price Index for Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land is scheduled to be released Thursday, September 13, 2018.


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 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 Austin, 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: (800) 877-8339.

Table 1. Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U): Indexes and percent changes for selected periods,
Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX (1982-84=100 unless otherwise noted)
Item and Group Indexes Percent change from -
Apr.
2018
May
2018
Jun.
2018
Jun.
2017
Apr.
2018
May
2018

All items

225.116 - 227.393 3.0 1.0 -

All items (1967 = 100)

722.027 - 729.332      

Food and beverages

228.759 - 227.687 1.2 -0.5 -

Food

228.930 - 227.430 1.2 -0.7 -

Food at home

223.472 219.579 218.928 -1.3 -2.0 -0.3

Cereals and bakery products

265.589 - 264.866 - -0.3 -

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

247.072 - 236.736 - -4.2 -

Dairy and related products

179.201 - 176.187 - -1.7 -

Fruits and vegetables

279.262 - 273.374 - -2.1 -

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials(1)

277.855 - 270.220 - -2.7 -

Other food at home

191.412 - 190.916 - -0.3 -

Food away from home

230.734 - 232.207 3.6 0.6 -

Alcoholic beverages

215.923 - 221.611 2.2 2.6 -

Housing

217.326 - 219.868 3.4 1.2 -

Shelter

258.971 260.329 261.349 2.6 0.9 0.4

Rent of primary residence(2)

256.814 257.663 258.371 2.6 0.6 0.3

Owners' equivalent rent of residences(2)(3)

239.472 240.309 241.311 3.0 0.8 0.4

Owners' equivalent rent of primary residence(2)(3)

239.472 240.309 241.311 3.0 0.8 0.4

Fuels and utilities

174.462 - 176.406 8.1 1.1 -

Household energy

151.793 153.260 153.975 7.3 1.4 0.5

Energy services(2)

149.195 150.603 151.400 7.3 1.5 0.5

Electricity(2)

148.199 150.380 151.291 8.7 2.1 0.6

Utility (piped) gas service(2)

143.497 139.807 139.804 0.7 -2.6 0.0

Household furnishings and operations

130.362 - 134.394 5.5 3.1 -

Apparel

196.048 - 192.678 2.2 -1.7 -

Transportation

187.610 - 191.944 4.8 2.3 -

Private transportation

187.010 - 191.845 5.4 2.6 -

New and used motor vehicles(4)

87.965 - 88.531 - 0.6 -

New vehicles(1)

161.496 - 163.306 - 1.1 -

Used cars and trucks(1)

228.248 - 228.058 - -0.1 -

Motor fuel

225.283 239.337 245.145 27.2 8.8 2.4

Gasoline (all types)

225.577 239.684 245.442 27.2 8.8 2.4

Gasoline, unleaded regular(5)

228.491 242.946 248.889 27.6 8.9 2.4

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(5)(6)

238.807 253.449 260.582 25.1 9.1 2.8

Gasoline, unleaded premium(5)

244.690 258.545 263.567 23.6 7.7 1.9

Motor vehicle insurance(1)

734.547 - 736.452 - 0.3 -

Medical care

490.156 - 497.146 1.9 1.4 -

Recreation(4)

103.633 - 104.046 -0.5 0.4 -

Education and communication(4)

121.258 - 122.003 1.6 0.6 -

Tuition, other school fees, and childcare(1)

1,220.822 - 1,237.367 - 1.4 -

Other goods and services

411.378 - 415.954 1.9 1.1 -

Commodity and service group

Commodities

176.434 - 178.072 2.9 0.9 -

Commodities less food and beverages

150.348 - 152.895 3.6 1.7 -

Nondurables less food and beverages

208.255 - 214.462 9.2 3.0 -

Durables

99.560 - 99.794 -2.5 0.2 -

Services

274.929 - 277.861 2.9 1.1 -

Special aggregate indexes

All items less shelter

212.410 - 214.650 3.2 1.1 -

All items less medical care

212.312 - 214.389 3.1 1.0 -

Commodities less food

152.709 - 155.340 3.6 1.7 -

Nondurables

218.957 - 221.649 5.1 1.2 -

Nondurables less food

208.519 - 214.694 8.8 3.0 -

Services less rent of shelter(3)

290.307 - 293.802 3.1 1.2 -

Services less medical care services

253.619 - 256.181 3.0 1.0 -

Energy

184.700 191.779 194.765 17.8 5.4 1.6

All items less energy

232.096 - 233.466 1.8 0.6 -

All items less food and energy

232.466 - 234.330 1.9 0.8 -

Footnotes
(1) Indexes on an April 1978=100 base.
(2) This index series was calculated using a Laspeyres estimator. All other item stratum index series were calculated using a geometric means estimator.
(3) Indexes on a December 1982=100 base.
(4) Indexes on a December 1997=100 base.
(5) Special index based on a substantially smaller sample.
(6) Index on a December 1993=100.

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

 

Last Modified Date: Thursday, July 12, 2018