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News Release Information

24-54-SAN
Thursday, January 11, 2024

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

Consumer Price Index, Seattle area — December 2023

Area prices were down 0.3 percent over the past two months, up 4.4 percent from a year ago

Prices in the Seattle area, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), declined 0.3 percent for the two months ending in December 2023, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (See table A.) Regional Commissioner Chris Rosenlund noted that the December decrease was influenced by lower prices for 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 advanced 4.4 percent. (See chart 1 and table A.) Food prices advanced 2.0 percent and energy prices increased 1.3 percent. The index for all items less food and energy rose 4.9 percent over the year. (See table 1.)

Food

Food prices fell 0.3 percent for the two months ending in December. (See table 1.) Prices for food at home decreased 0.5 percent, led by lower prices for nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials (-2.8 percent) and other food at home (-1.9 percent). Prices for food away from home increased 0.1 percent for the same period.

Over the year, food prices advanced 2.0 percent. Prices for food at home advanced 2.2 percent since a year ago, led by higher prices for cereals and bakery products (10.3 percent). Prices for food away from home increased 1.8 percent.

Energy

The energy index decreased 11.6 percent for the two months ending in December. The decrease was mainly due to lower prices for gasoline (-12.3 percent). Prices for natural gas service fell 40.1 percent, while prices for electricity advanced 0.4 percent for the same period.

Energy prices increased 1.3 percent over the year, influenced by higher prices for electricity (8.3 percent) and gasoline (3.9 percent). Prices for natural gas service fell 30.7 percent during the past year.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy increased 0.4 percent in the latest two-month period. Higher prices for medical care (3.8 percent) and shelter (0.2 percent) were partially offset by lower prices for apparel (-2.1 percent) and household furnishings and operations (-0.9 percent).

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy rose 4.9 percent. Components contributing to the increase included medical care (8.7 percent) and shelter (6.0 percent). Partly offsetting the increases were price decreases in education and communication (-1.7 percent) and used cars and trucks (-1.0 percent).

Table A. Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA, CPI-U 2-month and 12-month percent changes, all items index, not seasonally adjusted
Month 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month

February

0.7 2.7 1.0 2.5 1.2 1.7 1.7 8.1 1.4 8.0

April

0.5 2.4 -0.6 1.3 1.1 3.4 2.1 9.1 1.0 6.9

June

0.7 2.3 0.2 0.9 2.2 5.5 3.2 10.1 1.0 4.6

August

0.6 3.2 1.4 1.6 1.1 5.2 0.0 9.0 0.8 5.4

October

-0.6 2.2 -0.1 2.1 1.1 6.5 1.0 8.9 0.4 4.8

December

-0.3 2.2 -0.4 1.4 0.6 7.6 0.1 8.4 -0.3 4.4

The February 2024 Consumer Price Index for the Seattle area is scheduled to be released on March 12, 2024.


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; Telecommunications Relay Service: 7-1-1.

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

Indexes Percent change from-
Historical
data
Oct.
2023
Nov.
2023
Dec.
2023
Dec.
2022
Oct.
2023
Nov.
2023

Expenditure category

All items

345.992 - 344.982 4.4 -0.3 -

All items (1967=100)

1,054.718 - 1,051.640 - - -

Food and beverages

359.086 - 358.093 2.3 -0.3 -

Food

362.537 - 361.374 2.0 -0.3 -

Food at home

323.196 320.511 321.419 2.2 -0.5 0.3

Cereals and bakery products

388.538 391.558 397.173 10.3 2.2 1.4

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

287.831 286.690 286.283 1.2 -0.5 -0.1

Dairy and related products

294.356 281.485 292.742 6.0 -0.5 4.0

Fruits and vegetables

496.376 499.221 502.072 2.4 1.1 0.6

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials(1)

415.285 407.361 403.738 -0.1 -2.8 -0.9

Other food at home

251.940 249.571 247.201 -1.1 -1.9 -0.9

Food away from home

424.808 - 425.169 1.8 0.1 -

Alcoholic beverages

314.411 - 314.925 5.1 0.2 -

Housing

414.402 - 412.902 5.0 -0.4 -

Shelter

476.399 477.648 477.381 6.0 0.2 -0.1

Rent of primary residence(2)

479.711 483.676 482.306 6.6 0.5 -0.3

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

498.746 502.062 501.528 5.8 0.6 -0.1

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

498.746 502.062 501.528 5.8 0.6 -0.1

Fuels and utilities

333.472 - 312.361 1.7 -6.3 -

Household energy

302.036 276.834 269.263 -2.3 -10.9 -2.7

Energy services(2)

354.505 323.926 315.426 -2.2 -11.0 -2.6

Electricity(2)

362.259 362.054 363.727 8.3 0.4 0.5

Utility (piped) gas service(2)

245.100 170.497 146.780 -30.7 -40.1 -13.9

Household furnishings and operations

228.528 - 226.421 0.7 -0.9 -

Apparel

134.433 - 131.670 4.9 -2.1 -

Transportation

298.990 - 295.964 3.6 -1.0 -

Private transportation

314.336 - 315.029 5.3 0.2 -

New and used motor vehicles(4)

125.067 - 124.792 0.5 -0.2 -

New vehicles(1)

225.019 - 224.361 1.7 -0.3 -

Used cars and trucks(1)

426.408 - 429.134 -1.0 0.6 -

Motor fuel

553.366 512.512 486.227 3.7 -12.1 -5.1

Gasoline (all types)

563.124 520.703 493.702 3.9 -12.3 -5.2

Gasoline, unleaded regular(4)

610.307 563.638 533.809 3.7 -12.5 -5.3

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(4)(5)

447.141 413.974 393.035 3.7 -12.1 -5.1

Gasoline, unleaded premium(4)

521.126 484.223 461.159 4.5 -11.5 -4.8

Medical care

451.636 - 468.864 8.7 3.8 -

Recreation(6)

122.059 - 122.195 4.8 0.1 -

Education and communication(6)

149.188 - 147.697 -1.7 -1.0 -

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

- - - - - -

Other goods and services

520.109 - 517.189 - -0.6 -

Commodity and service group

All items

345.992 - 344.982 4.4 -0.3 -

Commodities

247.453 - 243.635 1.9 -1.5 -

Commodities less food & beverages

194.717 - 190.290 1.7 -2.3 -

Nondurables less food & beverages

234.973 - 226.190 4.4 -3.7 -

Durables

155.971 - 154.402 -0.4 -1.0 -

Services

437.348 - 439.727 6.1 0.5 -

Special aggregate indexes

All items less medical care

341.511 - 339.713 4.1 -0.5 -

All items less shelter

295.617 - 293.851 3.4 -0.6 -

Commodities less food

199.374 - 195.085 1.9 -2.2 -

Nondurables

294.959 - 289.594 3.2 -1.8 -

Nondurables less food

241.718 - 233.647 4.5 -3.3 -

Services less rent of shelter(3)

399.736 - 404.242 6.1 1.1 -

Services less medical care services

432.099 - 432.935 5.8 0.2 -

Energy

436.736 402.907 385.863 1.3 -11.6 -4.2

All items less energy

345.406 - 346.390 4.5 0.3 -

All items less food and energy

342.678 - 343.992 4.9 0.4 -

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: Thursday, January 11, 2024