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Thursday, November 17, 2016

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Consumer Price Index, Seattle area — October 2016

Area prices were unchanged over the past two months, up 2.4 percent from a year ago

Prices in the Seattle Area, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), were unchanged for the two months ending in October 2016, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (See table A.) Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations Richard Holden noted the two expenditure categories with the largest opposing effects were higher gasoline prices and lower recreation prices. (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 2.4 percent.  (See chart 1 and table A.) Energy prices rose 5.3 percent, largely the result of an increase in the price of gasoline. The index for all items less food and energy rose 2.6 percent over the year. (See table 1.)

Food

Food prices increased 0.4 percent for the two months ending in October. (See table 1.) Prices for food away from home rose 0.6 percent, and prices for food at home increased 0.3 percent for the same period.

Over the year, food prices advanced 0.5 percent. Prices for food away from home rose 3.6 percent since a year ago, but prices for food at home decreased 1.9 percent.

Energy

The energy index advanced 1.9 percent for the two months ending in October. The increase was mainly due to higher prices for gasoline (6.2 percent). Prices for electricity decreased 3.3 percent, and prices for natural gas service declined 0.4 percent for the same period.

Energy prices rose 5.3 percent over the year, largely due to higher prices for gasoline (12.2 percent). Prices paid for electricity rose 1.6 percent, but prices for natural gas service fell 12.9 percent during the past year.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy declined 0.2 percent in the latest two-month period. Lower prices for recreation (-3.3 percent) and education and communication (-1.7 percent) were partially offset by higher prices for apparel (3.9 percent), household furnishings and operations (1.5 percent), and shelter (0.2 percent).

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy rose 2.6 percent. Components contributing to the increase included shelter (5.7 percent) and medical care (4.9 percent). Partly offsetting the increases were price declines in education and communication (-3.6 percent) and recreation (-1.7 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 0.0 2.4

December

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

The December 2016 Consumer Price Index for the Seattle-Tacoma-Bremerton is scheduled to be released on January 18, 2017.


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-
Aug.
2016
Sep.
2016
Oct.
2016
Oct.
2015
Aug.
2016
Sep.
2016

Expenditure category

 
 

All items

256.907 - 256.941 2.4 0.0 -

All items (1967=100)

783.154 - 783.256 - - -

Food and beverages

260.776 - 261.870 0.6 0.4 -

Food

263.399 - 264.550 0.5 0.4 -

Food at home

246.427 246.604 247.130 -1.9 0.3 0.2

Food away from home

289.688 - 291.499 3.6 0.6 -

Alcoholic beverages

229.253 - 229.744 2.5 0.2 -

Housing

289.383 - 289.698 4.5 0.1 -

Shelter

327.922 326.994 328.533 5.7 0.2 0.5

Rent of primary residence (1)

332.204 333.947 336.559 6.8 1.3 0.8

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

341.520 342.992 344.750 5.8 0.9 0.5

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

341.520 342.992 344.750 5.8 0.9 0.5

Fuels and utilities

259.653 - 254.713 0.2 -1.9 -

Household energy

237.070 237.062 231.232 -1.5 -2.5 -2.5

Energy services (1)

285.402 285.189 277.453 -0.8 -2.8 -2.7

Electricity (1)

309.169 309.169 298.902 1.6 -3.3 -3.3

Utility (piped) gas service (1)

167.494 166.813 166.820 -12.9 -0.4 0.0

Household furnishings and operations

170.693 - 173.270 -0.5 1.5 -

Apparel

128.977 - 134.032 0.2 3.9 -

Transportation

211.554 - 212.612 2.1 0.5 -

Private transportation

218.511 - 219.666 2.6 0.5 -

Motor fuel

281.133 293.088 298.171 12.0 6.1 1.7

Gasoline (all types)

286.932 299.291 304.686 12.2 6.2 1.8

Gasoline, unleaded regular (3)

310.771 324.275 330.440 12.2 6.3 1.9

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade (3) (4)

226.671 237.037 238.937 12.1 5.4 0.8

Gasoline, unleaded premium (3)

266.777 277.552 281.540 12.8 5.5 1.4

Medical care

400.940 - 400.648 4.9 -0.1 -

Recreation (5)

98.644 - 95.383 -1.7 -3.3 -

Education and communication (5)

137.944 - 135.535 -3.6 -1.7 -

Other goods and services

399.531 - 403.219 2.6 0.9 -
 

Commodity and service group

 
 

All items

256.907 - 256.941 2.4 0.0 -

Commodities

187.406 - 189.151 0.5 0.9 -

Commodities less food & beverages

151.342 - 153.316 0.4 1.3 -

Nondurables less food & beverages

179.410 - 184.640 3.6 2.9 -

Durables

122.790 - 121.863 -3.6 -0.8 -

Services

321.653 - 320.066 3.5 -0.5 -
 

Special aggregate indexes

 
 

All items less medical care

250.387 - 250.436 2.3 0.0 -

All items less shelter

229.871 - 229.684 0.7 -0.1 -

Commodities less food

154.609 - 156.533 0.5 1.2 -

Nondurables

218.382 - 221.669 1.9 1.5 -

Nondurables less food

183.588 - 188.477 3.5 2.7 -

Services less rent of shelter (2)

322.002 - 317.792 0.9 -1.3 -

Services less medical care services

313.084 - 311.394 3.5 -0.5 -

Energy

265.486 271.223 270.456 5.3 1.9 -0.3

All items less energy

259.208 - 258.941 2.3 -0.1 -

All items less food and energy

258.742 - 258.235 2.6 -0.2 -

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, November 17, 2016