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17-333-SAN
Wednesday, March 15, 2017

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Consumer Price Index, Seattle area — February 2017

Area prices were up 1.0 percent over the past two months, up 3.4 percent from a year ago

Prices in the Seattle Area, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), rose 1.0 percent for the two months ending in February 2017, 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 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 3.4 percent. (See chart 1 and table A.) Energy prices jumped 16.1 percent, largely the result of an increase in the price of gasoline. The index for all items less food and energy advanced 2.9 percent over the year. (See table 1.)

Food

Food prices increased 1.5 percent for the two months ending in February. (See table 1.) Prices for food at home moved up 2.0 percent, and prices for food away from home rose 1.0 percent for the same period.

Over the year, food prices increased 1.6 percent. Prices for food away from home advanced 3.9 percent since a year ago, but prices for food at home inched down 0.2 percent.

Energy

The energy index advanced 5.3 percent for the two months ending in February. The increase was mainly due to higher prices for gasoline (7.8 percent). Prices for electricity advanced 2.3 percent, while prices for natural gas service were unchanged for the same period.

Energy prices jumped 16.1 percent over the year, largely due to higher prices for gasoline (31.9 percent). Prices paid for natural gas service increased 3.6 percent, and prices for electricity rose 1.7 percent during the past year.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.7 percent in the latest two-month period. Higher prices for apparel (2.7 percent), household furnishings and operations (1.7 percent), and shelter (0.6 percent) were partially offset by lower prices for education and communication (-0.9 percent) and medical care (-0.4 percent).

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy advanced 2.9 percent. Components contributing to the increase included shelter (6.9 percent) and other goods and services (4.0 percent). Partly offsetting the increases were price declines in education and communication (-4.3 percent) and apparel (-2.4 percent).

Table A. Seattle-Tacoma-Bremerton CPI-U bi-monthly and annual percent changes (not seasonally adjusted)
Month 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Bi-monthly Annual Bi-monthly Annual Bi-monthly Annual Bi-monthly Annual Bi-monthly Annual Bi-monthly Annual

February

0.4 2.7 0.8 1.8 0.7 1.2 0.2 1.1 0.2 2.2 1.0 3.4

April

0.9 2.9 0.4 1.2 1.6 2.4 0.9 0.4 1.1 2.5    

June

0.7 2.7 0.8 1.4 0.4 2.0 1.6 1.6 0.9 1.8    

August

0.3 2.7 0.0 1.1 -0.2 1.8 0.0 1.8 0.3 2.1    

October

0.5 2.3 0.0 0.6 0.3 2.1 -0.3 1.2 0.0 2.4    

December

-1.4 1.4 -0.7 1.3 -1.1 1.7 -0.2 2.2 0.0 2.6    

The April 2017 Consumer Price Index for the Seattle-Tacoma-Bremerton is scheduled to be released on May 12, 2017.


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 89 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 87 urban areas across the country from about 4,000 housing units and approximately 26,000 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-Bremerton, WA. metropolitan area covered in this release is comprised of Island, King, Kitsap, Pierce, Snohomish, and Thurston 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-Bremerton, WA (1982-84=100 unless otherwise noted)
Item and Group

 
Indexes
 
Percent change from-
Dec.
2016
Jan.
2017
Feb.
2017
Feb.
2016
Dec.
2016
Jan.
2017

Expenditure category

 
 

All items

256.821 - 259.503 3.4 1.0 -

All items (1967=100)

782.889 - 791.065 - - -

Food and beverages

259.388 - 263.361 1.7 1.5 -

Food

261.705 - 265.733 1.6 1.5 -

Food at home

242.296 242.755 247.070 -0.2 2.0 1.8

Food away from home

291.542 - 294.503 3.9 1.0 -

Alcoholic beverages

230.991 - 234.344 3.3 1.5 -

Housing

294.303 - 297.036 5.8 0.9 -

Shelter

335.588 334.453 337.720 6.9 0.6 1.0

Rent of primary residence(1)

340.166 341.841 342.428 6.4 0.7 0.2

Owners' equiv. rent of residences(1)(2)

348.636 350.553 352.477 6.0 1.1 0.5

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

348.636 350.553 352.477 6.0 1.1 0.5

Fuels and utilities

254.291 - 261.088 2.8 2.7 -

Household energy

230.657 237.026 237.005 2.5 2.8 0.0

Energy services(1)

275.855 280.925 280.925 2.0 1.8 0.0

Electricity(1)

296.616 303.329 303.329 1.7 2.3 0.0

Utility (piped) gas service(1)

167.218 167.251 167.251 3.6 0.0 0.0

Household furnishings and operations

171.051 - 173.949 0.2 1.7 -

Apparel

121.373 - 124.659 -2.4 2.7 -

Transportation

209.597 - 214.733 6.4 2.5 -

Private transportation

216.415 - 220.711 6.6 2.0 -

Motor fuel

279.196 302.758 300.672 31.8 7.7 -0.7

Gasoline (all types)

284.908 309.180 306.989 31.9 7.8 -0.7

Gasoline, unleaded regular(3)

308.409 335.495 332.696 32.0 7.9 -0.8

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(3)(4)

227.378 243.654 242.573 32.4 6.7 -0.4

Gasoline, unleaded premium(3)

265.200 284.529 284.424 31.4 7.2 0.0

Medical care

400.133 - 398.649 1.3 -0.4 -

Recreation(5)

94.098 - 94.719 -1.8 0.7 -

Education and communication(5)

135.822 - 134.627 -4.3 -0.9 -

Other goods and services

403.542 - 405.421 4.0 0.5 -
 

Commodity and service group

 
 

All items

256.821 - 259.503 3.4 1.0 -

Commodities

185.039 - 188.966 2.4 2.1 -

Commodities less food & beverages

148.625 - 152.426 2.9 2.6 -

Nondurables less food & beverages

175.378 - 181.883 7.2 3.7 -

Durables

121.296 - 122.630 -2.2 1.1 -

Services

323.726 - 325.218 4.0 0.5 -
 

Special aggregate indexes

 
 

All items less medical care

250.334 - 253.215 3.6 1.2 -

All items less shelter

226.808 - 229.704 1.5 1.3 -

Commodities less food

152.049 - 155.843 2.9 2.5 -

Nondurables

215.590 - 220.915 4.0 2.5 -

Nondurables less food

179.976 - 186.263 6.8 3.5 -

Services less rent of shelter(2)

317.486 - 318.242 0.5 0.2 -

Services less medical care services

315.287 - 317.103 4.3 0.6 -

Energy

261.026 275.847 274.834 16.1 5.3 -0.4

All items less energy

259.387 - 261.420 2.7 0.8 -

All items less food and energy

259.237 - 260.935 2.9 0.7 -

Footnotes
(1) This index series was calculated using a Laspeyres estimator. All other item stratum index series were calculated using a geometric means estimator.
(2) Index is on a November 1982=100 base.
(3) Special index based on a substantially smaller sample.
(4) Indexes on a December 1993=100 base.
(5) 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: Wednesday, March 15, 2017