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18-391-SAN
Tuesday, March 13, 2018

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Consumer Price Index, Seattle area — February 2018

Area prices were up 0.8 percent over the past two months, up 3.3 percent from a year ago

Prices in the Seattle Area, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), rose 0.8 percentfor the two months ending in February 2018, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (See table A.) Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations Richard Holden noted that the Decemberincrease was influenced by higher prices for shelter and apparel. (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 3.3 percent. (See chart 1 and table A.) Energy prices advanced 7.9 percent, largely the result of an increase in the price of gasoline. The index for all items less food and energy rose 3.3 percent over the year. (See table 1.)

Food

Food prices increased 0.2 percent for the two months ending in February. (See table 1.) Prices for food away from home rose 0.3 percent, and prices for food at home advanced 0.2 percent for the same period.

Over the year, food prices increased 1.3 percent. Prices for food away from home moved up 2.1 percent since a year ago, and prices for food at home rose 0.6 percent.

Energy

The energy index advanced 3.5 percent for the two months ending in February. The increase was mainly due to higher prices for gasoline (4.8 percent). Prices for electricity increased 1.6 percent, while prices for natural gas service were unchanged for the same period.

Energy prices advanced 7.9 percent over the year, largely due to higher prices for gasoline (11.8 percent). Prices paid for electricity advanced 4.0 percent, but prices for natural gas service declined 3.9 percent during the past year.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy increased 0.7 percent in the latest two-month period. Higher prices for apparel (9.4 percent) and shelter (1.1 percent) were partially offset by lower prices for household furnishings and operations (-3.8 percent), other goods and services (-1.8 percent), and recreation (-1.4 percent).

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy rose 3.3 percent. Components contributing to the increase included shelter (6.1 percent) and recreation (2.8 percent). Partly offsetting the increases were price declines in household furnishings and operations (-2.6 percent) and education and communication (-0.9 percent).

Table A. Seattle-Tacoma-Bremerton 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    

June

0.8 1.4 0.4 2.0 1.6 1.6 0.9 1.8 0.8 3.0    

August

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

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 April 2018 Consumer Price Index for the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue is scheduled to be released May 10, 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-
Dec.
2017
Jan.
2018
Feb.
2018
Feb.
2017
Dec.
2017
Jan.
2018

Expenditure category

All items

265.850 - 268.031 3.3 0.8 -

All items (1967=100)

810.414 - 817.064 - - -

Food and beverages

265.968 - 266.607 1.2 0.2 -

Food

268.565 - 269.192 1.3 0.2 -

Food at home

248.171 250.981 248.609 0.6 0.2 -0.9

Cereals and bakery products

282.709 - 280.169 - -0.9 -

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

207.654 - 203.228 - -2.1 -

Dairy and related products

217.024 - 219.327 - 1.1 -

Fruits and vegetables

402.989 - 400.625 - -0.6 -

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials(1)

279.254 - 298.941 - 7.0 -

Other food at home

212.135 - 212.430 - 0.1 -

Food away from home

299.880 - 300.794 2.1 0.3 -

Food away from home

299.880 - 300.794 2.1 0.3 -

Alcoholic beverages

234.617 - 235.389 0.4 0.3 -

Housing

309.479 - 311.869 5.0 0.8 -

Shelter

354.356 355.528 358.355 6.1 1.1 0.8

Rent of primary residence(2)

365.801 366.628 368.177 7.5 0.6 0.4

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

371.517 372.752 374.179 6.2 0.7 0.4

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

371.517 372.752 374.179 6.2 0.7 0.4

Fuels and utilities

263.693 - 270.199 3.5 2.5 -

Household energy

240.294 244.345 244.113 3.0 1.6 -0.1

Energy services(2)

284.332 288.002 288.002 2.5 1.3 0.0

Electricity(2)

310.565 315.522 315.522 4.0 1.6 0.0

Utility (piped) gas service(2)

160.710 160.746 160.746 -3.9 0.0 0.0

Household furnishings and operations

175.989 - 169.384 -2.6 -3.8 -

Apparel

121.011 - 132.404 6.2 9.4 -

Transportation

218.551 - 222.246 3.5 1.7 -

Private transportation

226.727 - 230.002 4.2 1.4 -

New and used motor vehicles(4)

98.683 - 99.223 - 0.5 -

New vehicles(1)

195.470 - 195.552 - 0.0 -

Used cars and trucks(1)

313.621 - 316.805 - 1.0 -

Motor fuel

321.066 321.287 336.359 11.9 4.8 4.7

Gasoline (all types)

327.465 327.707 343.182 11.8 4.8 4.7

Gasoline, unleaded regular(4)

354.992 355.290 372.742 12.0 5.0 4.9

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(4)(5)

259.451 260.305 268.759 10.8 3.6 3.2

Gasoline, unleaded premium(4)

302.716 302.614 314.513 10.6 3.9 3.9

Motor vehicle insurance(1)

582.369 - 582.369 - 0.0 -

Medical care

396.570 - 399.070 0.1 0.6 -

Recreation(6)

98.759 - 97.377 2.8 -1.4 -

Education and communication(6)

134.848 - 133.431 -0.9 -1.1 -

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

1,440.976 - 1,442.162 - 0.1 -

Other goods and services

411.167 - 403.732 -0.4 -1.8 -

Commodity and service group

All items

265.850 - 268.031 3.3 0.8 -

Commodities

189.051 - 190.325 0.7 0.7 -

Commodities less food & beverages

151.443 - 152.917 0.3 1.0 -

Nondurables less food & beverages

183.923 - 190.249 4.6 3.4 -

Durables

119.029 - 116.365 -5.1 -2.2 -

Services

337.469 - 340.513 4.7 0.9 -

Special aggregate indexes

All items less medical care

259.965 - 262.135 3.5 0.8 -

All items less shelter

232.107 - 233.581 1.7 0.6 -

Commodities less food

154.903 - 156.366 0.3 0.9 -

Nondurables

223.228 - 226.981 2.7 1.7 -

Nondurables less food

188.176 - 194.205 4.3 3.2 -

Services less rent of shelter(3)

325.500 - 327.379 2.9 0.6 -

Services less medical care services

330.145 - 332.917 5.0 0.8 -

Energy

286.438 288.471 296.479 7.9 3.5 2.8

All items less energy

267.516 - 269.317 3.0 0.7 -

All items less food and energy

267.587 - 269.586 3.3 0.7 -

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: Tuesday, March 13, 2018