News Release Information

18-1460-SAN
Thursday, September 13, 2018

Contacts

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

Consumer Price Index, Seattle area — August 2018

Area prices were down 0.3 percent over the past two months, up 3.1 percent from a year ago

Prices in the Seattle Area, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), decreased 0.3 percent for the two months ending in August 2018, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (See table A.) Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations Richard Holden noted that the August decrease was influenced by lower prices for new vehicles 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 increased 3.1 percent. (See chart 1 and table A.) Energy prices rose 9.3 percent, largely the result of an increase in the price of gasoline. The index for all items less food and energy rose 3.0 percent over the year. (See table 1.)

Food

Food prices advanced 0.5 percent for the two months ending in August. (See table 1.) Prices for food at home increased 0.8 percent, and prices for food away from home moved up 0.2 percent for the same period.

Over the year, food prices increased 2.0 percent. Prices for food away from home moved up 3.2 percent since a year ago, and prices for food at home advanced 1.1 percent.

Energy

The energy index decreased 3.0 percent for the two months ending in August. The decrease was mainly due to lower prices for gasoline (-4.6 percent). Prices for natural gas service declined 0.2 percent, while prices for electricity were unchanged for the same period.

Energy prices rose 9.3 percent over the year, largely due to higher prices for gasoline (16.4 percent). Prices paid for natural gas service moved down 5.8 percent, and prices for electricity declined 1.4 percent during the past year.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy decreased 0.2 percent in the latest two-month period. Lower prices for new vehicles (-7.2 percent), recreation (-1.1 percent), and household furnishings and operations (-1.0 percent) were partially offset by higher prices for education and communication (2.5 percent), apparel (0.9 percent), and shelter (0.4 percent).

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy rose 3.0 percent. Components contributing to the increase included shelter (5.9 percent) and recreation (2.7 percent). Partly offsetting the increases were price declines in apparel (-9.5 percent) and household furnishings and operations (-3.2 percent).

Table A. Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue CPI-U bi-monthly and annual percent changes (not seasonally adjusted)
Month 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Bi-monthly Annual Bi-monthly Annual Bi-monthly Annual Bi-monthly Annual Bi-monthly Annual Bi-monthly Annual

February

0.8 1.8 0.7 1.2 0.2 1.1 0.2 2.2 1.0 3.4  0.8 3.3 

April

0.4 1.2 1.6 2.4 0.9 0.4 1.1 2.5 0.8 3.1  0.8 3.3

June

0.8 1.4 0.4 2.0 1.6 1.6 0.9 1.8 0.8 3.0  0.8 3.3

August

0.0 1.1 -0.2 1.8 0.0 1.8 0.3 2.1 -0.2 2.5  -0.3  3.1

October

0.0 0.6 0.3 2.1 -0.3 1.2 0.0 2.4 0.5 3.0    

December

-0.7 1.3 -1.1 1.7 -0.2 2.2 0.0 2.6 0.5 3.5    

The October 2018 Consumer Price Index for the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue area is scheduled to be released on November 14, 2018.

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/georevision2018.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

Indexes Percent change from-
Jun.
2018
Jul.
2018
Aug.
2018
Aug.
2017
Jun.
2018
Jul.
2018

Expenditure category

All items

272.395 - 271.625 3.1 -0.3 -

All items (1967=100)

830.365 - 828.019 - - -

Food and beverages

269.717 - 271.179 1.9 0.5 -

Food

272.471 - 273.967 2.0 0.5 -

Food at home

250.211 252.012 252.301 1.1 0.8 0.1

Cereals and bakery products

275.653 - 285.177 - 3.5 -

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

205.693 - 205.561 - -0.1 -

Dairy and related products

219.035 - 219.235 - 0.1 -

Fruits and vegetables

400.400 - 403.265 - 0.7 -

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials(1)

301.772 - 300.384 - -0.5 -

Other food at home

216.068 - 218.518 - 1.1 -

Food away from home

306.610 - 307.213 3.2 0.2 -

Food away from home

306.610 - 307.213 3.2 0.2 -

Alcoholic beverages

236.458 - 237.515 0.8 0.4 -

Housing

318.288 - 319.092 4.6 0.3 -

Shelter

366.998 367.970 368.505 5.9 0.4 0.1

Rent of primary residence(2)

374.720 375.525 377.446 6.4 0.7 0.5

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

381.577 383.584 385.998 6.6 1.2 0.6

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

381.577 383.584 385.998 6.6 1.2 0.6

Fuels and utilities

270.949 - 270.757 1.1 -0.1 -

Household energy

244.508 244.139 244.222 -0.4 -0.1 0.0

Energy services(2)

288.815 288.815 288.699 -2.2 0.0 0.0

Electricity(2)

316.114 316.114 316.114 -1.4 0.0 0.0

Utility (piped) gas service(2)

161.843 161.843 161.507 -5.8 -0.2 -0.2

Household furnishings and operations

169.830 - 168.160 -3.2 -1.0 -

Apparel

123.633 - 124.745 -9.5 0.9 -

Transportation

235.853 - 225.960 4.7 -4.2 -

Private transportation

244.257 - 236.957 6.1 -3.0 -

New and used motor vehicles(4)

103.863 - 99.707 - -4.0 -

New vehicles(1)

211.376 - 196.177 - -7.2 -

Used cars and trucks(1)

316.837 - 322.436 - 1.8 -

Motor fuel

382.078 374.564 364.630 16.6 -4.6 -2.7

Gasoline (all types)

389.911 382.138 371.950 16.4 -4.6 -2.7

Gasoline, unleaded regular(4)

423.945 414.882 403.570 16.6 -4.8 -2.7

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(4)(5)

304.010 301.681 294.265 16.7 -3.2 -2.5

Gasoline, unleaded premium(4)

355.486 350.489 342.219 15.4 -3.7 -2.4

Motor vehicle insurance(1)

582.369 - 582.369 - 0.0 -

Medical care

398.798 - 398.566 1.5 -0.1 -

Recreation(6)

96.805 - 95.712 2.7 -1.1 -

Education and communication(6)

132.956 - 136.319 2.4 2.5 -

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

1,443.550 - 1,506.152 - 4.3 -

Other goods and services

407.482 - 408.843 0.8 0.3 -

Commodity and service group

All items

272.395 - 271.625 3.1 -0.3 -

Commodities

194.047 - 192.528 1.3 -0.8 -

Commodities less food & beverages

156.735 - 154.103 0.8 -1.7 -

Nondurables less food & beverages

194.352 - 192.194 2.8 -1.1 -

Durables

119.816 - 116.873 -1.8 -2.5 -

Services

345.438 - 345.424 4.2 0.0 -

Special aggregate indexes

All items less medical care

266.734 - 265.937 3.3 -0.3 -

All items less shelter

236.275 - 234.603 1.5 -0.7 -

Commodities less food

160.130 - 157.588 0.8 -1.6 -

Nondurables

230.658 - 230.154 2.3 -0.2 -

Nondurables less food

198.149 - 196.173 2.7 -1.0 -

Services less rent of shelter(3)

327.640 - 325.724 1.7 -0.6 -

Services less medical care services

338.265 - 338.419 4.4 0.0 -

Energy

321.289 317.067 311.757 9.3 -3.0 -1.7

All items less energy

272.677 - 272.349 2.8 -0.1 -

All items less food and energy

272.962 - 272.330 3.0 -0.2 -

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) Index is 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, September 13, 2018