Consumer Price Index, Seattle area — February 2022

Consumer Price Index, Seattle area — February 2022 Area prices were up 1.7 percent over the past two months, up 8.1 percent from a year ago

Prices in the Seattle area, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), advanced 1.7 percent for the two months ending in February 2022, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (See table A.) Regional Commissioner Chris Rosenlund noted that the February increase was influenced by higher prices for shelter and food. (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 8.1 percent. (See chart 1 and table A.) Food prices increased 9.8 percent. Energy prices jumped 21.9 percent, largely the result of an increase in the price of gasoline. The index for all items less food and energy rose 7.0 percent over the year. (See table 1.)


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Food

Food prices increased 2.4 percent for the two months ending in February. (See table 1.) Prices for food at home advanced 4.0 percent. Increases across food at home expenditure categories ranged from 0.3 percent for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs to 9.6 percent for dairy and related products. Prices for food away from home moved down 0.2 percent for the same period.

Over the year, food prices increased 9.8 percent. Prices for food at home rose 12.1 percent since a year ago, led by higher prices for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs (21.3 percent) and nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials (17.6 percent). Prices for food away from home rose 6.5 percent.

Energy

The energy index advanced 2.0 percent for the two months ending in February. The increase was mainly due to higher prices for gasoline (2.6 percent). Prices for electricity advanced 0.6 percent, while prices for natural gas service were unchanged for the same period.

Energy prices jumped 21.9 percent over the year, largely due to higher prices for gasoline (34.7 percent). Prices paid for natural gas service advanced 8.0 percent, and prices for electricity increased 2.7 percent during the past year.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy rose 1.6 percent in the latest two-month period. Higher prices for apparel (6.6 percent), household furnishings and operations (2.9 percent), medical care (2.7 percent), and shelter (1.2 percent) were partially offset by lower prices for recreation (-0.3 percent).

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy rose 7.0 percent. Components contributing to the increase included new and used motor vehicles (25.7 percent), household furnishings and operations (18.0 percent), and shelter (4.2 percent).

Table A. Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA, CPI-U 2-month and 12-month percent changes, all items index, not seasonally adjusted


The April 2022 Consumer Price Index for the Seattle area is scheduled to be released on May 11, 2022.


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; Telecommunications Relay Service: 7-1-1.

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)