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Gasoline Prices Remain Sky High in the Bay Area: Snapshot of the COVID Economy

According to a new government report released on Wednesday, gasoline prices in the Bay Area soared to sky high levels in September, a chilling indication that inflation continues to plague the region.

Spilled gasoline prices in the Bay Area rose a whopping 35.2% over the year ended September, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Wednesday. The increase is based on a price index drawn up by the Federal Agency.

In 2021, gasoline prices have so far increased 36.4%, as the analysis of the federal report by this news organization shows.

The headline inflation rate for the Bay Area was not released by the government on Wednesday. The Federal Employment Agency publishes the Bay Area consumer price report every other month. The next comprehensive report on inflation in the Bay Area is slated for sometime in November.

The current rise in gasoline prices results from more than one comparison with the heavily depressed gas prices for most of 2020 and early 2021.

The collapse in economic activity and vehicle driving triggered much of the plunge in gasoline prices in the Bay Area in 2020.

In 2021, gasoline prices began to rise with the boom in the economy and car travel. But the modest spike in early 2021 has turned into a sustained spike that could help fuel widespread inflation.

Some experts point out that it is no surprise that gas prices are up in 2021 compared to 2020, as prices plummeted last year due to the coronavirus.

However, the same argument cannot be made when comparing 2021 with 2019. 2019 is considered relevant as it was the last full year the economy was healthy and free of coronavirus-related diseases.

Gasoline prices in the Bay Area in 2021 are far up compared to gas prices seen in similar months in 2019.

Gas prices in the Bay Area were up 20.2% in September 2019. The gasoline price index in August was 22.6% higher than in August 2019. The July index showed an increase of 16.1% over two years.

The average gas price in the Bay Area this year is the highest since 2013, according to an analysis of the labor agency’s price index.

The only good news in the current gas price report by the German government: The annual increase of 35.2% for September was not quite as strong as the annual rate of a few previous months in 2021.

The annual increase in gasoline prices was 36.9% in August, 38.4% in July, 41.6% in June and 46.3% in May. May represented the highest annual increase in a month in 2021.

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