Bay Area prices soar amid soaring food and utility bills

The pace of inflation is worsening in the Bay Area as consumer prices in a wide range of categories rise, the government said Tuesday in a disturbing new report.

Bay Area inflation, as measured by consumer prices, rose 5.3% on an annual basis in February, according to a report from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

This was a much faster annual rate of increase than the 4.9% rise in consumer prices the government reported for the Bay Area in December. The government releases updates on inflation rates across the Bay Area every two months.

One of the main drivers was that utility-provided electricity and natural gas costs (largely due to a surge in PG&E’s monthly bills) increased significantly in February compared to the same month last year. .

The price paid by consumers for natural gas piped into homes by utilities jumped 32.6% in February, broadly matching the 34.5% rise in January, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported.

The consumer cost of electricity provided by utilities jumped 13.6% in February, in line with January’s increase.

Food prices have consistently been the main driver of the inflation spike, rising 8% year-on-year in February.

In the shorter time frame, Bay Area consumer prices rose 1.8% in February compared to December, the Federal Labor Office reported. Bay Area prices soar amid soaring food and utility bills

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