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News Release Information

20-599-SAN
Friday, April 10, 2020

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

Consumer Price Index, Riverside Area – March 2020

Area prices were unchanged over the past two months, up 2.3 percent from a year ago

Prices in the Riverside area, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), were unchanged for the two months ending in March 2020, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations Richard Holden noted that the March index was influenced by higher prices for shelter and lower prices for household furnishings and operations. (Data in this report are not seasonally adjusted. Accordingly, bi-monthly changes may reflect seasonal influences.)

Over the last 12 months, the CPI-U advanced 2.3 percent. The index for all items less food and energy advanced 2.4 percent over the year. Food prices rose 3.7 percent. Energy prices declined 0.5 percent, largely the result of a decrease in the price of gasoline. (See table 1.)

Food

Food prices inched up 0.2 percent for the two months ending in March. (See table 1.) Prices for food at home increased 0.9 percent, but prices for food away from home decreased 0.5 percent for the same period.

Over the year, food prices rose 3.7 percent. Prices for food away from home advanced 5.2 percent, and prices for food at home rose 2.2 percent.

Energy

The energy index decreased 4.4 percent for the two months ending in March. The decrease was mainly due to lower prices for gasoline (-5.9 percent). Prices for natural gas service declined 9.5 percent, while prices for electricity were unchanged for the same period.

Energy prices declined 0.5 percent over the year, largely due to lower prices for gasoline (-2.3 percent). Prices paid for natural gas service decreased 6.6 percent, while prices for electricity rose 4.1 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 apparel (4.3 percent), recreation (2.3 percent), and shelter (0.8 percent) were partially offset by lower prices for household furnishings and operations (-5.2 percent).

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy advanced 2.4 percent. Components contributing to the increase included medical care (5.8 percent) and shelter (5.1 percent). Partly offsetting the increases were price decreases in apparel (-7.0 percent) and recreation (-0.6 percent).

The May 2020 Consumer Price Index for the Riverside area is scheduled to be released on June 10, 2020.

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

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) program suspended data collection by personal visit on March 16, 2020. When possible, data normally collected by personal visit were collected either online or by phone. Additionally, data collection in March 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 being 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 www.bls.gov/bls/effects-of-covid-19-pandemic-on-bls-price-indexes.htm#CPI.

Specific information about the impact of COVID-19 on March 2020 CPI data collection is available at www.bls.gov/cpi/additional-resources/covid19-statement-march-2020.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 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 6,000 housing units and approximately 24,000 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 Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario metropolitan area covered in this release consists of Riverside and San Bernardino 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

Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario (December 2017=100 unless otherwise noted)
Item and Group

Indexes Percent change from-
Jan.
2020
Feb.
2020
Mar.
2020
Mar.
2019
Jan.
2020
Feb.
2020

Expenditure category

All items

107.143 - 107.162 2.3 0.0 -

Food and beverages

106.468 - 106.700 3.5 0.2 -

Food

106.853 - 107.099 3.7 0.2 -

Food at home

102.662 102.524 103.561 2.2 0.9 1.0

Cereals and bakery products

104.874 - 106.098 1.9 1.2 -

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

101.213 - 103.272 1.9 2.0 -

Dairy and related products

105.764 - 105.285 1.2 -0.5 -

Fruits and vegetables

104.337 - 104.932 4.0 0.6 -

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials

107.980 - 111.713 7.3 3.5 -

Other food at home

98.237 - 97.063 -1.0 -1.2 -

Food away from home

111.259 - 110.736 5.2 -0.5 -

Food away from home

111.259 - 110.736 5.2 -0.5 -

Alcoholic beverages

99.817 - 99.779 0.4 0.0 -

Housing

109.886 - 109.955 4.4 0.1 -

Shelter

109.951 110.684 110.835 5.1 0.8 0.1

Rent of primary residence

110.071 110.644 110.836 5.5 0.7 0.2

Owners' equiv. rent of residences

110.345 110.950 111.161 5.7 0.7 0.2

Owners' equiv. rent of primary residence

110.345 110.950 111.161 5.7 0.7 0.2

Fuels and utilities

112.719 - 111.293 2.3 -1.3 -

Household energy

110.807 109.641 108.627 1.4 -2.0 -0.9

Energy services

111.031 109.838 108.831 1.6 -2.0 -0.9

Electricity

108.669 108.669 108.665 4.1 0.0 0.0

Utility (piped) gas service

119.941 113.768 108.573 -6.6 -9.5 -4.6

Household furnishings and operations

105.077 - 99.660 -0.3 -5.2 -

Apparel

93.442 - 97.442 -7.0 4.3 -

Transportation

106.672 - 103.961 -2.3 -2.5 -

Private transportation

106.595 - 104.834 -1.5 -1.7 -

New and used motor vehicles

98.503 - 99.065 -3.6 0.6 -

New vehicles

101.840 - 102.993 0.4 1.1 -

Used cars and trucks

99.340 - 102.569 -0.1 3.3 -

Motor fuel

115.399 114.514 108.421 -2.3 -6.0 -5.3

Gasoline (all types)

115.336 114.536 108.474 -2.3 -5.9 -5.3

Gasoline, unleaded regular(1)

115.310 114.586 108.339 -2.5 -6.0 -5.5

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(1)

116.067 115.089 111.433 0.2 -4.0 -3.2

Gasoline, unleaded premium(1)

115.258 114.094 108.597 -1.5 -5.8 -4.8

Motor vehicle insurance

113.655 - 116.349 5.7 2.4 -

Medical care

105.768 - 107.539 5.8 1.7 -

Recreation

99.300 - 101.545 -0.6 2.3 -

Education and communication

104.746 - 105.182 1.2 0.4 -

Tuition, other school fees, and child care

116.139 - 116.232 3.8 0.1 -

Other goods and services

107.738 - 108.452 1.3 0.7 -

Commodity and service group

All items

107.143 - 107.162 2.3 0.0 -

Commodities

104.416 - 103.827 0.1 -0.6 -

Commodities less food & beverages

103.175 - 102.106 -2.0 -1.0 -

Nondurables less food & beverages

104.120 - 102.000 -2.8 -2.0 -

Durables

101.653 - 101.708 -1.4 0.1 -

Services

108.834 - 109.210 3.7 0.3 -

Special aggregate indexes

All items less medical care

107.238 - 107.138 2.1 -0.1 -

All items less shelter

105.582 - 105.094 0.7 -0.5 -

Commodities less food

103.044 - 102.003 -2.0 -1.0 -

Nondurables

105.367 - 104.496 0.5 -0.8 -

Nondurables less food

103.851 - 101.842 -2.7 -1.9 -

Services less rent of shelter

107.288 - 106.946 1.6 -0.3 -

Services less medical care services

108.882 - 109.112 3.4 0.2 -

Energy

114.089 113.083 109.047 -0.5 -4.4 -3.6

All items less energy

106.515 - 106.975 2.5 0.4 -

All items less food and energy

106.496 - 106.992 2.4 0.5 -

Footnotes
(1) Special index based on a substantially smaller sample.

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

 

Last Modified Date: Friday, April 10, 2020