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16-1477-SAN
Friday, July 15, 2016

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Consumer Price Index, Seattle area — June 2016

Area prices were up 0.9 percent over the past two months, up 1.8 percent from a year ago

Prices in the Seattle Area, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), rose 0.9 percent for the two months ending in June 2016, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (See table A.) Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations Richard Holden noted that the June increase was influenced by higher prices for shelter and gasoline. (Data in this report are not seasonally adjusted. Accordingly, month-to-month changes may reflect seasonal influences.)

Over the last 12 months, the CPI-U advanced 1.8 percent.  (See chart 1 and table A.) Energy prices declined 7.2 percent, largely the result of a decrease in the price of gasoline. The index for all items less food and energy advanced 2.7 percent over the year. (See table 1.)

Food

Food prices decreased 0.2 percent for the two months ending in June. (See table 1.) Prices for food at home declined 0.6 percent, but prices for food away from home advanced 0.4 percent for the same period.

Over the year, food prices increased 1.0 percent. Prices for food away from home increased 3.3 percent since a year ago, but prices food at home decreased 0.8 percent.

Energy

The energy index advanced 7.4 percent for the two months ending in June. The increase was mainly due to higher prices for gasoline (13.9 percent). Prices for natural gas service rose 3.5 percent, and prices for electricity advanced 0.8 percent for the same period.

Energy prices declined 7.2 percent over the year, largely due to lower prices for gasoline (-12.6 percent). Prices paid for natural gas service fell 12.4 percent, but prices for electricity increased 4.3 percent during the past year.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy increased 0.6 percent in the latest two-month period. Higher prices for recreation (2.1 percent), other goods and services (1.9 percent), and shelter (1.5 percent) were partially offset by lower prices for apparel (-2.5 percent) and education and communication (-1.0 percent).

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy advanced 2.7 percent. Components contributing to the increase included shelter (5.3 percent) and recreation (4.0 percent). Partly offsetting the increases was a price decline in household furnishings and operations (-1.8 percent).

Table A. Seattle-Tacoma-Bremerton CPI-U bi-monthly and annual percent changes (not seasonally adjusted)
Month 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
Bi-monthly Annual Bi-monthly Annual Bi-monthly Annual Bi-monthly Annual Bi-monthly Annual Bi-monthly Annual

February

1.2 1.5 0.4 2.7 0.8 1.8 0.7 1.2 0.2 1.1 0.2 2.2

April

0.8 2.1 0.9 2.9 0.4 1.2 1.6 2.4 0.9 0.4 1.1 2.5

June

0.8 3.2 0.7 2.7 0.8 1.4 0.4 2.0 1.6 1.6 0.9 1.8

August

0.2 2.7 0.3 2.7 0.0 1.1 -0.2 1.8 0.0 1.8    

October

0.9 3.8 0.5 2.3 0.0 0.6 0.3 2.1 -0.3 1.2    

December

-0.5 3.5 -1.4 1.4 -0.7 1.3 -1.1 1.7 -0.2 2.2    

The August 2016 Consumer Price Index for the San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose is scheduled to be released on September 16, 2016 (PDT).


Technical Note

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) is a measure of the average change in prices over time in a fixed market basket of goods and services. The Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes CPIs for two population groups: (1) a CPI for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) which covers approximately 89 percent of the total population and (2) a CPI for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) which covers 28 percent of the total population. The CPI-U includes, in addition to wage earners and clerical workers, groups such as professional, managerial, and technical workers, the self-employed, short-term workers, the unemployed, and retirees and others not in the labor force.

The CPI is based on prices of food, clothing, shelter, and fuels, transportation fares, charges for doctors' and dentists' services, drugs, and the other goods and services that people buy for day-to-day living. Each month, prices are collected in 87 urban areas across the country from about 4,000 housing units and approximately 26,000 retail establishments--department stores, supermarkets, hospitals, filling stations, and other types of stores and service establishments. All taxes directly associated with the purchase and use of items are included in the index.

The index measures price changes from a designated reference date (1982-84) that equals 100.0. An increase of 16.5 percent, for example, is shown as 116.5. This change can also be expressed in dollars as follows: the price of a base period "market basket" of goods and services in the CPI has risen from $10 in 1982-84 to $11.65. For further details see the CPI home page on the Internet at www.bls.gov/cpi and the BLS Handbook of Methods, Chapter 17, The Consumer Price Index, available on the Internet at www.bls.gov/opub/hom/homch17_a.htm.

In calculating the index, price changes for the various items in each location are averaged together with weights that represent their importance in the spending of the appropriate population group. Local data are then combined to obtain a U.S. city average. Because the sample size of a local area is smaller, the local area index is subject to substantially more sampling and other measurement error than the national index. In addition, local indexes are not adjusted for seasonal influences. As a result, local area indexes show greater volatility than the national index, although their long-term trends are quite similar. NOTE: Area indexes do not measure differences in the level of prices between cities; they only measure the average change in prices for each area since the base period.

