A to Z Index  |  FAQs  |  About BLS  |  Contact Us    

News Release Information

19-366-SAN
Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Contacts

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

Consumer Price Index, Seattle area — February 2019

Area prices were up 0.7 percent over the past two months, up 2.7 percent from a year ago

Prices in the Seattle area, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), advanced 0.7 percent for the two months ending in February 2019, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (See table A.) Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations Richard Holden noted that the February increase was influenced by higher prices for household furnishings and operations and apparel. (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 2.7 percent. (See chart 1 and table A.) Energy prices declined 3.2 percent, largely the result of a decrease 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 0.8 percent for the two months ending in February. (See table 1.) Prices for food at home rose 1.2 percent, and prices for food away from home increased 0.4 percent for the same period.

Over the year, food prices advanced 3.3 percent. Prices for food at home rose 3.4 percent since a year ago, and prices for food away from home advanced 3.2 percent.

Energy

The energy index decreased 5.0 percent for the two months ending in February. The decrease was mainly due to lower prices for gasoline (-8.9 percent). Prices for electricity rose 1.9 percent, and prices for natural gas service moved up 0.4 percent for the same period.

Energy prices declined 3.2 percent over the year, largely due to lower prices for gasoline (-3.9 percent). Prices paid for natural gas service decreased 8.5 percent, and prices paid for electricity declined 0.6 percent during the past year.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy advanced 1.1 percent in the latest two-month period. Higher prices for household furnishings and operations (8.0 percent) and apparel (7.8 percent) were partially offset by lower prices for education and communication (-0.6 percent).

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy advanced 3.0 percent. Components contributing to the increase included household furnishings and operations (9.3 percent), education and communication (4.2 percent), and shelter (4.1 percent). Partly offsetting the increases was a price decline in apparel (-0.8 percent).

Table A. Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA, CPI-U 2-month and 12-month percent changes, all items index, not seasonally adjusted
Month20152016201720182019
2-month12-month2-month12-month2-month12-month2-month12-month2-month12-month

February

0.21.10.22.21.03.40.83.30.72.7

April

0.90.41.12.50.83.10.83.3

June

1.61.60.91.80.83.00.83.3

August

0.01.80.32.1-0.22.5-0.33.1

October

-0.31.20.02.40.53.00.43.1

December

-0.22.20.02.60.53.50.22.8

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-
Dec.
2018
Jan.
2019
Feb.
2019
Feb.
2018
Dec.
2018
Jan.
2019

Expenditure category

All items

273.293-275.3042.70.7-

All items (1967=100)

833.105-839.233---

Food and beverages

273.116-275.3953.30.8-

Food

275.713-278.0383.30.8-

Food at home

253.932259.042256.9603.41.2-0.8

Cereals and bakery products

302.687-303.5268.30.3-

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

212.502-210.8693.8-0.8-

Dairy and related products

205.747-215.540-1.74.8-

Fruits and vegetables

410.458-414.7433.51.0-

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials(1)

303.063-308.5113.21.8-

Other food at home

214.358-218.0742.71.7-

Food away from home

309.137-310.4043.20.4-

Food away from home

309.137-310.4043.20.4-

Alcoholic beverages

241.760-243.4863.40.7-

Housing

321.618-325.0324.21.1-

Shelter

372.055370.782373.0994.10.30.6

Rent of primary residence(2)

383.156382.939383.2554.10.00.1

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

391.998390.602392.1884.80.00.4

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

391.998390.602392.1884.80.00.4

Fuels and utilities

264.206-268.667-0.61.7-

Household energy

235.353239.140239.115-2.01.60.0

Energy services(2)

277.384281.869281.869-2.11.60.0

Electricity(2)

307.714313.551313.551-0.61.90.0

Utility (piped) gas service(2)

146.613147.135147.135-8.50.40.0

Household furnishings and operations

171.317-185.1039.38.0-

Apparel

121.865-131.351-0.87.8-

Transportation

223.822-218.434-1.7-2.4-

Private transportation

235.753-229.632-0.2-2.6-

New and used motor vehicles(4)

100.934-100.1480.9-0.8-

New vehicles(1)

202.146-201.8893.2-0.1-

Used cars and trucks(1)

316.513-319.2210.80.9-

Motor fuel

354.841332.583323.350-3.9-8.9-2.8

Gasoline (all types)

361.987339.177329.767-3.9-8.9-2.8

Gasoline, unleaded regular(4)

392.648367.356356.971-4.2-9.1-2.8

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(4)(5)

287.144275.254263.704-1.9-8.2-4.2

Gasoline, unleaded premium(4)

333.418313.683306.815-2.4-8.0-2.2

Motor vehicle insurance(1)

584.118-584.1180.30.0-

Medical care

399.143-406.1451.81.8-

Recreation(6)

97.984-99.3592.01.4-

Education and communication(6)

139.893-138.9924.2-0.6-

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

1,575.893-1,559.1858.1-1.1-

Other goods and services

416.394-416.2563.10.0-

Commodity and service group

All items

273.293-275.3042.70.7-

Commodities

192.960-195.7032.81.4-

Commodities less food & beverages

153.927-156.7452.51.8-

Nondurables less food & beverages

189.858-191.2960.60.8-

Durables

118.523-122.4105.23.3-

Services

348.288-349.5402.70.4-

Special aggregate indexes

All items less medical care

267.661-269.4312.80.7-

All items less shelter

235.536-237.9371.91.0-

Commodities less food

157.541-160.3462.51.8-

Nondurables

229.770-231.6072.00.8-

Nondurables less food

194.222-195.6860.80.8-

Services less rent of shelter(3)

327.783-329.3220.60.5-

Services less medical care services

341.309-342.0762.80.2-

Energy

302.294292.096287.111-3.2-5.0-1.7

All items less energy

274.604-277.5163.01.1-

All items less food and energy

274.672-277.6853.01.1-

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: Tuesday, March 12, 2019