Department of Labor Logo United States Department of Labor
Dot gov

The .gov means it's official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you're on a federal government site.

Https

The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

News Release Information

21-412-SAN
Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Contacts

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

Consumer Price Index, Seattle area — February 2021

Area prices were up 1.2 percent over the past two months, up 1.7 percent from a year ago

Prices in the Seattle area, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), advanced 1.2 percent for the two months ending in February 2021, 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 household furnishings and operations, motor vehicle insurance, 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 1.7 percent. (See chart 1 and table A.) Food prices rose 4.8 percent. Energy prices decreased 0.6 percent, largely the result of a decrease in the price of gasoline. The index for all items less food and energy rose 1.3 percent over the year. (See table 1.)

Food

Food prices increased 1.0 percent for the two months ending in February. (See table 1.) Prices for food at home rose 1.3 percent, led by higher prices for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs (4.1 percent). Prices for food away from home increased 0.7 percent for the same period.

Over the year, food prices rose 4.8 percent. Prices for food away from home advanced 5.5 percent since a year ago, and prices for food at home rose 4.2 percent, with widespread price increases across all categories except cereal and bakery products (-1.7 percent).

Energy

The energy index rose 4.6 percent for the two months ending in February. The increase was mainly due to higher prices for gasoline (8.5 percent). Prices for natural gas service were unchanged, while prices for electricity edged down 0.1 percent for the same period.

Energy prices decreased 0.6 percent over the year, largely due to lower prices for gasoline (-2.9 percent). Prices paid for natural gas service increased 3.4 percent, and prices for electricity increased 3.1 percent during the past year.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy rose 1.1 percent in the latest two-month period. Higher prices for motor vehicle insurance (17.6 percent), household furnishings and operations (5.5 percent), and other goods and services (3.3 percent) were partially offset by lower prices for new vehicles (-5.2 percent) and shelter (-0.1 percent).

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy rose 1.3 percent. Components contributing to the increase included used cars and trucks (11.8 percent), education and communication (3.3 percent), and shelter (1.2 percent). Partly offsetting the increases were price decreases in new vehicles (-10.5 percent) and apparel (-0.3 percent).

Table A. Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA, CPI-U 2-month and 12-month percent changes, all items index, not seasonally adjusted
Month 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month 2-month 12-month

February

1.0 3.4 0.8 3.3 0.7 2.7 1.0 2.5 1.2 1.7

April

0.8 3.1 0.8 3.3 0.5 2.4 -0.6 1.3

June

0.8 3.0 0.8 3.3 0.7 2.3 0.2 0.9

August

-0.2 2.5 -0.3 3.1 0.6 3.2 1.4 1.6

October

0.5 3.0 0.4 3.1 -0.6 2.2 -0.1 2.1

December

0.5 3.5 0.2 2.8 0.3 2.2 -0.4 1.4

The April 2021 Consumer Price Index for the Seattle area is scheduled to be released on May 12, 2021.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic Impact on February 2021 Consumer Price Index Data

Data collection by personal visit for the Consumer Price Index (CPI) program has been suspended since March 16, 2020. When possible, data normally collected by personal visit were collected either online or by phone. Additionally, data collection in February was affected by the temporary closing or limited operations of certain types of establishments. These factors resulted in an increase in the number of prices considered temporarily unavailable and imputed.

While the CPI program attempted to collect as much data as possible, many indexes are based on smaller amounts of collected prices than usual, and a small number of indexes that are normally published were not published this month. Additional information is available at https://www.bls.gov/covid19/effects-of-covid-19-pandemic-on-consumer-price-index.htm.


Technical Note

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) is a measures 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 93 percent of the total U.S. population and (2) a CPI for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) which covers approximately 29 percent of the total U.S. 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 6,000 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; for most of the CPI-U the reference base is 1982-84 equals 100. An increase of 7 percent from the reference base, for example, is shown as 107.000.  Alternatively, that relationship can also be expressed as the price of a base period market basket of goods and services rising from $100 to $107. For further details see the CPI home page on the internet at www.bls.gov/cpi and the CPI section of the BLS Handbook of Methods available on the internet at www.bls.gov/opub/hom/cpi/.

