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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 1.7 percent nationwide from August ’18 to August ’19, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Core inflation (all items less the volatile food and energy categories) increased 2.4 percent since August ’18.
The cost of energy decreased 4.4 percent from the previous August. Motor fuel prices fell 7.0 percent, and natural gas dropped 3.5 percent. Electricity costs ticked down 0.1 percent. The shelter index rose 3.4 percent from August ’18. Food prices went up 1.7 percent, with the cost of dining out increasing 3.2 percent and grocery prices increasing marginally by 0.5 percent.
Consumer prices in the Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land metro area increased 1.4 percent from August ’18 to August ’19. Core inflation, all items less food and energy, advanced 2.1 percent. The greatest contributor to the 12-month change was a 3.6 percent rise in the cost of shelter.
In the 12 months ending August ’19, the energy index decreased 5.9 percent, largely due to a 7.2 percent decline in motor fuel costs, but also because natural gas prices fell 5.6 percent and electricity prices decreased 3.9 percent.
Food prices rose 1.8 percent during the previous 12 months. The cost of dining out grew 2.2 percent while grocery prices ticked up 1.4 percent.
Elizabeth Balderrama, PCED
Patrick Jankowski, CERP
Senior Vice President, Research
Core inflation in the Houston area rose 2.1% since last August
Houston's energy index dropped 5.9% since last August