The Seattle-Tacoma-Bremerton, WA. metropolitan area covered in this release is comprised of Island, King, Kitsap, Pierce, Snohomish, and Thurston Counties in the State of Washington.

Information in this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: (202) 691-5200; Federal Relay Service: (800) 877-8339.

Table 1. Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U): Indexes and percent changes for selected periods

Seattle-Tacoma-Bremerton, WA (1982-84=100 unless otherwise noted)
Item and Group

 
Indexes
 
Percent change from-
Apr.
2016
May
2016
Jun.
2016
Jun.
2015
Apr.
2016
May
2016

Expenditure category

 
 

All items

253.815 - 256.098 1.8 0.9 -

All items (1967=100)

773.727 - 780.686 - - -

Food and beverages

260.868 - 260.551 1.2 -0.1 -

Food

263.753 - 263.260 1.0 -0.2 -

Food at home

248.481 247.308 246.919 -0.8 -0.6 -0.2

Food away from home

287.560 - 288.625 3.3 0.4 -

Alcoholic beverages

226.685 - 228.167 3.5 0.7 -

Housing

283.368 - 286.980 4.3 1.3 -

Shelter

319.450 323.252 324.367 5.3 1.5 0.3

Rent of primary residence (1)

323.890 325.611 327.301 6.3 1.1 0.5

Owners' equiv. rent of residences (1) (2)

335.421 336.595 337.863 5.6 0.7 0.4

Owners' equiv. rent of primary residence (1) (2)

335.421 336.595 337.863 5.6 0.7 0.4

Fuels and utilities

257.202 - 259.847 1.7 1.0 -

Household energy

234.623 236.496 237.334 0.8 1.2 0.4

Energy services (1)

280.747 282.659 284.455 1.4 1.3 0.6

Electricity (1)

305.375 307.912 307.913 4.3 0.8 0.0

Utility (piped) gas service (1)

161.753 161.753 167.494 -12.4 3.5 3.5

Household furnishings and operations

172.377 - 171.320 -1.8 -0.6 -

Apparel

134.739 - 131.385 2.7 -2.5 -

Transportation

207.900 - 213.462 -5.2 2.7 -

Private transportation

212.632 - 218.679 -4.6 2.8 -

Motor fuel

254.339 275.098 289.984 -12.6 14.0 5.4

Gasoline (all types)

259.919 281.061 296.114 -12.6 13.9 5.4

Gasoline, unleaded regular (3)

281.662 304.670 321.502 -13.3 14.1 5.5

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade (3) (4)

203.838 223.208 231.749 -12.1 13.7 3.8

Gasoline, unleaded premium (3)

241.280 259.788 271.978 -9.8 12.7 4.7

Medical care

390.089 - 387.674 - -0.6 -

Recreation (5)

97.501 - 99.531 4.0 2.1 -

Education and communication (5)

140.259 - 138.846 0.6 -1.0 -

Other goods and services

392.218 - 399.633 1.0 1.9 -
 

Commodity and service group

 
 

All items

253.815 - 256.098 1.8 0.9 -

Commodities

186.955 - 188.021 -1.6 0.6 -

Commodities less food & beverages

150.674 - 152.295 -3.6 1.1 -

Nondurables less food & beverages

175.409 - 180.586 -4.0 3.0 -

Durables

125.055 - 123.523 -3.0 -1.2 -

Services

316.072 - 319.499 3.7 1.1 -
 

Special aggregate indexes

 
 

All items less medical care

247.657 - 250.163 1.8 1.0 -

All items less shelter

228.842 - 230.115 -0.1 0.6 -

Commodities less food

153.869 - 155.489 -3.3 1.1 -

Nondurables

216.307 - 218.898 -1.1 1.2 -

Nondurables less food

179.684 - 184.598 -3.3 2.7 -

Services less rent of shelter (2)

319.683 - 321.393 1.7 0.5 -

Services less medical care services

307.596 - 311.431 3.8 1.2 -

Energy

251.271 262.272 269.882 -7.2 7.4 2.9

All items less energy

256.761 - 258.072 2.4 0.5 -

All items less food and energy

255.819 - 257.436 2.7 0.6 -

Footnotes
(1) This index series was calculated using a Laspeyres estimator. All other item stratum index series were calculated using a geometric means estimator.
(2) Index is on a November 1982=100 base.
(3) Special index based on a substantially smaller sample.
(4) Indexes on a December 1993=100 base.
(5) Indexes on a December 1997=100 base.
 

- Data not available
NOTE: Index applies to a month as a whole, not to any specific date.
 

 

Last Modified Date: Friday, July 15, 2016