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News Release Information

20-1209-SAN
Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Contacts

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

Consumer Price Index, Riverside Area – May 2020

Area prices were down 0.2 percent over the past two months, up 0.9 percent from a year ago

Prices in the Riverside area, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), edged down 0.2 percent for the two months ending in May 2020, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations Richard Holden noted that the May decrease was influenced by lower prices for gasoline. (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 0.9 percent. The index for all items less food and energy advanced 2.1 percent over the year. Food prices rose 7.6 percent. Energy prices fell 18.1 percent, largely the result of a decrease in the price of gasoline. (See table 1.)

Food

Food prices increased 3.7 percent for the two months ending in May. (See table 1.) Prices for food at home rose 5.2 percent and prices for food away from home advanced 2.1 percent for the same period.

Over the year, food prices rose 7.6 percent. Prices for food at home increased 8.2 percent since a year ago, and prices for food away from home increased 6.9 percent.

Energy

The energy index decreased 7.1 percent for the two months ending in May. The decrease was mainly due to lower prices for gasoline (-17.6 percent). Prices for natural gas service jumped 19.2 percent, and prices for electricity rose 5.5 percent for the same period.

Energy prices fell 18.1 percent over the year, largely due to lower prices for gasoline (-33.3 percent). Prices paid for natural gas service jumped 15.5 percent, and prices for electricity advanced 9.6 percent during the past year.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy edged down 0.2 percent in the latest two-month period. Lower prices for used cars and trucks (-1.9 percent), other goods and services (-1.4 percent) and shelter (-0.1 percent) were partially offset by higher prices for household furnishings and operations (3.4 percent) and recreation (1.3 percent).

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy advanced 2.1 percent. Components contributing to the increase included medical care (5.5 percent) and shelter (4.1 percent). Partly offsetting the increases was a price decrease in apparel (-2.2 percent).

The July 2020 Consumer Price Index for the Riverside area is scheduled to be released on August 12, 2020.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic Impact on May 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 May 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 89 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 87 urban areas across the country from about 6,000 housing units and approximately 24,000 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 Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario metropolitan area covered in this release consists of Riverside and San Bernardino 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

Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario (December 2017=100 unless otherwise noted)
Item and Group

Indexes Percent change from-
Mar.
2020
Apr.
2020
May
2020
May
2019
Mar.
2020
Apr.
2020

Expenditure category

All items

107.162 - 106.899 0.9 -0.2 -

Food and beverages

106.700 - 110.430 7.0 3.5 -

Food

107.099 - 111.077 7.6 3.7 -

Food at home

103.561 109.123 108.969 8.2 5.2 -0.1

Cereals and bakery products

106.098 - 115.875 14.9 9.2 -

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

103.272 - 104.803 5.4 1.5 -

Dairy and related products

105.285 - 106.880 3.8 1.5 -

Fruits and vegetables

104.932 - 114.581 14.8 9.2 -

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials

111.713 - 113.766 9.7 1.8 -

Other food at home

97.063 - 104.172 4.0 7.3 -

Food away from home

110.736 - 113.014 6.9 2.1 -

Alcoholic beverages

99.779 - 98.737 -3.5 -1.0 -

Housing

109.955 - 110.788 4.4 0.8 -

Shelter

110.835 110.706 110.730 4.1 -0.1 0.0

Rent of primary residence

110.836 111.047 111.052 4.9 0.2 0.0

Owners' equiv. rent of residences

111.161 111.005 111.028 4.2 -0.1 0.0

Owners' equiv. rent of primary residence

111.161 111.005 111.028 4.2 -0.1 0.0

Fuels and utilities

111.293 - 116.975 7.6 5.1 -

Household energy

108.627 108.686 117.261 10.6 7.9 7.9

Energy services

108.831 108.935 117.677 10.8 8.1 8.0

Electricity

108.665 107.855 114.621 9.6 5.5 6.3

Utility (piped) gas service

108.573 112.498 129.434 15.5 19.2 15.1

Household furnishings and operations

99.660 - 103.024 3.4 3.4 -

Apparel

97.442 - 96.667 -2.2 -0.8 -

Transportation

103.961 - 96.278 -14.4 -7.4 -

Private transportation

104.834 - 97.253 -13.5 -7.2 -

New and used motor vehicles

99.065 - 96.735 -3.4 -2.4 -

New vehicles

102.993 - 103.193 2.1 0.2 -

Used cars and trucks

102.569 - 100.622 -0.8 -1.9 -

Motor fuel

108.421 91.163 89.461 -33.2 -17.5 -1.9

Gasoline (all types)

108.474 91.056 89.420 -33.3 -17.6 -1.8

Gasoline, unleaded regular(1)

108.339 90.544 89.008 -33.8 -17.8 -1.7

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(1)

111.433 94.383 91.959 -30.9 -17.5 -2.6

Gasoline, unleaded premium(1)

108.597 93.121 91.088 -30.9 -16.1 -2.2

Motor vehicle insurance

116.349 - 106.331 -3.4 -8.6 -

Medical care

107.539 - 108.070 5.5 0.5 -

Recreation

101.545 - 102.827 1.3 1.3 -

Education and communication

105.182 - 105.837 2.2 0.6 -

Tuition, other school fees, and child care

116.232 - 116.209 3.9 0.0 -

Other goods and services

108.452 - 106.982 0.4 -1.4 -

Commodity and service group

All items

107.162 - 106.899 0.9 -0.2 -

Commodities

103.827 - 102.778 -3.0 -1.0 -

Commodities less food & beverages

102.106 - 98.259 -8.8 -3.8 -

Nondurables less food & beverages

102.000 - 94.503 -15.9 -7.4 -

Durables

101.708 - 101.768 0.5 0.1 -

Services

109.210 - 109.405 3.2 0.2 -

Special aggregate indexes

All items less medical care

107.138 - 106.820 0.6 -0.3 -

All items less shelter

105.094 - 104.738 -0.9 -0.3 -

Commodities less food

102.003 - 98.236 -8.7 -3.7 -

Nondurables

104.496 - 102.962 -4.2 -1.5 -

Nondurables less food

101.842 - 94.688 -15.2 -7.0 -

Services less rent of shelter

106.946 - 107.563 2.0 0.6 -

Services less medical care services

109.112 - 109.274 3.0 0.1 -

Energy

109.047 98.815 101.326 -18.1 -7.1 2.5

All items less energy

106.975 - 107.361 2.9 0.4 -

All items less food and energy

106.992 - 106.789 2.1 -0.2 -

Footnotes
(1) Special index based on a substantially smaller sample.

- Data not available
NOTE: Index applies to a month as a whole, not to any specific date.

 

Last Modified Date: Wednesday, June 10, 2020