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News Release Information

21-1662-SAN
Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Contacts

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

Consumer Price Index, Seattle area — August 2021

Area prices were up 1.1 percent over the past two months, up 5.2 percent from a year ago

Prices in the Seattle area, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), increased 1.1 percent for the two months ending in August 2021, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (See table A.) Regional Commissioner Chris Rosenlund noted that the August increase was influenced by higher prices for recreation and shelter. (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 5.2 percent. (See chart 1 and table A.) Food prices rose 5.6 percent. Energy prices jumped 24.6 percent, largely the result of an increase in the price of gasoline. The index for all items less food and energy increased 4.1 percent over the year. (See table 1.)

Food

Food prices rose 1.4 percent for the two months ending in August. (See table 1.) Prices for food at home rose 2.1 percent, with price increases across all categories. Prices for food away from home advanced 0.6 percent for the same period.

Over the year, food prices rose 5.6 percent. Prices for food away from home advanced 7.0 percent since a year ago, and prices for food at home rose 4.3 percent, led by higher prices for meat, poultry, fish, and eggs (11.4 percent).

Energy

The energy index rose 4.2 percent for the two months ending in August. The increase was mainly due to higher prices for gasoline (6.4 percent). Prices for electricity advanced 1.2 percent, while prices for natural gas service were unchanged for the same period.

Energy prices jumped 24.6 percent over the year, largely due to higher prices for gasoline (41.1 percent). Prices paid for natural gas service moved up 8.9 percent, and prices for electricity increased 2.5 percent during the past year.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.8 percent in the latest two-month period. Higher prices for recreation (8.8 percent), household furnishings and operations (4.2 percent), and shelter (1.0 percent) were partially offset by lower prices for motor vehicle insurance (-21.0 percent).

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy increased 4.1 percent. Components contributing to the increase included new and used motor vehicles (16.2 percent), recreation (14.1 percent), and shelter (1.6 percent). Partly offsetting the increases were price decreases in motor vehicle insurance (-3.3 percent) and medical care (-0.3 percent).

Table A. Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA, CPI-U 2-month and 12-month percent changes, all items index, not seasonally adjusted
Month20172018201920202021
2-month12-month2-month12-month2-month12-month2-month12-month2-month12-month

February

1.03.40.83.30.72.71.02.51.21.7

April

0.83.10.83.30.52.4-0.61.31.13.4

June

0.83.00.83.30.72.30.20.92.25.5

August

-0.22.5-0.33.10.63.21.41.61.15.2

October

0.53.00.43.1-0.62.2-0.12.1

December

0.53.50.22.80.32.2-0.41.4

The October 2021 Consumer Price Index for the Seattle area is scheduled to be released on November 10, 2021.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic Impact on August 2021 Consumer Price Index Data

Data collection by personal visit for the Consumer Price Index (CPI) program has been suspended since March 16, 2020. When possible, data normally collected by personal visit were collected either online or by phone. Additionally, data collection in August was affected by the temporary closing or limited operations of certain types of establishments. These factors resulted in an increase in the number of prices considered temporarily unavailable and imputed.

While the CPI program attempted to collect as much data as possible, many indexes are based on smaller amounts of collected prices than usual, and a small number of indexes that are normally published were not published this month. Additional information is available at https://www.bls.gov/covid19/effects-of-covid-19-pandemic-on-consumer-price-index.htm.


Technical Note

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) is a measures 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 93 percent of the total U.S. population and (2) a CPI for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) which covers approximately 29 percent of the total U.S. 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 6,000 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; for most of the CPI-U the reference base is 1982-84 equals 100. An increase of 7 percent from the reference base, for example, is shown as 107.000.  Alternatively, that relationship can also be expressed as the price of a base period market basket of goods and services rising from $100 to $107. For further details see the CPI home page on the internet at www.bls.gov/cpi and the CPI section of the BLS Handbook of Methods available on the internet at www.bls.gov/opub/hom/cpi/.

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 individuals with sensory impairments 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-
Jun.
2021
Jul.
2021
Aug.
2021
Aug.
2020
Jun.
2021
Jul.
2021

Expenditure category

All items

296.573-299.7045.21.1-

All items (1967=100)

904.069-913.615---

Food and beverages

305.062-309.2585.91.4-

Food

306.895-311.1555.61.4-

Food at home

274.497277.435280.3504.32.11.1

Cereals and bakery products

314.191-322.8915.02.8-

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

257.123-260.96011.41.5-

Dairy and related products

230.566-238.9560.33.6-

Fruits and vegetables

418.582-432.7642.03.4-

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials(1)

354.111-362.1056.22.3-

Other food at home

216.312-218.1040.80.8-

Food away from home

356.232-358.2217.00.6-

Alcoholic beverages

280.020-283.5339.01.3-

Housing

346.095-350.8181.81.4-

Shelter

397.205399.775401.2431.61.00.4

Rent of primary residence(2)

405.791406.494407.2170.50.40.2

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

417.909418.832419.2060.70.30.1

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

417.909418.832419.2060.70.30.1

Fuels and utilities

288.431-289.7563.20.5-

Household energy

257.853260.284259.8884.20.8-0.2

Energy services(2)

303.915306.785306.7853.90.90.0

Electricity(2)

329.839333.950333.9502.51.20.0

Utility (piped) gas service(2)

176.846176.841176.8418.90.00.0

Household furnishings and operations

190.244-198.2692.14.2-

Apparel

133.292-135.1785.31.4-

Transportation

254.787-247.13216.8-3.0-

Private transportation

268.314-265.41217.1-1.1-

New and used motor vehicles(4)

118.100-117.58316.2-0.4-

New vehicles(1)

201.973-201.9735.30.0-

Used cars and trucks(1)

459.089-456.26934.1-0.6-

Motor fuel

411.842431.101438.06641.06.41.6

Gasoline (all types)

421.008440.756447.84741.16.41.6

Gasoline, unleaded regular(4)

455.694477.379485.07241.86.41.6

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(4)(5)

334.512350.012355.72637.36.31.6

Gasoline, unleaded premium(4)

391.613408.966415.49338.96.11.6

Motor vehicle insurance(1)

599.598-473.696-3.3-21.0-

Medical care

412.465-417.400-0.31.2-

Recreation(6)

102.750-111.78214.18.8-

Education and communication(6)

147.650-147.7612.40.1-

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

1,740.526-1,760.9323.11.2-

Other goods and services

433.248-----

Commodity and service group

All items

296.573-299.7045.21.1-

Commodities

216.137-221.60410.52.5-

Commodities less food & beverages

173.141-179.10214.43.4-

Nondurables less food & beverages

204.359-207.50711.91.5-

Durables

140.158-147.98017.25.6-

Services

370.741-371.3592.20.2-

Special aggregate indexes

All items less medical care

291.467-294.5175.61.0-

All items less shelter

257.609-260.3847.21.1-

Commodities less food

177.385-183.22014.03.3-

Nondurables

252.644-256.2868.21.4-

Nondurables less food

210.683-213.85411.51.5-

Services less rent of shelter(3)

347.216-344.0832.9-0.9-

Services less medical care services

363.666-363.7772.30.0-

Energy

342.807353.928357.30024.64.21.0

All items less energy

297.320-299.9614.30.9-

All items less food and energy

295.847-298.1964.10.8-

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, September 14, 2021