MYNORTHWEST NEWS

Inflation rates remain high in Seattle, especially food costs

May 11, 2023, 1:52 PM

café streets, outdoor dining...

An outdoor dining set-up at a restaurant in Seattle's Wallingford neighborhood. (MyNorthwest photo)

(MyNorthwest photo)

In the greater Seattle area, the consumer price index increased 6.9% last month compared to the year before, with Seattle remaining on the top of the list of places slow to recover from rampant inflation.

Seattle had the third-highest inflation in the nation back in January, according to the most recent Consumer Price Index, and while rates have gone down, they are still slower to recover than the national average.

Inflation is hitting Seattle harder than most of the US

“Well, according to Jake Vigdor, University of Washington professor of public policy and governance, the inflation we’re experiencing in Seattle is not a local problem, but a global one,” said Christine Clarridge, an Axios reporter. “Here in Seattle, we are particularly being impacted by our very high minimum wage, which I think is a little counterintuitive. So without enough people to fill jobs, employers keep having to raise their offering opening salaries, and these are for entry-level jobs. And so when they’re having to pay more than $20 for jobs, they used to be able to pay $15 an hour. They have to raise the prices somewhere.”

Energy prices didn’t change much over the year, but in the past two months, they’ve increased 4% due to higher gas prices.

“While some of our costs, like gas, are going down along with the rest of the country, we are offset by the places where we’re not going to be released,” Clarridge said.

Costs for food have increased 8% more than last year, but in the past two months, the cost of groceries actually decreased by 0.8%. Prices for meat, poultry, fish, and eggs dropped 4.3%. Eating out at restaurants is costing 1.7% more than it did a couple of months ago.

Clarridge told KIRO Newsradio she expects the restaurant industry to have the most severe rise in costs, with childcare and healthcare also expecting significant jumps in prices.

Amazon to receive $1 billion in tax breaks for new data centers

The consumer price index increased 4.9% in April compared to 2022.

Regarding if the current prices are expected to go down anytime soon, Clarridge said “although there is a lot of speculation, according to some of the experts I talk to, the higher interest rates are having an effect, and they predict that in the middle of 2023, we’ll see leveling or some things going down. But again, Seattle may be the outlier.”

MyNorthwest News

Juanita Beach Kirkland...

Kathy McCormack and Nick Perry, The Associated Press

‘Tis the season for swimming and bacteria alerts in lakes, rivers

With summer about to start, many people flocking to their favorite swimming holes may also want to read up on bacteria warnings.

2 hours ago

Image: A Bellingham Police Department vehicle is seen on a city street in 2015....

Julia Dallas

Bellingham sixth grader allegedly punched by man in racist attack

A Bellingham 6th-grader was allegedly attacked by a man who was spewing racist comments during a school field trip on Wednesday.

3 hours ago

Photo: Starting this fall, students at Seattle's Hamilton International Middle School will have to ...

Julia Dallas

Seattle school to say goodbye to cell phones in the fall

Starting this fall, students at Seattle's Hamilton International Middle School will have to lock up their cell phones during school hours.

6 hours ago

Image: A dose of the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine is displayed at the Neighborcare Health cli...

Sam Campbell and Steve Coogan

Measles case reported at West Seattle clinic; know the symptoms

A child, now confirmed to have measles, went to the Franciscan Health Urgent Care clinic in West Seattle, officials said in a release Friday.

7 hours ago

Image: The Supreme Court building can be seen from a distance on Thursday, June 13, 2024, in Washin...

Associated Press

Supreme Court strikes down Trump-era ban on bump stocks, gun accessory

The Supreme Court has struck down a ban on bump stocks, an accessory that allows semi-automatic weapons to fire rapidly like machine guns.

13 hours ago

Image: A multi-vehicle collision including a semitruck on Interstate 5 in Fife slowed down traffic ...

Steve Coogan

1 killed in multi-vehicle crash on I-5 south in Fife; morning traffic affected

The Washington State Patrol is on the scene of a deadly multi-vehicle crash that occurred on I-5 south in Pierce County early Friday.

14 hours ago

Inflation rates remain high in Seattle, especially food costs