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News Release Information

20-1937-SAN
Tuesday, October 13, 2020

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

Consumer Price Index, San Diego Area – September 2020

Area prices were down 0.4 percent over the past two months, up 1.1 percent from a year ago

Prices in the San Diego area, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), decreased 0.4 percent for the two months ending in September 2020, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations Richard Holden noted that the September decrease was influenced by lower prices for household furnishings and operations and food at home. (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 1.1 percent. The index for all items less food and energy increased 1.5 percent over the year. Food prices rose 4.2 percent. Energy prices dropped 11.5 percent, largely the result of a decrease in the price of gasoline. (See table 1.)

Food

Food prices decreased 0.7 percent for the two months ending in September. (See table 1.) Prices for food at home decreased 1.6 percent led by nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials (-2.8 percent). Prices for food away from home advanced 0.3 percent for the same period.

Over the year, food prices rose 4.2 percent. Prices for food away from home advanced 5.6 percent. Prices for food at home increased 3.0 percent since a year ago led by meats, poultry, fish, and eggs (7.0 percent).

Energy

The energy index decreased 0.7 percent for the two months ending in September. The decrease was mainly due to lower prices for gasoline (-1.0 percent). Prices for electricity were unchanged, while prices for natural gas service decreased 0.7 percent for the same period.

Energy prices dropped 11.5 percent over the year, largely due to lower prices for gasoline (-17.2 percent). Prices paid for natural gas service jumped 28.3 percent, but prices for electricity decreased 7.0 percent during the past year.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy decreased 0.3 percent in the latest two-month period. Lower prices for alcoholic beverages (-4.7 percent), household furnishings and operations (-3.8 percent), and recreation (-0.6 percent) were partially offset by higher prices for used cars and trucks (7.7 percent) and other goods and services (1.4 percent).

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy increased 1.5 percent. Components contributing to the increase included medical care (5.3 percent), recreation (4.7 percent), and shelter (1.9 percent). Partly offsetting the increases was a price decrease in apparel (-9.4 percent).

The November 2020 Consumer Price Index for the San Diego area is scheduled to be released on December 10, 2020.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Impact on September 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 September 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-
Jul.
2020
Aug.
2020
Sep.
2020
Sep.
2019
Jul.
2020
Aug.
2020

Expenditure category

All items

305.611 - 304.443 1.1 -0.4 -

All items (1967=100)

1,033.363 - 1,029.416 - - -

Food and beverages

273.727 - 270.656 3.7 -1.1 -

Food

271.517 - 269.523 4.2 -0.7 -

Food at home

241.546 240.661 237.596 3.0 -1.6 -1.3

Cereals and bakery products

278.901 - 276.331 6.1 -0.9 -

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

257.597 - 253.671 7.0 -1.5 -

Dairy and related products

191.439 - 190.686 0.3 -0.4 -

Fruits and vegetables

263.305 - 259.588 -3.7 -1.4 -

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials(1)

270.675 - 263.223 6.8 -2.8 -

Other food at home

225.615 - 220.690 2.3 -2.2 -

Food away from home

311.055 - 311.938 5.6 0.3 -

Alcoholic beverages

286.086 - 272.552 -1.2 -4.7 -

Housing

365.294 - 363.605 1.7 -0.5 -

Shelter

414.716 414.560 414.420 1.9 -0.1 0.0

Rent of primary residence(2)

412.706 412.164 411.291 2.2 -0.3 -0.2

Owners' equiv. rent of residences(2)

440.546 441.271 440.818 2.2 0.1 -0.1

Owners' equiv. rent of primary residence(2)

440.546 441.271 440.818 2.2 0.1 -0.1

Fuels and utilities

350.552 - 350.044 -1.1 -0.1 -

Household energy

321.113 320.900 320.310 -1.0 -0.3 -0.2

Energy services

317.590 317.350 317.042 -0.9 -0.2 -0.1

Electricity

301.433 301.433 301.433 -7.0 0.0 0.0

Utility (piped) gas service

265.242 264.395 263.306 28.3 -0.7 -0.4

Household furnishings and operations

197.981 - 190.539 2.2 -3.8 -

Apparel

155.592 - 155.118 -9.4 -0.3 -

Transportation

218.122 - 218.701 -6.6 0.3 -

Private transportation

216.534 - 216.732 -4.5 0.1 -

New and used motor vehicles(3)

107.622 - 108.570 1.5 0.9 -

New vehicles(1)

237.927 - 235.746 2.9 -0.9 -

Used cars and trucks(1)

234.349 - 252.342 9.2 7.7 -

Motor fuel

250.256 250.093 247.731 -17.2 -1.0 -0.9

Gasoline (all types)

250.223 250.017 247.633 -17.2 -1.0 -1.0

Gasoline, unleaded regular(4)

258.293 256.966 254.488 -18.0 -1.5 -1.0

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(4)(5)

218.677 222.320 221.455 -14.8 1.3 -0.4

Gasoline, unleaded premium(4)

259.058 263.083 260.494 -14.2 0.6 -1.0

Motor vehicle insurance(1)

535.557 - 526.040 -1.3 -1.8 -

Medical care

521.409 - 520.992 5.3 -0.1 -

Recreation(3)

164.746 - 163.789 4.7 -0.6 -

Education and communication(3)

135.065 - 134.857 3.6 -0.2 -

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

1,540.026 - 1,558.575 1.3 1.2 -

Other goods and services

417.682 - 423.334 4.4 1.4 -

Commodity and service group

All items

305.611 - 304.443 1.1 -0.4 -

Commodities

207.012 - 205.325 0.2 -0.8 -

Commodities less food & beverages

171.588 - 170.657 -2.5 -0.5 -

Nondurables less food & beverages

198.880 - 195.762 -7.8 -1.6 -

Durables

142.237 - 143.346 5.2 0.8 -

Services

392.730 - 392.182 1.6 -0.1 -

Special aggregate indexes

All items less medical care

295.448 - 294.246 0.8 -0.4 -

All items less shelter

262.485 - 261.018 0.6 -0.6 -

Commodities less food

176.845 - 175.299 -2.4 -0.9 -

Nondurables

238.178 - 235.093 -1.2 -1.3 -

Nondurables less food

207.332 - 203.214 -6.9 -2.0 -

Services less rent of shelter(2)

386.189 - 385.314 1.1 -0.2 -

Services less medical care services

378.448 - 377.681 1.0 -0.2 -

Energy

271.177 270.999 269.255 -11.5 -0.7 -0.6

All items less energy

310.412 - 309.278 1.9 -0.4 -

All items less food and energy

318.690 - 317.751 1.5 -0.3 -

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: Tuesday, October 13, 2020