Jan 17, 2023 - News

Bay Area inflation rates are softening

Illustration of Benjamin Franklin pulling down a pair of shades and looking over the rim.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Inflation in the Bay Area was at its lowest rate all year in December — a hopeful sign that soaring prices are starting to soften.

What’s happening: The San Francisco Bay Area’s consumer price index — which measures the average cost of goods and services over time — was up 4.9% in December compared with the previous year, but it dropped from 6% in October, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported last week.

  • The area's CPI spiked in June, at 6.8%.

Why it matters: The cooling amounted to an overall 0.3% decline in prices on essentials like groceries and clothing across the Bay Area from October to December.

  • And when living in one of the most expensive areas in the country, any relief is welcome.

Details: Fueling the decrease was a 25.5% drop in gasoline prices from October to December.

  • Still, overall food prices were up 0.8%, with meats, poultry, fish and eggs up 1.2%.

Zoom out: Nationally, the consumer price index showed a 6.5% hike in December 2022 from December 2021 — the smallest year-over-year increase since October 2020-2021.

  • Overall, CPI decreased 0.1% in December compared with November.

Of note: Eggs prices have been of particular concern due to the avian influenza outbreak that began last February.

  • The cost of eggs was up 11% nationwide in December compared with a month prior and nearly 60% higher from a year before, according to BLS.
  • Yes, but: Relief from soaring egg prices should come in February or March when new hen flocks could help boost supply, the Wall Street Journal reported.

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