Error on Page

Western Information Office

News Release Information

16-119-SAN
Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Contacts

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

Consumer Price Index, Seattle area — December 2015

Area prices were down 0.2 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 0.2 percent for the two months ending in December 2015, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (See table A.) Regional Commissioner Richard J. Holden noted that the December decrease was influenced by lower prices for apparel, recreation, and natural gas service. (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 advanced 2.2 percent.  (See chart 1 and table A.) Energy prices declined 3.1 percent, largely the result of a decrease in the price of gasoline. The index for all items less food and energy rose 2.8 percent over the year. (See table 1.)

 Chart 1. Over-the-year percent change in CPI-U, Seattle, December 2012 - December 2015

Food

Food prices edged down 0.1 percent for the two months ending in December. (See table 1.) Prices for food at home decreased 0.3 percent, but prices for food away from home rose 0.2 percent for the same period.

Over the year, food prices advanced 1.2 percent. Prices for food away from home increased 2.4 percent since a year ago, and prices for food at home moved up 0.2 percent.

Energy

The energy index declined 1.4 percent for the two months ending in December. The decrease was mainly due to lower prices for natural gas service (-15.6 percent). Prices for gasoline decreased 0.2 percent, but electricity prices inched up 0.1 percent for the same period.

Energy prices declined 3.1 percent over the year, largely due to lower prices for gasoline (-13.9 percent). Prices paid for natural gas service fell 13.0 percent, but electricity prices jumped 22.7 percent during the past year.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy edged down 0.1 percent in the latest two-month period. Lower prices for apparel (-4.2 percent) and recreation (-1.4 percent) were partially offset by higher prices for medical care (1.2 percent) and shelter (0.6 percent).

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy rose 2.8 percent. Components contributing to the increase included apparel (6.2 percent) and shelter (5.0 percent). Partly offsetting the increases were price declines in household furnishings and operations (-3.1 percent) and other goods and services (-1.0 percent).

Table A. Seattle-Tacoma-Bremerton CPI-U bi-monthly and annual percent changes (not seasonally adjusted)
Month 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Bi-monthly Annual Bi-monthly Annual Bi-monthly Annual Bi-monthly Annual Bi-monthly Annual Bi-monthly Annual

February

0.2 0.6 1.2 1.5 0.4 2.7 0.8 1.8 0.7 1.2 0.2 1.1

April

0.2 0.3 0.8 2.1 0.9 2.9 0.4 1.2 1.6 2.4 0.9 0.4

June

-0.2 -0.5 0.8 3.2 0.7 2.7 0.8 1.4 0.4 2.0 1.6 1.6

August

0.7 0.2 0.2 2.7 0.3 2.7 0.0 1.1 -0.2 1.8 0.0 1.8

October

-0.2 0.4 0.9 3.8 0.5 2.3 0.0 0.6 0.3 2.1 -0.3 1.2

December

-0.2 0.6 -0.5 3.5 -1.4 1.4 -0.7 1.3 -1.1 1.7 -0.2 2.2

The February 2016 Consumer Price Index for the Seattle-Tacoma-Bremerton is scheduled to be released on March 16, 2016.


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.
2015
Nov.
2015
Dec.
2015
Dec.
2014
Oct.
2015
Nov.
2015

Expenditure category

 
 

All items

250.831 - 250.385 2.2 -0.2 -

All items (1967=100)

764.629 - 763.271 - - -

Food and beverages

260.193 - 259.884 1.2 -0.1 -

Food

263.256 - 263.023 1.2 -0.1 -

Food at home

251.851 250.182 251.049 0.2 -0.3 0.3

Food away from home

281.380 - 282.010 2.4 0.2 -

Alcoholic beverages

224.201 - 223.149 1.2 -0.5 -

Housing

277.149 - 277.823 4.6 0.2 -

Shelter

310.820 311.310 312.557 5.0 0.6 0.4

Rent of primary residence (1)

315.144 316.409 317.693 5.0 0.8 0.4

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

325.767 327.110 328.591 5.3 0.9 0.5

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

325.767 327.110 328.591 5.3 0.9 0.5

Fuels and utilities

254.262 - 250.085 9.8 -1.6 -

Household energy

234.674 229.354 228.629 13.5 -2.6 -0.3

Energy services (1)

279.677 272.337 272.337 15.6 -2.6 0.0

Electricity (1)

294.082 294.310 294.310 22.7 0.1 0.0

Utility (piped) gas service (1)

