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News Release Information

21-872-SAN
Wednesday, May 12, 2021

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

Consumer Price Index, San Francisco Area — April 2021

Area prices were up 1.7 percent over the past two months, up 3.8 percent from a year ago

Prices in the San Francisco area, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), advanced 1.7 percent for the two months ending in April 2021, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (See table A.) Regional Commissioner Chris Rosenlund noted that the April increase was influenced by higher prices for shelter and gasoline. (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 3.8 percent. (See chart 1 and table A.) Food prices increased 3.4 percent. Energy prices jumped 23.4 percent, largely the result of an increase in the price of gasoline. The index for all items less food and energy rose 2.9 percent over the year. (See table 1.)

Food

Food prices inched up 0.1 percent for the two months ending in April. (See table 1.) Prices for food away from home edged up 0.1 percent, while prices for food at home were unchanged for the same period.

Over the year, food prices increased 3.4 percent. Prices for food away from home increased 5.8 percent. Prices for food at home rose 1.2 percent since a year ago, largely due to a price rise in fruits and vegetables (5.3 percent) and meat, poultry, fish, and eggs (4.8 percent).

Energy

The energy index rose 9.9 percent for the two months ending in April. The increase was mainly due to higher prices for gasoline (14.0 percent). Prices for electricity advanced 6.0 percent, and prices for natural gas service rose 5.6 percent for the same period.

Energy prices jumped 23.4 percent over the year, largely due to higher prices for gasoline (38.0 percent). Prices paid for electricity jumped 12.8 percent, and prices for natural gas service rose 4.5 percent during the past year.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy increased 1.4 percent in the latest two-month period. Higher prices for used cars and trucks (11.8 percent), shelter (1.7 percent), and household furnishings and operations (1.4 percent) were partially offset by lower prices for recreation (-1.4 percent) and motor vehicle insurance (-1.3 percent).

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy rose 2.9 percent. Components contributing to the increase included used cars and trucks (20.2 percent), household furnishings and operations (6.6 percent), and shelter (2.5 percent). Partly offsetting the increases was a price decrease in tuition, other school fees, and childcare (-1.2 percent).

Table A. San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA, CPI-U 2-month and 12-month percent changes, all items index, not seasonally adjusted
Month20172018201920202021
2-month12-month2-month12-month2-month12-month2-month12-month2-month12-month

February

0.83.41.43.60.53.50.92.90.51.6

April

1.13.80.83.21.24.0-0.51.11.73.8

June

0.33.50.93.90.23.20.71.6

August

0.23.00.64.30.12.70.01.6

October

0.62.70.74.41.03.00.51.1

December

-0.12.90.14.5-0.52.50.42.0

The June 2021 Consumer Price Index for the San Francisco area is scheduled to be released on July 13, 2021.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic Impact on April 2021 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 April 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 measures 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 93 percent of the total U.S. population and (2) a CPI for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) which covers approximately 29 percent of the total U.S. 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 6,000 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; for most of the CPI-U the reference base is 1982-84 equals 100. An increase of 7 percent from the reference base, for example, is shown as 107.000.  Alternatively, that relationship can also be expressed as the price of a base period market basket of goods and services rising from $100 to $107. For further details see the CPI home page on the internet at www.bls.gov/cpi and the CPI section of the BLS Handbook of Methods available on the internet at www.bls.gov/opub/hom/cpi/.

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 individuals with sensory impairments 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-
Feb.
2021
Mar.
2021
Apr.
2021
Apr.
2020
Feb.
2021
Mar.
2021

Expenditure category

All items

304.387-309.4193.81.7-

All items (1967=100)

935.771-951.239---

Food and beverages

308.572-308.7903.10.1-

Food

308.589-308.7883.40.1-

Food at home

272.623271.136272.7021.20.00.6

Cereals and bakery products

271.126-268.268-1.2-1.1-

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

301.538-300.2954.8-0.4-

Dairy and related products

278.438-286.6430.02.9-

Fruits and vegetables

371.388-368.8295.3-0.7-

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials(1)

203.766-202.257-6.0-0.7-

Other food at home

220.791-222.654-0.70.8-

Food away from home

349.922-350.2765.80.1-

Alcoholic beverages

311.778-312.228-0.70.1-

Housing

361.955-368.3943.31.8-

Shelter

409.850411.202416.7982.51.71.4

Rent of primary residence(2)

468.807468.231467.7580.3-0.2-0.1

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

439.058438.879438.3361.2-0.2-0.1

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

439.058438.879438.3361.2-0.2-0.1

Fuels and utilities

455.265-469.8858.43.2-

Household energy

395.975409.316419.37611.35.92.5

Energy services(2)

397.337410.870420.83611.15.92.4

Electricity(2)

428.380444.009454.07312.86.02.3

Utility (piped) gas service(2)

319.675327.293337.4544.55.63.1

Household furnishings and operations

154.126-156.3366.61.4-

Apparel

105.422-107.0073.71.5-

Transportation

204.673-216.49811.45.8-

Private transportation

203.631-213.82413.75.0-

New and used motor vehicles(4)

97.889-----

New vehicles(1)

161.204-----

Used cars and trucks(1)

269.617-301.32120.211.8-

Motor fuel

253.600277.844289.07937.714.04.0

Gasoline (all types)

252.663276.891288.14638.014.04.1

Gasoline, unleaded regular(4)

251.951276.602287.96838.814.34.1

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(4)(5)

237.199257.507268.46632.213.24.3

Gasoline, unleaded premium(4)

242.198263.736273.88735.313.13.8

Motor vehicle insurance(1)

528.598-521.6625.0-1.3-

Medical care

555.065-555.6751.40.1-

Recreation(6)

126.052-124.3353.7-1.4-

Education and communication(6)

150.882-152.0990.30.8-

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

1,815.339-1,819.305-1.20.2-

Other goods and services

524.717-535.9424.82.1-

Commodity and service group

All items

304.387-309.4193.81.7-

Commodities

199.185-202.7365.51.8-

Commodities less food & beverages

141.375-146.3587.93.5-

Nondurables less food & beverages

184.904-194.86911.95.4-

Durables

98.949-----

Services

392.055-398.3403.21.6-

Special aggregate indexes

All items less medical care

294.117-299.2834.01.8-

All items less shelter

260.943-265.1664.91.6-

Commodities less food

148.669-153.5487.33.3-

Nondurables

248.289-253.2066.22.0-

Nondurables less food

194.803-204.08310.34.8-

Services less rent of shelter(3)

387.224-392.7894.21.4-

Services less medical care services

380.732-387.3643.21.7-

Energy

311.817331.861342.69423.49.93.3

All items less energy

307.721-311.5953.01.3-

All items less food and energy

308.432-312.8942.91.4-

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: Wednesday, May 12, 2021