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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 2.0 percent nationwide from April ’18 to April ’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 April ’18 .
The cost of energy increased 1.7 percent from the previous April. Motor fuel prices rose 3.1 percent, while electricity costs only grew 0.6 percent. Natural gas prices fell 1.9 percent. The shelter index rose 3.4 percent from April ’18. Food prices ticked up 1.8 percent, with the cost of dining out increasing 3.1 percent and grocery prices rising 0.7 percent.
Consumer prices in the Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land metro area  increased 1.8 percent from April ’18 to April ’19.
In the 12 months ending April ’19, the energy index expanded 2.7 percent. Electricity prices rose 3.9 percent, and natural gas prices grew marginally at 0.6 percent. In the last two months, the energy index climbed 11.0 percent and accounted for more than 80 percent of the rise in Houston area consumer prices.
Food prices rose 2.2 percent during the previous 12 months. the cost of dining out grew 2.7 percent in Houston while grocery prices increased 1.7 percent. The cost of shelter rose 2.5 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 rose 2.7% since last April
Houston area grocery prices rose 1.7% over the past year