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News Release Information

20-60-SAN
Tuesday, January 14, 2020

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Consumer Price Index, San Francisco Area — December 2019

Area prices were down 0.5 percent over the past two months, up 2.5 percent from a year ago

Prices in the San Francisco area, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), decreased 0.5 percent for the two months ending in December 2019, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (See table A.) Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations Richard Holden noted that the December decrease was influenced by lower prices for 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 advanced 2.5 percent. (See chart 1 and table A.) The index for all items less food and energy rose 2.4 percent over the year. Food prices rose 3.2 percent. Energy prices advanced 1.8 percent, largely the result of an increase in the price of electricity. (See table 1.)

Food

Food prices decreased 0.6 percent for the two months ending in December. (See table 1.) Prices for food at home decreased 0.7 percent, and prices for food away from home moved down 0.5 percent for the same period.

Over the year, food prices rose 3.2 percent. Prices for food away from home rose advanced 4.9 percent since a year ago, and prices for food at home increased 1.0 percent.

Energy

The energy index decreased 9.2 percent for the two months ending in December. The decrease was mainly due to lower prices for gasoline (-13.0 percent). Prices for electricity were unchanged, while prices for natural gas service prices dropped 10.5 percent for the same period.

Energy prices advanced 1.8 percent over the year, largely due to higher prices for electricity (6.9 percent). Prices paid for natural gas service advanced 7.2 percent, but prices for gasoline decreased 1.2 percent during the past year.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy edged up 0.1 percent in the latest two-month period. Higher prices for recreation (1.8 percent) and shelter (0.7 percent) were partially offset by lower prices for apparel (-6.4 percent) and other goods and services (-0.8 percent).

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy rose 2.4 percent. Components contributing to the increase included recreation (3.9 percent) and shelter (3.1 percent). Partly offsetting the increases were price decreases in apparel (-4.0 percent) and education and communication (-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
Month 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month

February

1.0 2.5 0.9 3.0 0.8 3.4 1.4 3.6 0.5 3.5

April

1.1 2.4 0.7 2.7 1.1 3.8 0.8 3.2 1.2 4.0

June

0.6 2.3 0.6 2.7 0.3 3.5 0.9 3.9 0.2 3.2

August

0.3 2.6 0.7 3.1 0.2 3.0 0.6 4.3 0.1 2.7

October

0.4 2.6 0.9 3.6 0.6 2.7 0.7 4.4 1.0 3.0

December

-0.3 3.2 -0.3 3.5 -0.1 2.9 0.1 4.5 -0.5 2.5

The February 2020 Consumer Price Index for the San Francisco area is scheduled to be released on March 11, 2020.

Consumer Price Index Geographic Revision for 2018

In January 2018, BLS introduced a new geographic area sample for the Consumer Price Index (CPI). As part of the new sample, the index for this area was renamed. Additional information on the geographic revision is available at: www.bls.gov/cpi/additional-resources/geographic-revision-2018.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

Indexes Percent change from-
Oct.
2019
Nov.
2019
Dec.
2019
Dec.
2018
Oct.
2019
Nov.
2019

Expenditure category

All items

298.443 - 297.007 2.5 -0.5 -

All items (1967=100)

917.497 - 913.082 - - -

Food and beverages

292.658 - 291.161 2.3 -0.5 -

Food

291.434 - 289.795 3.2 -0.6 -

Food at home

256.853 253.976 255.160 1.0 -0.7 0.5

Cereals and bakery products

264.788 - 261.685 0.8 -1.2 -

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

254.853 - 257.727 2.0 1.1 -

Dairy and related products

273.959 - 272.909 1.8 -0.4 -

Fruits and vegetables

347.437 - 339.390 1.8 -2.3 -

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials(1)

204.359 - 208.244 1.9 1.9 -

Other food at home

218.764 - 215.083 -1.1 -1.7 -

Food away from home

331.348 - 329.746 4.9 -0.5 -

Food away from home

331.348 - 329.746 4.9 -0.5 -

Alcoholic beverages

311.552 - 311.197 -4.3 -0.1 -

Housing

350.894 - 352.601 3.2 0.5 -

Shelter

400.713 402.623 403.366 3.1 0.7 0.2

Rent of primary residence(2)

458.237 459.553 465.399 3.8 1.6 1.3

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

429.514 430.686 431.525 2.8 0.5 0.2

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

429.514 430.686 431.525 2.8 0.5 0.2

Fuels and utilities

428.389 - 421.094 7.9 -1.7 -

Household energy

371.547 358.703 361.199 6.9 -2.8 0.7

Energy services(2)

372.305 359.672 362.411 7.0 -2.7 0.8

Electricity(2)

394.942 394.942 394.942 6.9 0.0 0.0

Utility (piped) gas service(2)

310.997 269.240 278.293 7.2 -10.5 3.4

Household furnishings and operations

140.320 - 140.571 1.3 0.2 -

Apparel

112.876 - 105.638 -4.0 -6.4 -

Transportation

216.519 - 205.815 2.0 -4.9 -

Private transportation

209.962 - 200.558 1.5 -4.5 -

New and used motor vehicles(4)

95.983 - 94.248 -1.1 -1.8 -

New vehicles(1)

160.445 - 157.614 -2.5 -1.8 -

Used cars and trucks(1)

249.664 - 247.540 -1.3 -0.9 -

Motor fuel

300.258 286.954 261.728 -1.2 -12.8 -8.8

Gasoline (all types)

299.473 285.986 260.603 -1.2 -13.0 -8.9

Gasoline, unleaded regular(4)

299.983 286.115 260.154 -1.4 -13.3 -9.1

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(4)(5)

278.220 268.738 246.885 -0.3 -11.3 -8.1

Gasoline, unleaded premium(4)

281.934 270.268 248.322 -0.6 -11.9 -8.1

Motor vehicle insurance(1)

531.180 - 534.852 3.6 0.7 -

Medical care

551.902 - 554.645 2.8 0.5 -

Recreation(6)

118.162 - 120.285 3.9 1.8 -

Education and communication(6)

150.244 - 150.738 -0.4 0.3 -

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

1,831.965 - 1,832.700 0.0 0.0 -

Other goods and services

506.865 - 502.634 1.4 -0.8 -

Commodity and service group

All items

298.443 - 297.007 2.5 -0.5 -

Commodities

196.917 - 191.711 0.0 -2.6 -

Commodities less food & beverages

145.602 - 138.789 -2.1 -4.7 -

Nondurables less food & beverages

195.831 - 183.571 -1.8 -6.3 -

Durables

97.520 - 95.685 -2.5 -1.9 -

Services

382.952 - 384.554 3.5 0.4 -

Special aggregate indexes

All items less medical care

288.121 - 286.521 2.4 -0.6 -

All items less shelter

256.229 - 252.809 2.0 -1.3 -

Commodities less food

152.586 - 146.124 -2.3 -4.2 -

Nondurables

245.584 - 238.667 0.6 -2.8 -

Nondurables less food

204.513 - 193.523 -2.2 -5.4 -

Services less rent of shelter(3)

377.573 - 377.741 4.0 0.0 -

Services less medical care services

372.051 - 373.552 3.5 0.4 -

Energy

333.744 320.118 302.900 1.8 -9.2 -5.4

All items less energy

300.372 - 300.324 2.5 0.0 -

All items less food and energy

302.596 - 302.804 2.4 0.1 -

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: Tuesday, January 14, 2020