Inflation slows, but Western Washington consumers still gasping for air

Nov 17, 2023, 9:55 AM

Image: Butter products and their price tags are displayed on shelves at a grocery store on Sept. 22...

Butter products and their price tags are displayed on shelves at a grocery store on Sept. 22, 2022 in Chicago. (Photo: Scott Olson, Getty Images)

(Photo: Scott Olson, Getty Images)

Inflation is easing, but the latest Consumer Price Index report showed residents nationwide are still paying more for a lot of things than they did a year ago.

Higher prices are still impacting western Washington, but the hikes are slowing. In the summer of 2022, inflation rose approximately 10%.

Soaring prices become pretty obvious when you sit down for breakfast.

The cost of cereal and baked goods increased 11.3% in October, compared to the year before. Perishable food items continue to fluctuate. The American public is paying 7.8% more for milk, while the cost of eggs, meats, poultry and fish went down slightly — 0.4%.

More on inflation in WA: Inflation is hitting Seattle harder than most of the U.S.

Overall, the grocery bill has increased approximately 3.2% percent in the past year. Food prices are one factor of inflation, but for Seattle, David Kong, a statistician for the Bureau of Labor Statistics, explained other sectors are being just as impacted.

“The main driver for this Seattle area Consumer Price Index is higher prices for shelter,” Kong told KIRO Newsradio.

The cost of shelter increased 8.1% while heating your home went up 9.8% over the year. That includes a more than 30% increase in the price of natural gas.

Medical care is up 4.4% while other goods and services jumped 8.3%. Clothing increased by nearly 5%.

Among the sectors that dropped year-over-year was transportation costs, down 1.5% from 2022’s Consumer Price Index.

More from Heather Bosch: Seattle veterans transform trauma into beauty with Opera Veterans Choir

Overall, the Consumer Price Index in the greater Seattle area increased 4.8% percent, much higher than the national average of 3.2%.

“So overall, the trend has been downward,” Kong added.

Heather Bosch is an award-winning anchor and reporter on KIRO Newsradio. You can follow her on X, formerly known as Twitter, or email her here.

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Inflation slows, but Western Washington consumers still gasping for air