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

Area prices rise 0.6 percent during two-month period, up 3.3 percent over the year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) in the Houston area rose 0.6 percent in May and June, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Stanley W. Suchman noted that this followed an increase of 0.7 percent in March and April. The largest factor in the current rise was a 0.6-percent advance in the all items less food and energy index, particularly the shelter and apparel components. However, higher prices were also reported for food, up 1.2 percent. The index for energy was unchanged during the period. (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 June 2014, the all items CPI-U advanced 3.3 percent. Prices for all items less food and energy also rose at a 3.3-percent pace during the latest period. (See chart 1.)


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



Food

Food prices rose 1.2 percent in May and June, following a 0.7-percent increase in March and April. Among the two components of the index, prices for food at home (grocery stores) advanced 1.5 percent while prices for food away from home were up 0.7 percent.

From June 2013 to June 2014, the food index advanced 2.6 percent, the largest annual increase since the year ended in April 2012 (3.3 percent). The latest over-the-year rise reflected the combined effects of a 2.9-percent increase in grocery prices and a 2.2-percent advance in prices for food away from home.

Energy

The energy index was unchanged in May and June as a result of offsetting movements among the components. Household energy costs edged up 0.2 percent as a 0.5-percent increase in electricity prices was partially countered by a 1.4-percent decline in natural gas costs. Motor fuel prices were essentially unchanged (-0.1 percent) during the period.

During the year ended in June 2014, the energy index rose 3.7 percent. Higher prices were registered for electricity and motor fuel, up 7.4 and 3.2 percent, respectively. The annual rise in motor fuel prices was the fastest increase since October 2012 (8.1 percent). Partially offsetting these increases, natural gas prices fell 8.5 percent from June 2013.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.6 percent in May and June, after rising 0.4 percent in March and April. The biggest factor in the current advance was a 1.1-percent increase in shelter costs, as higher prices were registered for both renters (1.5 percent) and homeowners (0.6 percent). Also contributing to the current rise were the indexes for apparel (2.3 percent), other goods and services (1.3 percent), recreation (0.8 percent), and education and communication (0.5 percent). Despite the overall two-month gain, lower prices were still recorded for a wide range of items, including medical care, new vehicles, and appliances.

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy rose 3.3 percent. As with the bimonthly advance, the leading factor in the annual increase was higher shelter costs which rose 3.9 percent. Another major contributor was a 12.8-percent advance in the apparel index; seasonality contributes to wide variations in both the annual and bimonthly price movements for the clothing component.

Next Release Date: The August 2014 Consumer Price Index for All Items for Houston-Galveston-Brazoria will be released on September 17, 2014.



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
Apr.
2014
May
2014
Jun.
2014
Jun.
2013
Apr.
2014
May
2014

All items

Jump to page with historical data
213.309 214.668 3.3 0.6

All items (1967 = 100)

Jump to page with historical data
684.160 688.518

Food and beverages

Jump to page with historical data
217.439 219.762 2.6 1.1

Food

Jump to page with historical data
216.939 219.444 2.6 1.2

Food at home

Jump to page with historical data
218.173 220.445 221.548 2.9 1.5 0.5

Food away from home

Jump to page with historical data
211.261 212.683 2.2 0.7

Alcoholic beverages

Jump to page with historical data
215.082 214.546 3.3 -0.2

Housing

Jump to page with historical data
196.131 197.491 3.3 0.7

Shelter

Jump to page with historical data
227.065 228.272 229.545 3.9 1.1 0.6

Rent of primary residence (1)

Jump to page with historical data
215.838 217.732 219.009 4.2 1.5 0.6

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

Jump to page with historical data
210.499 210.744 211.667 3.0 0.6 0.4

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

Jump to page with historical data
210.499 210.744 211.667 3.0 0.6 0.4

Fuels and utilities

Jump to page with historical data
183.611 184.213 3.9 0.3

Household energy

Jump to page with historical data
172.439 175.373 172.731 4.6 0.2 -1.5

Energy services (1) (3)

Jump to page with historical data
169.298 172.284 169.663 4.6 0.2 -1.5

Electricity (1)

Jump to page with historical data
169.125 173.193 170.049 7.4 0.5 -1.8

Utility (piped) gas service (1)

Jump to page with historical data
156.440 154.180 154.192 -8.5 -1.4 0.0

Household furnishings and operations

Jump to page with historical data
120.190 118.522 -1.7 -1.4

Apparel

Jump to page with historical data
177.399 181.429 12.8 2.3

Transportation

Jump to page with historical data
195.046 195.106 2.9 0.0

Private transportation

Jump to page with historical data
193.483 192.524 2.2 -0.5

Motor fuel

Jump to page with historical data
307.212 306.960 306.916 3.2 -0.1 0.0

Gasoline (all types)

Jump to page with historical data
308.410 308.135 308.136 3.6 -0.1 0.0

Gasoline, unleaded regular (4)

Jump to page with historical data
318.671 318.275 318.294 3.5 -0.1 0.0

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade (4) (5)

Jump to page with historical data
312.941 312.960 313.195 3.4 0.1 0.1

Gasoline, unleaded premium (4)

Jump to page with historical data
300.823 301.151 300.863 4.1 0.0 -0.1

Medical care

Jump to page with historical data
433.207 432.532 1.6 -0.2

Recreation (6)

Jump to page with historical data
105.371 106.211 0.7 0.8

Education and communication (6)

Jump to page with historical data
121.216 121.854 2.0 0.5

Other goods and services

Jump to page with historical data
376.474 381.307 3.8 1.3

COMMODITY AND SERVICE GROUP

Commodities

Jump to page with historical data
181.667 182.218 2.6 0.3

Commodities less food and beverages

Jump to page with historical data
162.331 162.158 2.6 -0.1

Nondurables less food and beverages

Jump to page with historical data
225.306 227.465 5.3 1.0

Durables

Jump to page with historical data
106.294 104.593 -1.7 -1.6

Services

Jump to page with historical data
246.453 248.634 3.8 0.9

SPECIAL AGGREGATE INDEXES

All items less shelter

Jump to page with historical data
207.969 208.915 3.0 0.5

All items less medical care

Jump to page with historical data
202.226 203.622 3.4 0.7

Commodities less food

Jump to page with historical data
164.424 164.241 2.6 -0.1

Nondurables

Jump to page with historical data
222.282 224.529 4.0 1.0

Nondurables less food

Jump to page with historical data
224.596 226.602 5.2 0.9

Services less rent of shelter (2)

Jump to page with historical data
265.901 267.685 3.7 0.7

Services less medical care services

Jump to page with historical data
227.684 229.871 3.9 1.0

Energy

Jump to page with historical data
235.924 237.307 235.931 3.7 0.0 -0.6

All items less energy

Jump to page with historical data
213.480 214.996 3.2 0.7

All items less food and energy

Jump to page with historical data
212.724 214.060 3.3 0.6

Footnotes
(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: July 22, 2014

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