191.449 161.527 161.527 -13.0 -15.6 0.0

Household furnishings and operations

174.224 - 173.190 -3.1 -0.6 -

Apparel

133.721 - 128.155 6.2 -4.2 -

Transportation

208.302 - 206.607 -2.5 -0.8 -

Private transportation

214.128 - 212.557 -3.2 -0.7 -

Motor fuel

266.313 273.288 265.548 -14.1 -0.3 -2.8

Gasoline (all types)

271.460 278.674 270.886 -13.9 -0.2 -2.8

Gasoline, unleaded regular (3)

294.622 303.169 294.503 -14.5 0.0 -2.9

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade (3) (4)

213.230 216.627 210.991 -13.8 -1.1 -2.6

Gasoline, unleaded premium (3)

249.700 253.400 247.153 -11.2 -1.0 -2.5

Medical care

381.808 - 386.358 0.7 1.2 -

Recreation (5)

97.074 - 95.739 -0.4 -1.4 -

Education and communication (5)

140.529 - 140.033 1.8 -0.4 -

Other goods and services

393.005 - 393.008 -1.0 0.0 -
 

Commodity and service group

 
 

All items

250.831 - 250.385 2.2 -0.2 -

Commodities

188.157 - 186.760 -1.6 -0.7 -

Commodities less food & beverages

152.669 - 150.817 -3.6 -1.2 -

Nondurables less food & beverages

178.141 - 176.586 -4.1 -0.9 -

Durables

126.419 - 124.290 -2.9 -1.7 -

Services

309.200 - 309.593 4.3 0.1 -
 

Special aggregate indexes

 
 

All items less medical care

244.921 - 244.237 2.3 -0.3 -

All items less shelter

228.106 - 226.738 0.6 -0.6 -

Commodities less food

155.700 - 153.878 -3.3 -1.2 -

Nondurables

217.436 - 216.465 -1.2 -0.4 -

Nondurables less food

182.031 - 180.512 -3.7 -0.8 -

Services less rent of shelter (2)

314.926 - 313.602 3.5 -0.4 -

Services less medical care services

300.996 - 301.352 4.7 0.1 -

Energy

256.875 257.666 253.356 -3.1 -1.4 -1.7

All items less energy

253.214 - 252.956 2.5 -0.1 -

All items less food and energy

251.754 - 251.492 2.8 -0.1 -

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: Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Recommend this page using:

News Release Information

16-119-SAN
Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Contacts

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

Consumer Price Index, Seattle area — December 2015

Area prices were down 0.2 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 0.2 percent for the two months ending in December 2015, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (See table A.) Regional Commissioner Richard J. Holden noted that the December decrease was influenced by lower prices for apparel, recreation, and natural gas service. (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 advanced 2.2 percent.  (See chart 1 and table A.) Energy prices declined 3.1 percent, largely the result of a decrease in the price of gasoline. The index for all items less food and energy rose 2.8 percent over the year. (See table 1.)

 Chart 1. Over-the-year percent change in CPI-U, Seattle, December 2012 - December 2015

Food

Food prices edged down 0.1 percent for the two months ending in December. (See table 1.) Prices for food at home decreased 0.3 percent, but prices for food away from home rose 0.2 percent for the same period.

Over the year, food prices advanced 1.2 percent. Prices for food away from home increased 2.4 percent since a year ago, and prices for food at home moved up 0.2 percent.

Energy

The energy index declined 1.4 percent for the two months ending in December. The decrease was mainly due to lower prices for natural gas service (-15.6 percent). Prices for gasoline decreased 0.2 percent, but electricity prices inched up 0.1 percent for the same period.

Energy prices declined 3.1 percent over the year, largely due to lower prices for gasoline (-13.9 percent). Prices paid for natural gas service fell 13.0 percent, but electricity prices jumped 22.7 percent during the past year.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy edged down 0.1 percent in the latest two-month period. Lower prices for apparel (-4.2 percent) and recreation (-1.4 percent) were partially offset by higher prices for medical care (1.2 percent) and shelter (0.6 percent).

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy rose 2.8 percent. Components contributing to the increase included apparel (6.2 percent) and shelter (5.0 percent). Partly offsetting the increases were price declines in household furnishings and operations (-3.1 percent) and other goods and services (-1.0 percent).

