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News Release Information

20-2122-SAN
Thursday, November 12, 2020

Contacts

Technical information:
Media contact:
  • (415) 625-2270

Consumer Price Index, San Francisco Area — October 2020

Area prices were up 0.5 percent over the past two months, up 1.1 percent from a year ago

Prices in the San Francisco area, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), increased 0.5 percent for the two months ending in October 2020, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (See table A.) Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations Richard Holden noted that the October increase was influenced by higher prices for recreation 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 increased 1.1 percent. (See chart 1 and table A.) The index for all items less food and energy increased 1.1 percent over the year. Food prices rose 5.2 percent. Energy prices decreased 9.7 percent, largely the result of a decrease in the price of gasoline. (See table 1.)

Food

Food prices rose 0.8 percent for the two months ending in October. (See table 1.) Prices for food at home increased 0.8 percent largely due to price advances in cereals and bakery products (9.8 percent). Prices for food away from home increased 0.8 percent for the same period.

Over the year, food prices moved up 5.2 percent. Prices for food at home advanced 6.6 percent since a year ago led by meat, poultry, fish, and eggs prices (14.4 percent). Prices for food away from home rose 3.8 percent.

Energy

The energy index inched down 0.1 percent for the two months ending in October. The decrease was mainly due to lower prices for electricity (-1.6 percent). Prices for gasoline edged down 0.1 percent, but prices for natural gas service advanced 6.0 percent for the same period.

Energy prices decreased 9.7 percent over the year, largely due to lower prices for gasoline (-21.3 percent). Prices paid for natural gas service jumped 13.1 percent, and prices for electricity increased 5.9 percent during the past year.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy advanced 0.5 percent in the latest two-month period. Higher prices for recreation (6.6 percent) and shelter (0.2 percent) were partially offset by a price decrease for motor vehicle insurance (-6.1 percent).

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy increased 1.1 percent. Components contributing to the increase included recreation (6.4 percent) and shelter (2.1 percent). Partly offsetting the increases were price decreases in apparel (-13.6 percent) and medical care (-0.4 percent).

Table A. San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA, CPI-U 2-month and 12-month percent changes, all items index, not seasonally adjusted
Month20162017201820192020
2-month12-month2-month12-month2-month12-month2-month12-month2-month12-month

February

0.93.00.83.41.43.60.53.50.92.9

April

0.72.71.13.80.83.21.24.0-0.51.1

June

0.62.70.33.50.93.90.23.20.71.6

August

0.73.10.23.00.64.30.12.70.01.6

October

0.93.60.62.70.74.41.03.00.51.1

December

-0.33.5-0.12.90.14.5-0.52.5

The December 2020 Consumer Price Index for the San Francisco area is scheduled to be released on January 13, 2021.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic Impact on October 2020 Consumer Price Index Data

Data collection by personal visit for the Consumer Price Index (CPI) program has been suspended since March 16, 2020. When possible, data normally collected by personal visit were collected either online or by phone. Additionally, data collection in October was affected by the temporary closing or limited operations of certain types of establishments. These factors resulted in an increase in the number of prices considered temporarily unavailable and imputed.

While the CPI program attempted to collect as much data as possible, many indexes are based on smaller amounts of collected prices than usual, and a small number of indexes that are normally published were not published this month. Additional information is available at https://www.bls.gov/covid19/effects-of-covid-19-pandemic-on-consumer-price-index.htm.


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 94 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 75 urban areas across the country from about 5,000 housing units and approximately 22,000 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-Hayward, CA. metropolitan area covered in this release is comprised of Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo 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-Hayward, CA (1982-84=100 unless otherwise noted)
Item and Group

IndexesPercent change from-
Aug.
2020
Sep.
2020
Oct.
2020
Oct.
2019
Aug.
2020
Sep.
2020

Expenditure category

All items

300.182-301.7361.10.5-

All items (1967=100)

922.844-927.620---

Food and beverages

304.761-306.6404.80.6-

Food

304.224-306.6835.20.8-

Food at home

271.580273.755273.8556.60.80.0

Cereals and bakery products

271.309-297.90712.59.8-

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

294.156-291.64014.4-0.9-

Dairy and related products

282.821-286.0024.41.1-

Fruits and vegetables

359.733-370.3356.62.9-

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials(1)

213.055-197.425-3.4-7.3-

Other food at home

223.071-222.8871.9-0.1-

Food away from home

341.262-343.9143.80.8-

Alcoholic beverages

314.740-309.500-0.7-1.7-

Housing

359.510-360.3652.70.2-

Shelter

408.494406.632409.2622.10.20.6

Rent of primary residence(2)

465.713466.182468.7252.30.60.5

Owners' equiv. rent of residences(2)(3)

435.842436.403439.2872.30.80.7

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

435.842436.403439.2872.30.80.7

Fuels and utilities

453.492-454.6776.10.3-

Household energy

395.961402.093395.7926.50.0-1.6

Energy services(2)

397.817404.094397.4316.7-0.1-1.6

Electricity(2)

425.164425.164418.3455.9-1.6-1.6

Utility (piped) gas service(2)

331.825358.196351.68813.16.0-1.8

Household furnishings and operations

147.205-148.3205.70.8-

Apparel

98.388-97.508-13.6-0.9-

Transportation

199.573-199.173-8.0-0.2-

Private transportation

196.605-195.173-7.0-0.7-

New and used motor vehicles(4)

93.619-93.468-2.6-0.2-

New vehicles(1)

158.123-156.445-2.5-1.1-

Used cars and trucks(1)

268.469-276.00310.52.8-

Motor fuel

236.785239.082236.633-21.2-0.1-1.0

Gasoline (all types)

235.957238.243235.820-21.3-0.1-1.0

Gasoline, unleaded regular(4)

235.174237.492235.004-21.7-0.1-1.0

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(4)(5)

222.488225.809223.775-19.60.6-0.9

Gasoline, unleaded premium(4)

226.534228.406226.343-19.7-0.1-0.9

Motor vehicle insurance(1)

543.610-510.364-3.9-6.1-

Medical care

548.733-549.432-0.40.1-

Recreation(6)

117.921-125.7416.46.6-

Education and communication(6)

150.404-150.8070.40.3-

Tuition, other school fees, and child care(1)

1,831.860-1,813.998-1.0-1.0-

Other goods and services

508.703-516.4881.91.5-

Commodity and service group

All items

300.182-301.7361.10.5-

Commodities

194.856-195.480-0.70.3-

Commodities less food & beverages

136.952-136.971-5.90.0-

Nondurables less food & beverages

176.771-176.727-9.80.0-

Durables

97.518-97.5790.10.1-

Services

387.835-390.1331.90.6-

Special aggregate indexes

All items less medical care

290.006-291.5831.20.5-

All items less shelter

255.085-257.1090.30.8-

Commodities less food

144.452-144.291-5.4-0.1-

Nondurables

242.403-243.351-0.90.4-

Nondurables less food

187.477-187.047-8.5-0.2-

Services less rent of shelter(3)

378.324-383.1251.51.3-

Services less medical care services

376.920-379.1501.90.6-

Energy

301.597305.435301.437-9.7-0.1-1.3

All items less energy

303.749-305.4021.70.5-

All items less food and energy

304.510-306.0411.10.5-

Footnotes
(1) Indexes on a December 1977=100 base.
(2) This index series was calculated using a Laspeyres estimator. All other item stratum index series were calculated using a geometric means estimator.
(3) Indexes on a December 1982=100 base.
(4) Special index based on a substantially smaller sample.
(5) Indexes on a December 1993=100 base.
(6) 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: Thursday, November 12, 2020