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The cost of consumer goods and services as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) rose 1.5 percent nationwide from February ’18 to February ’19, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Core inflation (all items less the volatile food and energy categories) increased 2.1 percent since February ’18.
The cost of energy fell 5.0 percent from the previous February. Motor fuel prices dropped 8.9 percent while electricity costs remained unchanged. Natural gas prices fell 2.6 percent. The shelter index rose 3.4 percent from February ’18. Food prices grew 2.0 percent, with the cost of dining out increasing 2.9 percent and grocery prices rising 1.2 percent.
Consumer prices in the Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land metro area, grew 0.9 percent from February ’18 to February ’19.
In the 12 months ending February ’19, the energy index fell 9.7 percent, primarily due to a 15.4 percent decline in motor fuel costs. Electricity prices dropped 4.5 percent, and natural gas prices declined 0.4 percent.
Food prices rose 1.7 percent during the previous 12 months. The cost of dining out grew 2.0 percent in Houston while grocery prices increased 1.4 percent. The cost of shelter rose 3.0 percent.
CPI data in this commentary are not seasonally adjusted.
 Austin, Brazoria, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Liberty, Montgomery and Waller Counties.
Patrick Jankowski, CERP
Senior Vice President, Research
Houston's energy index fell 9.7% since last February
Houston area consumer prices rose 0.9% over past year