Table A. Seattle-Tacoma-Bremerton CPI-U bi-monthly and annual percent changes (not seasonally adjusted)
Month 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Bi-monthly Annual Bi-monthly Annual Bi-monthly Annual Bi-monthly Annual Bi-monthly Annual Bi-monthly Annual

February

0.2 0.6 1.2 1.5 0.4 2.7 0.8 1.8 0.7 1.2 0.2 1.1

April

0.2 0.3 0.8 2.1 0.9 2.9 0.4 1.2 1.6 2.4 0.9 0.4

June

-0.2 -0.5 0.8 3.2 0.7 2.7 0.8 1.4 0.4 2.0 1.6 1.6

August

0.7 0.2 0.2 2.7 0.3 2.7 0.0 1.1 -0.2 1.8 0.0 1.8

October

-0.2 0.4 0.9 3.8 0.5 2.3 0.0 0.6 0.3 2.1 -0.3 1.2

December

-0.2 0.6 -0.5 3.5 -1.4 1.4 -0.7 1.3 -1.1 1.7 -0.2 2.2

The February 2016 Consumer Price Index for the Seattle-Tacoma-Bremerton is scheduled to be released on March 16, 2016.


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.
2015
Nov.
2015
Dec.
2015
Dec.
2014
Oct.
2015
Nov.
2015

Expenditure category

 
 

All items

250.831 - 250.385 2.2 -0.2 -

All items (1967=100)

764.629 - 763.271 - - -

Food and beverages

260.193 - 259.884 1.2 -0.1 -

Food

263.256 - 263.023 1.2 -0.1 -

Food at home

251.851 250.182 251.049 0.2 -0.3 0.3

Food away from home

281.380 - 282.010 2.4 0.2 -

Alcoholic beverages

224.201 - 223.149 1.2 -0.5 -

Housing

277.149 - 277.823 4.6 0.2 -

Shelter

310.820 311.310 312.557 5.0 0.6 0.4

Rent of primary residence (1)

315.144 316.409 317.693 5.0 0.8 0.4

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

325.767 327.110 328.591 5.3 0.9 0.5

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

325.767 327.110 328.591 5.3 0.9 0.5

Fuels and utilities

254.262 - 250.085 9.8 -1.6 -

Household energy

234.674 229.354 228.629 13.5 -2.6 -0.3

Energy services (1)

279.677 272.337 272.337 15.6 -2.6 0.0

Electricity (1)

294.082 294.310 294.310 22.7 0.1 0.0

Utility (piped) gas service (1)

191.449 161.527 161.527 -13.0 -15.6 0.0

Household furnishings and operations

174.224 - 173.190 -3.1 -0.6 -

Apparel

133.721 - 128.155 6.2 -4.2 -

Transportation

208.302 - 206.607 -2.5 -0.8 -

Private transportation

214.128 - 212.557 -3.2 -0.7 -

Motor fuel

266.313 273.288 265.548 -14.1 -0.3 -2.8

Gasoline (all types)

271.460 278.674 270.886 -13.9 -0.2 -2.8

Gasoline, unleaded regular (3)

294.622 303.169 294.503 -14.5 0.0 -2.9

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade (3) (4)

213.230 216.627 210.991 -13.8 -1.1 -2.6

Gasoline, unleaded premium (3)

249.700 253.400 247.153 -11.2 -1.0 -2.5

Medical care

381.808 - 386.358 0.7 1.2 -

Recreation (5)

97.074 - 95.739 -0.4 -1.4 -

Education and communication (5)

140.529 - 140.033 1.8 -0.4 -

Other goods and services

393.005 - 393.008 -1.0 0.0 -
 

Commodity and service group

 
 

All items

250.831 - 250.385 2.2 -0.2 -

Commodities

188.157 - 186.760 -1.6 -0.7 -

Commodities less food & beverages

152.669 - 150.817 -3.6 -1.2 -

Nondurables less food & beverages

178.141 - 176.586 -4.1 -0.9 -

Durables

126.419 - 124.290 -2.9 -1.7 -

Services

309.200 - 309.593 4.3 0.1 -
 

Special aggregate indexes

 
 

All items less medical care

244.921 - 244.237 2.3 -0.3 -

All items less shelter

228.106 - 226.738 0.6 -0.6 -

Commodities less food

155.700 - 153.878 -3.3 -1.2 -

Nondurables

217.436 - 216.465 -1.2 -0.4 -

Nondurables less food

182.031 - 180.512 -3.7 -0.8 -

Services less rent of shelter (2)

314.926 - 313.602 3.5 -0.4 -

Services less medical care services

300.996 - 301.352 4.7 0.1 -

Energy

256.875 257.666 253.356 -3.1 -1.4 -1.7

All items less energy

253.214 - 252.956 2.5 -0.1 -

All items less food and energy

251.754 - 251.492 2.8 -0.1 -

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: Wednesday, January 20, 2016