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News Release Information

20-1210-SAN
Wednesday, June 10, 2020

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

Consumer Price Index, San Diego Area – May 2020

Area prices were down 0.4 percent over the past two months, up 0.3 percent from a year ago

Prices in the San Diego area, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), declined 0.4 percent for the two months ending in May 2020, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations Richard Holden noted that the May decrease was influenced by lower prices for energy. (Data in this report are not seasonally adjusted. Accordingly, bi-monthly changes may reflect seasonal influences.)

Over the last 12 months, the CPI-U rose 0.3 percent. Food prices rose 4.8 percent. The index for all items less food and energy advanced 0.9 percent over the year. Energy prices fell 18.1 percent, largely the result of a decrease in the price of gasoline. (See table 1.)

Food

Food prices increased 3.2 percent for the two months ending in May. (See table 1.) Prices for food at home rose 4.2 percent, and prices for food away from home advanced 2.0 percent for the same period.

Over the year, food prices rose 4.8 percent. Prices for food away from home increased 4.9 percent since a year ago, and prices for food at home increased 4.8 percent.

Energy

The energy index fell 10.8 percent for the two months ending in May. The decrease was mainly due to lower prices for gasoline (-16.9 percent). Prices for natural gas service jumped 14.3 percent, but prices for electricity decreased 4.4 percent for the same period.

Energy prices fell 18.1 percent over the year, largely due to lower prices for gasoline (-30.0 percent). Prices paid for natural gas service jumped 30.6 percent, and prices for electricity advanced 1.1 percent during the past year.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy decreased 0.4 percent in the latest two-month period. Lower prices for apparel (-5.0 percent) and new and used motor vehicles (-2.3 percent) were partially offset by higher prices for other goods and services (1.1 percent) and recreation (0.8 percent).

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy advanced 0.9 percent. Components contributing to the increase included recreation (4.7 percent), medical care (4.2 percent), and shelter (2.6 percent). Partly offsetting the increases were price decreases in household furnishings and operations (-3.3 percent) and education and communication (-1.7 percent).

The July 2020 Consumer Price Index for the San Diego area is scheduled to be released on August 12, 2020.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Impact on May 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 May 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 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 San Diego-Carlsbad, CA metropolitan area covered in this release consists of San Diego County 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 Diego-Carlsbad (1982-84=100 unless otherwise noted)
Item and Group

Indexes Percent change from-
Mar.
2020
Apr.
2020
May
2020
May
2019
Mar.
2020
Apr.
2020

Expenditure category

All items

302.589 - 301.317 0.3 -0.4 -

All items (1967=100)

1,023.146 - 1,018.846 - - -

Food and beverages

265.155 - 272.698 4.3 2.8 -

Food

263.347 - 271.648 4.8 3.2 -

Food at home

233.133 242.816 242.896 4.8 4.2 0.0

Cereals and bakery products

256.531 - 285.666 5.1 11.4 -

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

240.900 - 260.270 10.5 8.0 -

Dairy and related products

194.576 - 183.430 -2.9 -5.7 -

Fruits and vegetables

264.063 - 255.750 -3.0 -3.1 -

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials(1)

265.233 - 283.417 12.0 6.9 -

Other food at home

218.097 - 228.205 4.7 4.6 -

Food away from home

303.360 - 309.408 4.9 2.0 -

Alcoholic beverages

273.876 - 273.728 -0.7 -0.1 -

Housing

363.301 - 362.981 2.0 -0.1 -

Shelter

414.243 410.225 413.708 2.6 -0.1 0.8

Rent of primary residence(2)

409.457 409.921 412.275 4.1 0.7 0.6

Owners' equiv. rent of residences(2)

436.563 437.556 440.308 3.5 0.9 0.6

Owners' equiv. rent of primary residence(2)

436.563 437.556 440.308 3.5 0.9 0.6

Fuels and utilities

345.910 - 342.936 3.8 -0.9 -

Household energy

311.976 301.875 310.599 6.7 -0.4 2.9

Energy services

308.365 298.249 307.048 7.0 -0.4 3.0

Electricity

302.165 288.932 288.932 1.1 -4.4 0.0

Utility (piped) gas service

230.552 232.435 263.536 30.6 14.3 13.4

Household furnishings and operations

191.200 - 192.679 -3.3 0.8 -

Apparel

157.971 - 150.008 0.3 -5.0 -

Transportation

223.714 - 210.241 -12.7 -6.0 -

Private transportation

222.269 - 206.604 -11.2 -7.0 -

New and used motor vehicles(3)

107.143 - 104.660 -2.7 -2.3 -

New vehicles(1)

231.042 - 232.325 0.4 0.6 -

Used cars and trucks(1)

234.192 - 229.747 -0.8 -1.9 -

Motor fuel

271.395 225.111 225.398 -29.9 -16.9 0.1

Gasoline (all types)

271.195 224.784 225.247 -30.0 -16.9 0.2

Gasoline, unleaded regular(4)

281.283 231.700 232.071 -30.6 -17.5 0.2

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(4)(5)

232.893 195.831 199.311 -28.4 -14.4 1.8

Gasoline, unleaded premium(4)

275.712 234.268 234.710 -27.2 -14.9 0.2

Motor vehicle insurance(1)

549.852 - 491.321 -8.0 -10.6 -

Medical care

507.904 - 508.824 4.2 0.2 -

Recreation(3)

161.577 - 162.912 4.7 0.8 -

Education and communication(3)

129.186 - 129.346 -1.7 0.1 -

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

1,538.385 - 1,538.358 -2.4 0.0 -

Other goods and services

414.683 - 419.225 1.8 1.1 -

Commodity and service group

All items

302.589 - 301.317 0.3 -0.4 -

Commodities

203.920 - 202.947 -2.2 -0.5 -

Commodities less food & beverages

171.515 - 165.803 -7.1 -3.3 -

Nondurables less food & beverages

202.500 - 191.263 -9.1 -5.5 -

Durables

138.757 - 138.283 -4.7 -0.3 -

Services

389.958 - 388.442 1.6 -0.4 -

Special aggregate indexes

All items less medical care

292.915 - 291.542 0.0 -0.5 -

All items less shelter

258.580 - 257.058 -1.0 -0.6 -

Commodities less food

176.179 - 170.750 -6.6 -3.1 -

Nondurables

235.303 - 234.086 -1.3 -0.5 -

Nondurables less food

209.435 - 199.257 -8.0 -4.9 -

Services less rent of shelter(2)

380.525 - 377.760 0.3 -0.7 -

Services less medical care services

376.765 - 375.000 1.2 -0.5 -

Energy

281.964 248.283 251.387 -18.1 -10.8 1.3

All items less energy

306.552 - 306.989 1.5 0.1 -

All items less food and energy

315.801 - 314.477 0.9 -0.4 -

Footnotes
(1) Indexes on a November 1977=100 base.
(2) Indexes on a November 1982=100 base.
(3) Indexes on a December 1997=100 base.
(4) Special index based on a substantially smaller sample.
(5) Indexes on a December 1993=100 base.

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

 

Last Modified Date: Wednesday, June 10, 2020