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Monthly Update: Inflation

January '21
Published on 2/11/21
Monthly Update: Inflation

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Inflation Nationwide

The cost of consumer goods and services as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U)[1] rose 1.4 percent nationwide from January ’20 to January ’21, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Core inflation (all items less the volatile food and energy categories) also increased 1.4 percent since January ’20.  

Energy costs decreased 3.6 percent from the previous January, largely due to an 8.7 percent decline in motor fuel prices. The cost of electricity rose 1.5 percent and natural gas by 4.3 percent. The shelter index grew 1.6 percent from January of last year. In that same period, overall food prices increased 3.8 percent, with grocery prices rising 3.7 percent and the cost of dining out climbing 3.9 percent. 

 Inflation Houston

In the Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land metro area[2], the energy index decreased 2.0 percent since January ’20, due to a 13.4 percent fall in motor fuel prices. Counteracting some of the decrease, electricity costs rose 12.4 percent in that same period. Natural gas prices decreased 0.6 percent. 

The shelter index rose 1.5 percent, and grocery prices increased 2.6 percent from January ’20 to January ’21. 

The February CPI data for Houston, which includes all items in the index, will be released March 10.


[1] CPI data in this commentary are not seasonally adjusted. 
[2] Austin, Brazoria, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Liberty, Montgomery and Waller Counties.


Elizabeth Balderrama, PCED
Manager, Research

Patrick Jankowski, CERP
Senior Vice President, Research

Key Economic Indicators Consumer Price Index Economy

Houston's energy index fell 2.0 percent since last January

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