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18-10-SAN
Friday, January 12, 2018

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Consumer Price Index, Seattle area — December 2017

Area prices were up 0.5 percent over the past two months, up 3.5 percent from a year ago

Prices in the Seattle Area, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), rose 0.5 percent for the two months ending in December 2017, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (See table A.) Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations Richard Holden noted that the December increase was influenced by higher prices for shelter and recreation. (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 3.5 percent. (See chart 1 and table A.) Energy prices advanced 9.7 percent, largely the result of an increase in the price of gasoline. The index for all items less food and energy rose 3.2 percent over the year. (See table 1.)

Food

Food prices decreased 0.5 percent for the two months ending in December. (See table 1.) Prices for food at home declined 1.1 percent, but prices for food away from home advanced 0.4 percent for the same period.

Over the year, food prices increased 2.6 percent. Prices for food at home moved up 2.4 percent since a year ago, and prices for food away from home rose 2.9 percent.

Energy

The energy index increased 0.6 percent for the two months ending in December. The increase was mainly due to higher prices for gasoline (1.1 percent). Prices for electricity were unchanged, while prices for natural gas service declined 6.2 percent for the same period.

Energy prices advanced 9.7 percent over the year, largely due to higher prices for gasoline (14.9 percent). Prices paid for electricity advanced 4.7 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 0.6 percent in the latest two-month period. Higher prices for recreation (3.5 percent), household furnishings and operations (1.8 percent), and shelter (1.1 percent) were partially offset by lower prices for apparel (-8.5 percent).

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy rose 3.2 percent. Components contributing to the increase included shelter (5.6 percent) and recreation (5.0 percent). Partly offsetting the increases were price declines in medical care (-0.9 percent) and education and communication (-0.7 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 0.8 3.1

June

0.7 2.7 0.8 1.4 0.4 2.0 1.6 1.6 0.9 1.8 0.8 3.0

August

0.3 2.7 0.0 1.1 -0.2 1.8 0.0 1.8 0.3 2.1 -0.2 2.5

October

0.5 2.3 0.0 0.6 0.3 2.1 -0.3 1.2 0.0 2.4 0.5 3.0

December

-1.4 1.4 -0.7 1.3 -1.1 1.7 -0.2 2.2 0.0 2.6 0.5 3.5

The February 2018 Consumer Price Index for the Seattle-Tacoma-Bremerton is scheduled to be released March 13, 2018.

Consumer Price Index Geographic Revision for 2018

In January 2018, BLS will introduce a new geographic area sample for the Consumer Price Index (CPI). As part of the new sample, the index for this area will be renamed. The first indexes using the new structure will be published in February 2018. 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 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-
Oct.
2017
Nov.
2017
Dec.
2017
Dec.
2016
Oct.
2017
Nov.
2017

Expenditure category

 
 

All items

264.653 - 265.850 3.5 0.5 -

All items (1967=100)

806.766 - 810.414 - - -

Food and beverages

267.200 - 265.968 2.5 -0.5 -

Food

269.788 - 268.565 2.6 -0.5 -

Food at home

251.048 246.851 248.171 2.4 -1.1 0.5

Food away from home

298.694 - 299.880 2.9 0.4 -

Alcoholic beverages

235.909 - 234.617 1.6 -0.5 -

Housing

306.180 - 309.479 5.2 1.1 -

Shelter

350.461 350.647 354.356 5.6 1.1 1.1

Rent of primary residence(1)

359.278 363.236 365.801 7.5 1.8 0.7

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

367.334 369.700 371.517 6.6 1.1 0.5

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

367.334 369.700 371.517 6.6 1.1 0.5

Fuels and utilities

263.431 - 263.693 3.7 0.1 -

Household energy

239.936 241.873 240.294 4.2 0.1 -0.7

Energy services(1)

287.706 286.626 284.332 3.1 -1.2 -0.8

Electricity(1)

310.598 310.598 310.565 4.7 0.0 0.0

Utility (piped) gas service(1)

171.416 167.961 160.710 -3.9 -6.2 -4.3

Household furnishings and operations

172.920 - 175.989 2.9 1.8 -

Apparel

132.258 - 121.011 -0.3 -8.5 -

Transportation

217.749 - 218.551 4.3 0.4 -

Private transportation

224.803 - 226.727 4.8 0.9 -

Motor fuel

317.636 327.807 321.066 15.0 1.1 -2.1

Gasoline (all types)

324.021 334.413 327.465 14.9 1.1 -2.1

Gasoline, unleaded regular(3)

351.309 362.614 354.992 15.1 1.0 -2.1

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(3)(4)

257.185 265.714 259.451 14.1 0.9 -2.4

Gasoline, unleaded premium(3)

299.183 308.527 302.716 14.1 1.2 -1.9

Medical care

394.823 - 396.570 -0.9 0.4 -

Recreation(5)

95.407 - 98.759 5.0 3.5 -

Education and communication(5)

134.265 - 134.848 -0.7 0.4 -

Other goods and services

410.261 - 411.167 1.9 0.2 -
 

Commodity and service group

 
 

All items

264.653 - 265.850 3.5 0.5 -

Commodities

189.666 - 189.051 2.2 -0.3 -

Commodities less food & beverages

151.781 - 151.443 1.9 -0.2 -

Nondurables less food & beverages

186.245 - 183.923 4.9 -1.2 -

Durables

117.623 - 119.029 -1.9 1.2 -

Services

334.562 - 337.469 4.2 0.9 -
 

Special aggregate indexes

 
 

All items less medical care

258.793 - 259.965 3.8 0.5 -

All items less shelter

231.945 - 232.107 2.3 0.1 -

Commodities less food

155.277 - 154.903 1.9 -0.2 -

Nondurables

225.040 - 223.228 3.5 -0.8 -

Nondurables less food

190.427 - 188.176 4.6 -1.2 -

Services less rent of shelter(2)

323.695 - 325.500 2.5 0.6 -

Services less medical care services

327.169 - 330.145 4.7 0.9 -

Energy

284.594 290.545 286.438 9.7 0.6 -1.4

All items less energy

266.345 - 267.516 3.1 0.4 -

All items less food and energy

266.012 - 267.587 3.2 0.6 -

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: Friday, January 12, 2018