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News Release Information

21-242-SAN
Wednesday, February 10, 2021

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

Consumer Price Index, San Diego Area – January 2021

Area prices were up 0.4 percent over the past two months, up 1.7 percent from a year ago

Prices in the San Diego area, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), advanced 0.4 percent for the two months ending in January 2021, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations Richard Holden noted that the January increase was influenced by higher prices for gasoline and shelter. (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 1.7 percent. The index for all items less food and energy rose 1.5 percent over the year. Food prices increased 4.5 percent. Energy prices declined 2.9 percent, largely the result of a decrease in the price of gasoline. (See table 1.)

Food

Food prices advanced 0.6 percent for the two months ending in January. (See table 1.) Prices for food away from home rose 2.0 percent. Prices for food at home decreased 0.6 percent, for the same period, influenced by lower prices for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs (-4.9 percent).

Over the year, food prices increased 4.5 percent. Prices for food away from home increased 5.1 percent. Prices for food at home increased 4.0 percent since a year ago, led by higher prices for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs (7.5 percent).

Energy

The energy index rose 3.7 percent for the two months ending in January. The increase was mainly due to higher prices for gasoline (5.8 percent). Prices for natural gas service rose 3.2 percent, while prices for electricity were unchanged for the same period.

Energy prices declined 2.9 percent over the year, largely due to lower prices for gasoline (-7.3 percent). Prices paid for natural gas service rose 9.1 percent, and prices for electricity advanced 4.3 percent during the past year.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy edged up 0.2 percent in the latest two-month period. Higher prices for medical care (1.9 percent) and shelter (0.4 percent) were partially offset by lower prices for recreation (-9.5 percent) and used cars and trucks (-1.7 percent).

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy rose 1.5 percent. Components contributing to the increase included other goods and services (8.1 percent), new and used motor vehicles (6.1 percent), and (medical care 4.4 percent) Partly offsetting the increases was a price decrease in recreation (-3.5 percent).

The March 2021 Consumer Price Index for the San Diego area is scheduled to be released on April 13, 2021.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Impact on January 2021 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 November 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 Diego-Carlsbad, CA metropolitan area includes San Diego County in 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

IndexesPercent change from-
Nov.
2020
Dec.
2020
Jan.
2021
Jan.
2020
Nov.
2020
Dec.
2020

Expenditure category

All items

306.334-307.6881.70.4-

All items (1967=100)

1,035.810-1,040.388---

Food and beverages

273.069-275.0314.80.7-

Food

271.740-273.3814.50.6-

Food at home

241.315242.664239.8814.0-0.6-1.1

Cereals and bakery products

271.021-285.4539.65.3-

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

271.192-257.8417.5-4.9-

Dairy and related products

189.425-188.469-2.6-0.5-

Fruits and vegetables

268.504-267.3082.5-0.4-

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials(1)

276.253-269.4164.8-2.5-

Other food at home

212.039-215.9491.11.8-

Food away from home

311.935-318.0265.12.0-

Alcoholic beverages

276.814-281.8607.01.8-

Housing

361.884-364.2570.70.7-

Shelter

411.467412.590413.3020.20.40.2

Rent of primary residence(2)

409.768410.360411.3320.70.40.2

Owners' equiv. rent of residences(2)

439.096440.006439.1150.60.0-0.2

Owners' equiv. rent of primary residence(2)

439.096440.006439.1150.60.0-0.2

Fuels and utilities

351.513-356.1333.91.3-

Household energy

322.467323.340324.3025.20.60.3

Energy services

318.259319.024320.6555.40.80.5

Electricity

302.948302.948302.9484.30.00.0

Utility (piped) gas service

263.298266.003271.7699.13.22.2

Household furnishings and operations

192.188-195.8193.41.9-

Apparel

161.598-165.2672.62.3-

Transportation

224.415-231.390-0.23.1-

Private transportation

220.231-225.3620.72.3-

New and used motor vehicles(3)

111.202-112.3286.11.0-

New vehicles(1)

233.329-238.6473.52.3-

Used cars and trucks(1)

251.690-247.4289.1-1.7-

Motor fuel

248.603249.967263.150-7.35.95.3

Gasoline (all types)

248.439249.705262.919-7.35.85.3

Gasoline, unleaded regular(4)

256.020257.377270.544-7.75.75.1

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(4)(5)

219.032219.888231.881-6.45.95.5

Gasoline, unleaded premium(4)

258.768259.905275.582-5.86.56.0

Motor vehicle insurance(1)

533.568-567.6782.06.4-

Medical care

510.994-520.7244.41.9-

Recreation(3)

170.331-154.144-3.5-9.5-

Education and communication(3)

135.798-135.5984.0-0.1-

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

1,558.362-1,554.3421.0-0.3-

Other goods and services

429.614-444.8748.13.6-

Commodity and service group

All items

306.334-307.6881.70.4-

Commodities

207.434-209.5553.11.0-

Commodities less food & beverages

172.613-174.8381.71.3-

Nondurables less food & beverages

199.278-204.772-0.82.8-

Durables

143.815-142.9705.2-0.6-

Services

393.732-394.1930.90.1-

Special aggregate indexes

All items less medical care

296.689-297.6531.50.3-

All items less shelter

264.634-265.7982.60.4-

Commodities less food

177.364-179.7232.11.3-

Nondurables

238.013-241.6142.51.5-

Nondurables less food

206.802-212.2560.22.6-

Services less rent of shelter(2)

392.822-391.6442.0-0.3-

Services less medical care services

380.477-380.1060.5-0.1-

Energy

270.547271.731280.685-2.93.73.3

All items less energy

311.222-312.0721.90.3-

All items less food and energy

319.630-320.3031.50.2-

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: Wednesday, February 10, 2021