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19-805-SAN
Friday, May 10, 2019

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Consumer Price Index, Seattle area — April 2019

Area prices were up 0.5 percent 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), advanced 0.5 percent for the two months ending in April 2019, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (See table A.) Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations Richard Holden noted that the April increase was influenced by higher prices for shelter and 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 2.4 percent. (See chart 1 and table A.) Energy prices increased 2.0 percent, largely the result of an increase in the price of gasoline. The index for all items less food and energy increased 2.6 percent over the year. (See table 1.)

Food

Food prices declined 0.5 percent for the two months ending in April. (See table 1.) Prices for food at home decreased 1.2 percent, but prices for food away from home increased 0.4 percent for the same period.

Over the year, food prices advanced 1.1 percent. Prices for food away from home advanced 1.9 percent since a year ago, and prices for food at home increased 0.5 percent.

Energy

The energy index jumped 11.1 percent for the two months ending in April. The increase was mainly due to higher prices for gasoline (17.0 percent). Prices for natural gas service moved up 3.1 percent, and prices for electricity rose 2.1 percent for the same period.

Energy prices increased 2.0 percent over the year, largely due to higher prices for gasoline (4.5 percent). Prices paid for natural gas service decreased 5.6 percent, and prices for electricity declined 1.7 percent during the past year.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy inched up 0.1 percent in the latest two-month period. Higher prices for shelter (1.4 percent) and recreation (0.1 percent) were partially offset by lower prices for household furnishings and operations (-7.4 percent) and education and communication (-2.0 percent).

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy increased 2.6 percent. Components contributing to the increase included shelter (5.0 percent) and recreation (2.7 percent). Partly offsetting the increases was a price decline in apparel (-4.1 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

0.90.41.12.50.83.10.83.30.52.4

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 June 2019 Consumer Price Index for the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue area is scheduled to be released on July 11, 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-
Feb.
2019
Mar.
2019
Apr.
2019
Apr.
2018
Feb.
2019
Mar.
2019

Expenditure category

All items

275.304-276.7652.40.5-

All items (1967=100)

839.233-843.688---

Food and beverages

275.395-274.0831.2-0.5-

Food

278.038-276.6211.1-0.5-

Food at home

256.960256.559253.8120.5-1.2-1.1

Cereals and bakery products

303.526-317.2459.24.5-

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

210.869-211.4572.00.3-

Dairy and related products

215.540-212.898-0.9-1.2-

Fruits and vegetables

414.743-404.213-1.6-2.5-

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials(1)

308.511-303.4811.3-1.6-

Other food at home

218.074-210.672-2.2-3.4-

Food away from home

310.404-311.5971.90.4-

Alcoholic beverages

243.486-243.4503.00.0-

Housing

325.032-326.9874.40.6-

Shelter

373.099373.635378.4115.01.41.3

Rent of primary residence(2)

383.255384.579387.4644.51.10.8

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

392.188393.869396.2515.31.00.6

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

392.188393.869396.2515.31.00.6

Fuels and utilities

268.667-272.578-0.51.5-

Household energy

239.115240.166244.460-2.22.21.8

Energy services(2)

281.869283.145288.359-2.42.31.8

Electricity(2)

313.551313.551320.213-1.72.12.1

Utility (piped) gas service(2)

147.135150.848151.718-5.63.10.6

Household furnishings and operations

185.103-171.4272.2-7.4-

Apparel

131.351-130.313-4.1-0.8-

Transportation

218.434-226.901-0.23.9-

Private transportation

229.632-238.6821.13.9-

New and used motor vehicles(4)

100.148-98.488-1.1-1.7-

New vehicles(1)

201.889-196.0260.0-2.9-

Used cars and trucks(1)

319.221-321.6390.40.8-

Motor fuel

323.350331.447377.8294.516.814.0

Gasoline (all types)

329.767338.071385.7954.517.014.1

Gasoline, unleaded regular(4)

356.971366.039419.0334.517.414.5

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(4)(5)

263.704269.653304.9105.515.613.1

Gasoline, unleaded premium(4)

306.815314.318352.8884.715.012.3

Motor vehicle insurance(1)

584.118-584.1180.30.0-

Medical care

406.145-405.5571.4-0.1-

Recreation(6)

99.359-99.4732.70.1-

Education and communication(6)

138.992-136.2622.3-2.0-

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

1,559.185-1,560.3518.10.1-

Other goods and services

416.256-412.2681.7-1.0-

Commodity and service group

All items

275.304-276.7652.40.5-

Commodities

195.703-194.7690.5-0.5-

Commodities less food & beverages

156.745-155.9950.0-0.5-

Nondurables less food & beverages

191.296-196.125-0.32.5-

Durables

122.410-116.9850.4-4.4-

Services

349.540-353.3493.51.1-

Special aggregate indexes

All items less medical care

269.431-270.9962.50.6-

All items less shelter

237.937-237.8850.80.0-

Commodities less food

160.346-159.6120.1-0.5-

Nondurables

231.607-233.6420.50.9-

Nondurables less food

195.686-200.250-0.12.3-

Services less rent of shelter(3)

329.322-331.2791.20.6-

Services less medical care services

342.076-345.8113.51.1-

Energy

287.111291.969318.9782.011.19.3

All items less energy

277.516-277.4342.40.0-

All items less food and energy

277.685-277.8262.60.1-

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: Friday, May 10, 2019