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News Release Information

17-1525-SAN
Wednesday, November 15, 2017

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

Consumer Price Index, Seattle area — October 2017

Area prices were up 0.5 percent over the past two months, up 3.0 percent from a year ago

Prices in the Seattle Area, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), increased 0.5 percent for the two months ending in October 2017, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (See table A.) Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations Richard Holden noted that the October increase was influenced by higher prices for shelter and recreation. (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 3.0 percent. (See chart 1 and table A.) Energy prices increased 5.2 percent, largely the result of an increase in the price of gasoline. The index for all items less food and energy advanced 3.0 percent over the year. (See table 1.)

Food

Food prices increased 0.5 percent for the two months ending in October. (See table 1.) Prices for food at home advanced 0.6 percent, and prices for food away from home rose 0.3 percent for the same period.

Over the year, food prices advanced 2.0 percent. Prices for food away from home increased 2.5 percent since a year ago, and prices for food at home moved up 1.6 percent.

Energy

The energy index decreased 0.2 percent for the two months ending in October. The decrease was mainly due to lower prices for electricity (-3.1 percent). Prices for natural gas service edged down 0.1 percent, but prices for gasoline rose 1.4 percent for the same period.

Energy prices increased 5.2 percent over the year, largely due to higher prices for gasoline (6.3 percent). Prices paid for electricity moved up 3.9 percent, and prices for natural gas service rose 2.8 percent during the past year.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy advanced 0.6 percent in the latest two-month period. Higher prices for recreation (2.4 percent) and shelter (0.8 percent) were partially offset by lower prices for apparel (-4.1 percent) and household furnishings and operations (-0.4 percent).

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy advanced 3.0 percent. Components contributing to the increase included shelter (6.7 percent) and other goods and services (1.7 percent). Partly offsetting the increases were price declines in medical care (-1.5 percent) and apparel (-1.3 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

0.52.30.00.60.32.1-0.31.20.02.40.53.0

December

-1.41.4-0.71.3-1.11.7-0.22.20.02.6  

The December 2017 Consumer Price Index for the Seattle-Tacoma-Bremerton is scheduled to be released January 12, 2018.

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-
Aug.
2017
Sep.
2017
Oct.
2017
Oct.
2016
Aug.
2017
Sep.
2017

Expenditure category

 
 

All items

263.333-264.6533.00.5-

All items (1967=100)

802.742-806.766---

Food and beverages

266.033-267.2002.00.4-

Food

268.546-269.7882.00.5-

Food at home

249.580254.413251.0481.60.6-1.3

Food away from home

297.775-298.6942.50.3-

Alcoholic beverages

235.528-235.9092.70.2-

Housing

304.931-306.1805.70.4-

Shelter

347.847350.064350.4616.70.80.1

Rent of primary residence(1)

354.637357.257359.2786.81.30.6

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

361.934364.532367.3346.61.50.8

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

361.934364.532367.3346.61.50.8

Fuels and utilities

267.881-263.4313.4-1.7-

Household energy

245.321245.810239.9363.8-2.2-2.4

Energy services(1)

295.292295.292287.7063.7-2.6-2.6

Electricity(1)

320.624320.624310.5983.9-3.1-3.1

Utility (piped) gas service(1)

171.510171.510171.4162.8-0.1-0.1

Household furnishings and operations

173.665-172.920-0.2-0.4-

Apparel

137.890-132.258-1.3-4.1-

Transportation

215.799-217.7492.40.9-

Private transportation

223.369-224.8032.30.6-

Motor fuel

312.707333.477317.6366.51.6-4.8

Gasoline (all types)

319.501340.552324.0216.31.4-4.9

Gasoline, unleaded regular(3)

346.162369.652351.3096.31.5-5.0

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(3)(4)

252.228267.311257.1857.62.0-3.8

Gasoline, unleaded premium(3)

296.529313.092299.1836.30.9-4.4

Medical care

392.698-394.823-1.50.5-

Recreation(5)

93.215-95.4070.02.4-

Education and communication(5)

133.080-134.265-0.90.9-

Other goods and services

405.412-410.2611.71.2-
 

Commodity and service group

 
 

All items

263.333-264.6533.00.5-

Commodities

190.106-189.6660.3-0.2-

Commodities less food & beverages

152.888-151.781-1.0-0.7-

Nondurables less food & beverages

186.972-186.2450.9-0.4-

Durables

119.034-117.623-3.5-1.2-

Services

331.580-334.5624.50.9-
 

Special aggregate indexes

 
 

All items less medical care

257.510-258.7933.30.5-

All items less shelter

231.121-231.9451.00.4-

Commodities less food

156.333-155.277-0.8-0.7-

Nondurables

224.874-225.0401.50.1-

Nondurables less food

191.073-190.4271.0-0.3-

Services less rent of shelter(2)

320.236-323.6951.91.1-

Services less medical care services

324.217-327.1695.10.9-

Energy

285.190295.434284.5945.2-0.2-3.7

All items less energy

264.894-266.3452.90.5-

All items less food and energy

264.523-266.0123.00.6-

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: Wednesday, November 15, 2017