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14-1730-SAN
Wednesday, September 17, 2014

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Consumer Price Index, Seattle area – August 2014

Area prices were down 0.2 percent over the past two months, up 1.8 percent from a year ago

Prices in the greater Seattle Area, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), declined 0.2 percent for the two months ending August 2014, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (See table A.) Regional Commissioner Richard J. Holden noted that the August decrease was influenced by lower prices for 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 rose 1.8 percent. (See chart 1.) Energy prices advanced 1.0 percent, largely the result of an increase in the price of gasoline. The index for all items less food and energy advanced 1.7 percent since August 2013.

 

Food

Food prices advanced 0.4 percent from June to August. (See table 1.) Prices for food at home rose 0.4 percent, and prices for food away from home increased 0.3 percent for the same period.

Over the year, food prices moved up 2.7 percent. Prices for food at home increased 3.5 percent since a year ago, and prices for food away from home advanced 1.7 percent.

Energy

The energy index declined 1.6 percent for the two months ending in August 2014. The decrease was mainly due to lower prices for gasoline (-2.4 percent). Prices for electricity and natural gas service were both unchanged in August.

Energy prices advanced 1.0 percent over the year, largely due to higher prices for gasoline (1.2 percent). Prices paid for electricity advanced 0.3 percent, but prices for natural gas service edged down 0.1 percent during the past year.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy inched down 0.1 percent in the latest two-month period. Lower prices for household furnishings and operations (-0.4 percent) were partially offset by higher prices for other goods and services (1.8 percent) and apparel (0.6 percent.

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy advanced 1.7 percent. Components contributing to the increase included shelter (4.4 percent) and education and communication (1.5 percent). Partly offsetting the increases were price declines in other goods and services (-1.8 percent) and recreation (-1.0 percent).

Table A. Seattle-Tacoma-Bremerton CPI-U bi-monthly and annual percent changes (not seasonally adjusted)
Month200920102011201220132014
Bi-monthlyAnnualBi-monthlyAnnualBi-monthlyAnnualBi-monthlyAnnualBi-monthlyAnnualBi-monthlyAnnual

February

1.01.40.20.61.21.50.42.70.81.80.71.2

April

0.51.20.20.30.82.10.92.90.41.21.62.4

June

0.6-0.4-0.2-0.50.83.20.72.70.81.40.42.0

August

-0.1-0.30.70.20.22.70.32.70.01.1-0.21.8

October

-0.40.2-0.20.40.93.80.52.30.00.6  

December

-0.31.4-0.20.6-0.53.5-1.41.4-0.71.3  

CPI-W

In August, the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) was 244.471, up 0.1 percent from June. The CPI-W increased 2.1 percent over the year.

The October 2014 Consumer Price Index for the Seattle-Tacoma-Bremerton is scheduled to be released on November 20, 2014, at 10:00 a.m. (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 88 percent of the total population and (2) a CPI for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) which covers 29 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: 1-800-877-8339.

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.
2014
Jul.
2014
Aug.
2014
Aug.
2013
Jun.
2014
Jul.
2014

Expenditure category

 
 

All items

247.642-247.1851.8-0.2-

All items (1967=100)

754.908-753.515---

Food and beverages

250.598-251.6512.70.4-

Food

253.459-254.3562.70.4-

Food at home

242.263244.952243.2703.50.4-0.7

Food away from home

271.234-271.9671.70.3-

Alcoholic beverages

216.806-219.3522.51.2-

Housing

262.109-262.9613.70.3-

Shelter

292.035293.733293.3614.40.5-0.1

Rent of primary residence (1)

291.354292.478294.0885.00.90.6

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

303.737304.845305.6954.60.60.3

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

303.737304.845305.6954.60.60.3

Fuels and utilities

245.154-245.0251.3-0.1-

Household energy

224.993225.030224.812-0.1-0.1-0.1

Energy services (1)

264.627264.627264.6270.30.00.0

Electricity (1)

278.135278.135278.1350.30.00.0

Utility (piped) gas service (1)

181.528181.528181.528-0.10.00.0

Household furnishings and operations

171.010-170.3410.3-0.4-

Apparel

131.654-132.4570.80.6-

Transportation

238.696-232.224-0.3-2.7-

Private transportation

246.382-244.9220.4-0.6-

Motor fuel

425.676428.765415.4811.3-2.4-3.1

Gasoline (all types)

434.427437.641423.9811.2-2.4-3.1

Gasoline, unleaded regular (3)

478.512481.929466.7901.2-2.4-3.1

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade (3) (4)

333.057335.973325.0751.0-2.4-3.2

Gasoline, unleaded premium (3)

378.900381.655370.6841.1-2.2-2.9

Medical care

384.350-NA---

Recreation (5)

95.482-95.960-1.00.5-

Education and communication (5)

137.942-138.4621.50.4-

Other goods and services

389.300-396.334-1.81.8-
 

Commodity and service group

 
 

All items

247.642-247.1851.8-0.2-

Commodities

196.741-196.2270.4-0.3-

Commodities less food & beverages

169.136-167.938-1.1-0.7-

Nondurables less food & beverages

208.437-206.163-0.3-1.1-

Durables

129.177-129.046-2.1-.01-

Services

295.533-295.1222.8-0.1-
 

Special aggregate indexes

 
 

All items less medical care

241.455-241.1962.0-0.1-

All items less shelter

231.449-230.2370.6-0.5-

Commodities less food

171.242-170.191-0.9-0.6-

Nondurables

228.983-228.2731.1-0.3-

Nondurables less food

209.497-207.5890.0-0.9-

Services less rent of shelter (2)

307.468-304.8230.9-0.9-

Services less medical care services

286.590-286.1603.1-0.2-

Energy

332.865334.454327.5891.0-1.6-2.1

All items less energy

245.007-244.8491.9-0.1-

All items less food and energy

243.804-243.4711.7-0.1-

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: Wednesday, September 17, 2014