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News Release Information

20-1720-SAN
Friday, September 11, 2020

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

Consumer Price Index, San Francisco Area — August 2020

Area prices were unchanged over the past two months, up 1.6 percent from a year ago

Prices in the San Francisco area, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), were unchanged for the two months ending in August 2020, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (See table A.) Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations Richard Holden noted that higher prices for gasoline were offset by lower prices for food at home during the past two months, holding the overall index level virtually unchanged. (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 1.6 percent. (See chart 1 and table A.) The index for all items less food and energy increased 1.2 percent over the year. Food prices rose 5.4 percent. Energy prices decreased 1.8 percent, largely the result of a decrease in the price of gasoline. (See table 1.)

Food

Food prices declined 0.8 percent for the two months ending in August. (See table 1.) Prices for food at home decreased 2.2 percent, largely due to price declines in meat, poultry, fish and eggs (-4.7 percent). Prices for food away from home advanced 0.7 percent for the same period.

Over the year, food prices rose 5.4 percent. Prices for food at home increased 7.2 percent since a year ago, led by meat, poultry, fish and eggs prices (17.4 percent). Prices for food away from home advanced 3.6 percent.

Energy

The energy index advanced 3.7 percent for the two months ending in August. The increase was mainly due to higher prices for gasoline (7.6 percent). Prices for natural gas service rose 2.3 percent, while prices for electricity were unchanged for the same period.

Energy prices decreased 1.8 percent over the year, largely due to lower prices for gasoline (-10.2 percent). Prices paid for electricity advanced 8.2 percent, and prices for natural gas service increased 6.9 percent during the past year.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy were unchanged in the latest two-month period. Higher prices for used cars and trucks (9.2 percent), motor vehicle insurance (6.7 percent), and shelter (0.1 percent) helped offset lower prices for other goods and services (-1.1 percent), education and communication (-0.3 percent), and medical care (-0.1 percent).

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy increased 1.2 percent. Components contributing to the increase included motor vehicle insurance (5.3 percent) and shelter (2.6 percent). Partly offsetting the increase was a price decrease in new and used motor vehicles (-2.7 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

December

-0.3 3.5 -0.1 2.9 0.1 4.5 -0.5 2.5

The October 2020 Consumer Price Index for the San Francisco area is scheduled to be released on November 12, 2020

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic Impact on August 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 August 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 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-
Jun.
2020
Jul.
2020
Aug.
2020
Aug.
2019
Jun.
2020
Jul.
2020

Expenditure category

All items

300.032 - 300.182 1.6 0.0 -

All items (1967=100)

922.381 - 922.844 - - -

Food and beverages

307.228 - 304.761 4.8 -0.8 -

Food

306.745 - 304.224 5.4 -0.8 -

Food at home

277.767 272.252 271.580 7.2 -2.2 -0.2

Cereals and bakery products

280.741 - 271.309 3.6 -3.4 -

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

308.789 - 294.156 17.4 -4.7 -

Dairy and related products

276.654 - 282.821 4.3 2.2 -

Fruits and vegetables

364.899 - 359.733 5.1 -1.4 -

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials(1)

215.962 - 213.055 6.7 -1.3 -

Other food at home

226.823 - 223.071 2.9 -1.7 -

Food away from home

338.892 - 341.262 3.6 0.7 -

Alcoholic beverages

316.570 - 314.740 -0.5 -0.6 -

Housing

358.994 - 359.510 3.3 0.1 -

Shelter

408.086 408.303 408.494 2.6 0.1 0.0

Rent of primary residence(2)

463.704 465.091 465.713 2.4 0.4 0.1

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

434.761 435.824 435.842 2.2 0.2 0.0

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

434.761 435.824 435.842 2.2 0.2 0.0

Fuels and utilities

445.822 - 453.492 6.3 1.7 -

Household energy

394.084 393.461 395.961 7.2 0.5 0.6

Energy services(2)

396.028 395.693 397.817 7.3 0.5 0.5

Electricity(2)

425.164 425.164 425.164 8.2 0.0 0.0

Utility (piped) gas service(2)

324.306 322.898 331.825 6.9 2.3 2.8

Household furnishings and operations

148.320 - 147.205 7.4 -0.8 -

Apparel

98.889 - 98.388 -17.0 -0.5 -

Transportation

197.106 - 199.573 -3.8 1.3 -

Private transportation

190.879 - 196.605 -2.2 3.0 -

New and used motor vehicles(4)

92.706 - 93.619 -2.7 1.0 -

New vehicles(1)

155.520 - 158.123 -0.3 1.7 -

Used cars and trucks(1)

245.845 - 268.469 3.0 9.2 -

Motor fuel

220.382 229.239 236.785 -10.3 7.4 3.3

Gasoline (all types)

219.374 228.286 235.957 -10.2 7.6 3.4

Gasoline, unleaded regular(4)

218.538 227.494 235.174 -10.5 7.6 3.4

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(4)(5)

206.781 215.450 222.488 -9.7 7.6 3.3

Gasoline, unleaded premium(4)

211.077 219.286 226.534 -9.1 7.3 3.3

Motor vehicle insurance(1)

509.395 - 543.610 5.3 6.7 -

Medical care

549.438 - 548.733 - -0.1 -

Recreation(6)

117.230 - 117.921 0.4 0.6 -

Education and communication(6)

150.797 - 150.404 0.7 -0.3 -

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

1,843.031 - 1,831.860 2.6 -0.6 -

Other goods and services

514.435 - 508.703 1.4 -1.1 -

Commodity and service group

All items

300.032 - 300.182 1.6 0.0 -

Commodities

194.764 - 194.856 0.3 0.0 -

Commodities less food & beverages

135.670 - 136.952 -4.0 0.9 -

Nondurables less food & beverages

174.122 - 176.771 -7.1 1.5 -

Durables

97.310 - 97.518 0.7 0.2 -

Services

387.637 - 387.835 2.1 0.1 -

Special aggregate indexes

All items less medical care

289.826 - 290.006 1.7 0.1 -

All items less shelter

255.063 - 255.085 0.8 0.0 -

Commodities less food

143.263 - 144.452 -3.7 0.8 -

Nondurables

242.398 - 242.403 0.2 0.0 -

Nondurables less food

185.156 - 187.477 -6.3 1.3 -

Services less rent of shelter(3)

378.443 - 378.324 1.3 0.0 -

Services less medical care services

376.719 - 376.920 2.2 0.1 -

Energy

290.884 296.017 301.597 -1.8 3.7 1.9

All items less energy

304.094 - 303.749 1.8 -0.1 -

All items less food and energy

304.515 - 304.510 1.2 0.0 -

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: Friday, September 11, 2020