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19-2020-SAN
Wednesday, November 13, 2019

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Consumer Price Index, Seattle area — October 2019

Area prices were down 0.6 percent over the past two months, up 2.2 percent from a year ago

Prices in the Seattle area, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), decreased 0.6 percent for the two months ending in October 2019, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (See table A.) Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations Richard Holden noted that the October decrease was influenced by lower prices for shelter and household furnishings operations. (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 2.2 percent. (See chart 1 and table A.) The index for all items less food and energy increased 2.6 percent over the year. Food prices rose 1.9 percent. Energy prices decreased 3.1 percent, largely the result of a decrease in the price of gasoline. (See table 1.)

Food

Food prices advanced 0.6 percent for the two months ending in October. (See table 1.) Prices for food at home and prices for food away from home both increased 0.6 percent for the same period.

Over the year, food prices rose 1.9 percent. Prices for food away from home advanced 4.0 percent since a year ago, and prices for food at home increased 0.3 percent.

Energy

The energy index rose 1.3 percent for the two months ending in October. The increase was mainly due to higher prices for gasoline (2.7 percent). Prices for electricity declined 2.0 percent, but prices for natural gas service edged up 0.1 percent for the same period.

Energy prices decreased 3.1 percent over the year, largely due to lower prices for gasoline (-4.5 percent). Prices paid for natural gas service declined 7.5 percent, but prices for electricity increased 1.3 percent during the past year.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy declined 0.9 percent in the latest two-month period. Lower prices for household furnishings and operations (-7.0 percent) and shelter (-1.0 percent) were partially offset by higher prices for medical care (1.2 percent) and other goods and services (0.6 percent).

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy increased 2.6 percent. Components contributing to the increase included education and communication (5.1 percent) and shelter (3.8 percent). Partly offsetting the increases was a price decline in new vehicles (-3.6 percent).

Table A. Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA, CPI-U 2-month and 12-month percent changes, all items index, not seasonally adjusted
Month 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month

February

0.2 1.1 0.2 2.2 1.0 3.4 0.8 3.3 0.7 2.7

April

0.9 0.4 1.1 2.5 0.8 3.1 0.8 3.3 0.5 2.4

June

1.6 1.6 0.9 1.8 0.8 3.0 0.8 3.3 0.7 2.3

August

0.0 1.8 0.3 2.1 -0.2 2.5 -0.3 3.1 0.6 3.2

October

-0.3 1.2 0.0 2.4 0.5 3.0 0.4 3.1 -0.6 2.2

December

-0.2 2.2 0.0 2.6 0.5 3.5 0.2 2.8

The December 2019 Consumer Price Index for the Seattle area is scheduled to be released on January 14, 2020.

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/additional-resources/geographic-revision-2018.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-
Aug.
2019
Sep.
2019
Oct.
2019
Oct.
2018
Aug.
2019
Sep.
2019

Expenditure category

All items

280.286 - 278.682 2.2 -0.6 -

All items (1967=100)

854.420 - 849.531 - - -

Food and beverages

276.599 - 278.101 2.0 0.5 -

Food

279.043 - 280.645 1.9 0.6 -

Food at home

253.251 256.413 254.663 0.3 0.6 -0.7

Cereals and bakery products

307.277 - 301.819 10.2 -1.8 -

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

218.511 - 215.383 1.3 -1.4 -

Dairy and related products

217.268 - 225.755 2.5 3.9 -

Fruits and vegetables

398.242 - 401.013 -2.9 0.7 -

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials(1)

279.579 - 296.923 -6.0 6.2 -

Other food at home

213.910 - 213.991 -0.3 0.0 -

Food away from home

318.528 - 320.419 4.0 0.6 -

Food away from home

318.528 - 320.419 4.0 0.6 -

Alcoholic beverages

247.102 - 247.390 2.2 0.1 -

Housing

335.419 - 330.367 3.4 -1.5 -

Shelter

386.127 386.997 382.431 3.8 -1.0 -1.2

Rent of primary residence(2)

388.735 390.531 391.308 2.9 0.7 0.2

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

403.670 405.690 407.103 4.6 0.9 0.3

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

403.670 405.690 407.103 4.6 0.9 0.3

Fuels and utilities

270.909 - 268.771 0.6 -0.8 -

Household energy

241.097 241.639 238.560 -0.5 -1.1 -1.3

Energy services(2)

285.856 285.856 281.294 -0.4 -1.6 -1.6

Electricity(2)

318.090 318.090 311.850 1.3 -2.0 -2.0

Utility (piped) gas service(2)

148.993 148.993 149.111 -7.5 0.1 0.1

Household furnishings and operations

189.511 - 176.246 1.8 -7.0 -

Apparel

128.469 - 126.699 -0.3 -1.4 -

Transportation

224.109 - 224.569 -2.3 0.2 -

Private transportation

236.869 - 237.087 -1.6 0.1 -

New and used motor vehicles(4)

98.792 - 97.577 -2.5 -1.2 -

New vehicles(1)

192.668 - 193.986 -3.6 0.7 -

Used cars and trucks(1)

330.934 - 316.678 1.0 -4.3 -

Motor fuel

358.388 351.588 367.923 -4.5 2.7 4.6

Gasoline (all types)

365.829 358.810 375.540 -4.5 2.7 4.7

Gasoline, unleaded regular(4)

396.132 388.259 407.072 -4.7 2.8 4.8

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(4)(5)

291.827 287.751 298.997 -3.4 2.5 3.9

Gasoline, unleaded premium(4)

339.930 334.398 347.000 -3.2 2.1 3.8

Motor vehicle insurance(1)

576.371 - 576.371 -1.3 0.0 -

Medical care

406.802 - 411.583 3.0 1.2 -

Recreation(6)

97.304 - 97.218 1.7 -0.1 -

Education and communication(6)

142.204 - 141.898 5.1 -0.2 -

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

1,681.157 - 1,684.599 8.1 0.2 -

Other goods and services

414.816 - 417.340 1.4 0.6 -

Commodity and service group

All items

280.286 - 278.682 2.2 -0.6 -

Commodities

196.480 - 194.923 0.3 -0.8 -

Commodities less food & beverages

157.324 - 154.625 -0.8 -1.7 -

Nondurables less food & beverages

192.321 - 193.290 -0.6 0.5 -

Durables

122.593 - 116.895 -1.2 -4.6 -

Services

358.602 - 356.979 3.2 -0.5 -

Special aggregate indexes

All items less medical care

274.634 - 272.715 2.1 -0.7 -

All items less shelter

239.765 - 238.980 1.2 -0.3 -

Commodities less food

161.017 - 158.388 -0.7 -1.6 -

Nondurables

232.723 - 233.946 0.8 0.5 -

Nondurables less food

196.876 - 197.810 -0.4 0.5 -

Services less rent of shelter(3)

333.479 - 334.477 2.3 0.3 -

Services less medical care services

351.538 - 349.235 3.1 -0.7 -

Energy

306.918 303.513 310.855 -3.1 1.3 2.4

All items less energy

281.789 - 279.885 2.5 -0.7 -

All items less food and energy

282.507 - 280.017 2.6 -0.9 -

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: Wednesday, November 13, 2019