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 individuals with sensory impairments 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.
2020
Jan.
2021
Feb.
2021
Feb.
2020
Dec.
2020
Jan.
2021

Expenditure category

All items

283.409 - 286.950 1.7 1.2 -

All items (1967=100)

863.940 - 874.734 - - -

Food and beverages

290.379 - 293.972 4.9 1.2 -

Food

293.595 - 296.579 4.8 1.0 -

Food at home

264.780 263.677 268.127 4.2 1.3 1.7

Cereals and bakery products

299.146 - 299.084 -1.7 0.0 -

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

224.998 - 234.170 7.4 4.1 -

Dairy and related products

244.629 - 243.434 8.0 -0.5 -

Fruits and vegetables

419.686 - 432.217 6.0 3.0 -

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials(1)

339.218 - 335.867 6.7 -1.0 -

Other food at home

213.953 - 214.158 0.9 0.1 -

Food away from home

337.641 - 340.121 5.5 0.7 -

Alcoholic beverages

253.775 - 262.556 5.9 3.5 -

Housing

341.917 - 344.131 1.5 0.6 -

Shelter

395.061 396.636 394.825 1.2 -0.1 -0.5

Rent of primary residence(2)

405.554 404.585 402.565 1.0 -0.7 -0.5

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

418.944 418.693 417.945 1.6 -0.2 -0.2

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

418.944 418.693 417.945 1.6 -0.2 -0.2

Fuels and utilities

283.651 - 285.630 2.6 0.7 -

Household energy

254.518 254.400 254.125 3.0 -0.2 -0.1

Energy services(2)

300.895 300.680 300.680 3.1 -0.1 0.0

Electricity(2)

326.525 326.219 326.219 3.1 -0.1 0.0

Utility (piped) gas service(2)

175.147 175.147 175.147 3.4 0.0 0.0

Household furnishings and operations

180.133 - 190.040 2.9 5.5 -

Apparel

123.089 - 124.238 -0.3 0.9 -

Transportation

211.578 - 220.345 -1.4 4.1 -

Private transportation

226.077 - 234.765 -0.4 3.8 -

New and used motor vehicles(4)

100.810 - 99.898 -0.2 -0.9 -

New vehicles(1)

191.341 - 181.409 -10.5 -5.2 -

Used cars and trucks(1)

346.937 - 349.095 11.8 0.6 -

Motor fuel

308.726 317.939 334.701 -3.1 8.4 5.3

Gasoline (all types)

315.034 324.532 341.876 -2.9 8.5 5.3

Gasoline, unleaded regular(4)

339.687 349.773 369.370 -2.7 8.7 5.6

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(4)(5)

257.223 263.416 272.157 -5.4 5.8 3.3

Gasoline, unleaded premium(4)

296.760 306.538 320.388 -3.2 8.0 4.5

Motor vehicle insurance(1)

509.658 - 599.598 4.0 17.6 -

Medical care

409.420 - 414.255 0.3 1.2 -

Recreation(6)

100.304 - 100.265 2.7 0.0 -

Education and communication(6)

145.897 - 146.480 3.3 0.4 -

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

1,731.814 - 1,732.862 2.2 0.1 -

Other goods and services

416.753 - 430.666 1.9 3.3 -

Commodity and service group

All items

283.409 - 286.950 1.7 1.2 -

Commodities

197.533 - 201.187 2.5 1.8 -

Commodities less food & beverages

153.038 - 156.667 0.6 2.4 -

Nondurables less food & beverages

182.280 - 187.550 -1.3 2.9 -

Durables

122.613 - 124.790 2.8 1.8 -

Services

363.616 - 366.931 1.3 0.9 -

Special aggregate indexes

All items less medical care

277.787 - 281.271 1.8 1.3 -

All items less shelter

240.804 - 245.606 2.0 2.0 -

Commodities less food

157.067 - 160.914 0.9 2.4 -

Nondurables

234.419 - 238.813 2.4 1.9 -

Nondurables less food

188.297 - 193.876 -0.5 3.0 -

Services less rent of shelter(3)

334.490 - 341.726 1.4 2.2 -

Services less medical care services

356.202 - 359.372 1.3 0.9 -

Energy

288.202 292.869 301.328 -0.6 4.6 2.9

All items less energy

285.928 - 289.064 1.8 1.1 -

All items less food and energy

284.791 - 287.957 1.3 1.1 -

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, March 10, 2021