No inflation in the region at the end of 2012; prices down 0.7 percent

Staff writerJanuary 16, 2014 

If you’re worried about inflation in the Puget Sound region, stop.

Where  recovery from recession sometimes brings inflationary pressure, this time, so far, that isn’t happening.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics on Thursday  reported that overall prices in the Tacoma-Seattle area decreased 0.7 percent during the last two months of 2013.

Across 2012, prices rose only 1.3 percent.

The 0.7 decrease in December followed four months of neither gain nor  loss. Not since June had area prices seen an increase, and then by a mere 0.8 percent.

Among the specific categories listed in Thursday’s report:

• Grocery prices bagged a 0.1 percent decrease in November and December, while meals away-from-home showed an increase of 0.5 percent.

• Alcoholic beverages iced an increase of 0.2 percent for the two months.

• Housing costs rose 0.4 percent for the two months and show a 2.5 percent increase for the year 2012. The cost of renting a primary residence rose 1.0 percent for the two months and 5.5 percent for the entire year, the highest annual category increase recorded by the bureau hereabouts.

• The cost of electricity jumped down 0.2 percent for the two months, while the cost of domestic natural gas fired an increase of 0.5 percent.

• The cost of both clothing and furniture declined, with “ household furnishings and operations” down 1.3 percent and apparel off by 4.2 percent.

• Gasoline, recently a volatile inflationary force, fell 4.3 percent during the period.

• Both the cost of medical care, down 0.4 percent, and recreation, down 2.5 percent, played a role in the overall decrease for the period.


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