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News Release Information

21-45-SAN
Wednesday, January 13, 2021

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

Consumer Price Index, San Francisco Area — December 2020

Area prices were up 0.4 percent over the past two months, up 2.0 percent from a year ago

Prices in the San Francisco area, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), increased 0.4 percent for the two months ending in December 2020, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (See table A.) Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations Richard Holden noted that the December increase was influenced by higher prices for new and used motor vehicles and household furnishings and operations. (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 2.0 percent. (See chart 1 and table A.) The index for all items less food and energy increased 1.4 percent over the year. Food prices rose 6.9 percent. Energy prices declined 1.4 percent, largely the result of a decrease in the price of gasoline. (See table 1.)

Food

Food prices advanced 1.0 percent for the two months ending in December. (See table 1.) Prices for food away from home advanced 1.1 percent. Prices for food at home advanced 1.0 percent for the same period, influenced by higher prices for meat, poultry, fish and eggs (3.9 percent).

Over the year, food prices rose 6.9 percent. Prices for food at home rose 8.4 percent since a year ago, and prices for food away from home rose 5.4 percent.

Energy

The energy index decreased 0.9 percent for the two months ending in December. The decrease was mainly due to lower prices for natural gas service (-10.0 percent). Prices for gasoline rose 0.3 percent, while prices for electricity were unchanged for the same period.

Energy prices declined 1.4 percent over the year, largely due to lower prices for gasoline (-9.2 percent). Prices paid for natural gas service jumped 13.8 percent, and prices for electricity rose 5.9 percent during the past year.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.4 percent in the latest two-month period. Higher prices for new and used motor vehicles (6.2 percent), household furnishings and operations (3.9 percent), and apparel (2.1 percent) were partially offset by lower prices for medical care (-0.8 percent) and shelter (-0.2 percent).

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy increased 1.4 percent. Components contributing to the increase included household furnishings and operations (9.6 percent), new and used motor vehicles (5.3 percent), and shelter (1.3 percent). Partly offsetting the increases were price decreases in apparel (-5.7 percent) and medical care (-1.7 percent).

Table A. San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA, CPI-U 2-month and 12-month percent changes, all items index, not seasonally adjusted
Month 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month

February

0.9 3.0 0.8 3.4 1.4 3.6 0.5 3.5 0.9 2.9

April

0.7 2.7 1.1 3.8 0.8 3.2 1.2 4.0 -0.5 1.1

June

0.6 2.7 0.3 3.5 0.9 3.9 0.2 3.2 0.7 1.6

August

0.7 3.1 0.2 3.0 0.6 4.3 0.1 2.7 0.0 1.6

October

0.9 3.6 0.6 2.7 0.7 4.4 1.0 3.0 0.5 1.1

December

-0.3 3.5 -0.1 2.9 0.1 4.5 -0.5 2.5 0.4 2.0

The February 2021 Consumer Price Index for the San Francisco area is scheduled to be released on March 10, 2021.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic Impact on December 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 December 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

Indexes Percent change from-
Oct.
2020
Nov.
2020
Dec.
2020
Dec.
2019
Oct.
2020
Nov.
2020

Expenditure category

All items

301.736 - 302.948 2.0 0.4 -

All items (1967=100)

927.620 - 931.345 - - -

Food and beverages

306.640 - 311.289 6.9 1.5 -

Food

306.683 - 309.903 6.9 1.0 -

Food at home

273.855 271.026 276.632 8.4 1.0 2.1

Cereals and bakery products

297.907 - 274.104 4.7 -8.0 -

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

291.640 - 302.923 17.5 3.9 -

Dairy and related products

286.002 - 292.860 7.3 2.4 -

Fruits and vegetables

370.335 - 380.780 12.2 2.8 -

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials(1)

197.425 - 200.308 -3.8 1.5 -

Other food at home

222.887 - 224.729 4.5 0.8 -

Food away from home

343.914 - 347.655 5.4 1.1 -

Alcoholic beverages

309.500 - 331.788 6.6 7.2 -

Housing

360.365 - 360.604 2.3 0.1 -

Shelter

409.262 409.791 408.547 1.3 -0.2 -0.3

Rent of primary residence(2)

468.725 469.137 468.851 0.7 0.0 -0.1

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

439.287 439.320 439.175 1.8 0.0 0.0

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

439.287 439.320 439.175 1.8 0.0 0.0

Fuels and utilities

454.677 - 448.817 6.6 -1.3 -

Household energy

395.792 387.455 387.643 7.3 -2.1 0.0

Energy services(2)

397.431 388.872 389.079 7.4 -2.1 0.1

Electricity(2)

418.345 418.345 418.345 5.9 0.0 0.0

Utility (piped) gas service(2)

351.688 315.730 316.601 13.8 -10.0 0.3

Household furnishings and operations

148.320 - 154.036 9.6 3.9 -

Apparel

97.508 - 99.570 -5.7 2.1 -

Transportation

199.173 - 201.420 -2.1 1.1 -

Private transportation

195.173 - 201.613 0.5 3.3 -

New and used motor vehicles(4)

93.468 - 99.226 5.3 6.2 -

New vehicles(1)

156.445 - 164.646 4.5 5.2 -

Used cars and trucks(1)

276.003 - 270.081 9.1 -2.1 -

Motor fuel

236.633 236.201 237.489 -9.3 0.4 0.5

Gasoline (all types)

235.820 235.344 236.514 -9.2 0.3 0.5

Gasoline, unleaded regular(4)

235.004 234.535 235.524 -9.5 0.2 0.4

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(4)(5)

223.775 222.670 225.011 -8.9 0.6 1.1

Gasoline, unleaded premium(4)

226.343 225.956 227.645 -8.3 0.6 0.7

Motor vehicle insurance(1)

510.364 - 521.248 -2.5 2.1 -

Medical care

549.432 - 545.016 -1.7 -0.8 -

Recreation(6)

125.741 - 125.834 4.6 0.1 -

Education and communication(6)

150.807 - 151.046 0.2 0.2 -

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

1,813.998 - 1,815.374 -0.9 0.1 -

Other goods and services

516.488 - 523.161 4.1 1.3 -

Commodity and service group

All items

301.736 - 302.948 2.0 0.4 -

Commodities

195.480 - 198.670 3.6 1.6 -

Commodities less food & beverages

136.971 - 139.370 0.4 1.8 -

Nondurables less food & beverages

176.727 - 178.743 -2.6 1.1 -

Durables

97.579 - 100.055 4.6 2.5 -

Services

390.133 - 389.878 1.4 -0.1 -

Special aggregate indexes

All items less medical care

291.583 - 292.990 2.3 0.5 -

All items less shelter

257.109 - 259.377 2.6 0.9 -

Commodities less food

144.291 - 147.395 0.9 2.2 -

Nondurables

243.351 - 246.720 3.4 1.4 -

Nondurables less food

187.047 - 190.577 -1.5 1.9 -

Services less rent of shelter(3)

383.125 - 383.574 1.5 0.1 -

Services less medical care services

379.150 - 379.118 1.5 0.0 -

Energy

301.437 297.853 298.710 -1.4 -0.9 0.3

All items less energy

305.402 - 306.814 2.2 0.5 -

All items less food and energy

306.041 - 307.173 1.4 0.4 -

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, January 13, 2021