Bay Area consumer prices rose 3.8 percent in past year

The December 2007 Consumer Price Index for the San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose area increased 3.8 percent over the past 12 months, according to data released Wednesday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor.

This marks a 0.2 percent increase since October 2007, when the bureau reported a 3.3 percent annual increase.

Higher gasoline prices contributed significantly to the overall increase in the past two months, according to a statement by Regional Commissioner Richard J. Holden. Transportation prices in the Bay Area rose 3.4 percent in the past two months and 7.7 percent over the past 12 months. Gasoline prices alone rose 8.6 percent since October and 31.6 percent since last year. Over the past two years they have risen 51.2 percent.

Housing prices, however, declined slightly from October to December, by 0.8 percent. It increased by 2.3 percent over the past 12 months.

Prices for food and beverages rose 0.9 percent from October to December and 5.4 percent over the past 12 months.

Medical care prices were unchanged from October to December, but rose 7.4 percent over the past year and 17.9 percent over the past two years.

Apparel prices decreased 4.7 percent over the past two months and 5.7 percent over the past year.

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