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19-54-SAN
Friday, January 11, 2019

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Consumer Price Index, Seattle area — December 2018

Area prices were up 0.2 percent over the past two months, up 2.8 percent from a year ago

Prices in the Seattle Area, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), increased 0.2 percent for the two months ending in December 2018, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (See table A.) Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations Richard Holden noted that the December increase was influenced by higher prices for shelter and education and communication. (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 2.8 percent. (See chart 1 and table A.) Energy prices advanced 5.5 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 rose 0.2 percent for the two months ending in December. (See table 1.) Prices for food away from home moved up 0.3 percent, while prices for food at home were unchanged for the same period.

Over the year, food prices increased 2.7 percent. Prices for food away from home rose 3.1 percent since a year ago, and prices for food at home advanced 2.3 percent.

Energy

The energy index decreased 5.7 percent for the two months ending in December. The decrease was mainly due to lower prices for gasoline (-7.9 percent). Prices for natural gas service decreased 9.1 percent, while prices for electricity were unchanged for the same period.

Energy prices advanced 5.5 percent over the year, largely due to higher prices for gasoline (10.5 percent). Prices paid for natural gas service declined 8.8 percent, and prices for electricity decreased (-0.9 percent) during the past year.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.6 percent in the latest two-month period. Higher prices for education and communication (3.6 percent), recreation (2.5 percent), and shelter (0.9 percent) were partially offset by lower prices for apparel (-4.1 percent) and household furnishings and operations (-1.0 percent).

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy rose 2.6 percent. Components contributing to the increase included shelter (5.0 percent) and education and communication (3.7 percent). Partly offsetting the increases were price declines in household furnishings and operations (-2.7 percent) and recreation (-0.8 percent).

Table A. Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue CPI-U bi-monthly and annual percent changes (not seasonally adjusted)
Month201320142015201620172018
Bi-monthlyAnnualBi-monthlyAnnualBi-monthlyAnnualBi-monthlyAnnualBi-monthlyAnnualBi-monthlyAnnual

February

0.81.80.71.20.21.10.22.21.03.4 0.83.3 

April

0.41.21.62.40.90.41.12.50.83.1 0.83.3

June

0.81.40.42.01.61.60.91.80.83.0 0.83.3

August

0.01.1-0.21.80.01.80.32.1-0.22.5 -0.3 3.1

October

0.00.60.32.1-0.31.20.02.40.53.0 0.4 3.1

December

-0.71.3-1.11.7-0.22.20.02.60.53.5 0.2 2.8

The February 2019 Consumer Price Index for the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue area is scheduled to be released on March 12, 2019

Consumer Price Index Geographic Revision for 2018

In January 2018, BLS introduced a new geographic area sample for the Consumer Price Index (CPI). As part of the new sample, the index for this area was renamed. 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 94 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 75 urban areas across the country from about 5,000 housing units and approximately 22,000 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-Bellevue, WA. metropolitan area covered in this release is comprised of King, Pierce, and Snohomish 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-Bellevue, WA (1982-84=100 unless otherwise noted)
Item and Group

IndexesPercent change from-
Oct.
2018
Nov.
2018
Dec.
2018
Dec.
2017
Oct.
2018
Nov.
2018

Expenditure category

All items

272.805-273.2932.80.2-

All items (1967=100)

831.614-833.105---

Food and beverages

272.744-273.1162.70.1-

Food

275.292-275.7132.70.2-

Food at home

253.942253.938253.9322.30.00.0

Cereals and bakery products

273.938-302.6877.110.5-

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

212.515-212.5022.30.0-

Dairy and related products

220.196-205.747-5.2-6.6-

Fruits and vegetables

412.860-410.4581.9-0.6-

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials(1)

315.834-303.0638.5-4.0-

Other food at home

214.714-214.3581.0-0.2-

Food away from home

308.063-309.1373.10.3-

Food away from home

308.063-309.1373.10.3-

Alcoholic beverages

241.984-241.7603.0-0.1-

Housing

319.636-321.6183.90.6-

Shelter

368.569369.202372.0555.00.90.8

Rent of primary residence(2)

380.244382.120383.1564.70.80.3

Owners' equiv. rent of residences(2)(3)

389.370390.636391.9985.50.70.3

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

389.370390.636391.9985.50.70.3

Fuels and utilities

267.131-264.2060.2-1.1-

Household energy

239.706236.808235.353-2.1-1.8-0.6

Energy services(2)

282.401277.371277.384-2.4-1.80.0

Electricity(2)

307.714307.714307.714-0.90.00.0

Utility (piped) gas service(2)

161.212146.575146.613-8.8-9.10.0

Household furnishings and operations

173.114-171.317-2.7-1.0-

Apparel

127.139-121.8650.7-4.1-

Transportation

229.785-223.8222.4-2.6-

Private transportation

240.942-235.7534.0-2.2-

New and used motor vehicles(4)

100.097-100.9342.30.8-

New vehicles(1)

201.162-202.1463.40.5-

Used cars and trucks(1)

313.465-316.5130.91.0-

Motor fuel

385.119380.953354.84110.5-7.9-6.9

Gasoline (all types)

393.037388.730361.98710.5-7.9-6.9

Gasoline, unleaded regular(4)

427.158422.272392.64810.6-8.1-7.0

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(4)(5)

309.367306.274287.14410.7-7.2-6.2

Gasoline, unleaded premium(4)

358.558355.550333.41810.1-7.0-6.2

Motor vehicle insurance(1)

584.118-584.1180.30.0-

Medical care

399.490-399.1430.6-0.1-

Recreation(6)

95.557-97.984-0.82.5-

Education and communication(6)

135.029-139.8933.73.6-

Tuition, other school fees, and child care(1)

1,558.301-1,575.8939.41.1-

Other goods and services

411.392-416.3941.31.2-

Commodity and service group

All items

272.805-273.2932.80.2-

Commodities

194.346-192.9602.1-0.7-

Commodities less food & beverages

155.950-153.9271.6-1.3-

Nondurables less food & beverages

194.507-189.8583.2-2.4-

Durables

118.265-118.523-0.40.2-

Services

345.951-348.2883.20.7-

Special aggregate indexes

All items less medical care

267.131-267.6613.00.2-

All items less shelter

236.228-235.5361.5-0.3-

Commodities less food

159.524-157.5411.7-1.2-

Nondurables

232.140-229.7702.9-1.0-

Nondurables less food

198.632-194.2223.2-2.2-

Services less rent of shelter(3)

326.853-327.7830.70.3-

Services less medical care services

338.880-341.3093.40.7-

Energy

320.658317.045302.2945.5-5.7-4.7

All items less energy

273.144-274.6042.60.5-

All items less food and energy

273.038-274.6722.60.6-

Footnotes
(1) Indexes on a November 1977=100 base.
(2) This index series was calculated using a Laspeyres estimator. All other item stratum index series were calculated using a geometric means estimator.
(3) Indexes on a December 1982=100 base.
(4) Special index based on a substantially smaller sample.
(5) Indexes on a December 1993=100 base.
(6) 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, January 11, 2019