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News Release Information

20-426-SAN
Wednesday, March 11, 2020

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

Consumer Price Index, San Francisco Area — February 2020

Area prices were up 0.9 percent over the past two months, up 2.9 percent from a year ago

Prices in the San Francisco area, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), advanced 0.9 percent for the two months ending in February 2020, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (See table A.) Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations Richard Holden noted that the February increase was influenced by higher prices for shelter and apparel. (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 increased 2.9 percent. (See chart 1 and table A.) The index for all items less food and energy advanced 2.8 percent over the year. Food prices rose 3.5 percent. Energy prices increased 4.0 percent, largely the result of an increase in the price of electricity. (See table 1.)

Food

Food prices increased 1.4 percent for the two months ending in February. (See table 1.) Prices for food away from home increased 2.7 percent, but prices for food at home edged up 0.1 percent for the same period.

Over the year, food prices rose 3.5 percent. Prices for food way from home moved up 6.3 percent since a year ago, and prices for food at home increased 0.5 percent.

Energy

The energy index decreased 0.8 percent for the two months ending in February. The decrease was mainly due to lower prices for gasoline (-4.1 percent). Prices for natural gas service advanced 3.1 percent, and prices for electricity rose 2.7 percent for the same period.

Energy prices increased 4.0 percent over the year, largely due to higher prices for electricity (11.2 percent). Prices paid for natural gas service increased 3.3 percent, but prices for gasoline edged down 0.1 percent during the past year.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy increased 0.9 percent in the latest two-month period. Higher prices for apparel (12.0 percent), household furnishings and operations (2.3 percent) and shelter (0.7 percent) were partially offset by lower prices for medical care (-1.6 percent) and recreation (-0.7 percent).

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy advanced 2.8 percent. Components contributing to the increase included medical care (5.1 percent), household furnishings and operations (3.7 percent) and shelter (3.5 percent). Partly offsetting the increases were price decreases in education and communication and new and used motor vehicles, both down 0.8 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

June

0.6 2.7 0.3 3.5 0.9 3.9 0.2 3.2

August

0.7 3.1 0.2 3.0 0.6 4.3 0.1 2.7

October

0.9 3.6 0.6 2.7 0.7 4.4 1.0 3.0

December

-0.3 3.5 -0.1 2.9 0.1 4.5 -0.5 2.5

The April 2020 Consumer Price Index for the San Francisco area is scheduled to be released on May 12, 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-
Dec.
2019
Jan.
2020
Feb.
2020
Feb.
2019
Dec.
2019
Jan.
2020

Expenditure category

All items

297.007 - 299.690 2.9 0.9 -

All items (1967=100)

913.082 - 921.330 - - -

Food and beverages

291.161 - 294.897 2.7 1.3 -

Food

289.795 - 293.860 3.5 1.4 -

Food at home

255.160 252.943 255.459 0.5 0.1 1.0

Cereals and bakery products

261.685 - 260.713 3.4 -0.4 -

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

257.727 - 259.584 5.2 0.7 -

Dairy and related products

272.909 - 276.983 2.7 1.5 -

Fruits and vegetables

339.390 - 337.537 -2.3 -0.5 -

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials(1)

208.244 - 205.500 -1.8 -1.3 -

Other food at home

215.083 - 215.951 -2.8 0.4 -

Food away from home

329.746 - 338.700 6.3 2.7 -

Food away from home

329.746 - 338.700 6.3 2.7 -

Alcoholic beverages

311.197 - 310.927 -3.6 -0.1 -

Housing

352.601 - 355.875 3.8 0.9 -

Shelter

403.366 404.651 406.369 3.5 0.7 0.4

Rent of primary residence(2)

465.399 467.145 469.062 4.1 0.8 0.4

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

431.525 432.813 435.428 3.4 0.9 0.6

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

431.525 432.813 435.428 3.4 0.9 0.6

Fuels and utilities

421.094 - 428.216 7.6 1.7 -

Household energy

361.199 370.673 371.120 9.1 2.7 0.1

Energy services(2)

362.411 371.961 372.547 9.2 2.8 0.2

Electricity(2)

394.942 405.709 405.709 11.2 2.7 0.0

Utility (piped) gas service(2)

278.293 284.492 286.953 3.3 3.1 0.9

Household furnishings and operations

140.571 - 143.846 3.7 2.3 -

Apparel

105.638 - 118.319 1.1 12.0 -

Transportation

205.815 - 207.576 2.4 0.9 -

Private transportation

200.558 - 199.614 1.5 -0.5 -

New and used motor vehicles(4)

94.248 - 94.584 -0.8 0.4 -

New vehicles(1)

157.614 - 158.826 -3.3 0.8 -

Used cars and trucks(1)

247.540 - 247.896 -1.7 0.1 -

Motor fuel

261.728 254.945 251.171 -0.1 -4.0 -1.5

Gasoline (all types)

260.603 253.829 250.046 -0.1 -4.1 -1.5

Gasoline, unleaded regular(4)

260.154 253.300 249.274 -0.5 -4.2 -1.6

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(4)(5)

246.885 240.385 236.047 1.4 -4.4 -1.8

Gasoline, unleaded premium(4)

248.322 242.254 239.787 1.3 -3.4 -1.0

Motor vehicle insurance(1)

534.852 - 543.610 5.3 1.6 -

Medical care

554.645 - 545.970 5.1 -1.6 -

Recreation(6)

120.285 - 119.462 1.3 -0.7 -

Education and communication(6)

150.738 - 150.916 -0.8 0.1 -

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

1,832.700 - 1,832.748 0.0 0.0 -

Other goods and services

502.634 - 506.920 1.4 0.9 -

Commodity and service group

All items

297.007 - 299.690 2.9 0.9 -

Commodities

191.711 - 194.559 0.7 1.5 -

Commodities less food & beverages

138.789 - 141.125 -1.2 1.7 -

Nondurables less food & beverages

183.571 - 186.302 -1.0 1.5 -

Durables

95.685 - 97.551 -1.7 2.0 -

Services

384.554 - 387.182 3.8 0.7 -

Special aggregate indexes

All items less medical care

286.521 - 289.597 2.7 1.1 -

All items less shelter

252.809 - 255.428 2.5 1.0 -

Commodities less food

146.124 - 148.395 -1.4 1.6 -

Nondurables

238.667 - 241.910 1.2 1.4 -

Nondurables less food

193.523 - 196.037 -1.3 1.3 -

Services less rent of shelter(3)

377.741 - 379.913 4.4 0.6 -

Services less medical care services

373.552 - 376.538 3.6 0.8 -

Energy

302.900 302.554 300.439 4.0 -0.8 -0.7

All items less energy

300.324 - 303.282 2.9 1.0 -

All items less food and energy

302.804 - 305.596 2.8 0.9 -

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, March 11, 2020