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15-1010-SAN
Friday, May 22, 2015

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Consumer Price Index, San Francisco Area — April 2015

Area prices were up 1.1 percent over the past two months, up 2.4 percent from a year ago

Prices in the San Francisco area, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), rose 1.1 percent for the two months ending in April 2015, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (See table A.) Regional Commissioner Richard J. Holden noted that the April increase was influenced by higher prices for gasoline and shelter. (Data in this report are not seasonally adjusted. Accordingly, month-to-month changes may reflect seasonal influences.)

Over the last 12 months, the CPI-U advanced 2.4 percent.  (See chart 1 and table A.) Energy prices declined 9.6 percent, largely the result of a decrease in the price of gasoline. The index for all items less food and energy increased 3.2 percent over the year. (See table 1.)

 Chart 1. Over-the-year percent change in CPI-U, San Francisco, April 2012-April 2015

Food

Food prices decreased 0.2 percent for the two months ending in April. (See table 1.) Prices for food at home declined 1.3 percent, but prices for food away from home advanced 1.1 percent for the same period.

Over the year, food prices rose 2.8 percent. Prices for food away from home advanced 3.7 percent since a year ago, and prices for food at home advanced 2.2 percent.

Energy

The energy index moved up 9.0 percent for the two months ending in April. The increase was mainly due to higher prices for gasoline (15.2 percent). Prices for natural gas service rose 4.8 percent, and prices for electricity advanced 1.3 percent for the same period.

Energy prices declined 9.6 percent over the year, largely due to lower prices for gasoline (-23.2 percent). Prices paid for electricity jumped 23.5 percent, and prices for natural gas service increased 7.7 percent during the past year.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.8 percent in the latest two-month period. Higher prices for household furnishings and operations (4.8 percent) and shelter (0.8 percent) were partially offset by lower prices for apparel (-1.0 percent) and education and communication (-0.8 percent).

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy increased 3.2 percent. Components contributing to the increase included household furnishings and operations (9.2 percent) and shelter (5.1 percent). Partly offsetting the increases was a price decline in apparel (-0.3 percent).

Table A. San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose CPI-U bi-monthly and annual percent changes (not seasonally adjusted)
Month 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Bi-monthly Annual Bi-monthly Annual Bi-monthly Annual Bi-monthly Annual Bi-monthly Annual Bi-monthly Annual

February

0.8 1.8 1.0 1.7 1.1 3.0 1.3 2.4 1.2 2.4 1.0 2.5

April

0.7 1.7 1.8 2.8 0.9 2.1 0.8 2.4 1.2 2.8 1.1 2.4

June

0.2 1.1 -0.2 2.4 0.3 2.6 0.5 2.6 0.7 3.0    

August

-0.1 1.0 0.4 2.9 0.6 2.8 0.1 2.0 0.0 3.0    

October

0.1 0.9 0.3 3.2 0.7 3.2 0.2 1.6 0.5 3.2    

December

-0.2 1.5 -0.4 2.9 -1.4 2.2 -0.4 2.6 -0.9 2.7    

The June 2015 Consumer Price Index for the San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose is scheduled to be released on July 17, 2015.


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 89 percent of the total population and (2) a CPI for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) which covers 28 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 San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, CA. metropolitan area covered in this release is comprised of Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Sonoma, and Solano Counties in the State of California.

Information in this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: (202) 691-5200; Federal Relay Service: (800) 877-8339.

Table 1. Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U): Indexes and percent changes for selected periods

San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, CA (1982-84=100 unless otherwise noted)
Item and Group

 
Indexes
 
Percent change from-
Feb.
2015
Mar.
2015
Apr.
2015
Apr.
2014
Feb.
2015
Mar.
2015

Expenditure category

 
 

All items

254.910 - 257.622 2.4 1.1 -

All items (1967=100)

783.663 - 792.001 - - -

Food and beverages

258.435 - 257.490 2.6 -0.4 -

Food

258.418 - 257.859 2.8 -0.2 -

Food at home

251.177 249.381 247.872 2.2 -1.3 -0.6

Food away from home

266.605 - 269.553 3.7 1.1 -

Alcoholic beverages

263.904 - 258.479 0.1 -2.1 -

Housing

286.482 - 289.966 6.2 1.2 -

Shelter

322.714 322.974 325.441 5.1 0.8 0.8

Rent of primary residence (1)

362.079 363.721 365.294 5.8 0.9 0.4

Owners' equiv. rent of residences (1) (2)

347.638 349.081 350.796 5.1 0.9 0.5

Owners' equiv. rent of primary residence (1) (2)

347.638 349.081 350.796 5.1 0.9 0.5

Fuels and utilities

343.073 - 347.481 16.3 1.3 -

Household energy

302.753 300.255 309.088 18.4 2.1 2.9

Energy services (1)

302.454 299.928 309.107 19.0 2.2 3.1

Electricity (1)

314.551 317.113 318.756 23.5 1.3 0.5

Utility (piped) gas service (1)

265.709 250.254 278.480 7.7 4.8 11.3

Household furnishings and operations

135.070 - 141.585 9.2 4.8 -

Apparel

118.493 - 117.249 -0.3 -1.0 -

Transportation

185.157 - 191.279 -7.4 3.3 -

Private transportation

173.482 - 178.936 -7.2 3.1 -

Motor fuel

209.050 250.324 240.323 -23.2 15.0 -4.0

Gasoline (all types)

207.941 249.526 239.500 -23.2 15.2 -4.0

Gasoline, unleaded regular (3)

208.371 250.533 240.149 -23.5 15.3 -4.1

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade (3) (4)

192.586 231.061 222.085 -22.7 15.3 -3.9

Gasoline, unleaded premium (3)

195.742 232.435 224.355 -22.2 14.6 -3.5

Medical care

- - - - - -

Recreation (5)

111.160 - 112.020 1.3 0.8 -

Education and communication (5)

143.563 - 142.413 0.2 -0.8 -

Other goods and services

427.261 - 432.099 0.5 1.1 -
 

Commodity and service group

 
 

All items

254.910 - 257.622 2.4 1.1 -

Commodities

180.661 - 182.857 -1.5 1.2 -

Commodities less food & beverages

138.036 - 141.457 -4.4 2.5 -

Nondurables less food & beverages

173.334 - 179.730 -7.2 3.7 -

Durables

103.721 - 104.507 0.0 0.8 -

Services

317.218 - 320.363 4.4 1.0 -
 

Special aggregate indexes

 
 

All items less medical care

246.321 - 248.888 2.2 1.0 -

All items less shelter

228.275 - 231.021 0.8 1.2 -

Commodities less food

143.472 - 146.632 -4.2 2.2 -

Nondurables

217.014 - 219.949 -1.9 1.4 -

Nondurables less food

180.196 - 185.816 -6.6 3.1 -

Services less rent of shelter (2)

326.516 - 330.358 3.5 1.2 -

Services less medical care services

308.000 - 310.768 4.4 0.9 -

Energy

246.521 271.887 268.820 -9.6 9.0 -1.1

All items less energy

258.418 - 260.140 3.2 0.7 -

All items less food and energy

259.224 - 261.318 3.2 0.8 -

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) Index is on a December 1982=100 base.
(3) Special index based on a substantially smaller sample.
(4) Indexes on a December 1993=100 base.
(5) Indexes on a December 1997=100 base.
 

- Data not available
NOTE: Index applies to a month as a whole, not to any specific date.
 

 

Last Modified Date: Friday, May 22, 2015