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News Release Information

17-1281-SAN
Thursday, September 14, 2017

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Technical information:
Media contact:
  • (415) 625-2270

Consumer Price Index, Seattle area — August 2017

Area prices were down 0.2 percent over the past two months, up 2.5 percent from a year ago

Prices in the Seattle Area, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), declined 0.2 percent for the two months ending in August 2017, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (See table A.) Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations Richard Holden noted that the August decrease was influenced by lower prices for recreation and apparel. (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 rose 2.5 percent. (See chart 1 and table A.) Energy prices advanced 7.4 percent, largely the result of an increase in the price of gasoline. The index for all items less food and energy rose 2.2 percent over the year. (See table 1.)

Food

Food prices advanced 0.4 percent for the two months ending in August. (See table 1.) Prices for food at home advanced 0.4 percent, and prices for food away from home rose 0.3 percent for the same period.

Over the year, food prices increased 2.0 percent. Prices for food away from home rose 2.8 percent since a year ago, and prices for food at home advanced 1.3 percent.

Energy

The energy index advanced 0.7 percent for the two months ending in August. The increase was mainly due to higher prices for gasoline (1.7 percent). Prices for electricity and natural gas service were both unchanged for the same period.

Energy prices advanced 7.4 percent over the year, largely due to higher prices for gasoline (11.4 percent). Prices paid for electricity rose 3.7 percent, and prices for natural gas service advanced 2.4 percent during the past year.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy declined 0.3 percent in the latest two-month period. Lower prices for recreation (-2.7 percent) and apparel (-2.0 percent) were partially offset by higher prices for shelter (0.8 percent) and education and communication (0.4 percent).

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy rose 2.2 percent. Components contributing to the increase included apparel (6.9 percent) and shelter (6.1 percent). Partly offsetting the increases were price declines in recreation (-5.5 percent) and education and communication (-3.5 percent).

Table A. Seattle-Tacoma-Bremerton CPI-U bi-monthly and annual percent changes (not seasonally adjusted)
Month201220132014201520162017
Bi-monthlyAnnualBi-monthlyAnnualBi-monthlyAnnualBi-monthlyAnnualBi-monthlyAnnualBi-monthlyAnnual

February

0.42.70.81.80.71.20.21.10.22.21.03.4

April

0.92.90.41.21.62.40.90.41.12.50.83.1

June

0.72.70.81.40.42.01.61.60.91.80.83.0

August

0.32.70.01.1-0.21.80.01.80.32.1-0.22.5

October

0.52.30.00.60.32.1-0.31.20.02.4  

December

-1.41.4-0.71.3-1.11.7-0.22.20.02.6  

The October 2017 Consumer Price Index for the Seattle-Tacoma-Bremerton is scheduled to be released on November 15, 2017.

Consumer Price Index Geographic Revision for 2018

In January 2018, BLS will introduce a new geographic area sample for the Consumer Price Index (CPI). As part of the new sample, the index for this area will be renamed. The first indexes using the new structure will be published in February 2018. Additional information on the geographic revision is available at: www.bls.gov/cpi/additional-resources/geographic-revision-2018.htm.


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-
Jun.
2017
Jul.
2017
Aug.
2017
Aug.
2016
Jun.
2017
Jul.
2017

Expenditure category

 
 

All items

263.756-263.3332.5-0.2-

All items (1967=100)

804.030-802.742---

Food and beverages

264.649-266.0332.00.5-

Food

267.564-268.5462.00.4-

Food at home

248.622249.867249.5801.30.4-0.1

Food away from home

296.751-297.7752.80.3-

Alcoholic beverages

230.103-235.5282.72.4-

Housing

303.189-304.9315.40.6-

Shelter

344.928347.850347.8476.10.80.0

Rent of primary residence(1)

349.889352.595354.6376.81.40.6

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

358.338359.928361.9346.01.00.6

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

358.338359.928361.9346.01.00.6

Fuels and utilities

268.686-267.8813.2-0.3-

Household energy

246.419245.261245.3213.5-0.40.0

Energy services(1)

295.292295.292295.2923.50.00.0

Electricity(1)

320.624320.624320.6243.70.00.0

Utility (piped) gas service(1)

171.510171.510171.5102.40.00.0

Household furnishings and operations

175.155-173.6651.7-0.9-

Apparel

140.716-137.8906.9-2.0-

Transportation

219.269-215.7992.0-1.6-

Private transportation

224.770-223.3692.2-0.6-

Motor fuel

307.543305.586312.70711.21.72.3

Gasoline (all types)

314.111312.135319.50111.41.72.4

Gasoline, unleaded regular(3)

340.329338.184346.16211.41.72.4

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(3)(4)

248.248247.918252.22811.31.61.7

Gasoline, unleaded premium(3)

291.433289.331296.52911.21.72.5

Medical care

394.386-392.698-2.1-0.4-

Recreation(5)

95.793-93.215-5.5-2.7-

Education and communication(5)

132.558-133.080-3.50.4-

Other goods and services

410.524-405.4121.5-1.2-
 

Commodity and service group

 
 

All items

263.756-263.3332.5-0.2-

Commodities

191.843-190.1061.4-0.9-

Commodities less food & beverages

155.898-152.8881.0-1.9-

Nondurables less food & beverages

188.293-186.9724.2-0.7-

Durables

123.441-119.034-3.1-3.6-

Services

330.757-331.5803.10.2-
 

Special aggregate indexes

 
 

All items less medical care

257.873-257.5102.8-0.1-

All items less shelter

232.827-231.1210.5-0.7-

Commodities less food

159.041-156.3331.1-1.7-

Nondurables

224.918-224.8743.00.0-

Nondurables less food

191.894-191.0734.1-0.4-

Services less rent of shelter(2)

321.881-320.236-0.5-0.5-

Services less medical care services

323.101-324.2173.60.3-

Energy

283.315281.738285.1907.40.71.2

All items less energy

265.461-264.8942.2-0.2-

All items less food and energy

265.353-264.5232.2-0.3-

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: Thursday, September 14, 2017