Prices for meat, fruit, and other key food items in the Bay Area skyrocketed in February, at a time when coronavirus-linked business shutdowns persisted, government officials reported Wednesday.
The overall cost of living in the Bay Area as measured by the consumer price index remains tame, but costs for certain essential products such as food have rocketed higher, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported.
The main bright spot in the current trends: While the costs for many vital food items soared in February, the increase was slightly less brutal than in December, according to this news organization’s analysis of the government report.
However, for the first time since state and local government agencies began to order business shutdowns to combat the spread of the coronavirus, prices for unleaded gasoline began to rise, slightly.
The Bay Area cost of living, or the inflation rate, rose 1.6% during the one-year period that ended in February. That was slightly lower than the one-year period ending in December when the cost of living rose 2%, the federal agency reported.
The situation was brutally worse for many items bought for home consumption.
Meat, poultry, fish, and egg prices soared 16.2% higher in February compared to the same month the year before. That was slightly less than the 17.5% increase posted for the 12-month period ending in December.
Fruit and vegetable prices also jumped, rising 10% for the one-year period that ended in February, compared with a 12.2% increase for the 12 months that ended in December.