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News Release Information

21-411-SAN
Wednesday, March 10, 2021

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

Consumer Price Index, San Francisco Area — February 2021

Area prices were up 0.5 percent 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), advanced 0.5 percent for the two months ending in February 2021, 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 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 rose 1.6 percent. (See chart 1 and table A.) Food prices rose 5.0 percent. Energy prices increased 3.8 percent, largely the result of an increase in the price of electricity. The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.9 percent over the year. (See table 1.)

Food

Food prices decreased 0.4 percent for the two months ending in February. (See table 1.) Prices for food at home decreased 1.4 percent influenced by lower prices for dairy and related products (-4.9 percent) and fruits and vegetables (-2.5 percent). Prices for food away from home increased 0.7 percent for the same period.

Over the year, food prices rose 5.0 percent. Prices for food at home rose 6.7 percent since a year ago, largely due to a price rise in meat, poultry, fish and eggs (16.2 percent) and fruits and vegetables (10.0 percent).  Prices for food away from home advanced 3.3 percent.

Energy

The energy index rose 4.4 percent for the two months ending in February. The increase was mainly due to higher prices for gasoline (6.8 percent). Prices for electricity advanced 2.4 percent, and prices for natural gas service increased 1.0 percent for the same period.

Energy prices increased 3.8 percent over the year, largely due to higher prices for electricity (5.6 percent). Prices paid for natural gas service jumped 11.4 percent, and prices for gasoline advanced 1.0 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 apparel (5.9 percent), medical care (1.8 percent), and shelter (0.3 percent) were partially offset by lower prices for alcoholic beverages (-6.0 percent), new and used vehicles (-1.3 percent), and education and communication (-0.1 percent).

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy rose 0.9 percent. Components contributing to the increase included household furnishings and operations (7.1 percent) and shelter (0.9 percent). Partly offsetting the increases were price decreases in apparel (-10.9 percent) and motor vehicle insurance (-2.8 percent).

Table A. San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA, CPI-U 2-month and 12-month percent changes, all items index, not seasonally adjusted
Month20172018201920202021
2-month12-month2-month12-month2-month12-month2-month12-month2-month12-month

February

0.83.41.43.60.53.50.92.90.51.6

April

1.13.80.83.21.24.0-0.51.1

June

0.33.50.93.90.23.20.71.6

August

0.23.00.64.30.12.70.01.6

October

0.62.70.74.41.03.00.51.1

December

-0.12.90.14.5-0.52.50.42.0

The April 2021 Consumer Price Index for the San Francisco area is scheduled to be released on May 12, 2021.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic Impact on February 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 February 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

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

Expenditure category

All items

302.948-304.3871.60.5-

All items (1967=100)

931.345-935.771---

Food and beverages

311.289-308.5724.6-0.9-

Food

309.903-308.5895.0-0.4-

Food at home

276.632273.803272.6236.7-1.4-0.4

Cereals and bakery products

274.104-271.1264.0-1.1-

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

302.923-301.53816.2-0.5-

Dairy and related products

292.860-278.4380.5-4.9-

Fruits and vegetables

380.780-371.38810.0-2.5-

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials(1)

200.308-203.766-0.81.7-

Other food at home

224.729-220.7912.2-1.8-

Food away from home

347.655-349.9223.30.7-

Alcoholic beverages

331.788-311.7780.3-6.0-

Housing

360.604-361.9551.70.4-

Shelter

408.547408.446409.8500.90.30.3

Rent of primary residence(2)

468.851467.942468.807-0.10.00.2

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

439.175438.277439.0580.80.00.2

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

439.175438.277439.0580.80.00.2

Fuels and utilities

448.817-455.2656.31.4-

Household energy

387.643394.707395.9756.72.10.3

Energy services(2)

389.079396.216397.3376.72.10.3

Electricity(2)

418.345427.767428.3805.62.40.1

Utility (piped) gas service(2)

316.601316.897319.67511.41.00.9

Household furnishings and operations

154.036-154.1267.10.1-

Apparel

99.570-105.422-10.95.9-

Transportation

201.420-204.673-1.41.6-

Private transportation

201.613-203.6312.01.0-

New and used motor vehicles(4)

99.226-97.8893.5-1.3-

New vehicles(1)

164.646-161.2041.5-2.1-

Used cars and trucks(1)

270.081-269.6178.8-0.2-

Motor fuel

237.489246.145253.6001.06.83.0

Gasoline (all types)

236.514245.221252.6631.06.83.0

Gasoline, unleaded regular(4)

235.524244.642251.9511.17.03.0

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(4)(5)

225.011231.076237.1990.55.42.6

Gasoline, unleaded premium(4)

227.645234.479242.1981.06.43.3

Motor vehicle insurance(1)

521.248-528.598-2.81.4-

Medical care

545.016-555.0651.71.8-

Recreation(6)

125.834-126.0525.50.2-

Education and communication(6)

151.046-150.8820.0-0.1-

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

1,815.374-1,815.339-0.90.0-

Other goods and services

523.161-524.7173.50.3-

Commodity and service group

All items

302.948-304.3871.60.5-

Commodities

198.670-199.1852.40.3-

Commodities less food & beverages

139.370-141.3750.21.4-

Nondurables less food & beverages

178.743-184.904-0.83.4-

Durables

100.055-98.9491.4-1.1-

Services

389.878-392.0551.30.6-

Special aggregate indexes

All items less medical care

292.990-294.1171.60.4-

All items less shelter

259.377-260.9432.20.6-

Commodities less food

147.395-148.6690.20.9-

Nondurables

246.720-248.2892.60.6-

Nondurables less food

190.577-194.803-0.62.2-

Services less rent of shelter(3)

383.574-387.2241.91.0-

Services less medical care services

379.118-380.7321.10.4-

Energy

298.710306.783311.8173.84.41.6

All items less energy

306.814-307.7211.50.3-

All items less food and energy

307.173-308.4320.90.4-

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, March 10, 2021