The cost of living in the Bay Area ended 2021 on a brutal note by rising at its fastest pace of the year in a surge that chewed up consumers’ pocketbooks on multiple fronts, a new report released Wednesday shows.
The consumer price index jumped at an annual pace of 4.2% in December compared with the same month the year before in the Bay Area, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Wednesday.
The current inflation rate is the highest annual pace for the Bay Area in three years. In December 2018, the inflation rate reached 4.5%.
The cost of gasoline, natural gas utility service, electricity service, vehicles, food in general — primarily cereal, bakery products, meat, poultry, fish and eggs — drove the stunning jump in consumer prices in the Bay Area.
The price at the pump delivered the worst jolt to consumers in the Bay Area.
Gasoline prices for unleaded gasoline soared 45% in December compared with the same month the year before.
It also costs a lot more to buy a car to fill up with the expensive gasoline. The price for new and used vehicles zoomed higher by 16.8%, measured by the annual change in that index.
Want to cut back on driving and eat at home? The cost of cereal and bakery products jumped 10.3% while meat, poultry, fish and eggs were 9.4% more expensive in December 2021 compared with December 2020.
Overall, food consumed at home increased in price by 6.6% over the one-year period.
It was considerably less expensive to eat away from home. Food consumed away from the house increased 3.6% during the 12 months.
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And for people who wanted to spend more time at home, the costs of heating and providing electricity for the house soared.
Electricity prices in the Bay Area jumped 9.6%, while the cost of natural gas utility prices hopped 27.8%, the federal government reported.
As a measure of how high inflation is at present: It was only in February 2021 that cost of living in the Bay Area was rising at a yearly pace of 1.6%.
Put another way, the current inflation rate is nearly three times the pace of early 2021.
Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment