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16-1876-SAN
Friday, September 16, 2016

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Consumer Price Index, Seattle area — August 2016

Area prices were up 0.3 percent over the past two months, up 2.1 percent from a year ago

Prices in the Seattle Area, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), advanced 0.3 percent for the two months ending in August 2016, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (See table A.) Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations Richard Holden noted that the August increase was influenced by higher prices for shelter and medical care. (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 increased 2.1 percent.  (See chart 1 and table A.) Energy prices declined 8.4 percent, largely the result of a decrease in the price of gasoline. The index for all items less food and energy advanced 3.3 percent over the year. (See table 1.)

Food

Food prices edged up 0.1 percent for the two months ending in August. (See table 1.) Prices for food away from home increased 0.4 percent, but prices for food at home decreased 0.2 percent for the same period.

Over the year, food prices rose 0.3 percent. Prices for food away from at home advanced 3.2 percent since a year ago, but prices for food at home declined 2.0 percent.

Energy

The energy index moved down 1.6 percent for the two months ending in August. The decrease was mainly due to lower prices for gasoline (-3.1 percent). Prices for natural gas service were unchanged, while electricity increased 0.4 percent for the same period.

Energy prices declined 8.4 percent over the year, largely due to lower prices for gasoline (-15.1 percent). Prices paid for natural gas service dropped 12.4 percent, but prices for electricity  rose 4.8 percent during the past year.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.5 percent in the latest two-month period. Higher prices for medical care (3.4 percent) and shelter (1.1 percent) were partially offset by lower prices for apparel (-1.8 percent), recreation (-0.9 percent), and education and communication (-0.6 percent).

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy advanced 3.3 percent. Components contributing to the increase included shelter (6.1 percent) and medical care (6.0 percent). Partly offsetting the increases were price declines in apparel (-1.3 percent), household furnishings and operations (-1.2 percent), and education and commuication (-1.1 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 0.3 2.1

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 October 2016 Consumer Price Index for the Seattle-Tacoma-Bremerton is scheduled to be released on, November 17, 2016.


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.
2016
Jul.
2016
Aug.
2016
Aug.
2015
Jun.
2016
Jul.
2016

Expenditure category

 
 

All items

256.098 - 256.907 2.1 0.3 -

All items (1967=100)

780.686 - 783.154 - - -

Food and beverages

260.551 - 260.776 0.4 0.1 -

Food

263.260 - 263.399 0.3 0.1 -

Food at home

246.919 244.867 246.427 -2.0 -0.2 0.6

Food away from home

288.625 - 289.688 3.2 0.4 -

Alcoholic beverages

228.167 - 229.253 2.4 0.5 -

Housing

286.980 - 289.383 4.9 0.8 -

Shelter

324.367 325.952 327.922 6.1 1.1 0.6

Rent of primary residence (1)

327.301 329.929 332.204 7.0 1.5 0.7

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

337.863 340.090 341.520 6.0 1.1 0.4

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

337.863 340.090 341.520 6.0 1.1 0.4

Fuels and utilities

259.847 - 259.653 1.7 -0.1 -

Household energy

237.334 236.854 237.070 0.7 -0.1 0.1

Energy services (1)

284.455 284.455 285.402 1.8 0.3 0.3

Electricity (1)

307.913 307.913 309.169 4.8 0.4 0.4

Utility (piped) gas service (1)

167.494 167.494 167.494 -12.4 0.0 0.0

Household furnishings and operations

171.320 - 170.693 -1.2 -0.4 -

Apparel

131.385 - 128.977 -1.3 -1.8 -

Transportation

213.462 - 211.554 -3.8 -0.9 -

Private transportation

218.679 - 218.511 -4.3 -0.1 -

Motor fuel

289.984 289.203 281.133 -15.0 -3.1 -2.8

Gasoline (all types)

296.114 295.174 286.932 -15.1 -3.1 -2.8

Gasoline, unleaded regular (3)

321.502 319.664 310.771 -15.8 -3.3 -2.8

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade (3) (4)

231.749 232.998 226.671 -13.8 -2.2 -2.7

Gasoline, unleaded premium (3)

271.978 274.646 266.777 -11.7 -1.9 -2.9

Medical care

387.674 - 400.940 6.0 3.4 -

Recreation (5)

99.531 - 98.644 2.1 -0.9 -

Education and communication (5)

138.846 - 137.944 -1.1 -0.6 -

Other goods and services

399.633 - 399.531 1.0 0.0 -
 

Commodity and service group

 
 

All items

256.098 - 256.907 2.1 0.3 -

Commodities

188.021 - 187.406 -2.2 -0.3 -

Commodities less food & beverages

152.295 - 151.342 -4.2 -0.6 -

Nondurables less food & beverages

180.586 - 179.410 -5.2 -0.7 -

Durables

123.523 - 122.790 -2.5 -0.6 -

Services

319.499 - 321.653 4.6 0.7 -
 

Special aggregate indexes

 
 

All items less medical care

250.163 - 250.387 1.8 0.1 -

All items less shelter

230.115 - 229.871 0.0 -0.1 -

Commodities less food

155.489 - 154.609 -3.8 -0.6 -

Nondurables

218.898 - 218.382 -2.1 -0.2 -

Nondurables less food

184.598 - 183.588 -4.5 -0.5 -

Services less rent of shelter (2)

321.393 - 322.002 2.8 0.2 -

Services less medical care services

311.431 - 313.084 4.4 0.5 -

Energy

269.882 269.243 265.486 -8.4 -1.6 -1.4

All items less energy

258.072 - 259.208 2.9 0.4 -

All items less food and energy

257.436 - 258.742 3.3 0.5 -

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, September 16, 2016